Destinations > Nayarit > Sayulita
Sayulita Travel Guide
Everything you need to know about planning a trip to Sayulita, Mexico
SAYULITA TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS
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 Blog
🏄♀️ 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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
🧭 Sayulita Tours
WE CUSTOMIZE TOURS IN SAYULITA!
We live here and have traveled the state of Nayarit Contact us for a quote: no hidden costs, just simple prices.
🛒 DISCOUNT CODE
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
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.
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.
Mary’s Traditional Cuisine
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!
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.
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:
- Villa Amor (from $75 USD)
- Casa de La Ballena (from $55 USD)
- Aurinko Bungalows (from $55 USD)
- Siete Lunas (from $100 USD)
- El Pueblito (from $55 USD)
- Vista Oceana (from $85 USD)
- Petit Hotel Hafa (from $75 USD)
- Hotelito Los Sueños (from $45 USD)
- Casa Pia (from $55 USD)
- Hotel Ysuri (from $85 USD)
- Avela Boutique (from $85 USD)
- La Redonda Hostel (from $18 USD)
✨ 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
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