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.
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
WHERE TO STAY
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
Many people set up tents directly on the beach and camp out under the stars.
WHAT TO DO
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.
TACO STAND AT THE CORNER OF THE SKATE PARK
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.)
A great Mexican restaurant with a patio in the back. Popular with locals and tourists alike.
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.
I did not eat here as I fell in love with the taco stand at the park, but the reviews are amazing.
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.
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.