Sayulita - A Perfect Mexican Beach Getaway

Travel Advisor Sarah Colburn in a clay-colored rock canyon.
Curated By

Sarah Colburn

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  • Arts & Culture

  • Beaches

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Relaxation

  • Beach Town

  • Local Culture

Beach with green trees at shore.
Curator’s statement

Sayulita, is a beautiful beach town on the west coast of Mexico. It's about an hour from the Puerto Valletta airport, which makes it both easy to get to but a little further away from the crowds of Puerto Valletta. It's a quaint beach town that has a local feel to it. It is a great combination of beachy, nature and culture.

The first time I went to Sayulita it was a last minute, I needed to get away for a weekend trip. I wanted the sun, the beach and just a break from everything going on. As soon as I set foot in Sayulita I felt relaxed. I should also say, I came for a sunny weekend at the beach and it rained or was overcast the entire time I was there. Despite that, I fell in love with Sayulita and its beauty. I have since been back over five times and love finding new charms each time I visit.

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Where to stay in Sayulita

Sayulinda Hotel

Sayulinda Hotel is a cozy and eco-friendly retreat in the heart of Sayulita, Mexico. This charming boutique hotel is known for its commitment to sustainability and providing guests with a unique, nature-centric experience. The hotel offers a variety of accommodations, from stylish rooms to eco-friendly bungalows. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, guests can unwind in hammocks, take a dip in the inviting pool, and savor farm-to-table cuisine at the hotel's restaurant. With its proximity to the beach and the vibrant town center, Sayulinda Hotel is the ideal choice for those who value a peaceful and eco-conscious stay.

Avela Boutique Hotel

A fusion of sophistication and warmth, where personalized service meets contemporary luxury, ensuring an unforgettable boutique experience.

El Pueblito Sayulita

Embrace the vibrant spirit of Sayulita in a charming boutique setting, where the essence of Mexican culture and coastal relaxation come together seamlessly.

Travel Advisor Sarah Colburn in a clay-colored rock canyon.

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Things to do in Sayulita

Turtles on sand.

Sayulita and the surrounding area are packed with things to do.

SURF

Sayulita is a surf town so this is a big attraction. The beach in the main part of town is good for beginners as well as those with more experience. I loved taking lessons at Patricia's Surf School. They also rent boards at great prices and are located right on the beach.

BEACHES

You came for a beach vacation so beaches are obviously a priority. There are tons of beaches around Sayulita. The main beach is about a two min walk from the center of town. I prefer to walk about 15 min north to North Beach - the beach is beautiful and way less crowded than the main section closer to town. You can walk all the way down the beach to some beautiful rocks. If you're up for an adventure you can climb over the rocks to a hiking path that will take you to Cave Beach (a small rock cave on the beach) or a little further to Playa Malpaso (which is usually pretty empty). If you do go to Playa Malpaso just keep an eye on your stuff, when swimming in the ocean. People are known to hide in the jungle and steal bags while you're swimming.

HIKING

Speaking of the jungle, there are some great hikes in the Sayulita area. I suggest downloading AllTrails and using that for inspiration. They have great hikes and provide the best maps I've seen of the jungle area. My favorite hike is from Sayulita to San Pancho. It's great to make a day trip out of it. Start early before it gets too hot, hike (following AllTrails map) from Sayulita to San Pancho for breakfast. After breakfast and exploring San Pancho head back to the trail. On the way back to Sayulita stop at Playa Malpaso for an afternoon swim.

SAN PANCHO

If hiking isn't your thing, you can also take a taxi or the bus to San Pancho. It's only a 10-15 min drive. It's a much smaller town in comparison to Sayulita but there are a few cute cafes. It gives you a feel of what Sayulita was like 20 years ago!

WANDER THE TOWN

Sayulita is not just surfing and beautiful beaches. It also has a cute cobblestone town with lots of boutiques and galleries to explore. I love Someone Somewhere, a Mexican based company that works with primarily female artisans across Mexico.

