Sayulita is one of the best little gems of a town in Mexico! If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you heard of someone raving about it, or saw some adorable photos online.
To answer the question in your mind, YES, you should go! And this ultimate Sayulita travel guide will help you plan your trip! I love Sayulita so much, that I’m actually extending my stay for another month or more!
To sum Sayulita up in a (coco)nut shell: It’s a small, colorful pueblo magico (“magical town”) located on the pacific coast side of Mexico. It has a chill beach/surfer vibe, and a lot of foreigners live here. It’s fairly affordable, extremely walkable, and best of all, super pet friendly!
Disclaimer: Travel right now is at you own risk. Please be responsible and wear a mask! Full honesty: no one in Sayulita wears a mask (and no I do not recommend doing that).
How to Get to Sayulita
You have a few options for getting to Sayulita. The easiest one is to fly into Puerto Vallarta, which is only one hour away. You’ll need to then either take the bus for about $5, or a taxi for $25-30. If you’d like a private transfer, our driver Raul was amazing and I’d highly recommend him!
Another option is flying into Guadalajara, but it’s a much longer drive (4 hours) than from Puerto Vallarta! It may be worth it though if you’ve ever wanted to visit, or if you want to take the Jose Cuervo Train to Tequila, Mexico!
Where to Stay in Sayulita
Sayulita is a very small little town that’s VERY popular. Trust me when I say, you need to book your stay in advance! I had the opportunity to stay at several fabulous places, all of which I would highly recommend, and differ in budget!
In terms of what area of Sayulita to stay in, it depends on your budget and preference. If you have a bigger budget and want to be in the center of it all, stay in the Downtown area. For less expensive and a tiny bit further, but also much quieter, go with North Sayulita. Most affordable is Outer Sayulita, but again, it’s still super close to everything!
Located in “North Sayullita”, right on the chill area of the beach, is a gorgeous community of partially open-air villas! The one I stayed at is called Casa Tocayo, and it gave some series Bali vibes with its outdoor kitchen, dining and living room, and upstairs there’s even an outdoor hanging bed!
It’s the perfect distance to (and away from) everything! In about two minutes you can get to the Hippie Market, and in about 7 minutes you’ll be in the “downtown area”. It’s also super close to popular beaches and hikes!
Casa Tocayo is PERFECT for groups since they rent the three floors out in clusters. See below:
- First Floor Only: 1 bedroom, 1 Kitchen, bunk beds and a king bed (max 5 people), for $265/night
- Second Floor and Penthouse: 3 bedrooms, 1 Kitchen (max 7 people), for $445/night
- First, Second, and Penthouse (entire unit): 4 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, (max 12 people), for $650/night
So if you do the math, with a group or family, it’s a really good price! Contact Pacifico Property and mention Alyssa for these rates!
Sayulinda Hotel is the largest one in Sayulita, with 50 rooms. It won me over immediately though because of its epic rooftop pool and lounge area! No where else in this town will you find a rooftop infinity pool, and a large garden patio with ping pong tables and a hammock area!
It’s centrally located so you’re just steps to all the restaurants, the main plaza, and the beach. So if you’re looking to be in the middle of it all, AND have access to the coolest pool in town, definitely book a stay here!
Right now they are offering 45% off their rates if you book by the end of June for any time in 2021! Go to their website to book, and use the code “Alyssa21” for the discount!
On the southern side of Sayulinda Beach, nestled in a small, lush mountainside, are the rustic villas of Villa Amor. Most come with a private pool, some small, some large, and even one that’s indoors! The views from the upper villas are impeccable, you can see down the entire coast!
Onda Surf Hotel (Punta de Mita)
If you want to check out a nearby little surf town, but don’t want to stay at the expensive resorts, head to Onda Surf Hotel! It’s made from train shipping containers that have been re-purposed into rooms! Onda is walking distance to restaurants and the beach.
There are so many delicious and adorable restaurants in Sayulita that I made an entirely separate post for them! So if you want details about each place, please click here: 17 Best Restaurants in Sayulita
Here’s a preview of my list:
- Anchor Sayulita
- Santa Sal
- Achara Thai
- Loro Cafe
- Tierra Viva
- Public House
- Pizza Venezia
- Arte Cafe
There’s actually several beaches in Sayulita, and they’e all known for different things! Some are known for being secluded at the end of a hike, others for great sunsets, and of course, ones for surfing! Here’s the most popular ones!
