How To Get Here
Getting to this hippy-chic town is fairly easy. Simply fly into Puerto Vallarta Airport and from here its only a 40-kilometer drive away.
The decision between using public transport or renting a car will depend on how long you will be staying in the region as well as how much exploring outside of town you have planned while you are there.
Its super easy to get around town on foot but if you want to explore further you will need a vehicle and your best bet is to rent a car at the airport when you arrive.
Alternatively, you can take a bus from the airport which usually has a windshield sign saying either Sayulita or Compostela, and the cost is only $2 USD.
Another option is to take a taxi from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita which costs around 1000 MXN
Check Out The Friday Market
Another great stop on your list of what to do in Sayulita is the Friday Market at Mercado Del Pueblo!
Its a pop-up market with lots on offer, from fresh local produce, clothing stalls, handmade jewelry to lots of food options and live music. Be sure not to miss it!
Live music at Sayulita Friday Market
Lots of great items on offer
Singletrack Mountain Bike Guided Tour Through The Jungle
If you are outdoorsy and action-addicted, this tour is perfect for you. Through these Mountain biking tours in Sayulita and Punta Mita, you will experience the local jungle and while exploring the nearby beaches and towns.
These MTB tours range from novice to experienced, with trails that go from mellow dirt roads to Technical Singletrack.
Tours are available from November to July for both beginner and experienced riders.
What other riders said:
If youre an experienced rider and want to charge some incredible jungle and coastal terrain this is the place to book! Professional guides who rip! Javier took us to the goods!!
Read more reviews on TripAdvisor
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Sayulita Safety Travel Tips
Be careful when swimming
Just last week, I faced a very terrifying experience when one of the girls I went to Carricitos Beach with almost drowned. We were watching her from the shore and couldnt do anything about it.
The waves were pretty strong and none of us couldnt get to her. Good thing a lad from Seattle bravely swam the strong waters to get to her. It was terrifying!
Never leave your bags unattended, but you actually can
This is a protocol everywhere and I usually put it in all of my solo travel articles. But honestly, in Sayulita, I am not hyper-vigilant with my things because I know everyone already. And you probably will after a week of being out and about.
Personally, I never avoided this street because the locals here already know me. I can also handle myself well when it comes to the people living here as I am fluent in Spanish. However, I passed with some girls here one time and they did not feel comfortable with the guys standing in the dark, offering drugs.
Learn To Surf With Sayulita Surf School
Learning to surf has been something I have wanted to do for years and years.
I have avoided it mostly because I hate being bad at things and I used to be somewhat afraid of the ocean after two years of living in Australia. There are so many things to be afraid of in the ocean in Australia and it took me a long time to shake that fear.
So when I had the opportunity to take a surf lesson with a few other bloggers that I was traveling with, I was excited to finally get into the water with a few other beginners.
It was so much fun. It was hard. And as I expected, I wasnt great at it. But that was part of the fun of starting this journey.
I took a lesson with Sayulita Surf School. Its a totally family-run business. The two guys who run the lessons are Mexico champions and continue to surf in different competitions whenever they can.
Learning how to stand up on the board before we headed out onto the water.
Their kids and cousins help out in the water and have been surfing since they could stand up.
It costs about 750 Pesos to take an hour lesson . Then you can rent the beginner boards for 150 Pesos for an hour and a half.
So another day of my trip, I rented a board and went out with just a few friends and it was even more fun, although I caught fewer waves than I did during my lesson.
Im excited to try again when I can get back to the west coast and probably take a few more lessons!
Learn more about how you can book a lesson with Sayulita Surf School here .
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Book A Bike Tour With Bahia Bikes
A bike tour with Bahia Bikes makes for a guaranteed fun-fuelled adventure.
You can choose from a variety of different tours such as Bikes and Beers , Bikes, Beers and Boats or simply just rent a bike and go cruise around town on your own .
More info on the available tours and bookings here.
Listen To The Street Buskers
Every day in downtown there are many street buskers from all walks of life, including juggling acts, solo guitarists, mariachi bands, dance performances, and so on.
Its common to tip the buskers 10 MXN or more as they are giving all they have to make sure you are having the best time.
Talented street buskers
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Distrito 88 Boutique Hotel
- Location: town south end
- Amenities: outdoor pool, loungers, balconies, free breakfast, wifi, air-con, parking
Distrito 88 is an elegant and airy adults-only boutique hotel in Sayulita located just a few blocks away from the main square and beach . Thanks to its unique location, you can sleep well at night without disturbance from the noise of the town while remaining within easy walking distance to everything you may need.
Each room comes with its own balcony and loungers, ideal for sunbathing or reading. There is a small on-site pool with a nice view, but the hotel also offers suites with a private pool option if you want it just for yourself. All the rooms come equipped with air-conditioning and mini-bars with tea/coffeemakers.
