Known for its hippie vibe and geat surfing, Sayulita can't really be called undiscovered these days. But this laid-back town on Mexico's Pacific Coast is still a place where you can hang out with the locals and discover the region's natural beauty. Here are some tips on where to eat, where to go, and things to do in Sayulita.
While there are a few luxury resorts in the area, you'll also find a range of boutique hotels and rustic, eco-friendly lodging, often using solar or wind power. If you're interested in nature and wildlife, opportunities abound along the whole Riviera Nayarit. Go whale-watching in nearby Banderas Bay, or spot crocodiles on a swamp tour. Take a snorkel cruise to the protected Islas Marietas National Park, rich in marine life, or head 2.5 hours north to San Blas and the La Tovara sanctuary, home to some of the best birdwatching in Mexico. Sayulita is also a nesting ground for olive ridley sea turtles – a number of local conservation groups offer guided turtle tours and hatchling releases. (Just be sure the organization is following best practices.)
Despite the relaxed atmosphere, the nightlife scene here is lively, with lots of bars and restaurants around town to choose from. Puerto Vallarta is just an hour away if you're looking for something more upscale – but that's not why you came to Sayulita. Here, travelers mix with locals without the bustle experienced elsewhere in Mexico.
Around town you'll find cafes offering delicious breakfasts, local menus featuring tropical Mexican food, nachos, chicken wings, and seafood platters, some of the best burritos in the world, and many beachfront vendors where you can watch the sunset over dinner.
Take a quiet walk, play in the surf, or relax on the beaches in Sayulita. Playa de los Muertos is safe for swimming and ideal for families. Carricitos Beach is ideal for surfers, with large waves. Or you can climb on the rocks at Patzcuaro Beach, or hike through the jungle to pristine, secluded Playa Las Cuevas and Malpasos Beach. (Swimming is not recommended at Las Cuevas and Malpasos due to the riptides.)
Sayulita has multiple festivals and events happening year-round.
A taxi from Puerto Vallarta airport to Sayulta takes about an hour, and costs between US $60–$80. Alternatively, buses running along the Nayarit line leave every 20 minutes, and also take an hour – Sayulita is the last stop.
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