best things to do in Sayulita Mexico - HEADER IMAGE

21 Best Things to Do in Sayulita + Travel Guide [2022]


Wondering what to do in Sayulita Mexico?

You’re in the right place to discover the best things to do in Sayulita! From surfing in Sayulita and hiking mountains, to the best beaches in Sayulita — and even the famous Mexico Hidden Beach on Islas Marietas — you’ll find everything you need here to plan an epic Sayulita trip.

This article features unique experiences, all led by Sayulita locals. As more and more travelers focus on sustainability and responsible travel, the things to do in Sayulita Mexico listed below will make you feel great because you’re directly supporting a local from Sayulita!

Beyond all the cool things to do in Sayulita, you’re of course going to get some Sayulita travel tips to best plan your vacation to this colorful Mexico beach town. At the end of the article, don’t miss the Sayulita FAQ, for answers to the most common questions about Sayulita.

Ready to discover the best Sayulita Mexico things to do? Let’s get to it!

Best things to do in Sayulita

Where is Sayulita Mexico?

Sayulita is located in the state of Nayarit, an off the beaten path Mexico travel destination — but one that’s completely safe. For a whole article dedicated to this topic, check out Is Sayulita Safe? Best Sayulita Mexico Travel Tips.

Sayulita sits right on the Pacific Ocean, on what’s called the Riviera Nayarit. It has been a haven for surfers and spiritual seekers for decades. However, this colorful town is fast becoming a top Mexico travel destination for those wanting an alternative to Tulum or Cancun.

Sayulita Map

Check out this map of Sayulita Mexico to get a visual on where Sayulita is located. Zoom out and you’ll see it’s not far from Puerto Vallarta, and the posh vacation destination of Punta Mita, where you’ll find hotels like the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort and Four Seasons Punta Mita.

Best things to do in Sayulita

How do I get to Sayulita Mexico?

You’re probably wondering, Is there an airport in Sayulita? Unfortunately, no — however the closest airport to Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport (code: PVR), and it’s located only about 25 miles (40km) away. The drive from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita takes about one hour.

Now that you know PRV is the closest Sayulita airport, you’ll probably want to know how to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta! You have a few options, including hiring a private driver and renting a car. I only recommend a rental for those who plan to do some Sayultia day trips, otherwise use the driver.

Book a private Driver

🚗💨 PVR airport transfers can be expensive, so I always recommend using a local taxi driver named Juan for simple and safe transportation to Sayulita. He has a ton of 5 Star reviews, like this one from client Whitney Husnik, “Juan was easy to communicate with and provide safe transport to Sayulita.”

rent a car in puerto vallarta

You can also rent a car in Puerto Vallarta and drive to Sayulita yourself. For Mexico car rentals, I recommend and personally use, Discover Cars. They search both large international companies and local Mexican companies so you get the best rates on your rental car.

woman getting the keys to her mexico rental car from a male attendant in a white shirt | renting a car in mexico
If you want to rent a car in Sayulita, you will just want to rent one at Puerto Vallarta Airport, and then drive to Sayulita.
Best things to do in Sayulita

Where to Stay in Sayulita Mexico

Wondering about the best hotels in Sayulita? Or maybe you’re doing backpacking and budget travel in Mexico, so you’re really after the best hostels in Sayulita?! Check out the options below, and you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay in Sayulita.

Beautiful Siete Lunas Boutique Hotel is the hands-down best boutique and luxury Sayulita hotel. (Photo: Expedia)
  • Best Sayulita boutique hotel: Hotel Boutique Siete Lunas, the absolute best luxury hotel in Sayulita.
  • Best Sayulita hotel: Hotelito Los Sueños, a great hotel with breakfast included.
  • Best Sayulita hostel: Selina Sayulita, popular with both budget travelers and digital nomads. 👩‍💻Looking for the best WiFi in Sayulita? Many say it’s at Selina Sayulita Hostel.

Now that you’re basically a Sayulita expert — let’s get to the Top 10 things to do in Sayulita! After discovering all the places and Sayulita sites, don’t miss the Sayulita FAQ at the end of the article to help you plan your dream trip.

