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Sayulita Travel Guide

Everything you need to know about planning a trip to Sayulita, Mexico


Quick Info | Map | Getting Around | Budget | Blog | Things To Do | Restaurants | Hotels | Tips | FAQ

Sayulita is one of the most famous destinations in our 2020’s best of the best awards list. Mexico Insider actually started in Sayulita where we lived for 2 years and got to know the pueblo very well. This Sayulita travel guide is in-depth, complete, transparent, and honest. You won’t need any other guides once you read this!

💡 Sayulita quick information

  • 🇲🇽 State: Nayarit
  • Timezone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5)
  • ✈️ Airport: Puerto Vallarta International Airport
  • 💲 Currency: Mexican pesos (MXN) with $ sign used. Don’t confuse it with US$ or USD.
  • 🔌 Power plug: Mexico uses a type A socket (US, Canada). For more information about power plugs in Mexico, see this link (with photos)
  • 📱 Mexico sim card: The best provider that works in Sayulita area and the Riviera Nayarit is Telcel. See our complete Mexico sim card guide for more information.
  • 🛃 Visa: Mexico is no longer giving 180 days visa to tourists so make sure that you have proof of accommodation and outbound flight so you’ll get the right visa.
  • 🤟 Language: Most people in the service industry in Sayulita can speak English but only in big restaurants. You will still need to speak Spanish with street food/market vendors.
  • 🌵 Culture: Sayulita is home to many expats from the US, Canada, Latin America, and many parts of Mexico. The culture is very laid-back and have a very slow lifestyle. The community is also very close-knit so everyone knows everyone! This is also a very family-oriented town so you will see a lot of children, especially in the plaza.

🗺️ Sayulita Map

☀️ Best time to visit Sayulita

The best time to visit Sayulita is during the dry season from December through April. During these months the temperatures tend to stay around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) and there’s barely any chance of rain. This makes it ideal for lounging on the beach without having to worry about wet weather spoiling your plans.

🚦 Sayulita Transportation Guide

  • 🚕 Sayulita Airport transfer: The airport that serves Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport. It is a 45-minute to 1-hour drive to get to town. You can book your taxi ride with our local driver for as low as $60 USD per car!
  • 🚶‍♀️Walking: Sayulita is a small town and you don’t even need transportation! You can go around the whole town within 20 minutes. The streets are narrow so walking is more convenient than renting a car. However, if you are staying in jungle accommodations which are 15 minutes away from town proper, you may need to rent a car.
  • 🚌 Bus: The busses in Sayulita are very efficient. The busses to Puerto Vallarta leave every 15 minutes and costs $3 USD. These busses also travel to nearby towns like San Pancho (10-minute ride).
  • 🚗 Rental cars: There are no rental car offices/companies within town so you might want to do that when you arrive at Puerto Vallarta Airport. The car rental in this area starts at $35 USD per day for a Sedan (4-seater).
  • 💨 Golf carts: Golf carts is one of the main mode of transport in Sayulita because of its small layout. A golf cart rental starts at $65 USD per day. Sadly, we do not have any company we trust yet (despite living in Sayulita for 2 years!) but we will update this post as soon as we find a reliable golf cart company.

💲 Sayulita Travel Budget

Suggested travel budget

If you are backpacking, you can spend $35 USD per day given that you’ll cook in your hostel or stay in a bed in a hostel dorm. Mid-range travelers can spend $75 USD per day (per person) which includes a stay in a boutique hotel.

There aren’t all-inclusive resorts in Sayulita but more of 5-star and luxury hotels with pools and amenities like a resort.



There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to accommodation prices in Sayulita. Luxury hotels can go up to $200 USD per night (for 2 people, while hotels start at $55 USD. There are also lovely Airbnbs under $100 USD. A bed in a hostel dorm starts at $18 USD per night.


To start off with lighter fare, tacos are typically the cheapest option available in most eateries. You can get a delicious taco for just $2-$3 USD – perfect for those on a budget! For something heartier and more filling, try some burritos or enchiladas – both usually cost around $4-5 USD per plate.


Tours in Sayulita start from $35 USD and can go up to $300 USD. Again, there is no exact answer on how much you need for the tours and excursions – it will all depend on the activity that you want to do but group tours are always cheaper than individual tours.

  • 💵 US dollars: you can use USD to pay everywhere but every establishment has its own conversion rate. If the current rate in Mexico is $20 pesos per US$1, you will only get $18 pesos.
  • 🏧 ATMs: Take as much cash as you can at the airport because ATMs in Sayulita always run out of cash! The hardest days to take cash is from Friday to Monday where ATMs are not able to dispense money. The best ATM is at Intercam but even though they are a bank, they seem to run out of cash, too! In any case that you urgently need cash, our office can send you money in Sayulita and we exchange a dollar for $18 pesos.
  • 💳 Credit/debit cards: Restaurants accept credit cards but Mexico is still a cash society. AMEX is not widely accepted. Visa or Mastercard is preferred.
  • 💸 Tipping: Tipping is highly encouraged as the daily wage in Mexico is low (US$7 per working day). If you like the service, you can give 15% but 10% is usually the minimum.

