Your Ultimate Travel Guide to // Out of LA
Sayulita is your budget-friendly, beach-town that offers good food, gorgeous beaches, and an eclectic bohemian vibe! This Mexican surf town is the PERFECT mix of relaxation and exploration.
For an affordable price, Sayulita has everything you could want for your next travel destination. It’s a rejuvenating getaway filled with beach-bumming, crushing cervezas, and fish tacos.
The landscape of the area has a beautiful mix of the rolling ocean waves and lush jungle greenery. Sayulita finishes off the list with a tropical nightlife scene fit with warm, sultry nights, dancing, tequila, and live music.
Out of LA
Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta
PVR to Sayulita
Sayulita is located on mainland Mexico, along the Pacific coastline. This surfing and yoga enclave is steeped in an artistic and hippie vibe. Plus it’s only 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. A 3-hour nonstop flight from Los Angeles + a 40 minutes taxi and boom, you are there!
When to go//
High Season = Fall and Spring
Low Season = August through September
+ Pros of Low Season: Cheaper, less crowded, more locals
– Cons of Low Season: Shops, restaurants may have limited hours, VERY hot and humid
How to get there//
In order to arrive in paradise, just hop on a nonstop flight taking you from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta in under 3 hours and hail a cab for a 40-minute cruise to Sayulita.
Nonstop flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) are available on United, Delta, Alaska.
Transportation in Mexico//
To get from the Puerto Vallarta airport to the town of Sayulita you have a few options: bus, Taxi (~$40), or private transfer.
Budget Tip: For cheaper taxi fares, don’t take the cabs at the airport, simply walk outside the airport (only 5 minutes or so) and flag one down. You will save on the taxes and tariffs; however, do this at your own risk as these taxis are not regulated.
WHAT TO DO // EXPLORE
Sayulita Surf Beach offers warm water and a long river mouth break that is perfect for everyone, from beginners to surf-legends, this surf break is a crowd pleaser!
If you left your board at home, no worries! There are plenty of surf shops along the beachfront offering board rentals. If you want a convenient and risk-free option, go straight to Lunazul Surf Shop.
TIP: If your whole squad is paddling out at the same time, take advantage of the lockers for rent in the shop so you can be sure your items will be secure.
Rent out a Catamaran #squadGoals
Approx. time = varies based on selection; half-day or full-day tours available
Allow yourself time to cruise along the crisp blue waves of Sayulita aboard a catamaran.
Grab a group of friends for a day cruise or bring a long a special someone to enjoy romantic sunset cruise. If you’re visiting between December and April, make sure you take time to go whale watching for a chance to listen to the enchanting moans and cries of the humpbacks or even see the one breach out of the water.
Alley Cat Sailing offers delicious meal options made fresh on the boat daily, so you can snack on local favorites like chicken fajitas, totopos, and fresh guacamole. In addition to being able to kick back and relax on the catamaran itself, they provide you with snorkeling and fishing gear, as well as kayaks, paddleboards, and other equipment to really get the most out of your experience.
Explore Isla Marietes
Approx. time: 3.5 hour excursion.
Although GetOutofLA recommends experiencing destinations as a local, you gotta be a tourist!
Despite its popularity, the hidden beach of Marietas Island is a stunning site you can’t miss. Accessible only through a cave, you get to experience a rush of adventure as you time your swim entrance with the tides to avoid being pushed up into the natural rock ceiling.
After your swim to the “hidden” beach, you can ask your guide to take you on private tour around the rest of the islands.
You will get to explore these ancient rock formations that likely housed Pterodactyls. If the waves aren’t too rough, ask your El Capitan to drop you at a secluded beach or two, allowing for the opportunity to unwind in a more private setting.
But don’t forget to hire a private boat (like one of these pictured above) and go see this natural wonder!
Day Trip to Punta de Mita
Punta de Mita is further down the coast from Sayulita and a popular spot for adventuring. Although there are many similarities between Sayulita and Punta de Mita, Punta de Mita offers its own twist to your Riviera Nayarit vacation. Whether you horseback ride on Monkey Mountain or take to the trees for a zip-lining canopy tour, you are not going to regret passing through this frequently boasted town.
