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Sayulita Beach

Published Sep 30, 2005 - (Updated Aug 31, 2015)


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. Riding the gentle breakers to shore, most of the action happens off the main town beach, with lessons and board rentals readily available. Those looking for privacy will likely find it in one of the area's small coves, each conveying the sense it is yours alone. There are palapa restaurants on the beach and inexpensive commida corrida-type spots, as well as gourmet food available, if that's what you're in the mood for after a day of swimming and sunning. A funky fishing village that feels a lot like Puerto Vallarta did a few decades ago, Sayulita is still small town Mexico, its appealing town square the heart and soul of the place. But it is definitely becoming more popular with gringos, 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.

Much more low key than Puerto Vallarta, the shoreline of this picturesque fishing village is dotted with coves and beaches popular with day trippers from Puerto Vallarta and surfers from around the world who converge here to ride the gentle breakers to shore — lessons and board rentals available. 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. Accommodations are intimate, no major hotels detracting from Sayulita's earthy charm, the classy eateries and shops popping up adding a 'trendy' feel to the place.

What you should know

  • 22 miles north of the airport
  • Less than an hour from Puerto Vallarta by public bus, private car or taxi
  • Don't miss a visit to artist Evelyne Boren's home studio and restaurant Don Pedro's in the middle of the town beach because the food is good and you can see everything that's going on from there

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