Top 21 Best things to do in Sayulita mexico

1. Take Sayulita Surf Lessons

Surfing is one of the most sought after things to do in Sayulita because it’s the exact right place for learning! The waves in Sayulita are beginner-friendly, and many travelers who want to learn how to surf in Mexico use Sayulita as their training base. 

While there are many Sayulita surf schools, I’ve been fortunate to get to know Sergio and his local family — one of the original families in town. His children are all professional surfers, and I was a little intimidated because they rode the waves better than I did!

woman surfing in Sayulita, Mexico

Thankfully, Sergio is very supportive and attentive. He guided me all the way and we had different lessons daily. The best thing I love about Sergio is that he is constantly having fun and it didn’t even feel like he was working — it felt like surfing with a friend.

This made me very comfortable in learning with him and I will continue my surfing lessons in Sayulita with Sergio when I return.

🏄 Sayulita Travel Tip: If you already know how to surf, you can go to La Lancha Beach or San Pancho for bigger waves.

Best things to do in Sayulita

2. Visit the Marietas Islands (Mexico Hidden Beach)

Did you know there was a secret beach in Mexico!? That’s right, the Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) is located at Marietas Islands National Park — and you have to swim under a cave to get to it. It’s not only one of the top things to do in Sayulita, but a Mexico bucket list tour.

The vast majority of Marietas Islands tours leave from Puerto Vallarta. However, the Mexico Marietas Islands are much closer to Sayulita at just 20 minutes away (versus two hours from Puerto Vallarta). Want to take a Marietas Islands tour from Sayulita? Here’s the info:

How to visit the Marietas Islands in Mexico

First thing’s first: The islands are located far off-shore, and only accessible by boat. The second thing you must know is that only a handful of people are permitted on the Marietas Islands Hidden Beach each day, to preserve one of the most unique places in Mexico.

The Marietas Islands are protected by the Federal Government, and visits are highly regulated. In 2019, they implemented protection and preservation measures, closing the Hidden Beach to tourists on Mondays and Tuesdays; so you can only visit from Wednesday to Sunday.

hidden beach cove

Marietas Islands Tour from Sayulita Mexico

I did this tour with a group of local fishermen, headed by Cesar. Each boat is only allowed 14 people per day — so you must reserve your slot at least one week in advance — as they always sell out, especially in the Sayulita busy season.

Cesar will meet you at Fisherman’s Wharf in Sayulita, and take you to the Marietas Islands. This tour lasts four hours, and you’ll get to walk on the Hidden Beach. Note: Many so-called “Marietas Islands tours” only take you near the hidden beach on a boat, but you aren’t able to walk on it!

Children under 12 and adults over 50 aren’t allowed to go to this secret beach in Mexico, as you have to swim through a cave, but they can still take the boat tour to Marietas Islands. When you book, disclose all ages and Cesar will charge you less if you don’t visit the secret beach.

🌎 Sayulita Travel Tips: There are many unethical Marietas Islands tours in Sayulita. Please do your research before booking to learn about the tour agency’s humanity — and always support ethical Sayulita locals like Cesar!

Best things to do in Sayulita

3. Take a Yoga Class in Sayulita

Besides surfing, Sayulita is also popular with spiritual seekers, artists and yogis. It attracts yoga teachers from all over the world, so there’s no shortage of amazing yoga classes in Sayulita. 🧘‍♀️ Looking for private yoga classes in Sayulita? You can book yours here with yoga instructor Diane!

sayulita yoga class on the beach

One of the best yoga studios in Sayulita is lovingly called the Nature Studio — as it’s a beachfront Sayulita yoga class. That’s right, after a short hike through the lush jungle of the Sierra Madre Occidental, you’ll arrive at the “studio.”

Located on the beach beneath palm trees to shade you, and with the Pacific Ocean in front of you, your instructor Diane will lead you through a mindful yoga sequence. All levels are welcome, and mats will be provided.

📿 Looking for other spiritual activities in Sayulita?

Check out Sunset Sound Healing & Meditation on the Beach with Rosie, get an Intuitive Tarot Reading with Shakea, and participate in a Pre-Hispanic Temazcal Ceremony with an Aztec shaman.

