Where is Sayulita and how to get there?
Sayulita is a small surf town on the west coast of Mexico. It is situated in the state of Nayarit and is close to the larger towns of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara. The best way to reach it is to fly to Puerto Vallarta and take a taxi, shared van or bus. It takes around 1 hour from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita. Alternatively, you can also fly to Guadalajara and take a bus from there to Sayulita which will take you around 3 hours or so.
Sayulita Beach & Town
Sayulita is a very relaxed and chilled town and definitely more quite than its larger neighbor of Puerto Vallarta. Although the once sleepy fishing village has become a lot more busy due to the influx of foreign tourists (especially US Americans) it still managed to keep its surf n' turf vibe. Picturesque beaches, charming shops and restaurants and great food make this town an amazing vacation getaway.
Sayulita beach is quite big and is known to be a great spot for learning how to surf. Waves are not that high and a bit choppy for swimming but still good enough to enjoy a nice dip in the ocean. Some spots get quite busy with sufers but there is enough space to find a quite area to enjoy the chilled beach vibes and take a sun bath.
The town offers a great and colorful mix of locals and tourists. The small, pebble-streets are aligned with numerous boutique shops, cafes and charming restaurants. Prety much everything is in walking distance here but you will find many tourists cruising around town in their golf carts. They also have several events such as a local farmer's market and traditional ceremonies held in the main square. There is also a nice selection of smaller hotels such as the Hotel Diamante - a family-run hotel close to the beach, with a nice pool, decent prices and friendly hosts. We stayed here and can definitely recommend it.
Sayulita has a great selection of places to eat and drink. Prices are actually quite moderate and you can find very cheap eats all around town. Here is a small list of places we can recommend, to name just a few:
Coffe on the Corner - great place for breakfast and coffee. Local family restaurant with good Mexican breakfast options.
Choco Banana - the hotspot for breakfast in town. A large selection of different breakfasts and banana bread.
Café El Espresso - corner coffe place with nice breakfasts, such as the Surfers Breakfast.
Lunch & Dinner
El Costeño - larger restaurant right by the beach with big portions and a large variety of local and international dishes. HUGE Margaritas! 😉
La Rústica - not very local-looking but a great place to eat wood-fire-oven pizzas and delicious seafood pasta.
Mary's - Small restaurant serving delicious Mexican meals and good prices. Definitely a must-visit when in Sayulita.
Restaurant Yeikame - Serving well-portioned Mexican dishes with a strong local vibe. Great Cochinita Pibil!
If you want to enjoy some great food right on the beach there is a small stand selling amazing cevice and drinks. It is located very close to the restaurant called La Terrazola. Probably the best shrimp ceviche I have ever tried! We actually were so much into the food that we couldn't take pictures of it 🙂
Things to do around Sayulita
Apart from eating, surfing, swimming or hangin' around Sayulita you can also visit its surrounding towns and beaches. Great spots to visit are Punta (de) Mita and the smaller village of San Pancho.
Punta Mita is a peninsula located at the north end of the Banderas Bay. The area is home to some of the most exclusive hotels and resorts in Mexico. Although most of the peninsula is in private hands there still are some amazingly beautiful spots to visit. Punta Mita can directly be reached from Sayulita by taxi or with a bus via Bucerías. We actually found an amazing spot along the sister town of Punta de Mita. Walking down the road we discovered a beach called Stinky Beach (its not that stinky actually). A beautiful, white-sand beach with amazing views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. There also is a great seafood restaurants right at its entrance with some incredibly delicious camarones (shrimps).
Another nice place to visit is the town of San Pancho which is located just a 15-minute ride away from Sayulita. San Pancho, or San Francisco, is an even more chilled and relaxed town than Sayulita and a great place to escape tourists. There are a few shops towards the beach and a large restaurants called Las Palmas where you can have a drink & snack and enjoy lying at the beach all day. Waves are a bit stronger here than in Sayulita.