August 24, 2017

The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in Sayulita, Mexico

The most colorful place in Mexico!

The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in Sayulita, Mexico

by Maritere Rice

Where does one begin when you want to put into words a place so magical and special as Sayulita?

You see, as beautiful as other places in Mexico might be, this is not the touristy Riviera Maya or bustling Mexico City; not even the lovely Puerto Vallarta, which is only a few miles away from Sayulita. This is a place of its own. So colorful and bohemian feeling on the Pacific coast of Mexico, a place where you can really get a taste of Mexico, a place where you can go to reconnect with yourself, with life, with people. It is a place that will steal your heart and will have you asking for more.

Vibrant, Warm, and Authentic

As Mexican born, going to Sayulita really made me feel the heart and warmth of my country as I always remember it. People are kind, it is a tiny town, a fishing village actually, but it is fully vibrant in many ways, and Mexico’s essence can fully be appreciated. Don’t expect to come here and find a corner Starbucks or a McDonald’s. This is a place where you get artisan coffee from the local corner coffee shop, where you can buy your fresh fruits and veggies streetside, where the ice cream is as vibrant and fresh as the rainbow, and where the colors and flavors of Mexico can be fully appreciated through the facades, rustic streets, artisan shops, smell of the salty sea, tasty eats, and warm people. And did I mention the amazing tacos?! And the beach?! Oh and the surfing vibes?!

You see, this is is a place that I hold dear to my heart. I grew up spending my vacations in Puerto Vallarta and the close vicinity; mostly Bucerías, Punta de Mita, la Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Sayulita, and Destiladeras. These were always such happy times, full of sun, beach, warmth, great food, laughter, family and friends.

Sayulita always seemed like a magical place of its own, full of happy, relaxed, bohemian vibes, surfers galore, local shops, and a je ne sais quoi inviting feel that always captivated me. Perhaps it’s the inner bohemian in me, but I felt such a warm embrace as soon as I stepped foot again there this summer. All my wonderful memories from Sayulita were confirmed. This is a place where I’ll be coming back again and again, always arriving and leaving with a smile, and always leaving a piece of my heart behind waiting for me to soon return.

From the beautiful home I stayed in, to the local shops and restaurants, to the people, this was an unforgettable visit, and I hope after reading this, you will add Sayulita to your bucket list! You won’t be disappointed.

Ready to travel? No heels, dress shoes, or formal wear required. Pack your casual, boho chic outfits, swimsuit, rash guard for a little surfing adventure, your most comfortable sandals, colorful tropical tunics and breezy dresses. And don’t forget a good appetite, then get ready for a wonderful time in one of the jewels of Nayarit. There’s a reason Sayulita was recently awarded  the “Pueblo Magico” title! Sayulita, a magical town you are, indeed!

How to Get to Sayulita

This is not your typical destination in which you fly to directly. Sayulita is about a 45 minute drive from Puerto Vallarta.

Take a flight to Puerto Vallarta’s airport, and from there you’ll head to Sayulita. There are plenty of options when it comes to getting there. You can hire your transport as you exit baggage claim or book your transportation ahead of time through the place you are staying at. We took a private transport that was recommended to us and it was great!

Where to Stay

Casa Nawali

I cannot say enough good things about this beautiful gem of a property in Sayulita! This tropical  house truly helped make my recent trip such a memorable experience.  The adults only property offers six rooms, each with a unique color scheme, and all so beautifully decorated. The attention to detail is palpable all throughout the property, and their friendly and helpful staff will make you feel right at home as soon as you arrive.

In the middle of their organic and edible gardens, fruit trees, herbs and flowers, this tropical paradise will be a haven for relaxation during your vacation.

Our breakfast was served every day al fresco in their poolside pergola, and their at home grown fruits were offered for us to indulge in, alongside outstanding artisan coffee, banana and fresh breads, yogurt, artisan marmalade, selection of organic milks, granola, and nuts. Those relaxing breakfasts with the sounds of birds, were such a great start to our mornings.

