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The Unspoiled North American Beach Paradise No One Knows About Yet

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 10/03/2016 Thrillist

By: Jimmy Im 2016-03-10-1457623627-657580-Beach_1.jpeg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-10-1457623627-657580-Beach_1.jpeg Credit: Karamysh/Shutterstock
Mexico is inarguably home to North America's best unspoiled beaches (sorry, Redneck Riviera -- it's true). But because many of these strips of tropical paradise are worthy of your screensaver, they haven't stayed magical for long. Perfect beaches equal swarming crowds. MTV killed Cancun in the '90s, hipsters currently riddle Tulum, and Sayulita is now a hot cruise ship port of call.
So, where exactly can you get your tan on in Mexico without having to deal with chain restaurants and American spring breakers?
One word: Yelapa.
If you haven't heard of this tiny beach haven in Puerto Vallarta's Bahia de Banderas, that's a good thing. It has gone decades without the infiltration of obstructive high-rises or a mass influx of tourists. Some say it's Mexico's last authentic beach town, and we'd agree. So much so that we put together these eight reasons why it's absolutely the country's top undiscovered stretch of sand.
More: The Most Beautiful Places in the World You Didn't Know Existed 2016-03-10-1457623718-6377399-Beach_2.jpeg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-10-1457623718-6377399-Beach_2.jpeg Credit: Flickr/Ernest von Rosen
You can only get there by boat

Twenty miles south of Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa is so off the radar you can only arrive by boat. Most travelers hire a private charter from Boca de Tomatlan or take a water taxi from Los Muertos Beach, and they often stop en route at Majahuitas, a popular snorkeling spot. And when visitors do finally arrive in Yelapa, the boat pulls right up onto the beach. Who needs a dock?
2016-03-10-1457623767-2691354-Beach_3.jpeg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-10-1457623767-2691354-Beach_3.jpeg Credit: Flickr/Ernest von RosenThere are no chain restaurants, bars, or hotels
The only businesses in town are locally run and include about a dozen beach bars/restaurants and a handful of small hotels. Unlike other "undiscovered" beach towns, which may have an OXXO gas station or Subway, Yelapa still feels "pre-tourism boom" retro, without any souvenir shops, to boot.
2016-03-10-1457623820-9623330-Beach_4.jpeg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-10-1457623820-9623330-Beach_4.jpeg Credit: Flickr/Bruce BortinDid somebody say beach pies?
What really put Yelapa on the map for locals is not tacos or chimachingas or even Mayan ceremonies -- but pies. Yes, fresh-baked pies. Two local bakers strut up and down the beach daily selling a variety of flavors, from coconut to cheesecake. They are like the ice cream trucks of Yelapa, and visitors can score a slice for a mere $2.
All the fresh seafood, none of the inflated prices
It's a town of villagers who make their money foraging and fishing. All the seafood you eat there is caught fresh from local waters, and sold well below typical resort prices.
To find out what 4 other reasons are going to make you love Yelapa, get the full story at!
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