Sayulita is a bohemian surf town in the state of Nayarit, Mexico. Located 50 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport on the Pacific Coast, it is Best known by the surf community. Sayulita is a sleepy town that is driven by its collective love for surfing and art. I first heard of Sayulita in 2006 when I was living in Puerto Escondido, its sister surf town in the state of Oaxaca.
So here's why you should visit Sayulita now... before everyone else does.
The Surf Scene
Well, this one is obvious. Sayulita was discovered by a group of surfers in the 1960's and this culture is still very prevalent. It has become known as one of the best places to surf in the world. The best surf is right off the main beach (shown above), the left side offering a calm and easy break often used by beginners, while the right side is favored by seasoned surfers.
The Sayulita Life
As soon as you come off the jungle highway, onto the bumpy gravel road that leads to Sayulita, it is pretty obvious you've entered somewhere magical. Most people are in bathing suits or board shorts and rarely wear shoes. The bright colors of Mexico line the brick laid roads, which consists of two main, one that runs in and one that runs out. At night locals fill the Zocalo during sunset and then make their way to bars and beaches.
I am by no means an expert in this area, but I can appreciate the work done in Sayulita by the local artists. It's not just the paintings that make it an art destination worth the visit, it's the energy and dedication to art that makes this a must see. It's as if every DIY blogger landed in Sayulita and decided to create a town. The shops are loaded with boho gifts, handmade bathing suits, local jewelry, Mexican woven rugs and blankets. The town allows the artist to paint trees, beach entries, tombstones and art on the walls of homes.
The Hotels, Hostels, Palapa Villas
Sayulita has a place to fit everyone's taste and most of the time you can walk to and from town. My first time to Sayulita I stayed in at El Camaron campsite on the beach, in a tent. Which shows how safe Sayulita really is, the campsite is located 5 minutes north of downtown Sayulita. Camaron Club Bar is located on the same beach so at night there were dance parties until the sun came up. The second time I stayed in a private palapa at Casa Buena Onda. As a solo female traveler, the hosts Terry and Sheryl made me feel at home and safe. Going the extra mile from offering me dinner one night, to allowing me to use their surfboards during the day. On my third trip to Sayulita, clearly I have an obsession at this point, I stayed at Hotelito Los Suenos. Los Suenos (shown below) is also a yoga retreat and part of my nightly rate included daily yoga classes in their outdoor palapa and a complimentary smoothie. Between 'Mexican Bulldogs' in the evening and morning surf sessions during the day, these yoga classes were a must.
Nachos, tacos, tortas, salsa, GUACAMOLE, margaritas crap Now i'm hungry again! Sayulita has incredible food. While i was there we did a fishing trip during the day and were able to take the catch to a local restaurant and have them cook it for dinner. on the south side of the bridge there are two local taco stands that stay opening into the early morning. who wouldn't want a taco after a night out? one of my favorite parts about going to mexico is the fresh corn tortillas. each CONVENIENCE store has a unmarked blue and white cooler, usually on the floor, packed full of warm fresh corn tortillas, which is replenished daily. during the day locals sell their fruit and veg on the street and beach.
Lastly, sayulita has endless things to do. i did a horseback riding day trip through the jungle and mountains around sayulita. My guide lived in sayulita his whole life and his family was the first mexican family to settle in sayulita. he had a wealth of knowledge about living off the land. i ran into him the next day selling fresh oysters on the beach, that he had picked himself. aside from horseback riding, you can zipline, fish, surf, walk the backroads through the jungle, explore the nearby towns San pancho, puerto vallarta, BUCERIAS, lo de marcos and make some new friends in the process.