Best things to do in Sayulita

4. Get the Best Massage in Sayulita

Where I live in Mexico, messages aren’t cheap — so when I visit Sayulita, I immediately book an in-room massage with Nahomy, a Sayulita local. She comes to your Sayulita hotel or Airbnb with her massage table, and offers both relaxing and deep tissue massages.

massage therapist in a tropical setting tequila tasting tour | things to do in sayulita mexico

During the pandemic, Nahomy lost her job at the spa but that didn’t stop her from starting her own business 💪 Nahomy is the breadwinner of her family, and in order to provide for them, she thought of creative ways on how to grow her business.

She started sending herself to massage courses in Puerto Vallarta and she never stopped with just one class. Right now, she has more than 10 home service massages. Currently, she is training more local girls from Sayulita to be part of her team. Her story is truly inspiring!

You can also get a massage on Sayulita Beach (the main beach), but one thing I didn’t like is the spas are next to bars and restaurants. It can get so noisy that you won’t enjoy your massage, despite having a great view of Sayulita Beach.

Best things to do in Sayulita

5. Tequila Tasting in Sayulita

Did you know that the birthplace of tequila is Jalisco? A little geography lesson: Sayulita is in the state of Nayarit, but Puerto Vallarta (where you’ll flying into) is in Jalisco State. Technically, Sayulita is on the border of these two states — and you’ll definitely enjoy the difference between the two.

tequila tasting tour | things to do in sayulita mexico

Tequila can only be ethically and legally produced in Mexico, particularly the city of Tequila in Jalisco State. With this, you can enjoy high-quality tequila while in Sayulita. Believe me, it’s way different from the tequila you’re used to back home in the U.S.

Interestingly, I met Hailey and David during my trip to Sayulita — a local power couple who sources their tequila and mezcal from small family producers. These families are from all over Mexico and are not doing mass batches, so they guarantee quality and sustainability.

Hailey and David will do a private set-up for your group in your accommodation in Sayulita. This tequila tasting also comes with food pairing so get ready to be educated about how to properly drink tequila!

I am not going to lie — this Tequila Tasting in Sayulita costs more than some others — but as they say, you get what you pay for! Hailey and David’s tour offers high-grade tequila, that’s ethically sourced. You can definitely book cheaper tours, but don’t expect them to be as good.

Best things to do in Sayulita

6. Sayulita Hike to Monkey Mountain

Some people are more adventurous than others. Thankfully, Sayulita has everything for every type of traveler! I really recommend you to do the Monkey Mountain hike in Sayulita if you can because it offers the best views of Sayulita, and it’s also seasonal.

views of sayulita beach from on top of monkey mountain

Monkey Mountain is closed from June to October. It is impossible to hike it because summers in Sayulita are extremely hot and humid. Apart from that, these months are also the rainy season in Sayulita so the hiking path is not accessible.

The local tour guide I went with is Bloyd, a Venezuelan who chose to make Mexico his home. Bloyd is super active and knows Monkey Mountain well — this is important because there have been groups who got lost in the mountain by hiring a guide unfamiliar with the terrain.

Apart from this superb experience, Bloyd is also a great local contact who can recommend more things to do in Sayulita. As a solo traveler, it’s super important for me to connect and network with locals to ensure my safety. I definitely gained a friend from doing this tour!

Best things to do in Sayulita

7. Aztec Temazcal Ceremony in Sayulita

For travelers seeking unique things to do in Sayulita, and a true Mexico culture travel experience, this is perfect for you. A temazcal is similar to a Native American sweat lodge, or a traditional Russian banya sauna — and serves as a purification ceremony.

aztec temazcal ceremony | things to do in sayulita mexico

Some years back, a shaman from Teotihoacan (near Mexico City) moved to Sayulita and started sharing his Aztec culture and heritage. One way he does this is by educating people on what a real Aztec ceremony and authentic temazcal ceremony are all about.

While you can find other Sayulita temazcal ceremonies, this is the most authentic because the shaman does a proper ceremony. He won’t just leave you inside the temazcal to sit and sweat; he will act as a guide through what’s intended to be a spiritual journey.

