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Is Sayulita worth visiting? Here are 15 reasons why you should visit

Through storytelling on my personal blog, I have been known to speak highly of this small town that I once called home so if you’re looking for reasons to visit Sayulita, you’ve come to the right place.

I moved to Sayulita in 2018 with the idea of just visiting for a week and 2 years later, I found myself renting a house and rescuing 2 dogs!

is sayulita worth visiting

The quality of life in Sayulita is superb, and it was just what I was looking for. It’s always different when you live there versus visiting so in this reasons to visit Sayulita article, I will only focus on the tourism side but give you little previews of what life was like when I lived there.

Here are the top reasons to visit Sayulita. I hope you won’t think twice to visit – I promise it will be a lot of fun!

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🙋 Is Sayulita worth visiting?

Sayulita, a small town located on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Nayarit, is definitely worth visiting for many reasons. The charming town has become increasingly popular with tourists over the years, but still maintains its authentic Mexican atmosphere.

mexico pueblos magicos

In this post, we gave 15 reasons to visit Sayulita and if you have additional questions, we lived in this small town for 2 years so hit us up!

✨ Top reasons to visit Sayulita, Mexico

#1: Sayulita is for everyone

I’ve never seen a town or destination that caters to everyone. Sayulita is visited by couples, retirees, families with kids, and even people who travel with pets!

is sayulita worth visiting

There isn’t another destination I know in Mexico that caters to all types of travelers. There is something to do in Sayulita for everybody!

#2: Close-knit community

Before I decided to live in Sayulita, I was a tourist first. From only a week of being there, I already knew almost half of the town!

People are super-friendly and you’ll all be going to the same bars and restaurants anyway – Sayulita is a very small place.

I really feel like this is a place for solo travelers since it’s so easy to connect and make friends here! You’ll never be alone!

reasons to visit sayulita

But this close-knit community is also one of the reasons I left Sayulita after two years. My world has become smaller and I lost my privacy along the way.

Either way, I don’t regret staying there a while and making new friends (and family). It’s one of the best years of my life!

#3: It’s not Tulum (yet)

Tulum is a more popular destination in Mexico although they are always compared with each other.

First off, Sayulita is not as expensive as Tulum. When I first visited Tulum, I was shocked by how high the prices were (i.e. a burger in Tulum is about US$20 while in Sayulita, you can get a good one for US$12).

reasons to visit sayulita

Tulum and Sayulita have different beaches but what’s advantageous for Sayulita is that we have mountains!

You can never really compare both but know that Tulum is more crowded than Sayulita. Both have the same type of travelers but I feel like you can still see a lot of Mexican culture in Sayulita.

#4: The beaches of Sayulita!

Just within walking distance, there are already 5 beaches in Sayulita. What’s really cool is that you can drive to the next towns like San Pancho, Punta de Mita, and Bucerias to see all types of beaches. It’s also just an hour away from Puerto Vallarta so you can do that as a day trip, too!

sayulita mexico
Mal Paso beach is always empty, and you can spend a whole afternoon like this! | Photo: @madyinmexico

The beaches in Sayulita are also quite unique as they are located in the jungle. You’ll go through canopy walks to get to them and these paths are adventurous and relaxing!

#5: Wide variety of food choices

For a small town, the number of restaurants in Sayulita is quite impressive. And not only that – the quality of food is really good, too!

colomitos beach

There is a big culture of vegetarian/vegans so you’ll see these options in almost all restaurants. There will be food for everybody!

Sayulita’s street food scene is also something to explore. Churros, burgers, tacos – the street carts here are safe and some of them are gourmet-style!

#6: Gorgeous vacation homes

One of the reasons to visit Sayulita is because of its gorgeous vacation rental homes with ocean views and private pools.

sayulita airbnbs

Family vacations of up to 25 people can be hosted in one villa in Sayulita. All villas are equipped with a kitchen, living room, common spaces, comfortable bedrooms, and balconies overlooking the ocean!

Whether you are celebrating a birthday, holding a bachelorette party, or even a wedding, Sayulita is a good destination for all occasions.

#7: Vibrant nightlife

In the state of Nayarit, Sayulita’s nightlife has a good reputation. Many locals living in nearby towns come here for a weekend to party!

Sayulita may be loud until the wee hours of the morning but you will only hear it if your accommodation is in the center (plaza area).

Better consider this when you reserve your hotel especially if you’re not really the partying type. Just check it on Google maps if it’s around the plaza.

As for the young traveler, this party scene is definitely a plus. For a small town, the parties in Sayulita are quite impressive – there is always something happening everywhere at any time of the day!

#8: Too many outdoor activities

When I visited Quintana Roo, I saw more clearly its difference from the coast. We have so many mountains here in Sayulita that you can hike and I didn’t see that a lot in the south.

