La Palapa Tranquila is one of those unique hard to find special places. If you are looking for something different, an adventurous vacation away from it all, with tranquil days in the sun, deserted beaches and evenings of watching beautiful sunsets, you have found your paradise. Your adventure will be an unforgettable escape from the modern every day rat race.
The palapa house, La Palapa Tranquila, is in an eco resort called Chonchos. It is very remote, which means on some occasions you will need to spend your first night in the beautiful city of Puerto Vallarta. There you can enjoy your first evening dining in one of the finest restaurants, visiting many of the art galleries, or strolling along the malecon. We can recommend a hotel in PV if you like. If time allows after the arrival of your flight into PV, you can go directly to the palapa and catch the 9:00 AM or 3:00 PM water taxi Nayeli, from Boca de Tomatlan, an hour from PVR airport.
The water taxi ride will take you by the scenic coastline where the green lush mountains meet the deep blue Pacific Ocean with small Mexican fishing villages, the well known town of Yelapa and other small vacation resorts along the way. After the hour water taxi ride you will arrive at the beach of Chonchos and be greeted by the staff who will help take your luggage to La Palapa Tranquila. The palapa house is off the grid with solar panels to give you the modern convenience of refrigeration and lights. We have a solar hot water heater for nice warm showers and drinkable clean spring water. Most personal cell phones will have service at the palapa if one wishes to use one. Instead of watching TV you will be entertained by nature with a variety of animals, birds and insects and an wide ocean view right in front of the palapa where sightings of whales, dolphins, manta rays and other fish are an entertaining every day phenomena depending what time of the year you are visiting.
There are beautiful hikes, one of which takes you to the next quaint little village, Chimo, where one can get cold beer, basic groceries and dine at one of the two local restaurants. Some other activities include kayaking, snorkeling, birding and fishing. You can also take day trips to other small villages such as Yelapa and Pizota by water taxi. If you are looking for a different type of vacation then look no more!
The palapa is one the most beautiful places I've ever seen: peaceful, remote and a little adventure. I would definitely recommend it to everybody who is into nature and loves to hear the surf at night!
We spent 10 days at the Palapa Tranquila. It was an incredibly unique, private and beautiful location and a very memorable experience. We were able to watch whales for most of our stay and enjoyed the well stocked kitchen to prepare amazing meals. Depending on your preferred diet, bring ALL or at least MOST food in with you. Chimo's grocery selection was limited and required some creativity in coming up with variety. Some days the water taxi can't pick up / drop off at Los Chonchos due to weather conditions so give yourself a buffer of time before flights. Since the whole palapa is exposed to Mother Nature, make sure you're comfortable with quasi camping. This includes all weather conditions, a leaky roof in hard rain, a fridge at 16 degrees Celcius, humid bed sheets, candle light after 6pm if it's too cloudy for electricity charging, ants all over the place, and the occasional mouse, gecko, spider, cockroach and scorpion. The palapa is actually one of around 20 palapas and the best beach is actually not the one facing your beach landing, but on the other side of the peninsula, on your way to Chimo (10min walk through jungle). It was no a problem to use water through the BRITA filter provided. Our doctor recommended to have Hep A / B / thyphoid / rabies vaccinations beforehand, so leave plenty of time to check with your doctor what is required.
We went on a day trip to Jalapa to see the waterfall and stock up on groceries. It was a good choice for the latter but the waterfall, a 10min hike away from the harbour was more of a "tourist trap". Apparently there is another waterfall which is more 1.5 hrs of a hike away, which we would like to have checked out if we had had more time. Speaking Spanish is of benefit since the caretaker and most people in Chimo do not speak English.
All in all would recommend as a unique experience. We enjoyed mixing the somewhat 'roughing it' at the Palapa with some time at a nice hotel in Puerto Vallarta.
We stayed at the Palapa for four nights. It was lovely! Yvonne communicated quickly and throughly with us. If any part of the instructions seemed vague at first its because it was really just that simple! Like other people have said, be sure to bring enough pesos for all the food you will need to buy, the water taxi both ways, plus for the taxi back to PV. We exchanged $300 USD and it was enough.
