Like a mini Tulum with slightly less tourists, although that sees to be changing. Sayulita is a really cute little chill beach town on the western side of Mexico that was discovered as a surf town in the 60’s. The cobblestone streets are lined with ice cream shops, bright colored buildings, and cute outdoor patios. A funky little town, perfect to get away from the city for a week or two.
CURRENCY: Mexican Peso
CLIMATE: Tropical (warm & humid), Dry season: Oct – May
DRESS CODE: Casual
GETTING AROUND: Local bus, Local taxi
COST OF VISITING: $ – Hostels start at $10 per night and street food is a little as $3 to $4 (USD) per meal, slightly more for $ (one dollar sign) restaurants.
TIPPING: 10-20% in restaurants is appreciated
SAFETY: While Mexico has experienced an increase in drug related violence, Sayulita has remained relatively safe
FROM PUERTO VALLARTA
The most common way to get to Sayulita is by first flying into Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR). From there, it is a 22 km trip up the coast to get to Sayulita.
If you don’t have much luggage, the bus is a cheap and convenient option. The entire ride takes about one hour and gives you a true taste of how the locals travel around town. I personally love taking bus because it makes me feel like I am a local and if you didn’t know already, I love Mexico so very much and like to pretend I live there. The buses do get fairly crowded so if you do have a lot of luggage, it might be harder to squeeze on. The ride to Sayulita is around 40 pesos. (~$2 USD)
To catch the bus, exit the arrivals building and turn right. Walk past the cabs and shuttles and turn right again along the corner of the building. You will see a bridge that crosses over the street. Walk over that and directly on the other side is where you catch the bus. You will wait there and catch the bus that says Sayulita on the front of it. If you are unsure, ask someone at the bus stand, they were very friendly and made sure I was on the correct bus. Buses come once every 20 minutes or so.
TAXI OR SHUTTLE
There are plenty of taxis waiting outside of arrivals at PVR. I did not choose this option since I travel light and prefer to spend as little on transport as possible so I have more money for tacos. When researching, I found prices for around 700 pesos to Sayulita (before negotiating). But I could be way off. Prices are likely posted at the airport stand. If you are good at negotiating, then you can try walking across the pedestrian bridge and flagging one down.
WHERE TO STAY
WHAT TO DO
The food in Mexico is always amazing and the best places are the small places that you pass by on the street and don’t know the name to. Try the street tacos. All of them. Any you see. After you are finished and only then, try the restaurants below.
Amazing wood fired pizza. Great pasta and excellent coffee.
Great Mexican restaurant with large portions. A pretty popular spot to eat around town with tourists and locals alike. Usually crowded but don’t let that keep you from coming here!
A great place to enjoy breakfast outside on the street or on the rooftop terrace. Known for their banana bread French toast, which I did not try but sounds amazing!
Cheap popsicles that are not only delicious, they are good looking as well! Each popsicle has fresh fruit or sweets (like whole oreo cookies) frozen in them! The ice cream is good as well.
Cute coffee shop and cafe on the second floor of a building slightly hidden. Hipsterey vibe, also sells coffee.
Translates to “hidden bar,” located in the center of town, laid back cocktail bar with chill vibes.
A great place to come and watch the sunset. Located up in the hills. Chill vibes with an amazing view.
A nice place to come and watch the sunset as it is located directly on the beach. Not really my vibe but has a lot of ratings that say decent food, good for drinks. Slightly pricey. Offers dancing on certain nights and you can even get a salsa lesson beforehand.
Cute place on the street with swings as seats directly in front of the bar. Small but a good place to stop and have a drink while passing through.
A pub with live music. A spot with not many reviews but it seemed like everyone who wanted to party would end up there at some point or another.
If there is craft beer, you know I will find it. A cute little craft beer garden close to the beach. They have a large outdoor patio and their food is pretty good as well.
SAYULITA HIPPIE MARKET
This market is located next to the baseball stadium and runs daily. Here you will find an array of products made by local artists such as jewelry, clothing, colorful dreamcatchers and more.
An open-air market held on Sundays. Local artists will set up stalls along the Calle Gaviotas area selling local Huichol crafts, artwork, clothing, handmade jewelry, and more. Perfect place to pick up some colorful Huichol pompoms. Pompoms are meant to symbolize “the way,” the bright colors meaning that your path be filled with roses.
MERCADO DEL PUEBLO
The Sayulita farmer’s market open every Friday in November through April. A great place to pick up some food, organic soaps, and more. Usually opens around 10am and goes until 2pm.
Sayulita was originally discovered in the 60s to be a surf destination. Definitely a great place to learn to surf for beginners, but you can find waves for all skill levels. Waves are pretty decent year round. (Can someone who surfs please translate that for me into surf lingo? 🙂 ) I was still too intimidated to surf while I was there but now looking back, it would have been the perfect place to learn. I was told there are no sharks as well.
TAKE A DAY TRIP
San Pancho is a tiny surfer town about 15 minutes up the road from Sayulita. It is like an even smaller version of Sayulita where people come to camp on the beach and surf. I spent more time in San Pancho as I like the small beach town feel and felt slightly overwhelmed in Sayulita. (I know, I know, Sayulita is a pretty small town too. Just more tourists.) Most of the people I met in San Pancho came there to visit and ended up staying and opening up shops or restaurants. Definitely recommend spending at least a day or two here. Who knows, maybe you will end up staying as well! I know I wanted to.
A group of small group of islands off of Punta de Mita. Famous for The Hidden Beach (Lovers’ Beach), which can be seen through a crater from above. Don’t forget your drone to get some amazing shots. I didn’t end up going but once I do, I will be sure to add photos. Definitely worth a google search.