🥵 A Mexican temazcal ceremony is not for everyone! Those who have claustrophobia and other health issues, overheat easily, are already feeling dehydrated (maybe from too much sun exposure or drinking too much), etc. — should skip out on any Sayulita temazcal.

Best things to do in Sayulita

8. Take a Sayulita Cooking Class

What’s a trip to Sayulita without an authentic Mexican cooking class?! While there are numerous Mexican recipes and cooking classes on YouTube, you should definitely learn in-person with a personal chef in Sayulita.

Chef Gee is originally from Baja California, and has traveled Mexico extensively, learning different cuisines from each region. Mexico is a big country, and authentic Mexican cuisine varies a lot. In fact, every state, region and city has their unique Mexico food specialty.

private chef grilling outdoors tequila tasting tour | things to do in sayulita mexico

As it’s Mexico, many want to learn how to make tacos. Gee shared his family recipe for Baja fish tacos, some of the best tacos in Mexico. I really love when chefs share their techniques freely, and Gee definitely went above and beyond to make this experience memorable.

Gee is really fun, and he made the learning experience so easy. I can now cook legitimate Mexican food during Thanksgiving and Christmas — and my family definitely sees the difference between Mexican food in Mexico, versus Mexican food in the U.S.

You can also hire Gee to be your private chef for any occasion you are celebrating in Sayulita. He is the perfect person for your destination wedding in Sayulita!

Best things to do in Sayulita

9. Day Trip to San Pancho Mexico

Wondering about things to do around Sayulita Mexico? One of the best things to do near Sayulita is visit the town of San Pancho!

If you ask a Sayulita local, they will likely tell you San Francisco, Nayarit — better known as San Pancho — is what Sayulita was like decades ago. While Sayulita is still a bit under the tourist radar, it’s also gaining in popularity year after year thanks to social media and YouTube.

When deciding what to do around Sayulita, consider a day trip to San Pancho Nayarit Mexico.

Nowadays, if you want to visit a true old school Mexican fishing village, surfer town, and yogi escape, you’ll have to check out San Pancho, Nayarit. Located just 15 minutes by rental car or taxi from Sayulita, you can also join this San Pancho Jungle Hike with Javiar to get there.

There are a few things to do in San Pancho — which you can discover on the laid-back San Pancho Bike Tour with Sam. In general, this is the kind of Mexican pueblo where everyone knows everyone, and you’ll likely have the beaches, and the surf waves 🏄‍♀️, all to yourself.

Best things to do in Sayulita

10. Best Beaches in Sayulita to Beach Hop

If you even find yourself wondering, What is there to do in Sayulita Mexico? — You can always just hit up the beaches. Sayulita is decidedly a beach town, but it’s different beaches all have very different vibes. Check out this list of the 5 best beaches Sayulita has to offer:

Playa Sayulita — Though it can get much more crowded than this!

Playa Sayulita (Main Beach)

I love the main beach, because it’s a Sayulita icon. If you’ve seen images of Instagrammable Sayulita online, it was likely of this beach and the papal picado (colorful flags in Sayulita) strung from streets just behind this beach.

However, I also discovered there are many hidden beaches in Sayulita! If the Playa Sayulita main beach feels really crowded and touristy to you, head to one of these other beaches where you can be alone (or semi-alone) on some of the best beaches in Riviera Nayarit.

Playa los Muertos Beach, Sayulita

The name, Playa los Muertos, translates to beach of the dead. While this can be an intimidating name, it’s actually just a gorgeous beach — which does happen to have a cemetery right behind it. The cemetery is festive and colorful, like many in Mexico, so it’s cool to see.

playa malpaso beach | is sayulita safe
Playa Malpaso Beach in Sayulita — The best place to enjoy a quiet, relaxing day.

Playa Mal Paso Beach, Sayulita

Walk all the way north of the Sayulita Main beach and you will get to Playa Mal Paso — one of the top Sayulita hidden gems. This is a 40-minute walk along the shore, so you don’t have to worry about directions; just stick to the shoreline and you’ll get there!

