Best things to do in Sayulita Mexico

Sayulita, Mexico is one of those ever-enchanting destinations that you want to visit again and again. Although it’s a popular tourist destination in Mexico, it has maintained some authenticity and remains a hidden gem! The small beach town appears to be laid back and one might wonder what to do in Sayulita? You will actually be surprised by just how many interesting Sayulita activities are there. In fact, that might just be the reason why Sayulita has been included in the list of Mexico pueblos magicos – the magical towns of Mexico.

Discover the best things to do in Sayulita, Mexico
Discover the best things to do in Sayulita, Mexico

In this post, you will not only get the best things to do in Sayulita but handy tips on the best time to visit, where to stay and how to get to this Mexican town. So, let’s get going.

Where is Sayulita Located?  

Sayulita is located on the west coast of Mexico, just a short distance from Puerto Vallarta. This region in Mexico is referred to as Riviera Nayarit. The town is located along the Pacific Ocean.

What to do in Sayulita, Mexico?

From beaches to cultural experiences and food, there are just so many Sayulita activities that you can enjoy on your vacation here. I have put together a few of my most recommended things to do in Sayulita. Check them out.

Hit the beach – one of the most obvious Sayulita activities

Obviously…right!? One of the best things to do in Sayulita is to relax at the beach! Sayulita has some of the most stunning beaches in Mexico! But the main beach – Playa Sayulita can get crowded, so take my advice and check out a little beach called Playa Los Mueros / Los Muertos Beach

One of the gorgeous beaches in Sayulita, Mexico
One of the gorgeous beaches in Sayulita, Mexico

This beach is only a short walk of around 11 minutes from the center of Sayulita. It is a little gem I found when visiting in January. Since it is a bit secluded there were far fewer people, and it was the perfect place to bring a book and disconnect. Enjoy the fresh fruit stand located on the way to the beach. They also serve Cerveza (beer) if you are thirsty.

If you have the time, try Playa Carricitos beach which is past the jungle and around 30 – 40 minutes from the main town center. Make sure you are carrying your own food as this beach is free of shops or any cafes. In short, it is just free of crowds.

Take a surfing lesson in Sayulita

Surfing - one of the best things to do in Sayulita
Surfing – one of the best things to do in Sayulita PC: Image by Anir Mitra from Pixabay

Ever want to try surfing? Sayulita, Mexico is the perfect place to do it! These waves are very beginner friendly! 

And since it’s one of the best activities in Sayulita and you will be surrounded by other beginners looking to take advantage of these baby waves. The surfing lessons are held at the main beach in Sayulita, Playa Sayulita! So if you are looking to learn a new skill, this is the perfect place to do it! 

You can also, consider booking this surf class online that takes you to the waves of La Lancha Beach, near Punta Da Mita. The class includes a transfer to the beach from Sayulita.

Try surfing in Mahabalipuram

Another amazing place for surfing is Gold Coast, Australia. Read about the various beaches where you can hit the waves

Make a day trip to Punta Mita! 

Fancy yourself a day trip to an exclusive part of the Riviera Nayarit region? This is where the rich and fabulous come when visiting Mexico and this side of the Pacific Ocean. 

Punta Mita is approximately a 20-minute taxi ride from Sayulita and will cost you about $20 each way! In Punta Mita, you can explore the lavish boutiques and watch the million-dollar yachts bob along the harbor. 

If you plan ahead you can book an out-of-this-world meal at the Four Season Hotel! Entry to the hotel is only permitted by having a confirmed reservation, you will also need to bring along your passport or id for verification. 

Or maybe you would rather take a boat tour and explore the bay?! Punta Mita is the perfect way to spend a day away from Sayulita. 

Go Shopping in Sayulita – for Hidden Treasures

Do you love to find authentic gifts when traveling? Sayulita has some of the most darling boutiques and markets with eclectic items that will remind you of your trip for years to come!