Monkey Mountain is one of the most popular hikes but I am surprised that not a lot of people do it. I feel like not everyone knows about it so I always encourage clients to do this hike.

things to do in sayulita

Some other active things to do in Sayulita include ATV rides, horseriding, fishing, and many other water activities you can think of!

If you want to participate in our Support Local project, you may check out our super local Sayulita tours handpicked by our Editors who interviewed these locals one by one.

#9: Sayulita is kid-friendly

You will see many children playing at the plaza by midnight while adults drink at the bar next door.

If you are traveling with kids, they will never get bored here as they will always see local kids around. The kids in Sayulita are also very friendly and are used to tourists.

is sayulita worth visiting

Bring your children to the SayuParke if you are looking for things to do for them. They will definitely meet many other children in this park (especially if they like skateboards).

#10: Sayulita is pet-friendly

Dogs on the streets and on the beach are unleashed. They are free to roam around town with their owners (or even on their own).

When I went to Cancun, some beaches don’t allow dogs, so I felt like traveling with my dogs there was a hassle. It’s also one of the reasons I did not move to Cancun.

reasons to visit sayulita
All my babies are rescued in Sayulita, except for Archie in the middle whom I found in San Pancho, Nayarit.

Today, because of the free spay and neuter efforts of Sayulita Animals, we do not have any street dogs! Everyone has been rescued and has owners!

If you are traveling with pets, Sayulita has many pet-friendly hotels that you can stay in. Your dogs can also make friends with other dogs easily!

#11: Sayulita is a surfing town

Sayulita is visited by many surfers from all over the world but the Sayulita main beach is known to be a learning beach because of its surfable but friendly waves.

There are many surf beaches in Sayulita that are for the pros but you have to drive out of town (about 20-30 minutes).

However, if you are a hobbyist surfer or a beginner, you can stay at the main beach all day. It’s really the best training ground for newbies!

You can also take surfing lessons in Sayulita with a local. I have many friends there that I can recommend and will give you a special price. Just get in touch!

#12: Sayulita is environmentally conscious

2 years ago, a hotel wanted to privatize Los Muertos Beach in Sayulita. The town rallied and camped there every night because Los Muertos is our beach – a new resort shouldn’t be allowed to take that away from the community.

We won this case through the help of a lawyer in Nayarit and Los Muertos Beach remained public. Everyone can still go!

reasons to visit sayulita

Every time things like this happen (mostly illegal buildings in Sayulita), members of the community come together to fight for what is ours.

Apart from active crusades, we also have the biggest recycling center in Nayarit, the turtle sanctuary, and the bird rescue mission.

Please be as environmentally conscious as possible when you visit Sayulita. You can simply participate by disposing of your waste properly as Sayulita has a big garbage problem because of tourism.

#13: Sayulita is flocked by holistic healing practitioners

Yogis, holistic healers, physical therapists, chiropractors – Sayulita has a big community of healers and health practitioners.

what is sayulita known for

If you are in this industry, you will definitely thrive here as a nomad. Being health conscious is part of Sayulita’s culture that’s why our environmental crusades are also taken very seriously.

#14: We have the Marietas Islands!

One of the top reasons to visit Sayulita is the Marietas Islands, a group of islands located in Punta de Mita (about 20 minutes from Sayulita).

Marietas Islands Tour

The Marietas Islands are one of a kind because of the hidden beach and the sea animals that live here. It is sometimes referred to as the Galapagos of Mexico.

#15: It’s a golf cart area and everything is walkable

These days, traffic has become horrible in the center of town because of the influx of tourists but what I love about Sayulita is that you can walk everywhere!

reasons to visit sayulita
My dogs always love the golf cart ride to the beach!

The streets are safe and cars are always very respectful to pedestrians. Children can go play on the streets and they will never be harmed.

You’ll never have to worry about fast cars or bustling traffic. Imagine a vacation where you don’t have to take taxis and you’ll just walk everywhere! I really feel this is a big plus!

⁉️ Reasons to visit Sayulita FAQs

Generally, a 3-4 day trip would be enough to experience the main highlights of Sayulita, such as the beaches, surfing, local cuisine, and the town’s vibrant atmosphere.

Sayulita is a charming, bohemian beach town famous for its surfing, vibrant arts scene, and rich indigenous Huichol culture.

YES, Sayulita is a party town with a small-town vibe (not as crazy as Cabo or Cancun)! You can find several bars, beach clubs, and live music venues in Sayulita, where you can enjoy cocktails, local beers, and dance to a mix of music genres.

The best months to visit Sayulita are November to April, during the dry season with pleasant temperatures. Note that this is also high season so expect higher prices.

Sayulita is often associated with a “hippie” vibe due to its bohemian culture, artisan markets, and laid-back lifestyle. The town has attracted artists, musicians, and creatives from around the world, which contributes to its eclectic and relaxed vibe.

Compared to other tourist destinations in Mexico, Sayulita is relatively inexpensive, though prices can vary depending on the time of year, accommodations, and activities you choose.