Two of the rooms are located within the main house, while the other four are outside in the gardens. All beautiful, but we truly enjoyed our Celestial Vault suite within the main house, which also gave us all day access to their lovely main house living room. The other two suites, Infinite Coastlines and Tate Naaliwa, are also amazing for a romantic getaway.  We loved their comfortable beds and pillows, fresh linens, relaxing shower and lovely local bath products.

Want a massage? Look no further! Casa Nawali concierge services will arrange for an incredible in room massage! I had such an outstanding experience, and next time I’m there, I will book a series of massages ahead of time.

If you are traveling alone, with your significant other, or with a friend, this is the place for you! Two blocks from the beach, and just a five minute walk to the city center, but still far enough away. Seriously, guys, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Casa Nawali! I know I’ll be going back there again and again!

If you are traveling with kids, a large group, several families, or a younger crowd:

-For large groups or several families traveling together, book a Villa like the beautiful Casa Saturno residence, with 5 rooms, 5 bathrooms, and capacity of 11 guests. Available here and here.

-For young adults, friends, beachfront and a great casual-surf-bohemian vibe, Casa Love is a great option, and cuarto Reina and Lolita are our favorites. Available here.

-Another local favorite right in the heart of town, and full of color is Petit Hotel Hafa.

-Another option if you are traveling with one friend or your significant other, and want to stay in the heart of town, is El Studio, by the same owners of revolucion del Sueno.

-And if you are looking for a hotel setting for families, with beachfront accommodations, Casablanca Beachfront Hotel is an ideal option!

Eat and Drink

La Rustica: Try some Italian food for a change while you are there. You won’t be disappointed. From their salads, to their wood fired pizzas, to their sandwiches, it’s a favorite place to eat lunch or dinner. For breakfast they have a brunch-like menu. And they serve great drinks, as well! / Ave. Revolucion 110. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Chocobanana: A sayulita staple, great for breakfast, coffee, smoothies, or a chocolate covered frozen banana! We loved the bread pudding french toast. / Ave. Delfin 14, Centro. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Burrito Revolution: Great burritos, not to be missed! / José Mariscal 10. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Itacate: Another great taco spot, also famous for their grilled cheese burritos and their stuffed potatoes. / José Mariscal in front of plaza Sayulita. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Tacos el Ivan (street side): Cash only, opens at 5, and has the best tacos in Sayulita. There are long lines at times, but the wait is worth it! Plus, the prices are unbelievable, so you can have your fix of tacos, amazing Mexican tacos for days. Try the tacos al pastor, and if you have a brave heart for spicy, the salsas, which I loved!!! / Ave. Revolución 26, Sayulita, Nayarit

Matiz: Up in a balcony, this is a great place for dinner and drinks! Excellent service and great tapas and salads. / Calle Marlin 15, Centro. Sayulita, Nayarit.

La Reinita Ice Cream pops: Fantastic ice cream pops in such great and original flavors! / Calle Gaviotas 1C, Centro. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Wakika: Did someone say afternoon ice cream? This is the place to go for yummy fruit based iced treats. There are two locations, in Avenida Revolucion and calle Marlin.

Loncheria Don Nieves: For great tortas in a casual environment, and a really great price, go to Don Nieves!

La Esperanza: Great healthy eats, fresh juices and smoothies. Grab a juice here to start your day! Seafood, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. / Jose Mariscal # 12 C, Sayulita, Nayarit.

Palmar Trapiche: Such a great place for drinks and beers, some locally crafted. Go in the evenings to finish your day after some sun, sand, shopping, and dining.

Coffee on the corner: Great spot for a morning coffee and breakfast! Only open from 7 am-3pm. / Calle Pelícanos 150, Centro, 63734 Sayulita, Nayarit.


Revolución del Sueño: My favorite Sayulita store! Beautiful artisan crafted pieces, from rugs, throw blankets, Bayadas towels, to decorative pompoms, to uniquely designed tops and dresses and purses. This shop is amazing! All money well spent on beautifully locally designed pieces! DO NOT miss it while you are in Sayu! I wanted to buy everything! / Calle Navarrete 55, Centro. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Evoke the Spirit: Beautiful shop with a local artisan studio which offers craft workshops. Such beautiful and unique artisan work is found here. I adore their cow skulls and pillows. Amazing! Check their website for workshops. / Calle Jose Mariscal 12A, Sayulita, Nayarit.

