Are you planning your vacations in Sayulita? Look no further, in this article, I will share my tips on all the best things to do in Sayulita and other practical information.
I’ve spent about 2 weeks in the area, exploring the hippie town and the cute little neighbor San Pancho, which, is becoming more popular for those who are more into a laid back and peaceful atmosphere. Sayulita, founded in the 70s by American surfers in search of good waves, has made itself more popular as a party town.
Sayulita made for itself a fame as the place for the boho-culture followers. However, this quirky, laid-back town welcomes any character, whether you are a yogi-mama or a health guru, a party seeker, a “weekend tourist,” whether you are a nostalgic hippie or a posh, wealthy millennial, whatever you are or want to be, in Sayulita you will be received by just a happy, laid-back crowd that wants to celebrate life every day.
It is in fact considered now the best place to go in Mexico, or one of them.
Unmissable things to do in Sayulita
Enjoy Sayulita Beaches and Surfing
…or watch the people swirling freely on the waves while feeling awkward for not being able to do the same. Damn, it seems so easy!
The main beach of Sayulita is the most crowded and not the best among all the spectacular Sayulita Beaches. But if you love to lime and hang out where everything happens, that’s the place to be. There are other beautiful beaches not suitable for surfing which I am going to tell you about in a bit. The longboard lovers go to La Lancha beach located about 10 km from Sayulita, past Punta de Mita right in front of a Pemex (gas station) and a surf shop, one of the most expensive I have ever heard of, to be honest. The beach is free, and you can rent a board or if you decide to surf for a few days, it would be more convenient to buy a used one and then resell it.
Hanging out on the beach or surf are certainly the best things to do in Sayulita.
Read more about the Best beaches in Sayulita and surroundings
Try the variety of cuisine
There is a huge variety of restaurants in Sayulita, but the health food scene is definitely making its way up, as Sayulita is more and more of a yoga destination (among others of course). So much so that you can find great creative and healthy dishes almost anywhere. Juices and smoothies are also getting popular, at least before dawn, … oh well, maybe before midday.
Seafood is the most demanded plate, but the vegetarian crowds have their special spots as well. So, where to eat in Sayulita?
Check out this post with my top favorite Restaurants in Sayulita
Go Shopping in Sayulita
If you are wondering what to do in Sayulita that doesn’t require much physical efforts, shopping is indeed one of the options, a must-do in Sayulita.
Although it’s possible that you didn’t 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 (55 Calle Manuel Navarrete) artfully made clothing accessories and gadget the owners strive for innovation and creativity always in search for new style, shapes, and color
Artefakto (Delfin #15) 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.
Evoke the spirit The shop that best represents the Huichol tradition blended with the owner’s unique sophisticated designs. The shop has been created by the Newyorker Brittney Borjeson, who arrived in Sayulita in 2012 and fell in love with the town. That’s how the shop was born and its fame continues to grow. The shop and much of the merchandise are designed by Borjeson and made by local Huichol artisans. Stop by to admire the wall of skull “paintings” and even see some of the action as pieces are being made in the shop.
Find yourself (Holistic healing)
The well-being wave couldn’t lose its way towards the trendy cosmopolitan town of Sayulita. And in fact, for those seeking soul healing, body restoring, and mental purification, Sayulita has a place for you.
The Haramara retreat just outside of town offers all of that in a beautiful mystical setting in the heart of the Jungle overlooking the beautiful bay.
Whether you are traveling alone or in a group, a wellness retreat could be a great idea to enjoy Sayulita.
Enjoy breathtaking sunsets
The Sayulita Sunset is definitely worth watching. You can stay on the main beach and say goodbye to another glorious day in paradise or you can walk for a 1 km hike to Playa Carricitos and see the sun slowly being swallowed by the ocean right in front of you. Or you cak take an hiking tour and watch the sunset from above. Every day in Sayulita feels like a miracle.