This is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Sayulita, but make sure to get out of here before it gets dark as there are no lights on the trail. Alternatively, if you don’t want to walk, you can rent a golf cart in Sayulita to get to the more secluded beaches.

Playa Carricitos Beach, Sayulita

Playa Carricitos is a 40-minute walk from the city center. Don’t worry, it’s an easy walk and it won’t be hot because you are going through the jungle. Carricitos is a great sunset spot, but bring snacks and drinks as there aren’t any stores or vendors here.

Playa Patzcuarito Beach, Sayulita

If you want a more secluded beach, visit Playa Patzcuarito which is also on the side of Carricitos but has a different trekking path. Normally a running trail, Carricitos has a longer jungle trail to the beach. 

Join the Hidden Beaches on Mountain Bike Tour with Samuel to enjoy a Sayulita bike tour to all of the best secret beaches in Sayulita.

Best things to do in Sayulita

11. Best Bars in Sayulita at Night

If you haven’t heard, Sayulita is a party town! — but don’t worry, it’s not as intense as Tulum! The Main Plaza is always bustling with activities and the best thing to do here is to buy a 6-pack of Mexican beer from a tienda (convenience store), sit back, and people-watch.

swings bar tequila tasting tour | things to do in sayulita mexico
The famous swing chairs at Atico Sayulita, a popular bar in Sayulita for drinks, dancing and hookah. (Photo: Julie via Flickr)

In front of the Plaza you’ll find numerous bars and restaurants that are active until the wee hours of the morning. Yambak is the most popular, as they have 2 for 1’s every Tuesday. They also have DJ sets from Thursday to Sunday.

If you want to go dancing, head to Bar Don Pato, located next to Yambak. They have salsa nights every Monday where a live salsa band plays popular Latin tunes — which is considered one of the best things to do in Sayulita at night.

For a more chill night out, check out these best Sayulita bars:

  • Cava: Visit to sample some of their more than 100 Mexican mezcals.
  • Le Zouave: A nice option if you want to have a wine night.
  • Bar Escondido: Head here for the best cocktails in Sayulita.
  • Barrilito: A great place to sit at, cold beer in hand, with a great view of the Main Plaza.
Best things to do in Sayulita

12. Private Breakfast in Sayulita with a Local Chef

What’s the best thing after a late night of bar hopping!? A private chef to cook you breakfast, of course!

There are many restaurants in Sayulita, but if you really want to dive deep into the local community, visit Macarena’s house and she will prepare an authentic Mexican breakfast for you. (Note: As a well-rounded chef, she will make any type of breakfast you want.)

group eating breakfast tequila tasting tour | things to do in sayulita mexico

Trained under a Michelin star chef in France, Macarena is originally from Chile and moved to Sayulita because of her love for surfing. She’s always been a dreamer, so she started welcoming tourists in her home after quitting her restaurant job in Sayulita.

I love Macarena’s garden, and experiences like this which bring me to the authenticity of the place. Macarena’s house and breakfast café is one of the best things to do in Sayulita Nayarit Mexico. You’ll never go wrong doing activities in Sayulita with locals like her.

Best things to do in Sayulita

13. Horseback Riding in Sayulita

A truly magical experience led by Beto, a fifth generation vaquero (cowboy) from Sayulita. For those who dreamed of riding a horse on the beach, just like in the movies, this really is one of the most romantic things to do in Sayulita — even if you’re a solo traveler!

horseback riding on the beach in mexico tequila tasting tour | things to do in sayulita mexico

If you’re concerned about ethical animal tourism in Mexico — just read the reviews on the Horseback Riding Through the Jungle & Beach Tour. What you’ll find is a perfect 5 Star rating and plenty of reviews mentioning how well the horses are cared for!