YES, IT IS! Sayulita is a safe town as everyone knows everyone. You’d be surprised how you will gain new friends within 4 hours of your arrival. For a detailed personal experience, refer to our article about safety in Sayulita.

Yes, Sayulita is a small and walkable town, making it easy to explore on foot. The town’s compact size allows you to reach most attractions, restaurants, shops, and beaches without the need for a car or public transportation.

🇲🇽 Sayulita Travel Guide

  • Sayulita is a renowned destination for surfing lessons. Its warm, turquoise waters boast consistent, beginner-friendly waves, making it a top surfing spot in Nayarit.
  • Tequila tasting is a unique, sensory journey makes and a must-do while visiting Sayulita. Learn to appreciate quality tequila beyond the popularized shots, and engage with local traditions and artisans!
  • ATV tours and expeditions allow for exploring secluded beaches and hidden jungles. This is a great activity for groups and families with kids and an exhilarating way to experience the lesser-known side of Sayulita.
  • Embark on an exciting journey from Sayulita to the UNESCO-protected Marietas Islands. Discover hidden beaches, snorkel in crystal-clear waters teeming with colorful marine life, and witness majestic dolphins and humpback whales.
  • Experience the captivating beauty of Sayulita’s hinterland with our Monkey Mountain tours. Trek through lush jungles, witness vibrant flora and fauna, and ascend to stunning panoramic vistas at the peak.
  • From the lively, surf-friendly main beach to tranquil, secluded coves, discover the diverse beaches of Sayulita.
  • Encounter colorful local artisans, explore eclectic shops, and savor authentic Mexican cuisine at Sayulita Plaza.
  • Villa Amor has panoramic ocean views, elegant accommodations, and personalized services nestled amidst tropical jungles.
  • Residencia Tropical Don Bonito has spacious, beautifully-appointed accommodations, modern amenities, and close proximity to the town’s attractions.
  • Hotel Boutique Siete Luna is an intimate, serene retreat with panoramic ocean views, luxurious accommodations, and top-tier services.
  • Mexico has a shortage of housing for locals. The community will appreciate it if you book with local-owned hotels and accommodations.
  • Go to Cava Mezcaleria for a mezcal cocktail and/or authentic mezcal sourced from local communities all over Mexico. The watermelon mezcal is our favorite!
  • Lucid Bar is where the local kids hang out, any time of the day. If you make it here, try to cross next door and have drinks at Aloha Bar, too!
  • You won’t miss Yambak as everyone flocks here by the end of the night. 2 for 1 on ll drinks (except the artisanal beers) every Tuesday! Cross the street to El Barrilito if you just want to people-watch.
  • Savor the authentic flavors of Thailand at Achara. This restaurant serves meticulously crafted Thai dishes, bursting with exotic flavors, in a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Sayulita Public House offers an array of local craft beers, expertly mixed cocktails, and delicious American bites.
  • Enjoy exceptional service, a charming atmosphere, and a Mexican food adventure that mirrors the vibrant spirit of Sayulita at Aaleyah’s.
  • Experience authentic flavors, friendly service, and the real taste of Mexican tacos at Tacos Ivan. It’s open til late!
  • Pizza Venezia has handcrafted, wood-fired pizzas, made with fresh, local ingredients, served in a cozy, family-friendly setting. Vegan dough, available upon request! The best part? BYOB!
  • Discover the vibrant colors, tastes, and sounds of Sayulita’s Friday Market. Browse through a bounty of local produce, unique crafts, and delectable street food.
  • Experience the unique charm of Sayulita’s Hippie Market. Discover a treasure trove of handcrafted jewelry, vibrant textiles, artisanal goods, and bohemian fashion.
  • Sayulita is a walkable town with narrow cobblestone streets. You don’t need any mode of transportation while there. You must take an airport taxi service from Puerto Vallarta (under $100 USD) to get there.
  • If you plan to drive around Nayarit area or to nearby towns, a rental car is highly recommended when visiting Sayulita.
  • You need travel insurance to Mexico! Ekta Traveling is the recommended insurance (for travelers ages 2 months to 100 years old).

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Eddie malik

Sunday 5th of February 2023

Seriously..place overpriced smelly overrun by tourists. At least be a little honest before you write this crap.

marco

Thursday 31st of August 2023

@Eddie malik, So right! Place is the worst place to visit in Mexico

Heidi

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

Love sayulita!! How do you get to the marietas islands from sayulita? Would really enjoy seeing them

Trisha Velarmino

Friday 26th of August 2022

Hola, Heidi! Thanks for reading the blog! You can book the Marietas Islands tour here. If you have any questions, just send us an e-mail and our office will help you book the tour. Please note that this is non-refundable since Marietas is a federal-protected area so better be sure with your dates before booking. I hope you have fun in my former home!

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