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Is Sayulita expensive? Here’s how much you need to prepare for your trip

Is Sayulita expensive? I would say it is more expensive than its neighbor Puerto Vallarta but I wouldn’t deem it as more expensive than Tulum.

In this blog, there are many separate articles about the cost of living in Mexico (by area) but in this case, I am only discussing the travel budget. As we all know, living and traveling have different costs so I want to make this clear.


This also fits all kinds of travelers as I have included accommodation types for all budgets. Sayulita is a very-friendly travel destination for everyone be it solo travelers, backpackers, families traveling with kids, couples honeymoons, etc.

My team and I can customize a budget plan and itinerary for you if you get in touch with us! Overall, I you can certainly travel Sayulita on a budget. It’s not a destination where you have to spend a lot of money.

Anyway, let’s get started…. Is Sayulita expensive?

✨ Sayulita travel budget: quick facts

  • Currency: New Mexican peso (MXN): US$1 = $20 MXN
  • Seasons: High season (October 29 – May 30) Low season (June 1 – October 15)
  • Hostel bed per night: US$20 per night
  • Hotels/Airbnbs: US$30 – US$45 for 2 pax
  • Luxury accommodations: US$700 – US$2,000
  • Per meal cost: US$7 – US$10
  • Transportation costs: daily golf cart rental from US$50
is sayulita expensive
Photo: Mady Hake

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💵 Is Sayulita expensive? Here’s everything you need to know

Accommodation prices in Sayulita

Sayulita is popular for its luxury accommodations. Since this town is a very safe environment for families with kids, many Americans and Canadians opt to bring their children for a vacation here. With this, Sayulita became a top destination in Nayarit, Mexico.

For budget travelers, you can get a bed in a dorm with breakfast for as low as US$20. There are only a few hostels in Sayulita and we’ve been to all of them. We promise you they are not sketchy as most people think.

Airbnbs are usually the favorite as you can get rare finds from US$30 – US$50. This is what we call mid-range accommodations and they are usually for two people.

sayulita airbnbs

With the rise of Airbnb, hotels in Sayulita can be a little bit cheaper with prices from US$20 – US$35 for two people.

Rental homes with pools are a big thing and are often booked by big groups (5-10 pax). They normally start at US$300 per night and rest assured that these locations are very safe and are close to Sayulita’s main plaza.

Not just in Sayulita but in many countries in the world: the closer it is to the center, the more expensive it is. In Sayulita’s case, we would also like to mention that beachfront properties can be a little bit pricey.

sayulita airbnbs

There are crazy crazy crazy beautiful luxury homes that range from US$700 – US$2,500. But this type of accommodation is fully-equipped with pools, multiple bedrooms, and great views.

At the moment, we are not recommending any Sayulita hotels, hostels, luxury accommodations, or Airbnbs as per our editorial guidelines for 2021.

We’d like to remain neutral when recommending something to our readers so this article is only about giving you an idea of how much your Sayulita travel budget should be.

Food costs in Sayulita

All hostels and Airbnbs have kitchens but we’ve observed how people like to eat out in Sayulita – there is a big eating-out culture here even among locals.

Because of the town’s great vibe, eating out in Sayulita is a social activity. Restaurants are always full, even during non-peak hours!

For starters, there are many Sayulita street food carts that range from US$1 – US$7. We received lots of comments from foreign visitors asking if street food in Sayulita is safe – ABSOLUTELY!

sayulita street food

If you watch our Street Food Icons series on Youtube, you will see that we’ve worked closely with these people and we’ve seen how they operate – do not be afraid to try it!

Not only that you are going on a gastronomic adventure in Mexico but you are also supporting local businesses by doing so. These are all super local and family-run so we hope you can support them!

Restaurant prices start from US$7 and up. Honestly, we’ve never eaten anywhere in Sayulita that is more than US$20 per meal – we believe this is the max.

sayulita street food

It all depends on the ambiance and location of the restaurants, though. We were just at an Asian restaurant in Sayulita last night and we paid US$30 for 3 pax including alcoholic drinks!

If drinking is part of your travel budget, see the prices on how to spend a rock ‘n roll Sayulita nightlife below:

  • National beers: all bars sell them from US$1.50
  • Cocktails: from US$7
  • Craft beers: from US$3

Transportation costs in Sayulita

The good thing about Sayulita is that it is a walking town – you don’t need to take a taxi all the time! Everything in Sayulita is within a 5-10 minutes walk. Apart from saving money on transportation, you get to exercise without even trying!

We do know some people who are not fans of walking. Taxi costs within Sayulita are from US$5 (wherever you want to go within the area). If you are going to Puerto Vallarta, it can range up to US$40.

Sayulita is a golf cart town. Since the streets are very narrow, golf carts (including ATVs, motorbikes, bicycles) are the main modes of transportation here.

sayulita travel planning

Golf cart rental starts at US$50 per day. You can also rent a car for US$30 per day but we must warn you: you will be very stressed with parking!

If you need cheap transportation from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita and back, you can support our local driver that only charges US$55 per ride.

Tour prices in Sayulita

Another good thing is that there are lots of things to do in Sayulita that are free. Going to all 4 beaches within Sayulita does not cost anything and is often a tourist’s favorite.
If you are a surfer and you want to rent a board, they range from US$20 – US$30 per day.