Distrito 88 has one of the best locations to enjoy the sweetest views of the beach with palm trees in your front yard . If you want a relaxing vacation rental out in nature, then book your stay here!
Reserve your suite at Distrito 88 on Booking.com
Best Hotels In Sayulita Mexico
Check out our full list of best hotels in Sayulita, Mexico with all the juicy details!
Whether you are looking for one of the best places to stay in Sayulita for spending time close to town, near the beach, or on a hill with an ocean view, youll find it all below.
Refer back to our custom map, below, to compare locations of the hotels on our list.
Map of the Best Hotels in Sayulita:
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Get A Photo At The Sayulita Sign
Its almost impossible to walk past the fun, colorful Sayulita sign and not get a photo but just in case, be sure to put it on your list of what to do in Sayulita so you dont forget about it.
Located in the main plaza, this awesome sign makes for a pretty cool Instagram post!
The colorful sign in the plaza
Beach Activities Pools & Bars
Beach: A very nice, private and swimmable beach area. Snorkel equipment and boogie boards for free. Yoga, Pilates and Zumba on the sand for free. Walking beach trails to get into Sayulita. Beach Bar and Happy Hour during the sunset.
Pool: Try the spa water infinity pool. Open your eyes as you swim underwater. No irritation. Feel your smooth skin and smell the freshness of chemical-free natural saline water. Swim toward the infinity edge which seems to merge with the ocean swells.
An intimate jacuzzi nestled among mountain boulders and tropical palms.
Watch for whales by day or spot constellations by night as you sit in the relaxing current of massaging water jets.
Swim under the warm waterfall. Enjoy 90° water year roundtake a rain bath as you swim under the waterfallsit under the huge boulder and laugh together as the water pours down in front of you.
Bar: Terraza Bar, Beach Bar, Restaurant Bar
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What To Know Before Visiting Sayulita
As I mentioned above, Sayulita is a ton of fun. But like anywhere else, it has its not-so-glorious sides too. Here are some helpful things to know before visiting Sayulita.
Best time to visit Sayulita
The best time to visit Sayulita is after the Christmas/New Year holidays when it is less busy. The high season is always busy for Sayulita, but less so after January. The best time to go to avoid the crowds would be later in the season, at the end of April or the start of May. As for the weather, anytime between January-May is great for warm, sunny days! If you can, avoid the hot, humid summers from June-September or early October.
Do try to visit Sayulita in time for the Day of the Dead celebrations when Mexico becomes alive and festive with Dia de Los Muertos.
The Sayulita Sickness
If youve ever heard of the Sayulita sickness its because back in 2019 the town was constructing a new sewage drain and in the transfer, it busted. In other words, unfiltered sewage drained directly from the town into the ocean .
The pipe didnt get fixed for a matter of days, and the timing was just all wrong. It happened during Semana Santa Mexicos Easter break and one of the busiest weeks of the year when locals and internationals flock to the coastlines. Within a matter of days, there were people getting sick all over Sayulita. It was a nightmare for many vacationers who had to spend the remainder of their time in Sayulita inside.
Overtourism in Sayulita
Watch The Sunset At Carricitos Beach
The waves you will find at Playa Carricitos are huge compared to other breaks and its very likely youll be the only person at this wild, windswept beach.
There are some homes around, but they are well hidden in the woods, so it feels like you are very secluded. Other times it can get quite busy as it is a popular spot for sunset bonfires and beach parties that ex-pats and foreign locals living in the area organize themselves.
Sunset at Playa Carracitos Things to do Sayulita
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How To Get To Sayulita By Bus
Yuting cheesin’ at the Sayulita bus station
Riding the bus is one of many ways to save money in Puerto Vallarta. If youre heading to Sayulita, consider riding the bus instead of taking a taxi. From the airport in Puerto Vallarta, head outside where the taxis are and take a left. Here youll find a pedestrian bridge thatll take you to the other side of the street. Across the bridge is the bus stop. Wait here till you see a bus with the word Sayulita written on it. Buses come approximately every 20 minutes and cost 42 pesos per person.
The bus ride to Sayulita takes about an hour and a half from the airport. Once you arrive, there will be a single street heading into town. Walk on foot from here and youll be at the beach in less than 10 minutes!
Sayulita is also on the way to Guadalajara. Heres information on how to take a bus from Sayulita to Guadalajara in case you end up with extra travel time.
What To Pack For Sayulita
Season-wise, there are only two in Sayulita: the low season which is summer , and the high season which is winter . This is how we determine the seasons but it has nothing to do with the weather.
During the low season, 50% of the bars and restaurants close and you will only see locals. The high season starts from dia de los muertos, Christmas, New Year, etc).
Please note that you will only bring summer clothes during your vacation in Sayulita so if you can just travel with a backpack, that is going to be more convenient for you!