The most obvious beach to go to is Sayulita Beach, right by the main downtown area. It’s where a lot of the surf schools are, and also beach front restaurants, bars, and beach clubs. I go here for lessons and maybe lunch on weekends, but it’s definitely a bit crowded!
North Sayulita Beach
A short walk up the beach or through town and you’ll get to a much less crowded area of beach space! There’s not a ton of people, and you can still find the occasional beach bar and massage booth!
Mal Paso Beach
Even farther north is an even less crowded beach called Mal Paso! It requires you to either walk a while down the beach, then hiking up rocks and along a trail, or you can just take the trail route from the street and skip the beach walk. If you take the trail route, please be advised that it is not recommended to do is as a solo female.
The most popular beach for sunset is called Carricitos. It’s also where the house is that they filmed Bachelor in Paradise! Sometimes the local expats will set up parties here for sunset, with a DJ and bonfire!
This secret beach is located closer to Punta Mita, so you’ll need a ride to get there. It’s popular for surfing, and actually where I took my first surf lesson! You have to walk through a jungle trail from the road to get to it, and it’s advised to carry your dog (if you have one like I did) because there’s actually crocodiles in a river there! The water here is much clearer than the Sayulita beaches, and it has some cool cliffside landscapes!
Punta de Mita Beach: Near La Lancha is the town of Punta de Mita (and also “Punta Mita” see the difference here), which has another good beach for surfing. Full honesty, that’s pretty much it though, it’s not a very scenic beach. It does have some beach-front restaurants on it though, where we could see whales swimming in the distance!
Best Things to do in Sayulita:
the cute and colorful downtown area is what draws people in to Sayulita from all over the world! Well, mostly from the US. Anyway! Since it’s one of Mexico’s “Pueblo Magicos” (translation: Magic Town) the government regulates a little bit of what it looks like. Which means the upkeep is on par, and it’s very aesthetically pleasing. Check out the little stalls selling (overpriced) souvenirs and trinkets, grab a bite, or just wander around!
The best time to see Whales in this area is from December to March. And trust me, you WILL see them! Take a boat tour to see them up close, and admire their massive, majestic glory!
Hippie Market: If you want to buy some local handicrafts, for a better price than in town, head into North Sayulita and check out the Hippie Market! It’s open every day but there’s more vendors on weekends. For a price guide; the popular handbags are usually around 200 pesos, the pom poms range from 40-150, and the little woven animals are from 100-300 depending on size!
Friday Market: On Friday mornings there’s a pop up market with tons of goodies and delicious eats! There’s everything from swimsuits and jewelry, to solid shampoo and flower bouquets! Come hungry because the food stalls are all incredible! My favorite was one with jackfruit tacos!
Sayulinda Rooftop Pool
If you’re sick of the beach, or the hustle and bustle of downtown, change it up with a rooftop pool day! The Sayulinda rooftop is massive, with a glorious infinity pool and chic bar area. They also have an entire back area with giant bean bags, hammocks, and ping pong tables! A day pass costs 600 pesos and you can use 400 of it on drinks.
Sayulita Surf School
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to surf, this is the place to do it! The waves are gentle and the instructors are pros! So you’ll be catching waves in no time! If you’d like to do lessons, please contact Sergio and tell him I sent you!
Taste of Sayulita Tequila Tasting
For a very unique experience, book a tequila tasting with a Taste of Sayulita! They’ll come to you and set up, including with little bites of local dishes to pair the tequila with! Another cool thing is that all of their tequilas are locally made, and not sold in stores!
Get a Massage
I had THE BEST massage for only $45, AND she comes to your place! So if you’d like to relax in the comfort of your villa/hotel/BnB/tent, definitely book with her! She’s also a local who works for herself, so please support local entrepreneurs!
About a 15 minute drive north of Sayulita, is a small town called San Pancho (also known as San Francisco). It’s much less crowded and a lot more chill, and makes for a fun day trip or staycation! There’s a lot of good restaurants
Take a Spanish Class: Although most locals also speak English, it’s very helpful if you can learn some Spanish! Besides, why NOT speak two languages?! Learning some Spanish will also help you get better deals, befriend locals, get insider tips, and show your appreciation for being in their country! You can take Spanish classes for just $25!
I hope this ultimate Sayulita travel guide will help you plan the perfect trip to this amazing town! If you found this post helpful, please help me out by sharing it on social media!!!