3 Days in Sayulita: Surf and Party Town of Mexico

Written By Sammi  |  Mexico  |  0 Comments

Sayulita, the colorful beach town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast has grown to become a popular tourist destination to enjoy a laid back, fun and carefree vacation. Surfing put Sayulita on the map many years ago and that is exactly the reason why we visited.

We spent 3 days in Sayulita, enjoying its delicious food and great surf. If you also have 3 days in Sayulita, here is our itinerary to help you plan your visit.

3 days in Sayulita Mexico

How to Get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarata Airport

As Sayulita was the second destination in our one week Mexico trip, we flew into Sayulita from Mexico City as we were in Playa La Saladita before. The closest airport to Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport, a 50 minute drive to Sayulita. We decided to take a taxi to Sayulita as we landed around 9 PM at night, it cost $60 USD one way. Uber is not allowed at Puerto Vallara Airport. If you want to take an Uber, you need to walk out to the main street outside of the airport to meet your driver.

The other option is a public bus but there is no direct bus. You will have to take the bus from the airport to Puerto Vallarta, then Puerto Vallarta (in front of the Walmart) to Sayulita. If we landed during the day, we wouldn’t have minded to take the bus as it’s cheap, like $5 USD.

We didn’t rent a car during our time in Sayulita. However, there are car rental agencies in Puerto Vallarta and the airport so you can rent a car if you wish to explore. We also saw many people with golf cart rentals as there are golf car rentals in town.

Where We Stayed in Sayulita

We stayed in a hotel called Riviera Sayulita. It was situated right at the outskirts of town so it was about a 5-8 minute walk into downtown and 10 to the beach. Since we were outside town, it was extremely quiet which I personally liked. The hotel also had a big pool and was also conveniently next to a pharmacy and pizza place. We work when we travel and they had fast, stable Wi-Fi.

However, if you want to be closer to the action, there are plenty of choices at different price points. Check out places like Hotel Diamante Sayulita, Sayulinda, Selina Sayulita, Ysuri SayulitaEl Pueblito Sayulita and Hotelitos Los Sueños for stays in downtown/beachfront. For a luxury stay, check out Amor Boutique for beautiful ocean views, steps away from the surf.

Sayulita Day 1

Whenever we’re in a new town, we always like to spend the first day walking around town and checking out the sights and sounds. So on day 1 of our 3 day Sayulita trip, we headed to town around mid morning. Since Yeison had been talking about trying birria taco nonstop, we had brunch in a restaurant downtown, HaraMar Sayulita. Yeison finally got his birria and I tried chilaquiles. This is a great mid range restaurant, not the cheapest but it is not really that expensive. Very good service and friendly staff with indoor and outdoor dining areas.

BIrria tacons

Birria tacos

Afterwards, we grabbed coffee from a shop down the street and headed to the beach. We first stopped by one of the surfboard rental shops, WildMex Surf school to see how much rentals were. If you don’t know how to surf, we highly recommend booking a lesson!

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around town, walking on the beach and exploring the area. Sayulita is a cute town with some picturesque streets.

We got hungry after a couple hours of walking and set off to try a taco place, El Itacate. This was more of a fancy taco shop and although a bit more expensive, it was very good with big portions.


After our late lunch, we headed back to the beach to relax and watch the surf. We visited beginning of December, so waves were small and there was a lot of backwash. But it looked like fun and we were excited to surf the next day. We spent the rest of the evening at the beach, grabbing drinks from one of the beachfront bars to watch the sunset and surfers.

Sayulita sunset


You can also spend some time at the Mercado Artesenal “Hippie Market” in town to buy souvenirs.

For dinner, it was time for more tacos! We were on a taco hunt in Sayulita so we hit up 4 different street taco stands around town, trying only the al pastor tacos. We got a clear favorite at the end – Tacos Al Pastro Tali Van. They have two locations which are both fantastic but we preferred the one across from Minisuper Don Rodolfo.

Sayulita tacos tali van

Tacos Al Pastor Tal ivan. 50 MXN for 3 tacos 

We literally spent the rest of the night eating tacos, tortas and consomme at different street food stands. It was fantastic and tons of fun enjoying the Sayulita nightlife.