Shop for some Mexican souvenirs in Sayulita
Shop for some Mexican souvenirs in Sayulita PC: Image by Joachim Engel from Pixabay

The Sayulita Hippie Market has all those handmade goods and Mexican crafts that make the best souvenirs! The market is open every day from 9 am to 7 pm, and can be found located along the Sayulita river in the center of town.  If you are looking for clothes and other shops some of my favorite shops are Evoke the Spirit, Rosemary, and Manatial. 

Learn from a local and take a cooking class – one of the cultural things to do in Sayulita

Looking to really immerse yourself in Mexican culture on this trip? Take a cooking class in Sayulita and learn how to make some authentic Mexican dishes! 

Impress your friends and family when you go home by putting your skills to the test. Taking a cooking class in another country is a fun and unique way to spend your time on your trip! It is also, a great cultural experience as you will be attending classes held by the locals in their homes. In my opinion, it is a great way to support the community when traveling!

Do a day trip to San Pancho from Sayulita

One of the best things to do near Sayulita is to visit the authentic little village of San Pancho! This place is the real local hidden gem of Nayarit! 

By car, you can reach San Pancho in about 15 minutes. Renting a car is advisable, or you can take a taxi. However, when in San Pancho, explore the area by bike. There are locals that host bike tours. It’s a neat way to get a little more perspective from some of the locals. 

If you would prefer, you can also, explore the area on foot and stroll the streets of this colorful and lively little town. 

Eat at all the most amazing Mexican restaurants! 

Traveling to find good food is one of my biggest motivations when it comes to picking a destination! So it’s no wonder I say that one of the top things to do in Sayulita is to eat!

Don't miss the local food when in Sayulita.
Don’t miss the local food when in Sayulita. PC: Image by VinaConstanze from Pixabay 

Mexican food just so happens to be my favorite cuisine of all time! When visiting Sayulita and Mexico City I had the opportunity to eat in some pretty incredible restaurants. My favorite local restaurant in Sayulita is definitely El Itacte! Written about in almost every blog I’ve ever read, this restaurant is incredible! It really serves the best food in Sayulita – especially street tacos and margaritas!

Some other honorable restaurants are Restaurant Yeikame, Miscelanea, and Achara!

You can also, try some of the food tours like this Taco tour in Sayulita.

Try some Yoga in Sayulita

Another top experience when visiting Sayulita is to join a Yoga class! Since Sayulita has such spiritual vibes, no better way to become one with the land than take a yoga class! 

The most raved-about Yoga Studio in Sayulita is called Nature Studio. It is a beachfront class which means you will listen to the ocean waves crashing while in your sink deep into your yoga pose. Alternatively, if you want you can book a group session online through this link.

Check out the vibrant nightlife of Sayulita

Sayulita is known for its beachy nightlife vibes, and bars. For a small place, it sure can pump out up the volume. Not only can you find the bars playing all your favorite songs, the streets are also filled with some local bands and artists. 

Since the nightlife is so prevalent here, consider booking your hotel a hair outside the action. I stayed just a 10-minute walk to the center of town and I can highly recommend it. Staying just a little further away meant I could ensure that I could get some sleep. 

I can highly recommend Hotel Bonito as a place to lay your head in Sayulita!

Do a Tequila tasting & Taco Food Tour!

Tequila tasting - one of the recommended Sayulita activities
Tequila tasting – one of the recommended Sayulita activities PC: Image by paroca71 from Pixabay 

If you’ve never had really good tequila then I urge you to do a tequila tasting in Sayulita! Paired with some real authentic tacos, need I say any more?  This tour is between 2 and 3 hours and is a must-do activity when visiting Sayulita! 

You will explore the town of Sayulita with a locally trained tour guide, stopping at seven of the best restaurants in the area! You will try Tequila, Mezcal, and Racilla as well as try some of the best tacos Sayulita has to offer! 

Head to Marietas Islands 

Marietas Islands is a group of small uninhabited islands located off the coast of Nayarit, Mexico and a must-visit if you are keen on snorkeling, scuba diving, and birdwatching.