All of the advice mentioned in previous posts should be heeded. Something I think that is important to note is that Alfonso does not work at Los Chanchos anymore (or he is there rarely, I'm not sure of the specifics) so don't expect for anyone to speak anything other than Spanish. If I went again I would probably bring enough food for the first day and then walk to the close village and get food the following morning (or ask Gabriel to go for you). Something that was harder to find in Chimo was alcoholic beverages, literally sent from the store to knock on doors and ended up buying some Raicilla, so it might be better to get them in PV.
We brought some books and cards and with the addition of the kayak and snorkeling gear already there we were set for our stay. I would definitely recommend staying here. We almost forgot how lucky we were to have a beach all to ourselves for days and days until we were on the water taxi back to PV and saw all the beaches filled with people. A totally unique experience. I can't stress it enough... DEFINITELY STAY HERE!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
We spent 7 nights in this palapa and it was magical. The palapa itself is beautiful and well equipped but it's the location and surroundings that make staying here an experience never to forget. The palapa is right on the oceanfront and surrounded by jungle. The place is as quiet and tranquil as it gets but there was never a dull moment! Enjoying your coffee in the morning sun while watching humpback whales passing by virtually right on your doorstep, does it get any better?
We hiked, swam, kayaked and fished from the rocks and even cooked our own fresh caught fish. But most of the time we just relaxed and watched the beautiful Pacific ocean. This place is just perfect!
We were here on our honeymoon and we can't wait for our first anniversary, we'll definetely come back.
Marc&Joanne, The Netherlands
Thank you so much for allowing us to stay at your amazing palapa! We had a wonderfully relaxing time and kept remarking how we'd never been anywhere like it before. The photos barely do it justice.
Everyone we encountered was great. Yvonne was quick to respond about availability and to answer any questions before our trip. Gabriel was a saint to meet us in Chimo (where we were dropped off due to inclement weather) and guide us to the palapa. And the very few other people we encountered in the area were friendly and fun to talk with.
I appreciate how clear the listing was along with the additional information that Yvonne sent, detailing exactly what to bring and what to expect. Five stars for clarity. And the palapa was well stocked with anything else that we could have needed (in our case: cooking oil :)
Many thanks for an unforgettable get away. I'm already missing the sound of the ocean.
My wife and I had a fantastic time staying at the palapa for a few days in December 2012. Woke up each morning to the sound of the ocean, and watched whales swimming past while we ate breakfast. Easily the most serene and relaxing vacation I have ever taken. The palapa was well maintained, and the few people we met at the couple surrounding palapas were really nice also.
We brought most of our food & drink with us on the water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan, and I would recommend the same - walking the 1.5 round trip to Chimo is more fun when it is by choice than when you run out of beer or tortillas! Also, make sure to get sufficient pesos out of an atm/bank before you head to the palapa, since you won't have another chance until you get back to Puerto Vallarta. Finally, bringing some sort of headlamp/flashlight/lantern would be useful - though the house has a few lights, those run off a solar generator. If there are a couple of cloudy days in a row, you'll be relying predominantly on whatever you bring and/or the many candles around the palapa when night falls.
If jungle adventures, relaxing beaches, off-grid living, feeling very remote, lullabies of crashing waves and waking with the sun aren't your thing, skip this one. Seriously, this isn't for you Ritz Carlton types, you won't get it, you'll be outside all the time, you have to conserve electricity, you'll probably have to ::gasp:: make your own meals, and if you hate bugs? Fuggedaboutit! The whales won't understand your wines anyway.
For all others looking for an epic sojourn with a bit of physical adventure, set in the distant jungly beaches of Mexico with gorgeous views, a camping vibe beyond the reach of phone calls, emails, TV, and generally other people—this is it.
