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Sayulita Travel Guide

Sayulita Travel Guide

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


Quick Info | Planning Your Trip | Attractions | Book Your Trip | Money & Costs | Things To Do | Where To Stay | Restaurants | Nightlife | 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

🏖️ Book your trip to Sayulita

🚦 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 Attractions

sayulita mexico
Carricitos Beach
Best sunset spot
Marietas Islands hidden beach
Marietas Islands
Hidden beach (must-do!)
things to do in sayulita
Monkey Mountain
Hiking trail
sayulita airport transfer
Flap Street
Photo spot
sayulita beaches
La Lancha Beach
Surf beach
mexico sayulita beaches
Patzcuarito Beach
Adventure trails
sayulita mexico
Mal Paso Beach
Remote beach
mexico sayulita beaches
Main Beach
Touristic beach

🏄‍♀️ Things to do in Sayulita Mexico

🛏️ Sayulita hotels: where to stay

🌮 Essential Sayulita Restaurants

☕ Best cafes in Sayulita Mexico

🍸 Sayulita bars and nightlife

💵 Money and Costs

  • 💵 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 in Sayulita: 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.

  • 🍲 Eating out (restaurant, center): $10 USD
  • 🍔 Fastfood restaurant: $6 USD
  • 🌮 Street food: $2.50USD
  • 🍾 Bottle of wine (supermarket): $25 USD
  • 🏠 Monthly rent (center): $650 USD
  • 🏡 Monthly rent (OK area): $350 USD
  • 🚰 Utilities (1 month): $28 USD
  • 📶 Internet (1 month): $15 USD
  • 🧹 Housekeeper (per hour): $7 USD
  • 🚌 Bus (one-way): $3 USD
  • 🚕 Taxi (one-way): $12 USD
  • 🍸 Cocktail in a pub: $10 USD
  • 🍺 Beer in a pub: $2.50 USD
  • ☕ Coffee (center cafe): $2 USD
  • 🍷 Glass of wine (restaurant): $11 USD
  • 🏋️‍♂️ Gym membership (per month): $45 USD

📽️ Sayulita Travel Videos

✨ 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 is hotel pools and bars that also have 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 Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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