Experience a Temezcal
Approx. time = 2.5-3 hours
What is a temezcal? For those who don’t know, temezcal literally means “house of heat”. It’s essentially a sweat lodge that’s often used for spiritual and holistic healing. A temezcal ceremony is a process of purification led by a shaman.
Generally, the process begins with you stating your intentions for your spiritual journey in order to enter the temezcal. Once inside, a door is sealed and you are enveloped in complete darkness. The shaman begins chanting and lets water flow over sizzling stones, letting the sounds and energy bounce echo throughout the structure. As you fade into the softening rythyms of the chants, you inwardly reflect and actively seek pacification in the deepest parts of your core. Only through true focus and participation will you conquer your fears and allow the comfort you seek to blossom in your soul.
Release endangered baby Sea Turtles
You can participate in a turtle release event hosted by Campamento Tortuguero Sayulita, a local non-profit organization that runs off of donations made by tourists and environmentally friendly enthusiasts.
These sea turtle hatchling releases take place primarily between October and November. The babies instinctively climb through the sand after being hatched and are called to by the gentle pressing waves of the ocean. Reaching the ocean is no small feat though. They face many obstacles on their journey including predators like birds, or even humans who often poach them or simply trample over them.
Volunteers work with Campamento Tortuguero to collect turtle eggs and relocate them to one area of the beach, so they can safely hatch. Once hatched, the volunteers keep them from release until dusk. At this time, they are less likely to encounter as many dangers on their journey. Make sure you find out when the next turtle release is planned so you can participate in this rescue mission!
Support Local Artisans
We have the perfect excuse to go shopping! I mean, whether you need to reassure your honey, or heck even yourself, there is no better excuse….because shopping in
Sayulita is pure joy and it’s your personal way to support local artisans! Sayulita is overflowing with local artisans that vary in talent sets.
Take some time during your exploration of the town to visit Evoke the Spirit, a home to the artwork of these talented people. They offer various hand-beaded accessories, painted skulls, woven rugs, and a collection of other home decorations.
Relax during a Massage
Vacation alone doesn’t always rid your body of the physical pains built up by regular daily stresses. It’s key to stop by a massage parlor or call in to book a well-earned massage.
The BEST massage in the entire world can be found at the hands of a man named Antonio. This man knows what he’s doing. His hands will firmly work their way through any tension with a gentleness only a true master could posses. He emphasizes his particular practice as organic and this is reflected in his humble, innate familiarity with a body’s energies and needs. Rumor has it this masseuse also works at Paraiso Yoga.
If his healing hands don’t have availability during your stay, the Buddha Spa offers both acupuncture and spa services for your rejuvenation needs.
Eat great Tacos
If you went to Mexico and didn’t eat great tacos, we’d have to call in the doctor because you’d be loco en la cabeza. In order to help you narrow down your list of options, GetOutofLA has two taco shop recommendations that are sure to satisfy you’re the pickiest taco connoisseur.
For the everyday taco consumer to be impressed, you need the traditional street vendor vibes mixed with snappy shrimp, meaty fish, and vibrant veggies paired with salsa that only The Real Fish Taco can offer. These tacos are hands down the greatest fish and shrimp tacos ever to bless your taste buds.
For those who seek a vegetarian taco that is equally mind-blowing, Mary’s offers a variety of tacos that are sure to please. Simply the sight of one of these babies will have your mouth watering.
WHERE TO STAY//
Economic Explorers – $
For vacationers with a budget like us, the Villas Sayulita offers beautiful penthouses and villas overlooking the town and Pacific Ocean. Each of these villas also includes a kitchenette, so you and your guests can whip up some serious comida yourselves! On site you can also find a secret garden, a yoga studio, and even a smoothie bar. Rates for this hotel average $100/night year round.
Middle of the Roaders -$$
You can score this beautiful traditional-style Mexican hacienda for as low as $113/night! Keep in mind rates vary depending on season. Although this location is tucked into the privacy of the hills, it’s a convenient five-minute walk out of town offering both the bustle of the town and the peacefulness of Sayulita’s natural surroundings. The balcony patio is the perfect oasis to enjoy a beer while taking in the sunset after a long day of fun in the sun.