You can get a discount if you rent them for days! Other tours like the Monkey Mountain hike or visiting the Marietas Islands start at US$100.

sayulita nayarit

We started Mexico Insider’s Support Local project in Sayulita where we vetted a few individuals who are selling their tours. Note that these are not companies.

They are people who are building their business on their own and we supported them by creating free marketing materials for their business.

If you want to support this endeavor, you may check all local tours in Sayulita here. We promise these are one of a kind and we are the only site with these local tours!

Flight costs to Sayulita

The airport you fly into Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Depending on where you are flying from, it can go up to US$600, especially if it’s a direct flight.

The following US airports have direct flights to Puerto Vallarta:

  • Austin
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose

💱 Sayulita money and costs

Currency, budget, cash, etc

The currency in Mexico is called the Mexican peso. To date, US$1 is equivalent to $20 MXN.

Please note that Mexico also uses the dollar sign for the Mexican peso sign but $ you see in Sayulita (menus, signs, etc) are in Mexican pesos. Unlike Los Cabos where $ means USD.

Money exchange in Sayulita

I always advice everyone to use the currency exchange at the airport as it may give you a better rate.

When I was living in Sayulita, the guys at Jhoul Foods (a mini supermarket at Pelicanos Street) allowed me to exchange USD to pesos for a better rate.

sayulita mexico

There is also a money exchange center in Sayulita. Just ask for ‘casa de cambio’ and they will tell you where it is.

Lastly, Sayulita has one bank called Intercam. You can exchange dollars there but I still think that airport rates are better.

ATM withdrawals in Sayulita

From Friday to Monday, it will be hard to withdraw in Sayulita. All ATMs are always out of cash which makes many of us residents go to Puerto Vallarta regularly if we want to withdraw cash.

There are many ATMs in the airport that will dispense Mexican pesos even if you use your American, Canadian, or European bank cards. Of course, the conversion will all depend on your bank.

If you run out of cash while in Sayulita, the best ATMs are inside Don Pedro’s restaurant (turn right from the entrance). They have both USD and pesos ATMs and I always go here because only locals I know withdraw here.

Intercam is also a great place to withdraw but everybody goes there when the small ATM machines in town are out of cash. I suggest taking out at least US$500 when you arrive in Puerto Vallarta.

Credit/debit cards

Most establishments in Sayulita accept credit cards but not everyone accepts Amex. I don’t really know if I have ever used my Amex card in Sayulita as Visa and Mastercard are more popular.

sayulita hotels

I would say that Sayulita is still a cash society (like most of Mexico) but you can use your credit card in big shops and restaurants.

Tipping in Sayulita

Tipping is mandatory in Mexico because of the low salary. Most locals heavily rely on tips so make sure to give at least 10%. I always give 20% if I like the service plus I also have many friends who are waiters in Sayulita so it’s very important for me to tip them.

⁉️ Sayulita Travel Costs FAQs

If you’ve been to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Oaxaca City, etc, you will find Sayulita very expensive by Mexican standards.

We are all foreigners at Mexico Insider and it surely is way cheaper than our home countries (France, England, USA, Canada, etc).

However, we want to live here following Mexican prices, and more often than not, ouch… they are quite higher than other Mexican cities.

The reason why Sayulita is more expensive than its neighbors (Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias, Mezcales) is because of its infrastructure.

Sayulita sources everything (as in everything) from Puerto Vallarta so the travel time/delivery also costs money.

Many foreigners come to Sayulita for a grand vacation (aka luxury cliff hotels or beachfront properties) but if you are a budget traveler or a backpacker, this Sayulita travel budget guide will still work for you.

Otherwise, check out our article about the backpacking budget in Sayulita.

Yes! There are hotels in Sayulita that cost less than US$50 per night which is recommended for couples or people traveling in pairs.

Solo travelers can stay in a hostel in Sayulita for as low as US$15 per day. This is a good option for young backpackers who are traveling by themselves but want to meet people.

As for food, you can easily spend US$5 per meal. There are many street food stalls in Sayulita that are super high-quality. We love all these stalls!

In summary, Sayulita on a budget can easily be US$35 per day without counting the beers or activities.

Absolutely! Although USD is not used as much as in northern Mexico. The exchange rate in Sayulita is a little bit lower and every establishment has its own conversion rates.

Some will give you a rate as low as MXN$16 per USD but some are also fair and will give you a little higher rate of MXN$19 per USD. The current exchange rate is $MXN20 per dollar.

There are also many exchange rate houses in Sayulita which will be discussed in the later part of this post.

✈️ Ready for your trip to Sayulita? If you have any questions about traveling Sayulita on a budget, I’d be happy to update this post – just leave a comment below or send us a message on our social media platforms.

🇲🇽 Sayulita Travel Planning

✈️ How do I fly to Sayulita?
The airport that serves Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Our recommended booking platform is WayAway.

🚑 Do I need travel insurance to travel to Sayulita?
YES, YOU DO! do not travel to Mexico without insurance. Check insurance plans on SafetyWing for as low as US$40 for full travel coverage.

🚗 How much is the car rental from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita?
The normal car rental rate from PV Airport to Sayulita is $25 USD per day. Check prices at Rental Cars Vallarta

🏨 Where can I get deals on Sayulita hotels?
The best platforms for booking your hotel in Sayulita are Hostelworld (for budget travelers) and for boutique hotels. You will find great deals on luxury hotels on Expedia.

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