Exceptional, well cared for horses and expert horse guide. The location is truly magical! Support this Sayulita horseback business… —Deborah Leah 🐎

Best things to do in Sayulita

14. Take Photos on Slap Street

While there are many Instagram worthy Sayulita photo spots, there’s no more famous than the colorful flag street in Sayulita, Mexico. Officially named Called Delfines (Dolphins Street), you may hear this street referred to as Slap Street Sayulita (unofficially: Sayulita Flag Street).

colorful flags street in Sayulita Mexico | Slap Street | Calle Delfines Street
One of the most iconic things to do Sayulita is known for! While visiting, you must snap a photo on Sayulita Slap Street, AKA the Sayulita Colorful Flag Street. (Photo: Jim Angelus via Flickr)

Want to get those converted Sayulita travel photos without people in them? Head to slap street early in the morning before everyone’s up!

If you’d rather a professional photographer capture all your Sayulita memories, join photographer David, for his Natural & Fun Portraits Experience. You’ll go to all the best picture spots in Sayulita, and then have 20 professional photos by the end of the shoot.

Best things to do in Sayulita

15. Whale Watching in Sayulita

In the winters, several species of whales migrate past Sayulita just off-shore, including the humpback whale. It is a truly magical experience to see these amazing creatures in the wild — and support a local whale research group in the process.

Offered in conjunction with La Orca de Sayulita (Whale Watch Sayulita), the Biologist-Led 3 Hour Whale Watching Tour is a true bucket list experience.

Join a biologist from La Orca Sayulita to see the whales in their natural habitat. As the premier whale research nonprofit organization in Sayulita, you’ll get to use their hydrophone to hear the whale’s song underwater. As a research center, a tour with La Orca is 100% ethical.

Fishing & Whale Watching in Sayulita (Combo Tour)

Join host, Chilo, on your private charter boat as you make your way into the Pacific Ocean to (hopefully) see the whales. Along the way, don’t be surprised if you also see dolphins and sea turtles. Beyond just whale watching, Chilo offers fishing and snorkeling for guests.

On the Local Fishing, Snorkeling, Whale Watching Tour, you have a full day of activities waiting for you. If you catch a fish you want to eat, Chilo can make you ceviche, or he can take the fish to a local restaurant in Sayulita so you can enjoy your catch for dinner that night.

Best things to do in Sayulita

16. Shopping in Sayulita

There are many adorable boutique boho stops in Sayulita, as well as colorful street mercados (markets). Sayulita was made famous as one of the most colorful towns in Mexico, filled with local art and handicrafts, and if that’s what you’re after, Sayulita shopping won’t disappoint!

Best Stores in Sayulita

Wondering about things to do in Sayulita when it rains? As with any beach town, your options are limited in the rain — but in Sayulita, you can always hit up the shops.

Three of the best stores for art and souvenirs include Evoke the Spirit, Project Artefakto and Revolución del Sueño. If you want to buy some new clothes in Sayulita, head to Manantial, Rosemary and R2 Fashion.  

colorful pom poms and mexican folk art at a market tequila tasting tour | things to do in sayulita mexico
The open-air Hippie Market is a fun place to pick up all your Sayulita souvenirs.

Best Markets in Sayulita

Open daily, the Sayulita Hippie Market is the best place to shop in Sayulita for arts and crafts, purses, souvenirs and more. On Sundays, visit the Sayulita Tianguis, located on Calle Gaviotas, which is similar to the Hippie Market.

There’s also the Mercado del Pueblo (AKA Sayulita Farmers Market). As the name states, this mercado mostly sells food from local farmers and producers. It is only open on Fridays during the November to April growing season, but worth checking out if you can.

Best things to do in Sayulita

17. Sayulita Adventure Activities (Zip Line, Jungle Hike, ATV & Mountain Biking)

Sayulita is one part beach and one part mountains, so you get the best of both worlds. For the more adventurous travelers, check out these fun activities — but do plan to get Mexico travel insurance with World Nomads, as their Explorer Plan covers adventure travel.

Best things to do in Sayulita

18. Visit the Sayulita Art Galleries

Sayulita has attracted surfers, spiritual seekers and artists for decades. Beyond the artists who have moved to Mexico, the local Huichol people also have a stamp on the Sayulita art scene. Pickup some chakira bead art and ojos de dios yarn kites for authentic Sayulita souvenirs.