Chill your day away
Although there are plenty of activities that you can do from Sayulita, e.g., surfing, horseback riding, hiking… you can also indulge yourself in dullness, and totally guilt-free because that’s what vacations are for. Get yourself a massage if you feel like, or hang on a hammock in one of the bars or on the beach, read a book, or just watch the surfers swirling on the waves of the glittering ocean. That’s a way to rewire and reconnect with your inner self.
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.
It’s 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 it’s 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.
Marietas Islands National Park Excursion for Certified Divers
In this tour, you will be exploring the underwater world around the Marietas Islands where you will be at close contact with a wealth of marine life and a variety of species including turtles, dolphins manta rays.
It’s only available to Certified Divers which will receive a personalize attention for small groups of 4 people maximum.
- Half-day trip
- Complimentary lunch
- Round-trip transportation from Sayulita included
- Equipment included
- The minimum age is 10 years
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Near public transportation
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
Read what other guests say:
“We had a great time. Stephan and his crew were very friendly and knowledgeable and took us to great dive spots. Would highly recommend to anyone!“
“We had a lovely time with Sayulita Entourage and Jaime and Palma as our guides. The three of us — two snorkelers and one diver — took the day to Las Islas Marietas and the Hidden Beach. We saw whales jumping out of the water (amazing!) and I was able to dive with Jaime 1-on-1 around the islands. We saw a ton of wildlife and I felt comfortable every step of the way. What I really appreciated was seeing Jaime’s care for mother nature and how much respect she has, it shines through in her knowledge and all of the interesting information she shared about everything we saw. We had a lovely time and will definitely be back!“
Read more reviews on TripAdivsor
Take a day trip to Puerto Vallarta
The friendly city of Puerto Vallarta is one of the first Mexican beach resorts and has been welcoming expatriates and tourists alike for many years. Its beaches, the art gallery, the romantic walk along the Malecon, the fancy restaurants, and charming historical center will make you fall in love too. If you are staying in Sayulita, you might want to spend a day in Puerto Vallarta and see it for yourself. It’s only a 1-hour drive on a spectacular panoramic road.
Hike to Monkey Mountain at sunset
Sayulita is surrounded on three sides by mountains, and hike along those trails is an incredible experience for nature lovers. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it but everybody was bragging about the company Mexitrails as one of the most reliable to take you on a tour. Among the different options they have, getting up to Monkey mountain at sunset must be a unique experience.
Ziplines with ocean views
Fly over the jungle of the Sierra Madre mountain range with spectacular views over the bay.
The impressive canopy tour of Vista Paraíso includes 10 lines and a suspension bridge in the mountains of Higuera Blanca, Nayarit. From this zip line, you will enjoy the most spectacular view of all the canopy tours in the Puerto Vallarta region: from the Pacific Ocean to the nature reserve of the rain forest in Punta de Mita.
Please note that the departing point is in Bucerias, however, pick up and drop off from and to Sayulita and San Pancho are available.
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 you’re 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!!“
“I had never biked in Sayulita before and did not realize there were single tracks that can be accessed right from town. Javier was my guide and not only did he provide a fantastic experience he also gave me some very good tips on how I could be better on my bike. Being from Colorado I have ridden a lot and even so, he improved on my skills considerably. My explanation of the trails will not do them justice, but they were truly unique and amazing. Riding through single tracks in the dense jungle was the highlight of my trip. There were technical sections that were challenging, but also some nice long stretches of up hill to get the heart pounding. The trail system is complicated but easy to navigate with a guide. I would not take a beginner on these trails….the down hill sections were flowy and super fun. I highly recommend taking this excursion while in Sayulita or the surrounding area.“
Read more reviews on TripAdvisor
Horseback Riding in Sayulita Through Jungle Trails to the Beach
An amazing riding adventure on the deserted beaches of the Riviera Nayarit and through a tropical jungle.
You will ride through Sayulita town, passing by the houses and farms. The tour guides for this adventure are local cowboys, and they will select the best roads, so you can enjoy an unforgettable adventure. They have noble horses, for all types of people according to their age and riding experience.
