Sayulita is a beach town in Nayarit, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Once an "off the beaten path" beach populated by surfers and backpackers, word about the town's mellow vibe, great food, and warm hospitality has gotten out and today so many visitors come to town that it's hard to imagine anyone saying it is "off the beaten path". Despite its popularity, the town is still a friendly, beautiful beach with wide sandy beaches and amazing sunsets.

Sayulita's beach

Get in edit

Sayulita is located 23 mi (37 km) north of Puerto Vallarta on a two-lane highway (Fed Hwy 200). You can take a bus or a taxi from the Puerto Vallarta airport.

From the Puerto Vallarta airport, use the pedestrian overpass to cross the highway and flag a green and white "Compostela" bus that says Sayulita on the front. The fare is MXN55 as of 2023. The buses run every 10 minutes from 5:15 am until 10:30 pm.

  • 1 Terminal de Autobuses (Bus Station), Revolucion 3B, +52 329 688 2347. Newer second-class bus terminal with frequent buses to Puerto Vallarta (every 10-15 minutes), San Pancho (every 30 minutes), Tepic, Compostela and other nearby coastal towns.

Get around edit

If you are staying in the main part of town, nearly everything is walkable. You may want a rental car if you are staying more than a mile or two from the center of town.

See edit

Sayulita is a natural beauty. It still has plenty of virgin jungle for hiking. You will also find several different hidden beaches as you travel the dirt roads deeper into the jungle. You can rent ATVs and/or horses for jungle tours and the jungle roads are great for mountain biking.

Rent kayaks to explore the ocean or hire a panga boat to take you whale watching (November through January).

Experience the economic diversity of the Bahia de Banderas while giving back to its Mexican communities. A local nonprofit called Investours offers socially responsible microfinance tours in Sayulita and its surrounding communities.

Playa los Muertos often looks dead
  • 1 Cementerio de Sayulita (Sayulita Cemetery (and Beach of the Dead)). Tourists might sometimes wonder why one of the town's beaches is called Playa los Muertos. If you ask a local, they might share with you the local legend that at night the dead rise up from their graves in the Sayulita Cemetery and stroll over to the adjacent beach to enjoy the warm waters and gentle waves. Tourists can enjoy a day on Playa del Muertos, but access is via the dirt road through the cemetery. Walk it if you dare, but don't stay out on the beach past sunset, because at night the beach belongs to the dead.

Do edit

Surfing: Sayulita is an excellent, tranquil place for new surfers to learn the sport. The beach is shallow and you can reach the bottom even fifty meters away from the shore. The bottom of the beginner section is sandy and mostly safe. This makes it easy to get back to the place the waves break and allows more efficient learning. The beach also has a more demanding, rockier section, but it is quite hard to get there by accident. The waves are rather small and easy for beginners (at least in January through March).

Plenty of small sport fishing trips available if you look around. If you can find Nacho's boat trips, he will give you a fun trip and can take you whale watching if you don't want to fish (be forewarned he'll stop to fish anyhow if he sees something interesting).

There are a couple of other beaches that are more 'local', if you're up for minor adventure scout out the other beaches around town.

You can go hiking to the north-east, west and south. OsmAnd or covers the walking paths.

There are several options for yoga locally, including The Rose Room and Oka Hey Sayulita, both of which offer yoga classes twice daily (as of February 2024).

Buy edit

Surfing at Sayulita

There are ATMs throughout the village, for example from Multiva. As they are standing on the streets, take care that they aren't manipulated.

Plenty of shops with tourist things and local art.

Huichol Indians sell their handcrafted wares in the plaza daily. The true find: some of the best Huichol art in Mexico in the museum store Galeria Tanana on Avenida Palmar.

Eat edit

For breakfast try Rollie's Place just a couple of blocks off of the main square (they also serve dinner now too). There are 40 or more restaurants in town even though it is a small town. Try the street side taco stand vendors for some great fare and cheap eats.

Try the Mangiafuoco for dinner, an Italian restaurant with an Italian chef with a menu changing daily, and frequent live music later on. Excellent homemade pasta and wood oven fired pizza.