MARKETS

There are multiple markets to explore in Sayulita. On Fridays, Mercado del Pueblo is a local farmers market. Everyday you can visit the Sayulita Hippie Market (near the river), which is filled with local handicrafts. Also on Tuesdays in San Pancho there is a market that has both food and handicrafts.

BOAT TRIPS

Sayulita Entourage has great trips to the Marietas Islands, a national park group of islands with incredible snorkeling and a hidden beach. They only allow a certain number of permits a day so if you're traveling during a busy season make sure to book in advance!

SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION & RELEASE

Sayulita Turtle Camp is doing incredible conservation work in Sayulita. If you're visiting during hatching season you can join them on the beach and with a small donation you can release the baby turtles into the sea. Check out their Instagram for more information on if releases are happening during your visit. This is one of my favorite things to take part in when visiting Sayulita.

Places to eat & drink in Sayulita

Three tacos, chicken, beef and prawns along with its accessories.

All that exploring and you're bound to get hungry. Luckily Sayulita has tons of good food options. From tacos to acai bowls you can't go wrong.

Breakfast

  • Chocobanana - This is always my first stop for breakfast when I am back in Sayulita. A fantastic spot, with all your breakfast staples. It's right on the corner of the square so a great spot for people watching as well.

  • Coffee Corner - No frills, great breakfast one block from the beach. This spot has the feel of a real Mexican surf town spot. Simple, fresh delicious food at very reasonable prices.

  • Mugre Animal Cold Brew Coffee Bar - This is my favorite coffee in Sayulita. Delicious, strong coffee with a coffee shop breakfast menu. They also have strong, reliable wifi if you're in need.

  • Organi-k - Just like it sounds, an organic breakfast spot that has fantastic smoothies, juices and acai bowls. If you need a break from the tacos and burritos, this is the perfect spot for that. They also have a great ambiance that feels like you're in a jungle.

  • Orangy Smoothies - More delicious smoothies and acai bowls. Lower key spot, with less seated options vs Organi-K. Also great for an afternoon snack!

Lunch/Dinner

  • The Real Fish Taco - A taco stand, about a block from the beach with a few tables and a grill. Very local and delicious. Plus the lemonade is so good.

  • El Itacate - Sit down taco resturant. Delicious food + they bring out all the different sauces. It's a must try while in Sayulita

  • Tacos Tono - Only open for dinner and a little outside of the main town area. This is a local taco shop run by a husband/wife team. Probably the best tacos I've ever had in my entire life. This is a quick place to grab tacos (on the level of street tacos vs an actual restaurant but they have some places to sit and enjoy).

  • Burrito Revolution - My favorite burritos. I could eat these burritos for every single meal. Great for a quick meal or takeaway.

  • Barracuda - I personally like their beach side location better than the place in town. But delicious seafood and right on the beach. The place is town is also good, I just love eating with my feet in the sand.

  • Achara - If you get sick of Mexican food, this Thai restaurant is delicious and has a really nice ambiance.

WHERE TO DRINK & GO OUT

Sayulita may be small but it is still a party town. You can always find a place for live music any night of the week. There are a few recommendations below but if you just walk around for a few minutes and listen for the music, you can't go wrong.

  • Yambak - Great and very popular spot for beers and live music. They brew their own beer. It's right on the corner in the town square so it always has a good crowd

  • Don Pato - Right next door to Yambak is Don Pato, more like a club, you go upstairs and there is always a DJ or live band playing. They also have salsa dancing on Monday nights.

  • Cava - Cool cocktail bar.

  • Latitude 20 - Sports bar + usually has live music out in the back.

  • Public House - Great sports pub. If there is a sports game you want to watch chances are they have.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Alex Sallis’s guide, Sayulita Travel Guide: Best Places to Eat, Stay, and Things to Do.



Travel Advisor Sarah Colburn in a clay-colored rock canyon.

Travel Advisor

Sarah Colburn

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico.