Sayulita, a funky fishing village that feels a lot like Puerto Vallarta did a few decades ago, is still small town Mexico, with its appealing town plaza the heart and soul of the place. A surfing mecca of international renown, the shoreline of this picturesque fishing village is dotted with coves and beaches where surfers do their thing alongside day trippers from Puerto Vallarta.
Given its earthy feel and it’s appeal among younger crowds, it might be easy to dismiss Sayulita as a party town. But with the vast majority of its residents committed to healthy living (through surfing, yoga, organic products and such) it’s not unusual for its nightlife to dwindle shortly after midnight.
This is the Mexico that Puerto Vallarta was a couple of decades ago, fishing, farming, fiestas and siestas primary activities, its dusty streets dotted with lazy dogs ritualistically hosed morning and evening while children play with twigs and tires. And the town square is lovely, with lots of benches, shade, and good people watching, especially in the evenings.
Sayulita is definitely becoming more popular with tourists, national and foreign, which has done nothing to tarnish its dramatic wild beauty, but new shops and other business are lending a more trendy feel to the place year by year.
Sayulita is located less than 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta along Carr. 200 Norte. The exit on the highway is clearly marked. People traveling from Punta de Mita and surrounding communities can also take the direct route to Sayulita through Litibú. And if you are visiting Sayulita just for the day, driving the “North Shore Loop” is highly recommended, as it will allow you to take in several communities at once.
You can also travel to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta using public transportation by boarding a Compostela bus at Walmart, in front of the Maritime Terminal. Round trips are scheduled throughout the day. The bus will drop you off as you enter the downtown area, and just about everything you will want to explore is located within walking distance.
Neighborhoods & Neighboring Regions
Most of the action in Sayulita takes place in and around the town’s main plaza, which is located two small blocks away from the beach. Surrounding the plaza, a radius of several blocks features a variety of shops selling everything, from traditional Mexican artifacts to surfing gear. Sayulita is home to a large number of jewelers who craft wristbands, earring and other accessories by hand, frequently incorporating natural elements into their design.
A small stream divides the town in two, the north end being more residential. Beautiful homes and condos located on the hillside and beachfront offer spectacular views of Sayulita bay. Unless you are staying high up on the hills, it’s easy to walk to the main plaza, even crossing the river on foot, except during the rain season, when the pedestrian or vehicular bridges are a better option.
Five minutes north of Sayulita along Carr. 200 Norte lies San Pancho, an equally delightful small oceanfront town. Heading south from Sayulita, it takes about 10 minutes to reach Punta de Mita through Litibú, and about 12 minutes to reach Bucerías along the main highway.
[alpine-phototile-for-instagram id=456 user=”rightmovemx” src=”global_tag” tag=”sayulita” imgl=”fancybox” style=”cascade” col=”3″ size=”L” num=”9″ curve=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]