Sayulita Travel Guide by attractions

🏄‍♀️ Things to do in Sayulita Mexico

Get a massage at your Airbnb

Our certified therapists can go to your Airbnb or hotel for you to get a massage in the comforts of your vacation home. We support the schooling of these girls and we always recommend them to our clients. Readers of Mexico Insider get a 10% discount. Just contact us!

👉🏽 Check Sayulita massage prices

things to do in sayulita mexico

Sayulita tequila tasting

Oaxaca is the largest producer of mezcal due to its climate. This is where you will find a myriad of mezcal varieties. In this mezcal tasting, we will bring Oaxaca to your doorstep! Our certified tequila and mezcal sommeliers will go set-up your private tasting at your Airbnb!

👉🏽 Check mezcal and tequila tasting prices

hidden beach of mexico

Visit the Marietas Islands

Islas Marietas or the Marietas Islands is a popular tourist destination because of the rich marine life. It is also protected by the Mexican government (from hunting and fishing). Here, you will find lots of marine life, including the blue-footed booby which you can only find in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

👉🏽 Check Marietas Islands with local fisherman prices

things to do in sayulita mexico

Breakfast at a local home

Macarena, a local we are supporting in Sayulita will make breakfast for you at her home! This is the best way to get to know our local community. Her love for bread encouraged Macarena to study baking in Argentina. After her studies, she traveled to European countries like UK, France, and Germany. This tour will take place in her house so you’ll get to know the local culture in Sayulita!

👉🏽 Book breakfast with a local

things to do in cabo san lucas

Hire a chef for a cooking class

Don’t leave Mexico without mastering a Mexican recipe! Our cooking class is spearheaded by a local and he will come to your Airbnb or Vrbo in Sayulita to teach you the essential Mexican dishes that you have to know. He also brings a bartender for groups of more than 5 people so you can start the party while chopping the ingredients!

👉🏽 Book cooking class with a local


Pottery class in Bucerias

Our newest tour, added in 2023! The tour starts off with a visit to a traditional Mexican artisan village where you can get to know the history and culture of this special place. Then it’s on to an interactive cooking class, where you’ll try making some delicious local dishes. After that, you’ll get to sample some of Mexico’s best tequilas, as well as taste fresh seafood from the local market.

👉🏽 Inquire for Bucerias local community tour

🧭 Sayulita Tours


We live here and have traveled the state of Nayarit Contact us for a quote: no hidden costs, just simple prices.


Use the code MXINSIDER10 upon checkout on our website to get a discount on all our Sayulita tours!

Aztec ceremony with temazcal

The Aztec Experience is a pre-Hispanic ceremony for the connection and healing of emotions, body, mind, and spirit. This is highly recommended to those who are interested in learning about Aztec history in Mexico. Most of the clients who book this tour are in the wellness industry.

Canopy tour and zipline

The Sayulita Canopy tour is available at 9AM, 12PM, and 3PM and lasts for 2 hours. The driver will pick you up at your accommodation in Sayulita and will drive you to the nearby ranch (about 10 minutes car ride). Wander in the jungles, and gallop through 13 treetops with heights up to 125 meters above sea level. All ages are accepted in this activity unless you have a medical condition.

🌮 Essential Sayulita Restaurants

sayulita cafes


📍 Delfines 14

Chocobanana is an all-day breakfast restaurant by the plaza. What you’d like to know is that Chocobanana is the most sustainable restaurant in Sayulita as they recycle and don’t use plastic.

Try their signature choco banana to start. You may want to skip on the meat dishes because they are trying to sustainably source their meat as well.

sayulita cafes


📍 Avenida Revolucion 21-B

Situated by the Sayulita bridge (and river), Organi-k has smoothies, acai bowls, and rice bowls. I particularly come here for their ginger and turmeric shot which is our favorite healing drink.

You will always see Organi-k with long lines as early as 7:00 am. The place is small so a lot of people who are early-risers (mostly surfers) make a smoothie run before sessions.

sayulita restaurants

Mary’s Traditional Cuisine

📍 Av. Revolución 36

Their menu is packed with traditional Mexican cuisine that is presented simple, priced reasonably, and yet can make you feel the true food culture of Mexico. This curbside eatery is the best restaurant in Sayulita where you can get the Mexican experience that you will pay for less. The jalapeño poppers is highly recommended!

sayulita seafood restaurants

Don Pedro’s

📍  Calle Marlin 2

Don Pedro’s has a very familiar vibe. When you come here, you will see lots of kids as they are also on the beachfront on the south side of town. Kids love their chicken nuggets and spaghetti from Don Pedro’s kids’ menu. Adults can enjoy a wide variety of food choices. Don Pedro’s menu can be very overwhelming but here’s a trick: go here on special occasions.

sayulita restaurants

Achara Thai

📍  Calle Jose Mariscal 33 

The head chef, Sam, spent years working in Thailand and I am thankful that he’s able to give Sayulita a little zest by having a Thai food option. If you don’t eat meat, Achara can customize your meals. They can replace your protein with tofu or any vegetable you like! They also have vegan soy sauce and vegan fish sauce.

