HOLA FUNNERS!! Winter is here; so, I wanted to provide you with some wanderlust for sunny Sayulita, Mexico.
You’ve probably heard of Sayulita because of the show Bachelor in Paradise, but it’s been a backpacker’s haven and getaway for years. Sayulita is best known for it’s surfing and party scene. Locals call it “a quaint little drinking village with a surfing problem”. The prices are right, the people are friendly, and the food and tequila are to die for.
The town of Sayulita is located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico with a population of around 4000. This colorful beach town has a ton of personality. The streets are decorated with rainbow-hued banners and the shops and houses are painted in bright oranges, blues, reds, and yellows.
I traveled to Sayulita last year for a friend’s wedding and absolutely LOVED it. The happy couple met in SoCal, went on their first date to Sayulita and the rest is history. I mean, it really isn’t hard to understand how they fell in love in Sayulita……the cool ocean air, the beach, the sound of the waves crashing, the margaritas, the picturesque sunsets…need I say more?
Sayulita used to be more of a secret, locals only spot, but word is starting to spread on how magical of a beach destination it is. Sayulita is only a 45 minute’s drive from Puerta Vallarta which makes it a really easy place to get to. Also, you don’t need to rent a car in Sayulita because you can walk everywhere! More people are starting to book destination vacations to Sayulita and buy development properties so book a trip soon before it loses its authentic charm.
Now the bigger question……….where should you EAT, PLAY and RUN in Sayulita?
I was REALLY impressed with the quality and variety of food here. Not only was the majority of the food fresh and healthy, it was affordable. Download a currency converter to your phone and you see how cheap it is! Given you’re in Mexico, the Sayulita restaurant scene, of course, is comprised of traditional Mexican cuisine. However, due to it’s proximity to the ocean, it’s packed with fresh seafood, so you can keep your meals healthy and packed with protein! And of course, “Tequila, Tequila, Tequila”. Mezcal tequila – warning, this tequila may have a worm at the bottom of the bottle. Personally, I prefer ordering any type of tequila that is “blanco” (no barrel aging), because it doesn’t have the bite of Mexcal. Order it on the rocks with lime juice and salt……… low calorie, low sugar content and delicious. Esta muy bien!
My favorite EATS
Go there for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Open seating and ocean breezes. Tropical, international and Caribbean cuisine.
Great taco stand near the beach and perfect for lunch. Sayulita is known for it’s camerones; shrimp tacos, shrimp everything!
Italian food!! We had truffle pasta and pizza and I felt like I was in Italy. Open air seating and SO GOOD.
Authentic Mexican cuisine and home of the famous Chile Relleno. If you like spicy stuff order that! I can’t do spicy so we ate grilled seafood over fresh pineapple. We tipped well, locals appreciate that, and the waiter served us a lot of tequila to thank us for our generous tip!
Gorgeous restaurant on the beach with ocean views and delicious Mexican cuisine. This is the top local spot in town and good to watch sports games and also has nightly live music. They catered my friend’s wedding which was on up on a hill with panoramic views. This is the wedding venue. http://www.donpedros.com/weddings-events
Located in the main square. Great for breakfast and has amazing COFFEE. I normally don’t like to eat at the same restaurant when I travel but this place was so good we ate there two days in a row.
Play around in the shops of Sayulita! Interact with the locals and barter with street vendors selling clothes and jewelry when you walk around town. I was laying on the beach and a young kid, around 10 years old, approached me selling hand woven bracelets. I was so impressed, I bought two! He hand wove them with my niece and nephew’s names on them in fifteen minutes. So cool! I felt great about buying from a local and giving back to the community.
Other activities you participate in Sayulita include bird watching, visitng the turtle sanctuary, whale watching and horseback riding. Or take a boat ride! You can explore the nearby Marieta Islands by boat. My friends went and loved it.
There still aren’t any major hotel chains in Sayulita which helps it maintain it’s charm. I recommend the two hotels below or you can always Airbnb it!
I stayed in the Hotel Hafa right off the main square of the city and rooms range $50 dollars to $85 dollars per night. It is owned by an adorable surfer family and is very affordable. They have a gorgeous terrace at the top where you can lay out and help yourself to some free tequila. It also has a really cool bar downstairs and they give you a free drink ticket if you stay there. There are 6 rooms; I recommend Room 1. The only thing about this hotel is that it is in the center of town so sometimes you can hear partying from the bars which can keep you awake at night. If you are a light sleeper then you may want to stay outside of town or drink enough tequila so you sleep though the night.
If you can afford to spend a little more on a hotel then check out Villa Amor. I haven’t stayed here but my dear friend Dana does every time she visits Sayulita. This hotel is more luxurious and is located right on the edge of town on the beach. All the rooms are ocean front, have boogie boards, beach gear, and there’s daily free morning yoga classes by the pool.
There is a super chill, fitness vibe to Sayulita. A lot of people visit to surf and practice yoga at studios or at a yoga retreat. Sayulita was initially discovered by surfers in the 60’s and remains a huge surf destination. You can surf, run, practice yoga, scuba dive and snorkel.
- Go for a barefoot sunset run on the beach to end your day!
- Moon Shala – I really enjoyed the classes I took and this is right in the center of town.
- I recommend flying Alaska Airlines into Puerto Vallarta from LAX because they have a ton of direct flights. Also, if you sign up for their mileage card you automatically get miles so you basically have your travel paid for.
- There are travel warnings about traveling to Mexico. People say it isn’t safe right now, but Mexico is a big country and many of these warnings are specific to border towns or well known tourist destinations. I felt really safe in Sayulita; the people are really friendly and welcome tourists. Use common sense and don’t walk around alone at night, etc
- To be safe, drink bottled water only. That includes ice too, so be mindful. You don’t want Montezuma’s revenge!
- If you have a handicap it could be hard to walk on the streets so you can rent a golf cart to drive around town. Flip flops are recommended.
- If you get sick you can get antibiotics at the local Pharmacia in town like a Z pack or anything you need.
- Bring cash. You can exchange it for Pesos in town.
- Pack light! Sayulita is super casual. Bring swimsuits, flip flops, cut offs, sun dresses and do not pack any nice jewelry. Less is more! It is better not to be flashy…. it’s still Mexico.
- Carry-on LUGGAGE on the plane. If you do check luggage please DO NOT check valuables. My boyfriend had a video camera and expensive sunglasses stolen from his checked luggage.
- Use credit cards with zero foreign transaction fees
- I took a reputable car service that was from the airport to Sayulita. Be careful with cabs in Mexico and only use trusted sources. The company I used was VIP Transportation. firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy!!!!! Go to http://www.sayulita.com/ for more info. Use #luv2eatplayrun in your Instagram photos if you visit!