Travel Guide: Sayulita, Riveria Nayarit, Mexico


sayulita travel guide

Sayulita really is a beautiful and magical little city that easily steals your heart. We just got back from our vacation and it is easy to see how you could really make this a place you keep coming back to. It was my first time ever in Mexico and I was happy that my rudimentary Spanish vocabulary was with me for this trip. I’ve been sharing some of my favorite pictures on Instagram, but thought I’d write out a full post for those of you thinking of planning a visit. Click through to read more about where to stay, eat, shop, and enjoy yourselves in Sayulita.

The girls and I rented this house for the week which was way more room than we needed but it was seriously so beautiful I couldn’t pass it up. As a fair warning, Sayulita is loud at night. We happened to be there during a week long festival for the town and there was loud music until at least 3am most nights. That may have been rare and the exception but it felt like it was in our room. Music aside, you have noisy neighbors like roosters and donkeys so bring a white noise machine and earplugs.

Sayulita Life is a website that has a ton of villa listings or, should you chose to stay in the town center, Villa Amor and Petit Hotel Hafa seem to be very popular and nice choices. Petit Hotel Hafa is also home to this adorable and very Instagramable walkway shown above so if you aren’t staying there be sure to check it out! I also heard the bar next door has the best Margaritas you’ll have in your life.


I can’t even tell you how amazing the food was. I don’t think I had a single bad meal during my entire stay. One bonus of Sayulita is that there are quite a few ex-pats living in the area so you won’t be confined to just tacos the entire trip. Here are some of my favorite restaurants and dishes we had:

+ The Anchor – A delicious and healthy alternative to enchiladas. The smoothie bowls and coffee here are delicious and they have wi-fi!
+ Mary’s – Get the fish taco, you’ll thank me later! They also offered plain quesadillas for the kids (which were surprisingly hard to find) so they’ll like it too.
+ Choco Banana – We ate here for breakfast most mornings if we went out as they have a lot of “American” offerings for the kids like blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs.
+ Burrito Revolution – Damn good burritos. I can’t stop thinking about them. For real!
+ Calypso – Americanized Mexican food but the patio overlooks the town square and gives you a great view of all of the people walking around.
+ La Rustica – Italian cuisine for when you need a taco break. Their pizzas are great and the staff was always very friendly to us.
+ Sayulita Cafe – Known for their Chiles Rellenos which defnitely lived up to the hype.
+ Any street taco stand – Seriously just grab a taco from anywhere. I had a few different types from different vendors and they were all amazing

If you happen to book the same place that I did Maga, the housekeeper, can be available for hire as your chef. She makes incredible enchiladas, fajitas and guacamole. It was a real treat to have her cook for us.

Sayulita has so much to offer. The shopping is incredible, the surf is great, and it’s centrally located to several other towns with a lot to offer. It is also an incredible small town so you can walk to pretty much everything (travel tip: If your kids hate to walk or you have trouble with cobblestone streets/hills, you may want to consider a golf cart. We were okay walking but my mom has a bad ankle so we got a golf cart!).

Shopping: There were so many cute places to shop. Honestly, if I thought for a second my husband would let me decorate our house a la Sayulita, you better believe I would have come home with three more suitcases stuffed to the brim. There is so much style and charm in this little city. Some of my favorite shops were:

+ Evoke The Spirit – Gorgeous wall hangings, textiles, and ceramics.
+ Gypsy Galleria – This places carries a little bit of everything. Go for the little girls dresses and table linens or pick up knick knack paper mache pieces to decorate your bookshelves.
+ Pacha Mama – Cute dresses in the cutest pink building. You’ll love everything!
+ Revolucion del Sueno – Amazing pillows and tshirts that you’ll want to bring home for your friends or yourself.
+ Ula – Cute for bikinis and dresses
+ Street Vendors – On one side street I managed to pick up strings and strings of pom poms and dresses for the girls. There were also a lot of mothers walking around with their kids selling things. I let the girls pick one thing a night that usually ran around 20 pesos (or about $1 US). Your money goes pretty far over there.