Sayulita Day 2

Yeison surfed in the morning with our friend. Though there was a lot of backwash, there weren’t too many people out so he got some fun ones.

They came back around mid morning so after Yeison washed up, we headed to town for lunch. As the street taco places didn’t open until night, we grabbed coffee and pastries from Casa Gourmet. We decided to go surf at Playa La Lancha since they said it had been good lately so we went to Wild Mex Surf to take the shuttle.

Their 20 minute shuttle cost $20 USD per person roundtrip and dropped us off at their location in Punta Mita. We grabbed boards ($8USD per hour) and walked the 10-15 minute jungle trail to the beach. They offer 3 shuttles a day, need to pre-book at least one or two days because the van does fill up and its first come first serve.

Playa La Lancha is beautiful with soft white sand and clear blue waters, completely opposite of Playa Sayulita. We saw several surf classes at the first beach so we headed to the beach down further to our right. The waves were gentle and had some excellent rights. We were having a ton of fun until we accidentally stepped on many sea urchins and had to get out. So if you surf at Playa La Lancha, be super careful of the sea urchins, there are so many!

After we got back to Sayulita, we showered and freshened up for dinner. We headed back into town to continue our taco quest! As the Sayulita Longboard Contest was held a few days after our trip, a ton of amazing longboarders were surfing during sunset, practicing their skills. It was so much fun to watch.

Playa Sayulita

The surf

Sayulita Day 3

We had planned to surf again that morning but out feet were still recovering from the dozens of sea urchins spines and we still had some stuck. Sadly, instead of surfing again, we spent the morning soaking our feet.

For lunch, we headed back to town for the last birria and tacos. If our feet were OK, we were going to taxi over to San Pancho, another little beach town to check it out and surf. Instead, we took it easy and just hung out in Sayulita for our last day.

For our travel day out, we took a taxi which we arranged from talking to one of the drivers in the town plaza. It cost $60 USD and he was very prompt.

Overall 3 Days in Sayulita

Unfortunately our days in Sayulita didn’t consist of as much surf as we hoped for but I did love Playa La Lancha. Playa Sayulita had a ton of backwash and the water was not as nice. I think if we visited another time of year, waves would have been better at Playa Sayulita since I’ve seen videos of the beach with long, really nice waves for longboarding (which is why they hold longboard and logfests there).

I do recommend to spend a few more days in Sayulita to explore more of the area or to rent a car and stay in different places. Punta de Mita, Puerto Vallarta and La Cruz are nearby and worth checking out. As we spent the previous 4 days in Playa La Saladita, we were fine to stay only in Sayulita. However, if we had more time in Nayarit, we would have stayed one more day in Sayulita and then added a few days in Punta de Mita or La Cruz.

Something I did not like about Sayulita was the amount of garbage. The beach was clean and the town center was not too bad, but as soon as you leave the town center even just a couple blocks, there’s garbage everywhere, particularly in the river which was really sad to see.

Extra Travel Tips From Our 3 Days in Sayulita

  • The weather was very warm and pleasant, in the mid to high 80s F (29 C). Bring your typical beach wear and fast drying clothes.
  • I didn’t have any problems with mosquitoes but it’s a good idea to have repellent just in case.
  • If you’re not renting a car and don’t want to take the public bus, I would just take an official taxi (white). You could get a private transfer service, it’s a little bit more expensive.
  • There is usually traffic on the way to the airport so estimate your drive will take around 1.5 hours.
  • I felt safe in Sayulita as a female traveler. However, do not walk down dark streets and alleys, always have your belongings with you where you can see them and don’t take drinks from strangers without seeing them make it.
  • Do not drink the water. I have a sensitive stomach, unknowingly drank tap water our first night out and unfortunately got sick. Luckily our hotel was next to a pharmacy but I also brought tons of my own Pepto Bismol and Alka-AD. I hate buying bottled water for the plastic waste but I didn’t bring any water filters and I got very sick from the tap water.

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