Again, having a kitchen is a huge plus! Buy some coffee, beer, water, and ingredients for omelets, quesadillas, guacamole, and margaritas at the local store or market (if you remember the name of the market add it) so you’re always prepared for a fiesta. You’ll also always have snacks and drinks to enjoy on your balcony as you checkout the spectacular view.
There are tons of other amazing housing options on AirBnb for under $150/night. The town is small, so the majority of the hotels, hostels, or AirBnb’s are near the main square, which is only a few short blocks from the main beach.
Splendor Seekers – $$$
The Petit Hotel Hafa is a dreamy tropical bohemian enclave fit for those with a comfortable travel budget. This specific hotel features an epic roof deck where you can share a romantic drink with a loved one or some quality bonding time with friends while still being only two blocks from the beach.
If you are into the buzz and beat of a bohemian little surf town, you should stay in town. There are a number of hip boutique hotels in town like the Petit Hotel Hafa; however, be aware that some have stated that the music from the bars can stay loud late into the night.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK//
Aside from the taco shops GetOutofLA scouted, we’ve compiled a list of places to check out to fulfill any eating or drinking desires.
If you’re in pursuit of a refreshing breakfast or awakening cup of Joe, The Anchor is the place to be. From delicious green smoothies to acai bowls unlike any other, the anchor is prepared to throw in spinach and super fruits into the blender and top it off with a variety of nuts, grains, or fresh fruit. The final result? A satisfying and tasty change that was more than welcome to balance out all the heavy beans and rice you’ll consume! Not to mention, the coffee here is by far the best in town – a perfectly pulled espresso.
Anytime of the Day Restaurants
Since all meals are basically the same in Sayulita, you can’t go wrong with stopping by this location regardless what meal the clock is calling for.
Although it started out as a beachside cooler offering chocolate-dipped bananas, Chocobanana has grown to be a popular breakfast and lunchtime favorite. It offers a giant espresso machine, local fruit smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. The best part – you can stop here when you’re rushing about from one adventure to the next because of their convenient to-go window. Make sure you try one of their original chocolate-dipped bananas too!
If you’re looking for a truly memorable experience, you should checkout the location where the Bachelor in Paradise was filmed at Playa Escondida. Here you can dine beside a waterfall during any meal stop of the day. With a staff of five chefs, the restaurant here offers a variety of exquisite breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, or if you’re not hungry – stop by for drinks!
Missing your at home favorites? Either of these two restaurants may provide the perfect solution for your homesick cravings.
So you’re missing the classy, white-clothed, candle lit dinners with your bae? It’s okay, Italian food is a common craving for anyone. Leda Ristorante allows you to indulge in homemade Italian food prepared with only the finest, freshest ingredients straight from Italy. Not only are the pastas, sauces, and breads great, but the ambiance is enhanced by live music and top notch glass of wine. There are no guilty feelings after allowing yourself this pleasure; besides, those sauced up noodles will surely provide your body with the energy it’ll need to partake in Sayulita activities.
La Rustica Sayulita:
Are you seeking the All-American classic pie of joy, also known as pizza? Then La Rustica Sayulita is the perfect spot for a bite to eat. They offer wood fired pizza for you to enjoy at their outdoor patio seating. These laid back vibes are great when you have a homesick craving but don’t want to get dressed up for a nice evening out.
Local Watering Holes
A great drink is always the best way to top of an adventure-filled day. These are GetOutofLA’s top spots.
It can be difficult to find a good craft beer in Mexico, but GetOutofLA knows just the place – Palmar Trapiche! This is the second “Trapiche” Brewery of Colima and offers ten beers on tap from Brasserie de Colima and other breweries all based in Mexico. This hot spot is the perfect place to catch up with friends as you enjoy a cool brew and stroll through the gardens.
Don Pato’s Bar:
Don Pato’s bar is a local favorite with the largest selection of cocktails to be offered in all of Sayulita. This spot has groovy vibes that help you unwind for after-hour fun. They also offer live music 4 nights a week, which only enhance the atmosphere as you can dance on the lower floor or hang out on the upper deck area above it!