The beaches weren’t what I expected them to be, perhaps I should have done better research. If you’re hoping for calm crystal blue water and white sand, this isn’t the place. It was mostly black sand and Sayulita is known to be a surfing town. Even what locals call the “calm” beach, isn’t very calm at all. I didn’t even let the girls go in the water because the current was so strong. We kept our swimming to the pool. Something to keep in mind when looking for a villa rental if you have small children. If you like surfing however you are in luck! The waves are great and it would be great for beginners or those looking for some big waves. This photo was a Playa de los Muertos which is still worth checking out even if you are with the kids. Bring some sand toys and soak up the sun!

I couldn’t get over how colorful this city it. It was so vibrant and the energy of it all really pulls you in. These heart pom poms are all over the place. I was so happy to bring some back for the girls’ room.

Traveling with these girls isn’t always easy but it is always so rewarding. We talked endlessly about the similarities and differences they notice about life here and they had a lot of fun practicing their Spanish! Opening my and their eyes to how other people live in this world is extremely important to me and one of the greatest gifts I believe I’m giving them.

(clockwise from top: purse, sunglasses, bathing suit, jean shorts, sandals)

If you’re wondering what to pack, Sayulita is a very casual town. Honestly, bring one sundress, bathing suits, and some cute jean shorts or a skirt with one t-shirt and I’d say you’re all set. I brought these sandals pictured above and it was the only pair of shoes I wore. Here’s a little style diary of my outfits over the vacation:

I lived in this dress. I want to buy one in pretty much every color now. It was so comfortable and looked great going to dinner or throwing on over my swimsuit as a cover up.

A casual jumpsuit with a big straw hat is perfect for exploring the town.

A patterned sundress you can dress up or down (mine is from a few years ago but similar here).

I wore this t-shirt on the plane and swapped it out for this fun floral skirt when we arrived. I also wore this skirt over my one piece bathing suit and that doubled my outfits. Im also currently obsessed with this yellow pouch purse. Expect to see lots more of it this spring/summer.

I hope you guys get a chance to check out this amazing city. Mexico is a wonderful place and I can’t wait to check the next few cities off of my list. If there’s anything not listed here that you’re curious about just drop a question in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them! I’d love to know, do you have a favorite Mexico destination?

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10 comments on “Travel Guide: Sayulita, Riveria Nayarit, Mexico”

  1. I’m looking into visiting this coming winter and was wondering which airport you flew into? Did you rent the house through AirBnb? Also, did you rent a car or were you able to do all traveling by foot. Any other places that you’ve been to in Mexico that you suggest seeing?

    1. We flew into Puerto Vallarta and the Airbnb arranged for our airport transfers. We stayed in Sayulita so we just rented a golf cart. However, if you would like to explore other areas nearby (and I suggest you do!) then maybe rent a car for a day or two. I haven’t been anywhere else in Mexico but I have friends who have had wonderful experiences in Merida, Mexico City and Tulum!

  2. Wow you’re photos are so amazing!!!!!
    We definitely agree about the street tacos, you definitely have to catch them all! And they we’re $1.50 for three! Did you do the jungle hikes or any activities? We also found that they were super affordable ($20/hour for surf lessons, $10 yoga classes, $40 for a scuba dive.)
    We are definitely going back, but won’t stay in a hostel next time 😉

  3. Hi Ana! I love Sayulita, it’s a hip little town! We stay in Bucerias and rent a casa, the pricing is very reasonable. This will be our 3rd year going! Beautiful pictures by the way!!

  4. Hi love
    Looking at sayulita for a girls trip with my two daughters in April … any suggestions where to stay I kinda want a house with the view and a pool.. Also the Pom poms do you remember the cost ?? Activity suggestions and transportation around town ?? Thank you so much in advance

    1. Hi Cathy!

      Definitely rent a golf cart for getting around. The hills can be steep if you’re staying in a house up there and it makes the journey a lot easier. The house I stayed in was incredible and I linked it above. They also have a smaller house called Casa de Chicos or something similar if you don’t want such a big place. The pom poms are pretty cheap. A few bucks a string. You can buy them anywhere. Hope that helps!

  5. Your photos are amazing! Will definitely check out the cute restaurants and shops you recommended on my upcoming trip!

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