To see some local works, head to the amazing art galleries in Sayulita, like Buddha Gallery and Spa, and Laughing Jaguar, an art gallery/shop, with a lot of items for sale. There’s also the colorful Cori Jacobs Gallery, run by Cori Jacobs, who’s been in living as an expat Mexico since 2002.

Chakira is one type of tractional Huichol art, made by the people native to Sayulita and Nayarit State.
Best things to do in Sayulita

19. Baby Turtle Release in Sayulita

There are several species of turtles that lay eggs along the 5,800-miles of Mexican coastline. In year’s past, the sea turtle population suffered a drastic decline, as some consider the eggs a delicacy. However, recent conservation efforts are helping to bring the turtle population back.

The Sayulita nonprofit, Campamento Tortuguero Sayulita, is one such group doing their part to help. From January to June, you can join their Sayulita baby turtle release program and participate in helping a tiny baby sea turtle find its way into the Pacific Ocean 🐢

baby turtle being released on the beach
Best things to do in Sayulita

20. Eat at the Best Restaurants in Sayulita

As there’s a theme in this article of “support local businesses in Sayulita,” it seems the best person to highlight where to eat in Sayulita would be a local! Join host, Canek, on this Best Tacos of Sayulita Tasting Walk, and get recommendations from the source.

As someone who’s visited Sayulita, and ate a lot, here are some additional recommendations:

  • Tacos al Pastor Tal Ivan (AKA Tacos Ivan): Amazing tacos al pastor (some of the best Sayulita street food tacos, actually) and 2-4-1 margaritas everyday.
  • Maria’s Fish Tacos & Tostadas: Run by a local Sayulita woman, enjoy fish tacos, sopes, tostadas and more, for incredibly cheap prices.
  • Organi-K Cafe and Yah-Yah Cafe: Two of the best Sayulita vegan restaurants.
  • Yeikame: Serving Mexican favorites and vegetarian dishes in a colorful and lively atmosphere. 
  • La Rústica Sayulita: Eclectic gastro-pub style restaurant with the one of the best rooftop bars in Sayulita, the Hulasayula Bar, located upstairs.
Cutting taco al pastor meat for a taco
Pastor tacos are a must in Mexico, and you’ll find the best tacos al pastor in Sayulita at Tacos El Pastor Tal Ivan!
Best things to do in Sayulita

21. Day Trip to Puerto Vallarta Mexico

If you have time, consider scheduling a day trip to Puerto Vallarta. As one of the best beach towns in Mexico, it’s worth checking out this beachfront city as well. One of the top Mexico travel destinations, Puerto Vallarta has been welcoming visitors for decades now.

First made famous in the 1964 film, The Night of the Iguana, with Richard Burton, Puerto Vallarta still maintains that Old Hollywood charm. Burton, and his then-wife, Elizabeth Taylor, eventually bought a house in Puerto Vallarta, which is now the Casa Kimberly Hotel & Spa.

Personally, I always advise visitors to sacrifice one day in Sayulita to check out Puerto Vallarta. Since you have to leave from that airport anyway, it makes sense to just head there a day or two early so you’re not rushing to get to Puerto Vallarta Airport from Sayulita.

Puerto Vallarta has a completely different vibe than Sayulita, and they are both worth checking out.
Best things to do in Sayulita

Sayulita Mexico Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sayulita safe for travelers?

In short, YES, Sayulita is known as one of the safest places in Mexico. Now, that’s not to say you should let your guard down completely; you’ll still want to remain aware of yourself and your surroundings when in Sayulita. However, crime in Sayulita is virtually nonexistent.

Is Sayulita Safe for Solo Travelers? 

On a personal note, I love Sayulita and never worry about traveling solo here because there is a strong sense of belonging in this small town in Nayarit State. The locals are very friendly and I gained so many friends when I was traveling here.

I really recommend Sayulita as one of the best places to travel solo in Mexico because of it’s very welcoming culture among the locals. If you’re planning to do solo travel in Sayulita, make sure to check over these 10 Tips for Mexico solo travel.

woman smiling on a colorful street in Sayulita, one of the Best Mexican Beach Towns

Is there Uber in Sayulita?