What other guests say
“This Horse Ride is truly a dream come true for anyone who wishes they could horseback ride on a beach. My family members are experienced riders, and I’m a beginner. So they made sure I had a safe, gentle horse named Pepe. Briefly riding on the beach through water was exciting. And I enjoyed chatting with the guides. Wear your bathing suits if you want to take a quick dip at the beach. Make the time for this. It’s not to be missed.”
Sayulita Travel Tips
How to get to Sayulita
Getting to Sayulita is very easy. Most people either come by bus from Guadalajara, directly or from Puerto Vallarta. If you are flying to Puerto Vallarta you can either get to Puerto Vallarta bus station and hop on a bus or get an UBER to Sayulita, much cheaper than a taxi.
How to move around in Sayulita
Sayulita is a small town where pretty much everything is within walking distance. However, if you don’t feel like walking, you can rent a golf cart. Prices range from 50 to 100 USD per day.
Car rental in Sayulita
You can find a few car rental companies on the main road just before the crossroads. Renting a car is a good way to move around the area and explore Sayulita beaches, and all the other amazing places around Sayulita such as:
Uber in Sayulita
There aren’t many UBER drivers in Sayulita, although the App covers the area. If you find one, it’s because it’s somebody coming from Perto Vallarta to drop off a client. It’s still worth a try, though.
Money Exchange in Sayulita
It is advisable to get to Sayulita with already some cash in your pocket, for two main reasons:
- The dollar is bought at a very low price so it’s not convenient for you to exchange there.
- Credit cards are not always accepted.
So be prepared!
Best time to visit Sayulita
May to July
The best time to visit Sayulita is the shoulder season from May through July:
- It’s less crowded
- It’s cheaper
- It’s still warm but not unbearably hot
August through October
This is the time of the year when it’s really super hot and humid. It’s a low season because no one wants to be in this weather, which also has a higher chance of rain. But if you do so, rates go down so that you might get some good deal.
November through April
This is the high season when Canadians and American flocks to their winter escape for the season. The weather is sunny and less humid. Nights are cooler. In November, there is still some chance of rain but only occasional.
There are so many hotel and villa options in Sayulita that it can be overwhelming to find the perfect one for us. Here are two of my favorite Sayulita hotels:
Hotel 7 Lunas Sayulita
A laid-back luxury place with gorgeous, elegant details where natural elements combine with modern amenities for a cozy classy environment. The stunning views on the ocean are the cherry on the cake.
Located in the heart of Sayulita, Hotel Vogue is an intimate you have this cozy hotel, artfully decorated with local objects and artworks in the bright Mexican colors with an elegant touch. You can also relax in the chaise long by the pool in the manicured garden. A real gem.
However, I have also put together two separate posts to help you find your place in Sayulita:
Is Sayulita Mexico safe for a solo female traveler?
Girls out there listen up! If you are planning a solo trip, even for the first time, Sayulita is the place to go. Whether you are a party lover, or you love a tranquil and peaceful stay, regardless of your age, whatever you are looking for you can find it in Sayulita. It’s really one of the most unique places suitable for any kind of traveler. So, my dear girlfriend, do not be afraid of traveling alone to Sayulita. This funky little village will welcome you with open arms. Just follow your common sense and stay out of trouble :).
- Store your bags in the main cities and walk around freely hands and weight free with Bounce
- Check if you need a visa and get help processing it with iVisa
- Never ever leave without
travel insurance. Get complete coverage from World Nomads or long term insurance from Safety Wing
- I find all of my flights on Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, Google flights, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and always remember to compare
- Book your daily tours locally to support local businesses, or if you don’t find any reliable company, or you prefer to book in advance, check out GetYourGuide or Viator. Some of their tours are refundable up to 24h in advance.
- I rent my long and mid-term apartments on VRBO
- Book hotels with Booking.com or Hotels.com
- Compare car rental prices at Discover Car Rentals
- Check out my travel planning guide if you are planning your trip and feeling overwhelmed