Pacha Mama: Go for their unique and amazing dream catchers, browse their unique dresses and tops, as well as other home and fashion accessories. I love the bohemian vibes of this French-Mexican surfer family owned shop, which is a staple in Sayulita! Pay the 20 pesos that are given to a charity to take a picture with the wings on their patio courtyard! / Delfines 9 y 10. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Galeria Tanana: You’ll find beautiful artisan handcrafted jewelry and decorative home pieces here in this art gallery shop. / Av Revolución 22. Sayulita, Nayarit.

Ula Boutique and gallery: For cute clothes, swimwear, and some home accessories.

Street vendors: Not to be overseen are the street vendors. There are many worth checking out! Allot some time to walk the town and see what catches your eye. You’ll be able to find many beautiful things like pompoms, bracelets, table runners, hats, bags… so much color!


Surf and Roll: For surf classes, rentals, and shop, head to Surf and Roll! Great surf classes, and great experienced owner (and surfer) who knows the best spots!

Other Things to Do

While you are in Sayulita, you can take the opportunity to go enjoy La Lancha, a nearby secluded beach with great surf, and only 25 minutes away. You will have to rent a car or hire local transport for that, but it is worth it!

Right in Sayulita, and accessible by foot, is Playa de los Muertos, with plenty of palapas and a lovely beach front, and quite a nice and short walk from Sayulita’s main beach. And if you happen to be visiting on a Friday, don’t miss the Mercado del Pueblo on  the main street, from 10am to 2 pm, every Friday, from November through April.

Important Tips

-Bring cash, Pesos, specially for meals, as some restaurants don’t take credit cards.

-Don’t bring your fancy shoes or heels. It is casual. I cannot repeat bohemian chic enough. You’ll thank me when you are causally walking on the streets and beach.

-Mosquito repellent. Bring some with you or buy some there. It often rains during the evenings, and if you’ve got tasty blood, mosquitoes might be after you. You are in the middle of the jungle and the beach.

-Leave space in your luggage for some shopping. I can assure you, you will find more than a special top, or a throw blanket, or amazing colorful pompoms to bring back home with you.

-If you are a photographer like me, and want to take pictures, wake up early! The light is great and you’ll beat the lively environment in the streets, for some beautiful street photography.

-Don’t miss the sunsets beachside! I cannot stress this enough! Some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen have happened here.

-Take in some surf if you are adventurous. You are in surfing central, and there are many options for rentals and classes.

-Walk the streets and talk to the locals. It is the best way to experience Sayulita, and it will enrich your trip tremendously!

-Drink the coconuts, eat the mangos! They are amazing!

-Relax, disconnect, and ENJOY!

Two More Things

Have you been to Sayulita? What is your favorite thing to do there? We’d love to hear in the comments below. As well, in the coming weeks we’ll be bringing you information on what to pack for a weekend in Sayulita, so stay tuned! We’ll see you back here tomorrow morning.


Photos by Maritere Rice and Aline Katimi


  1. Hi Maritere , Thanks for this wonderful blog and pictures about sayulita. Which hotel you like there? Thanks for sharing all about sayulita.

  2. Nice article, next time you visit Sayulita, i recommend you a beach hotel in Sayulita, the name of the hotel its Casablanca Sayulita and its right on Sayulita Beach, here its the link in case of interest; maybe we can work something out!!

  3. Great guide, but a little short, I definitely feel you are missing some super cool spots, maybe is time to come back?

    1. Yes, we’d love to come back!

  4. Thank you for the wonderful post! Your website is beautiful.

    1. Thank you for the kind words!

  5. Jason says:

    Thank you so much for the information. I’ll be going there for the first time in mid February and staying Playa Escondido. I’ll definitely check out those places.

    1. Enjoy your trip, Jason!

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