🛏️ Sayulita hotels: where to stay

Sayulita has many hotel types, with luxury hotels (no resorts) from $150 USD per night (2 people). Backpackers can stay in hostels for as low as $15 USD per night. Boutique hotels start from $45 USD and are the best option if you’re looking for a simpler accommodation. Below are the best hotels in Sayulita (with prices) that we highly recommend:

✨ Sayulita Travel Tips

  • The best ATM machines in Sayulita are in Intercam bank (pesos) and the ATM machines at Don Pedro’s Restaurant for US dollars). Withdraw cash at Puerto Vallarta Airport upon arrival as the ATMs in Sayulita run out of cash, especially over the weekend.
  • The closest thing to a resort in Sayulita are hotel pools and bars with day passes. If you want to stay in an all-inclusive resort, stay in Punta Mita.
  • Use Sayulita Plaza as a reference on Google maps. This is the town’s center and it will give you an idea of the town’s layout.

📽️ Sayulita Travel Videos

Sayulita FAQ

The airport that serves Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport. It is about an hour from Sayulita via taxi. This is also the airport that serves nearby towns in Riviera Nayarit such as San Pancho, Bucerias, and Lo de Marcos.

You can book with a local taxi driver which costs US$60 per ride. Airport taxis in Puerto Vallarta charge US$150 because they are licensed/authorized drivers. Remember that Ubers and taxi companies with no registry are not allowed to operate inside PVR Airport.

If you’re renting a car at Puerto Vallarta Airport, the self-drive to Sayulita will be less than an hour. Take the Punta Mita highway instead of KM 300 to avoid heavy traffic.

A bus ride to Sayulita costs US$4 and it will take you all the way to the Sayulita bus station. This ride can take up to 1.5 hours since the bus stops a lot in different small towns on the way to Sayulita. Note that the way to Sayulita is on the other side of the airport so you have to cross the footbridge. At the bottom of this footbridge, you will find busses with ‘Sayulita’ signs. They come every 30-45 minutes and you can even take them to San Pancho.

Definitely! Sayulita has beaches, mountains, and a very lively nightlife. The town is super small and has a close-knit community worth witnessing. Every corner of Sayulita is an Instagram spot. You will definitely enjoy it if you love small towns with ample outdoor activities.

Short answer: you don’t have to worry about your safety in Sayulita. It is extremely safe! But anyway, here’s a detailed article together with my personal experiences.

If you are staying in Puerto Vallarta or neighboring areas in Riviera Nayarit, you can visit Sayulita for a day but if Sayulita is your chosen destination, the ideal number of vacation days is 3-7 days.

ABSOLUTELY! People in the service industry are used to tourists and are very equipped with the English language. You don’t have to know Spanish at all although it is encouraged to learn the basic phrases.

Locals will always speak to you in English because this is the way they became better with the English language so if you are learning Spanish and want to practice in Sayulita, try to at least beat them by speaking in Spanish. Otherwise, the locals will only talk to you in English and take advantage of practicing.

☁️ Low season in Sayulita (June-August): We experience unforgiving humidity from June to August so visitors don’t really prefer to go during this season. Most accommodations in Sayulita have air conditioning so some foreigners don’t worry about the extreme heat. It’s only crazy when you are out but you also don’t want to spend your Sayulita vacation in your accommodation all the time.

☔ Super low season in Sayulita (August and September): We’ve observed how tourists can still endure the June to mid-August weather but when it comes to late August and all of September, the town is totally empty. This is when Sayulita experiences heavy rains, power outages, and extreme humidity all at the same time.

☀️ Super-high season in Sayulita (October to January): As it is around the world, October to January (ish) are the high season months in Sayulita. Dia de Muertos starts at the end of October, followed by Christmas in December, then New Year in January.

One of the great things about living in Sayulita is having access to different jungle beaches. You don’t even have to have a car to get to them. All of them are comfortable and easy jungle hikes!

A golf cart rental in Sayulita starts from US$60 per day. It is a 4-seater and is customized to fit the road conditions of Sayulita. I’ve had many bad experiences with golf cart companies in town so for now, I can’t recommend any good golf rental company that I can trust.

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.

Still have questions about this Sayulita travel guide?

If you cannot find an answer to your question in our FAQ, you can always contact us
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