  • 1 El Itacate, Av. Revolucion 15, +52 553 068 0645. Daily 13:00 - 21:00. Excellent meat-oriented tacos, one of the best in town.
  • 2 Don Pedro's, Calle Marlin 2, +52 329 291 3090. Daily 09:00 - 22:00. Friendly, lively beachfront palapa restauarant. Wood-fired pizzas (try the bacon-shrimp). Spicy tuna tostadas, several pasta and rice dishes, burgers.
  • 3 Mary's, Av. Revolución 36. Fun casual traditional Mexican restaurant specializing in fish tacos and fresh seafood dishes.
  • 4 Yah Yah Cafe, Niños Heroes 4, Centro (at Condominios Casas Grandes). W-M 07:30 - 15:00, closed Tu. Good breakfast place with coffee, bagels, egg bowls, etc.
  • 5 Tierra Viva, Calle Marlin 10, +52 329 291 3280. Daily 08:00 - 23:00. Upscale nouveau Mexican restaurant with a menu leaning heavily towards seafood. The Molcajete de Mariscos is a feast for the hungry seafood lover. Coconut shrimp is excellent. Full bar with good martinis (the espresso martini is a winner).

Drink edit

The main drag, Calle Delfines

Go to one of the grocery stores off of the main square to get cervezas, then return your bottles for deposit returns. There are margaritas the size of your head available at Costeno's, which is located right on the beach, straight down from the plaza.

If you are looking for a more upscale establishment, try Don Pedro's (also on the beach) or head to the plaza and check out Miro Vino or Calypso. If you want to learn about and sample Mexico's finest Tequilas, then try Sayulita Fish Taco.

Sleep edit

There are several affordable options for accommodation. The town center is just a couple blocks in size and you should have no trouble finding a place to stay. The campgrounds in Sayulita are considered to be among the best in Mexico and are famous word of mouth lore passed among seasoned travelers.

Budget edit

  • Camping del Palmar (south of river). Of the two campgrounds in Sayulita (not including the RV park). This is the better maintained and more pleasant. Very nice actually.

Mid-Range edit

  • Aurinko Bungalows, Calle Marlin, +52 329 291-3150, . Personally styled bungalows right in the center of Sayulita. The Finnish owner also has two surf shops close to the beach.
  • 1 Estrella del Mar, Calle Vista Mar 5, +1 323 319-4299 (US), . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Estrella del Mar is an estate consisting of two separate Mexican Modern architectural one bedroom homes. It sits atop the hill on the southern end of Sayulita's bay, at the edge of the tropical rainforest, so it has spectacular 360 degree views of ocean and untamed jungle.
  • 2 [dead link] Hotel La Casona, Calle Delfin #7, +1 415 683-3244 (US). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Hotel La Casona is the newest boutique hotel in Sayulita, less than one block from the beach.
  • 3 Amor Boutique Hotel, Pescadores, +52 329 298 7212. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Villas on a hillside. Swimming pool available. Many steps, not accessible. M$3000.

Splurge edit

  • 4 Playa Escondida, Camino a Playa Escondida #1, +1 415 259-4748 (US), . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A secluded resort, nested in a beachfront setting surrounded by hills covered with jungle. Close to nature, yet safe and comfortable; clean air, private beach, beautiful rooms, relaxing ambience.

Stay safe edit

As the beaches in Sayulita have shallow temperate ocean water: Do the Stingray Shuffle and you will be fine. It means when going in the water, shuffle or slide your feet forward without lifting them. There are YouTube videos about how to do it.

Go next edit

You find hostels and private rooms in:

  • San Francisco (Mexico) – just 7 km in the north-east. At a beach, surrounded by a jungle and notable for its floral diversity.
  • Bucerias – 20 km in the south-east. A coastal village with a long uninterrupted white sand beach
  • Tepic – 130 km in the north-east. It's the capital of Nayarit
  • Puerto Vallarta - Compostella buses leave about every 10 minutes to the Puerto Vallarta airport. They leave from the Terminal de Autobuses Sayulita, and cost 50 pesos as of February 2023. Note that this is a second class bus, and might not be a good option for travelers with multiple suitcases, or travelers who are unable to use Spanish to tell the driver where they want to be dropped off. They take between 60 and 120 minutes, depending on how many stops passengers request the driver to make, but expect about a 90 minute trip.
  • Guadalajara – 295 km in the east. You can go by carpooling or from Puerto Vallarta by intercity bus or non-stop flight. From there further to San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende or Querétaro
  • Mazatlán – It is recommended to take a flight to and out of the city.

This city travel guide to Sayulita is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.