One of the most famous attractions on the islands is Hidden Beach, which is a secluded beach located inside a cave that can only be accessed by swimming or kayaking through a small tunnel. It’s important to note that access to Hidden Beach is limited and requires a special permit, so you should check with your tour operator before booking if you’re interested in visiting it.

There are several tours to Marietas Islands that you can book online like this one. It is highly rated and has good reviews.

Consider Whale watching – a seasonal Sayulita activity

The Bay of Banderas is a large bay that includes Sayulita and is known for its rich marine life, including humpback whales. These gorgeous creatures migrate to the bay to mate and give birth during the winter months (December to March).

There are several whale-watching tours that depart from the Marina Vallarta area, which is about an hour’s drive south of Sayulita. These tours typically last several hours and include a knowledgeable guide who can provide information about the whales and their behavior.

So, if you are in Sayulita during this season, you could look at one of these tours.

Whale Watching in Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Whale Watching in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Did you know that you can do whale watching in Sri Lanka? Check out my experience and how you can consider booking one if you are ever in Sri Lanka.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Sayulita

Sayulita is one of those places where you can just truly go with the flow! Wake up early and do yoga on the beach or sleep late and chill. 

There is something for everyone in Sayulita! It is a safe enough place to travel solo, as well as a fun place to go with your friends! 

Common FAQs about Sayulita, Mexico

How to get to Sayulita Mexico?

To reach Sayulita by plane, you will have to fly to Puerto Vallarta, and from there can catch the bus or take a taxi, or rent a car. The time to reach Sayulita from the airport is approximately 1 hour by car. Pending traffic of course. 

If you choose to take the bus to Sayulita, it will take a little longer, around 1 and 30 minutes. The bus fare is very cheap at $46 pesos. It comes every 20 minutes or so which is very convenient. The bus line to Sayulita is Compostela, the buses themselves are usually green and white. The windshield of the bus will display Sayulita. When I took the bus to Sayulita, most of them had air conditioning. It is actually a pleasant ride, and the buses are clean. 

NOTE: If taking the bus from the airport you will look for signs for the bus stop which will lead you over the pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway. 

If you are driving to Sayulita will take one main highway road, route 200, the whole way. 

What is the best time to visit Sayulita?

Honestly, anytime is a good time to visit Sayulita! The rainy season is typically from June through September, but most days still have a good amount of sunshine! 

I visited in January and it was pretty wonderful. The weather was between 26 and 35 degrees, the sun was shining every day. The sun is very strong in Mexico at any time of the year, so do yourself a favor and put on sunscreen and a hat. Just one won’t do, you need to double up! 

Which is the best place to stay in Sayulita?

Sayulita offers a wide range of accommodations to suit various budgets and preferences. The town is known for its laid-back and bohemian vibe, with many options for travelers seeking a more authentic and local experience. You can pick from boutique hotels and guesthouses like Hotel Boutique Siete Lunas or go for a vacation rental like Casa Escodida. There are good Sayulita hotels and hostels too – that you can pick from.

Is Sayulita safe for travelers?

Sayulita is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, including solo travelers. However, like any place, there are some precautions that visitors should take to ensure their safety.

One common issue in the tourist destinations in Mexico is petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft. Travelers should take steps to protect their belongings, such as carrying a money belt, leaving valuables in a hotel safe, and being aware of their surroundings. It’s also a good idea to avoid carrying large amounts of cash and to use ATMs in well-lit and secure areas.

Is Sayulita in Mexico worth visiting?

Yes, Sayulita is definitely worth visiting! This charming coastal town is known for its beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an active adventure, Sayulita has something to offer. What is more is that the whole town is walkable, making it easy for one to interact with the locals and have fun.

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Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.

This post and some of the images have been contributed by my guest author – Melissa Byron. Melissa of A Solo Woman Traveling is on a mission to share the most authentic experiences from her travels around the world. Her experiences solo in Mexico City and in Sayulita are just a couple of the hundreds she recommends on her blog! 

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