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Cosmopolitan Nayarit Beach Town
Sayulita Mexico, which is just up the coast from Litibu Higuera Blanca, breathes a cosmopolitan air. You can hear a young woman speaking German, a young man waxing his surf board while chatting in English, or a small child telling her father what she wants for breakfast in French. This is truly one of Mexicos more unique Nayarit destinations.
There is also a vibe similar to that of the sixties, focused on love and peace, gathering together in nature with a friendly and relaxed environment. Young people, adults, and children come together on these Sayulita beaches where the sounds of drums accompany a pleasant conversation among friends. Come vacation in Sayulita Mexico and take part in a celebration, a great meal, or a calming walk on the beach with Pacific Ocean waves lapping at your feet.
Visit The Famous Iguana Tree
Wait, what? Yes, its a literal tree that is filled with giant iguanas. Take ten minutes to check out this protected tree and learn more about why they are all over just this one tree. Never touch or feed these iguanas, just admire them from a distance.
You can find them next to Tierra viva restaurant on the corner of Calle Marlin. This is on the way to Playa de Los Muertos so feel free to fit two activities into one!
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Go Shopping In Sayulita
If you are wondering what to do in Sayulita that doesnt require much physical efforts, shopping is indeed one of the options, a must-do in Sayulita.
Although its possible that you didnt fly a thousand miles to shop, you might want to take a look at the variety of original artifacts showcased in the trendy Sayulita shops, which is in a way part of the local culture and one of the reasons why it turned from a fishing town to a trendsetter spot.
What stands out is Huichol art, which from its humble origin has become one of the fashion icons of the region. The beautiful multicolored beaded works have taken over the jewelry scene and have become a precious exclusive gift offered in the coolest places.
Here a list of the most interesting shops in Sayulita:
Pachamama The iconic shop of the Mignon family, offering soulful art and crafts inspired both by Mexican tradition and the family travels.
Revolucion del Sueno artfully made clothing accessories and gadget the owners strive for innovation and creativity always in search for new style, shapes, and color
Artefakto they showcase the most beautiful creations directly from the local communities from different regions of Mexico. Among their works of art, you will find Pillowcases, blankets, shawls, tapestries, rugs, bags, bedspread, hammocks, all handmade and embroidered.
Take A Tour Of Las Islas Marietas
The Islas Marietas is a worldly famous spot for a vulcanic conformation that leaves a hidden beach underneath a crater. They are only accessible through a watery tunnel.
Its a dreamy place from a natural point of view.
Because of the fast deterioration of the natural environment, due to uncontrolled hordes of tourists, authorities had kept it close for a while and then reopened for a limited number of visitors. Sadly enough its a bit of an elite selection because, in order to control the access, they raised the prices to 2600 pesos versus the 400 in the past.
Therefore who can afford it can see it. To get to Marieta Islands from Sayulita you need to go on an organized tour with authorized companies.
There is another tour that is cheaper, about 1600 pesos which takes you around the islands without having access to the most interesting part though.
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Go Surfing At Playa La Lancha
Located in Punta Mita, Playa La Lancha is only a short 20-minute drive from the main town.
The waves here are mellow and the water is warm, clear, and clean. Its one of the most consistent breaks in the area with multiple peaks to suit all levels.
Playa La Lancha is only accessible via one narrow jungle path, so its always rather uncrowded and peaceful. Its a great alternative to other beaches around Nayarit and Jalisco and definitely worth adding to your Sayulita things to do list.
Surfing at Playa La Lancha
Visit Playa Los Muertos
Located just a short 10-minute walk to the south from the main beach, you will find Playa Los Muertos . There is a cemetery just back from the shoreline which is how this beach gets its name.
Its a hidden little cove surrounded by coconut palm trees and away from the crowds at the main beach. Playa Los Muertos features a row of beach umbrellas, a small bar, and a couple of beach vendors but feels a lot less touristy.
If just relaxing on the beach isnt your thing, you can also go and explore the rocky outcrops at each end of the beach.
Playa Los Muertos
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Best Places To Stay In Sayulita Mexico In Riviera Nayarit
There is a great variety of accommodations that can be found, from a traditional hotel, to a Resort, and many other options such as bed and breakfast, hostels, Casitas and beach villas, as well as condos and apartments in front of the sea, without overlooking, the traditional and always beloved activity, of camping, either in an RV or recreational vehicle, such as camping tents.
Through the time this destination has developed, since it began as an unknown and exclusive place, to a place more preferred by many visitors.
And this pueblito is the perfect place for many luxurious accommodations, or with that special and extraordinary touch, that mixes the traditional of a Mexican village next to the beach, with the sumptuousness of the best decoration, amenities and good taste, all in one place, they are coincidentally located having the best views or enclaves, which gives them a special and extra touch of luxury.