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 Guided Tours and Activities

These are activities that YESI offers to students, that can include non-students as participants. YESI arranges guides but assumes no responsibility for any health risk or injury

Horseback Riding

•   Ride along the Tuito River (Las Cascadas), ending in a refreshing swim in deep pools below the waterfalls and above the canyon (4 hours, $30 + $10 Guide).

Max on Burro Ride for Children•  Ride to the upper waterfalls on the pristine Calderas River, with a 60 foot drop into three deep, large, pools (8 hours, $80 with Guide).

•   Horseback to Quimixto ( 7 hours, Return via boat - $70 with Guide).

•   Burro Rides for Children a short ride up the Tuito Rive r along its sand banks away from the regular trail – 1 hr. Combine with farm visit or dip in upriver pools. (2 hrs - $25 with Guide).

Wildlife Viewing

•   Marietas Islands National Wildlife Sanctuary – Boat trip to the spectacular waters and islands, a protected seabird refuge, and a sanctuary for humpback whales. Great day of snorkeling, beach combing, bird watching, caving (8 hr = $45 includes lunch ).

•   Whale watching Yelapa Bay – Humpback and gray whales concentrate. View at a safe distance (2 to 4 hours = $45).


Study Spanish with Alejandro

study Spanish with naturalist Alejandro after Spanish classes in Yelapa

Fishing and Gathering

•   Hike upriver and catch crayfish in shallow pools guided by locals who supplement their diet with these “river shrimp”. This is a fun and exhilarating activity, and you get to eat your catch (4 hours - $20 with Guide).

•   Fishing with local experts from a few hours to a full day, includes all gear ( $25/hour).


•   Marietas Islands – see Wildlife Viewing above ($45/day includes light lunch, snorkeling gear).

•   Boat trips to nearby secluded beaches - Pizota or further south along the coast  and upriver to Tecomate, a deep jungle pool complete with hanging vines (4 hours - $45).

•   Kayak throughout Yelapa Bay and to the next coastal community of Pizota and other southern points ($10/hr kayak rental).

Ramon guides Spanish group

Ramon helps students study Spanish on horseback to the waterfalls


•   Hike to Quimixto, the next coastal community, through old trails in the jungle. After refreshments and an ocean dip, catch the water-taxi home (7 hours = $30 with Guide).

•   Chacala/Mascotita – hill town over the mountain ridge; by truck to small community of Chacala in the pine and oak plateau. Possible side trip to Mascotita to see local raicilla production – cactus moonshine. Walk down the jungle road to Yelapa (4-5 hrs $30 with Guide).

•   Overnight Camping to the Upper Waterfalls on Pristine Calderas River – Enjoy a guided trip with local guide, either hiking or by horseback, 3 hrs one way beyond the tourist trails. Stop to view points of interest, swim and/or catch local crayfish. Spend the afternoon at the spectacular triple falls, each feeding larger and deeper pools below. Camp equipment, accommodation and meals provided. Morning spent at the falls, bird watching and nature interpretation. Next afternoon return. ( Moderate Level of Difficulty) .(1.5 days - $150 for up to 4 people, with Guide, horses extra).

•   Overnight Hike to Las Juntas y Los Veranos – For the adventurous who desire a backcountry trip through spectacular river and jungle edge environment. Lots of pools for dipping in as we cross on an eight hour hike, very minimal vertical. Lunch stop. Dinner in Las Juntas.  Return by last boat from Boca same day or overnight in private guest house. ( Moderate Level of difficulty) ($100 for 2 people, $20 additional, with Guide, includes Lunch, drive to Boca for boat, boat fare).

•   Naturalist's Hike – local Alejandro guides a leisurely hike up the Tuito River , pointing out the trees, plants, animals and their significance to local use and their natural history ($20 with bilingual Guide).

•   Traditional Medicine – A stroll guided by Alicia who still practices healing using traditional medicines from local plants. ($10/ person , Naturalist Alejandro on hikeminimum two people).

•   Birdwatching Tour – Get to know the exciting and colourful local resident and migratory species. The variety is truly astounding!  Guided by long-time resident ornithologist ($20 per person).

Local and Regional Special Events

•   Attend the local rodeos (charros) in the tiny hillside communities of Chacala, Ixtlan del Rio or Algodón with a crowd of the locals to view local rodeo “colour”  ($30 with Guide, min of 4).

•   Guadalupe Festival in Puerto Vallarta (Dec 12 th ) or El Tuito regional Guadalupe celebrations (Jan 12) (8 + hrs).

•  Cooking Demonstration and Feast – Join local guest chefs who'll teach how to prepare their favorite Mexican dish. (tamales, chili rellenos).

Playing after Spanish study

study Spanish and play at waterfalls