Welcome to Sayulita - Our local insight to help you planning your vacation.
Your Sayulita guide, everything you need to know when visiting Sayulita and the surrounding area.
A charming fishing village, a quaint little town… this is how, not so long ago, everybody was referring to Sayulita.
What used to be a small village in the riviera Nayarit, Sayulita is now rapidly growing into a wonderful and luxurious place.
Amazing boutiques, many bars and restaurants for all tastes and a variety of activities to satisfy all interests, Sayulita is indeed a great destination for both tourists and vacationers.
So whatever your interests are, you will find lots of ways to keep yourself occupied.
Things to do
Stroll around Sayulita’s boutique and enjoy its laid back atmosphere, soak in its beautiful natural settings around the most amazing beaches and through the lash jungle, hop on a boat and experience some fascinating snorkeling or some cool scuba diving, ride your first wave, eat all the amazing food!
There is so much abundance of great things to do in Sayulita, you might need to plan a second vacation already!
Chilling on the beach
There are plenty of beaches you can visit during your stay, this is our list of favorites.
Let’s start with Sayulita beach
Starting from its very south end, it will take you about 30 min to walk it all the way down to the north side.
The south side of Sayulita beach is 2 blocks away from the main square, the beach here is busy with restaurants, bars, beach chairs and vendors.
On the south side the waves are pretty mellow offering good swimming conditions for all ages.
The north side of Sayulita beach starts after the Sayulita river, the lively atmosphere of the south side is gradually replaced by a far less busy scene as soon as you start walking north.
Just one beach restaurant on the north side of the river and few bars, here you will enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere till you get to the almost desert very north end side.
Characterized by strong currents, most of all in the very north end, we do not suggest getting in the water there.
Discovering Playa Los Muertos
A little bit further south of Sayulita main beach, it’s the more secluded Playa Los Muertos, the beach of the dead.
The name comes from the cemetery that lies behind it with it’s colorful graves decorated with surfboards.
Very popular between mexican families, it’s a safer swimming beach.
Huge rocks protect both sides, creating a little cove sheltered from currents and waves.
This is the only place around where you can try for some snorkeling from shore, however not a very good one I am afraid.
If you are up for it, you might want to consider boating out to Marietas Islands.
No bars or restaurants at Playa los Muertos, so come prepared if you are planning to spend the day here.
The amazing scenery of Playa Carricitos
South of Playa Los Muertos lies Playa Carricitos. Not inside what we could name the Sayulita peninsula, 100% exposed, here you will find wild ocean most of the time. Because it’s a bit of a walk from town, it’s also usually deserted.
Here the beach is pristine and the jungle around is lush, the scenery is amazing indeed.
A walk to Playa las Cuevas
Walking north till the very end of Sayulita beach, a jungle trail will lead you to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Sayulita area, as also one of the closest.
A little gem, a wild and isolated place, Playa la Cuevas is hidden between rock formations with secret passageways and caves, some of them visible just at low tide.
A small and picturesque beach, your experience of playa las cuevas entirely depends on the tide on the specific day you will visit.
At low tide, you can easily access the whole beach from the north side where the caves are to the most exposed southern side of the beach.
The water is clear and of a beautiful blue but the shore break here can be intense, this is not a swimming beach.
The majestic Playa Malpaso
Through the caves of Playa las Cuevas at low tide, you can directly access another incredibly beautiful beach, Playa Malpaso.
A mile long virgin beach stretching from Sayulita north end to the southern side of our neighbor town San Pancho.
A trail through the jungle at the very north end of Sayulita will also lead you to Malpaso, an easy hike of breathtaking coastal views.
Because of the full exposure to the ocean and high chances of big surf and rip currents, swimming here is not recommended.
Day hiking and jungle walks
A perfect alternative for those looking for a break from the sand.
El Cerro del Mono aka Monkey Mountain
Sayulita is perfectly nested in between its iconic coastline and the Sierra Madre Mountains.
While you can enjoy great sceneries while hiking to Sayulita most secluded and virgin beaches, the most popular and rewarding hike takes you opposite direction.
Monkey Mountain or Cerro del Mono is the most distinctive features of the Sayulita surrounding landscape.
Climbing this mountain through the lush jungle, you will be amazed by the array of flora decorating the landscape to be finally rewarded by the most captivating view, probably one of the best view point of the region.
A 360 degree view of the Nayarit countryside and the pacific cost in all directions, from the Bahia de Banderas to San Blas.
So close to the ocean, you will see miles of coastline in both directions, same as the valley and mountains that define the topography of this part of Nayarit.
Not a difficult hike but definitely something you will need to be in shape for, the trail has just a few challenging sections with visitors of all ages visiting Cerro del Mono every year.
Beauty will surround you from the first step till the incredible view at the top.
Monkey Mountain trail crosses different properties and farms; finding your way is not complicated but hiring a local guide more familiar with the trails and who could point the local flora and fauna will provide a more extensive experience.
Eat all the amazing food
Sayulita offers plenty of options for all pockets; the mixture of higher end restaurants and street food stalls means there is something to suit every palate and budget.
Fresh products to cook home, local chefs to delight you with your mexican favorites, traditional restaurants where to try chile rellenos, enchiladas, fish tacos and the list go on forever.
The choice however is not limited to mexican food, Sayulita has excellent italian restaurants, thai food, french patisserie and many different restaurant options, a truly gourmet heaven!
Of course, for the fish lovers this is paradise.