This is a tricky question to answer, because yes, there is Uber in Sayulita — but it’s rare you’ll get one. What does this mean exactly?! It means Uber is legal in Sayulita, but there are very few drivers. You can always try, but chances are you won’t be able to book an Uber in Sayulita, though there are taxis.

Is Sayulita worth visiting?

Sayulita is the perfect place for those who want to visit a safe Mexico hidden gem, located a bit off the beaten path. Anyone looking for a chill destination to do early morning yoga, surf in the afternoon, and hear live music at night — Sayulita is your place!

In the last decade or so, Sayulita has gained in popularity so you will definitely encounter other tourists and many American expats in Sayulita. It’s very easy to meet people, and easy to get around because it’s a small town and totally walkable.

downtown sayulita mexico | is sayulita safe

Tulum vs Sayulita

Tulum and Sayulita are very similar in many ways, as two of the top Mexico beach towns which are also both pueblos magicos. They both have bohemian vibes, and a similar rustic-chic feel. It’s impossible to say which is the best, but here are some things to consider:

  • Price: While Tulum on a budget is absolutely possible, it does tend to cost 25-50% more than Sayulita for food, lodging and tours.
  • Crowds: While Sayulita is still a bit up-and-coming, Tulum is completely on the tourist radar, and will be much more crowded than Sayulita.
  • Better beaches: Tulum takes this one, as it’s located on the Caribbean Sea.
  • Better surf: Sayulita wins in this category, as it has those great Pacific Ocean waves. 
  • Easier to get to: Neither has an airport, but both have airports nearby. Puerto Vallarta Airport is one hour from Sayulita, and it’s two hours from Cancun Airport to Tulum.
Tulum and Sayulita are both great options for your Mexico vacation — you can’t lose either way!

What’s the best time to visit Sayulita?

As with anywhere on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, the best time to visit is in the cooler months of November to March. During this time, you’ll have the best weather, no rain, little to no humidity, and the mosquitoes in Sayulita will be at bay. 🦟 Don’t forget your mosquito spray!

As a small town, those who want a more tranquil trip may want to avoid visiting during Semana Santa, a weeklong holiday around Easter. Late-December around Christmas is also a busy time, but you will have the best weather to enjoy Sayulita to the fullest.

What’s the Sayulita weather like?

Sayulita has a tropical climate, so you can expect hot, humid summers, and mild winters. It is hot year-round, but the winter months are sunny and pleasant. Keep in mind Atlantic Hurricane Season runs June 1-November 1, and being on the Pacific Ocean, Sayulita is susceptible. 

Weather in Sayulita Mexico 

What should I pack for Sayulita?

🧳 Need a tips on what to pack for Mexico? Head to the Ultimate Packing List for Mexico + FREE Checklist Download.

While there are a variety of Sayulita activities — you now know that the majority involve being in, near, or on the Pacific Ocean! In short, bring bathing suits. You’ll also want light, breathable clothing, and if you’re doing yoga, hikes and adventures activities, some workout clothes.

Fashion-wise, anything goes in Sayulita, but if you need Sayulita outfits inspo — check out Cute Outfits for Mexico Vacation: What to Wear in Mexico.

A few other things you’ll want are: this stainless steel Brita water bottle, which keeps your water cold all day, filters your drinking water and keeps you hydrated, reef-safe sunscreen, non-aerosol eco-friendly mosquito repellent, and of course, a cute sun hat.

Final Thoughts: Things to Do in Sayulita Nayarit

Sayulita is one of the 135 (or so) Mexico pueblos magicos, which means magic towns. The prestigious designation of magic town, awarded by the Mexican Secretary of Tourism, is only given to unique towns with great tourism infrastructure and plenty to see and do.

As you can see from this list, you have so many options to choose from as far as Sayulita sites and Sayulita things to do! The real question comes next — which ones will you pick?!

What things to do in Sayulita will you choose?

I’d love to hear from you! Write me a message in the comments down below and let me know what you plan to do while traveling to Sayulita, Mexico.

💁‍♀️ Editor’s Note: This post was a collaboration with Trisha of p.s. I’m On My Way. She used to live in Sayulita, and was able to offer a locals’ perspective on the best things to do in Sayulita, Mexico!