A journey to connect more deeply with yourself, others and the world around you

San Pancho

DESTINATIONS

SAN PANCHO

MEXICO

San Pancho (formally known as San Francisco) is a tiny surfer hippie beach town nestled in a cove about 15 minutes north of Sayulita. If you like small towns, this is the kind of place you visit and end up staying forever. Imagine walking past the local park, kids skateboarding on a halfpipe towards the back, a taco stand on the corner, surf shops lining the street, and people camping on the beach. This is San Pancho. Everyone is happy. 

THE BASICS

LANGUAGE: Spanish

CURRENCY: Mexican Peso

CLIMATE: Tropical (warm & humid), Dry season: Nov – May

DRESS CODE: Think board shorts and cop tops

GETTING AROUND: You can easily walk around the entire town

COST OF VISITING: $ – Only a few hostels here starting at $9 per night, Street food will cost $1 – $2, Restaurants moderate

TIPPING: Customary to tip 10 to 20 percent of the bill 

SAFETY: Despite what is going on in other parts of Mexico, San Pancho is safe (My hostel didn’t even have doors!)

PACKING ESSENTIALS: Sunscreen, Surf board

VISA: No visa needed for US passport holders

GETTING THERE

FROM PUERTO VALLARTA AIRPORT

San Pancho is located about 15 minutes up the coast (north) from Sayulita. The best way to get there is to fly into the Puerto Vallarta airport.

WHERE TO STAY

HOSTELS

HOSTAL SAN PANCHO

Av. Tercer Mundo 12, Centro, 63729 San Francisco, Nay., Mexico (Map)

I didn’t stay here but wish I would have. Free paddle boards, a 5 minute walk to the beach (as is everything in San Pancho). Rooms are currently sold out on hostelworld, but you can 

CAMPING

Many people set up tents directly on the beach and camp out under the stars.

WHAT TO DO

SURF

There are numerous surf shops in San Pancho for board rentals or who would love to teach you how to surf. When I was there, the waves seemed good for beginners and I saw a few people learning while I was there. 

EAT

This is just a random restaurant in San Pancho. Not any of those listed below.

TACO STAND AT THE CORNER OF THE SKATE PARK

$, Mexican

The best tacos I had during my trip to Mexico. There is a stand at the corner of the park on the main street. The park has a concrete halfpipe and artwork along the walls, you can’t miss it. I tried to get these tacos everyday, but sometimes they simply did not set up shop. The owners do not speak English but trust me, everything is good. (Ask someone to help you order if you do not speak Spanish. People are usually happy when they are eating tacos and love to help others.)

MARIA’S

$S-$$$, Mexican

Av. Tercer Mundo 28-A, San Francisco 63729, Mexico (Map)

A great Mexican restaurant with a patio in the back. Popular with locals and tourists alike.

DOLCE AMORE

$$-$$$, Italian

Corner Tercer Mundo and America Latina, San Francisco, Mexico (Map)

A cute Italian restaurant with an outdoor patio. On the corner of the main street in San Pancho. I spent my birthday here eating pasta and drinking wine.

BARRACUDA

$, Mexican, Latin, Seafood

San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico (Map)

I did not eat here as I fell in love with the taco stand at the park, but the reviews are amazing.

SHOP

ENTRE AMIGOS COMMUNITY CENTRE

Av. Tercer Mundo 13, 63729 San Francisco, Nay., Mexico (Map)

This place is amazing. This is a huge community center where there are computers, a library, small shops, a restaurant and more! And the best thing about this place, it is volunteer based! They have various activities throughout the week including yoga, belly dancing, language, and much more. It really gives you a feel for the type of community that is present in San Pancho.

DRINK

CERVECERIA ARTESENAL SAN PANCHO

$, Brew Pub

Calle America Latina #80 Located near corner of 

Calle America Latino, Eguipto, 63729 San Francisco, 

Nay., Mexico (Map)

Great craft beer bar serving beer crafted in the general area. I spoke with the owner for a bit. He is from Portland, came to San Pancho, and ended up staying there. Cool guy with a love for beer.


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