Ceviche is definitely something you must try: raw fish marinated in a lime juice mixture served with color seasonings element, it’s a simple dish where fresh fish and juicy flavors are put on display for the joy of your palate.
Mahi Mahi ceviche, shrimp ceviche, in cubes or grounded, you can find a different version of ceviche in every restaurant you go.
A spicy version of ceviche, is the shrimp aguachile.
Here the shrimps are marinated in lime juice and a lot of chili peppers and cilantro. It can be very spicy, so have a lot of cervezas handy.
The pescado zarandeado is very peculiar to this area, the origin of this plate trace back to the prehispanic colonization.
For a zarandeado dish, the fish is split in half, marinated in sauce and then grilled over hot coals or wood fired oven.
If you don’t feel too adventurous you can always turn to the evergreen fish tacos, the deep fried version is worth the extra calories.
Before you leave also don’t forget to try the super yummy chile relleno, roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese (and shrimps if you like).
Dipped in a fluffy egg batter and fried until golden brown they are served with a bed of red salsa. Deliciousness!
If you don’t mind meat instead, tacos al pastor are a must try!
Probably the most popular variety of tacos, here in Sayulita we have a couple of very great options.
Tacos al pastor are thinly sliced pieces of marinated pork that makes the best taco. Served with some sliced onion, pineapple and cilantro they make a fantastic dinner!
For the sweet tooth, look out for the churro cart.
Fried dough, crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, they have a flavor no one can resist!
And lastly, if you need a break from Pacifico beers and margaritas, don’t forget to ask for the agua frescas of the day.
Water flavored with fresh fruits or flowers are super popular and a healthy drink on hot days.
A all time favorite agua de jamaica (hibiscus flower water) can be found at any food cart.
Shop till you drop
Local handcrafted mexican art, unique beach wear, handmade jewelry; the shopping selection here is countless.
The streets of Sayulita are lined with beautiful boutiques full of the most amazing handcrafted mexican goods.
Beautiful products inside colorful and radiant shops, even if you are not into shopping, it’s worth it to wander around Sayulita’s streets and boutiques.
From handmade boho chic garments and enormous dream catchers to colorful painted skulls.
Huichol art everywhere, that beautiful Catrina which would look so amazing at your house, your new favorite embroidered jacket, Sayulita is filled with artistic creations in every corner.
A leather good should make it into your suitcase hands down!
We have some amazing leather smiths here producing the most beautiful handbags and sandals.
A Huichol gallery displays all the incredible work made by these indigenous people: colorful beaded skulls, wall art, jewelry, everything so majestically handcrafted.
The coolest t shirts with iconic mexican images; Frida Kahlo, Lucha Libre and Emiliano Zapata printed on t shirts and bags, ideal for the beach and excellent for gifts.
Visit Marietas Islands
Take a tour to the islands where you can explore clear waters, great beaches and one of the most iconic place in Mexico.
A little arcipelago not far away from Sayulita, the islands offer the opportunity for a great day out in the ocean with multiple activities for you to choose from.
A favorite between scuba divers, it also offers great snorkeling for the whole family to enjoy.
In winter time you can top it all off with some incredible whale watching.
Marietas islands is definitely the most popular spot around for Scuba diving.
A very peculiar topography and abundant sea life, make this place a must try for scuba divers visiting the area.
You can also enjoy clear waters while snorkeling around the islands.
There isn’t anything really interesting accessible from shore in Sayulita; here is your chance to swim with colorful tropical fishes.
Humpback whales make their appearance from December to March.
A whale watching excursion around the bay is a memorable experience you should not miss!
The humpbacks migrate from the colder Canada to mate and breed, the bay is filled with them and it’s pure bliss.
Hidden Beach or Playa del Amor is the most iconic place on the islands; a secluded beach where just a limited amount of people can enter every day.
The most photographed beach in Mexico, it’s well worth the extra pesos.
Ride a wave
Either you are a pro or a first timer, Sayulita and surroundings are a paradise for surfers.
The Sandbar of Sayulita is a beginner friendly spot with mellow waves that will be rarely a challenge.
It has good protection from the open ocean which means regular sets ideal for the less experienced.
Sayulita Right is right in front of the village and a favourite for longboarders.
Things rarely go overhead here, tummy-to-chest high waves are the usual.
Sayulita Left is further north, in front of the campground.
A faster break that can offer quite long rides with a mainly rocky bottom.
Stinky is about 20 min drive from Sayulita in our neighbouring town of Punta de Mita.
It’s one of the most popular breaks and it caters to pretty much all levels.
La Lancha is one of the very best Punta Mita spots and also one of the most popular place for Sayulita’s surf schools to visit.
A great spot for surfers, known for having the most consistent waves, it’s also a beautiful beach.
Sayulita has become a very popular hub for yogis from North America and Mexico.
All year round classes, drop ins, yoga retreats, the scenery around Sayulita is filled with many possibilities for those devoted to the yoga practice.
A lot of yoga teachers pass through Sayulita every year, however some of the best and most recommended ones in town, are Sayulita long time residents.
Vinyasa, Hatha and restorative yoga are offered in every shala in town but you can also find classes of acroyoga and the less conventional SUP yoga.
Plenty to do in Sayulita, as you can see, to fill a whole vacation and more!
But Sayulita is growing fast, with beautiful and inspiring people moving here every day, opening up new spaces and creating new projects.
Something is not on this list yet but might be here soon, come and see us for the latest updates!
We don’t mind making new friends!
Hasta pronto amigos