The journey alone is worth the trip, the anticipation and grandiose nature of the approach via plane, bus/cab, water-taxi, jungle bridge, giant boulder path, is something special. The one night stay in Puerta Vallarta is recommended, pick a small cute place, like Hotel Catedral. The water taxi comes by twice a day, everyday, even Sunday (that's how we kept time). Catch the morning light on the 9am ride, especially in the winter months. It's dark by 6:30 (remember, no street lights, or streets...), you want to get settled in your palapa and enjoy yourself.
When it comes time to grub, the 2 burner propane camp stove is hot, hot hot! And you'll be making your silly hotel tourist counterparts gripe as you sip mountain spring water directly from the tap. Stocked with the necessary kitchen gear, you're ready to BAM like Emeril. Think about packing in your ingredients. You can get food in the small fishing village of Chimo, but its no tourist port. The 3 shops stock whatever produce came in that day (and its not necessarily fresh). If you don't see something you want, ask for it. It's all cheap with pesos. If you want a meal, look for the building with the big balcony, they will make you some good food and have beer.
Take a good pack. The hiking trail is intermediate, views both on and off the path are incredible and the trek is immensely rewarding. It's only about 2km but will take you at least 35 min each way. Alternatively if you want to be boring and lazy, you can pay to have food delivered by mule. We arrived on the steep beach empty handed and hiked to Chimo every 2-3 days for provisions and we'd do it again. Pro-Tip: beer with ice in a pack is heavy, but magically makes it taste better after your tramp. We ate for an entire week off about $80 USD. I'd say about 200 pesos per day will set you up pretty nice, a bit more if you gusta emborracharme.
Bring headlamps. spare batteries and lots of candles, the Palapa has some solar powered CFLs, though candles are sexier! and venturing to a moonlight swim will require good, handsfree illumination.
Overall, an experience you won't soon forget. Bring books and have plenty to talk about.
This place is amazing!! Period...
Just look at the pictures, it's even better in real life. So in stead of sharing all the details on how it looks, here's what we did:
We actually had other holiday plans, but had to change. We found this on airbnb 'off the grid' list and booked with Yvonne thursday night from New orleans, got a friendly message from Yvonne friday morning and was in Mexico at noon. When arriving to the palapa we were the only people there except from Gabriel who's the 'security/go to guy'. A very friendly mexican that taught us how to fish with a snorkel and spear, cooked us lunch with fish just pulled out of the water on a fire on the beach. His brother in law was there that day (on a mule - classic!). He climbed a coconut trea on the beach and chopped down fresh coconuts for us. Gabriel chopped them open and added some home brew tequila and Lime to make it in to 'CocoLoco's' (protip: don't add as much tequila as the locals:). Quite an amazing lunch and local experience!!
Two days we kayak'ed to Chimo, where we could by basic groceries, and of course fresh caught fish. Other than that we cooked great food (fish, octopus etc picked up from the sea) from the well functioning kitchen and spent quite some time enjoyed the amazing view, where dolphins would occasionally come across the horizon jumping.
We've both been travelling a lot, but places like this are very hard to find these days. You should totally go!
Thanks a lot Yvonne and Chuch for sharing this amazing place with us.
The wife and I were looking for a remote place in the world that had a private beach, private living quarters, and little to no sounds of the civilized world and all at a price that our budget could afford.
This palapa was exactly what we were looking for. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, the price was acceptable, and the remoteness was spot on.
However, we went at a later time in the year and it was HOT & HUMID and the bugs were pretty bad. A bug net hangs over the bed but it did little to stop us from being eaten up.
We would recommend that people go in the winter months (SEP-MAY) or so to avoid the heat and bugs. It would have been far more enjoyable but nevertheless was great.
I'm not going to write up every aspect but I would highly recommend you stay here, as we did, and enjoy the serenity of quiet, beauty, and true peace. We would definitely go again.
La Palapa Tranquila is absolutely amazing. Yvonne was incredibly helpful organizing food and ales for our arrival, which was greatly appreciated. It is very tastefully decorated and a perfect place to really relax. It's very quiet, so bring what you need and don't forget your favourite games. And the best part - no internet. I am already planning my return. Book this place if you love a remote paradise to enjoy a tranquil and serene environment like no other. Thanks Yvonne and Chuck.