A secluded Riviera Nayarit surf town with more colors than Pantone.
No massive chain resorts here. Sayulita has abundant Air BnB options. For me, just picking one was difficult. So, I ended up selecting two.
Casa del Jardín: A Swiss Family Robinson hideaway.
Labeled as a "Bed and Breakfast" I found that designation fit only loosely. There's an easily accessible kitchen with goodies such as yogurt and fruit, but by no means a full spread. Make sure any fruit you consume has been soaked in iodine. I will confess I learned the hard way and got painfully sick. Also, if you need AC this is NOT the place for you. There are fans and mosquito nets - but beyond that - it's just you and the elements baby.
During my stay, I enjoyed attempting to befriend the numerous cats roaming around the property. If you pick this spot though, remember to ask for complimentary ear plugs. An adjacent tree is teeming squawking birds and they're worse than any alarm on your iPhone.
Cerca de el mar Oceano: In the heart of it all is this minimalist boutique "hotel".
Hidden above an ice cream shop you won't even realize its there. If you're planning on enjoying nightlife I would highly suggest staying here. If you're not - better bring along those earplugs or opt for other accommodations.
The interior is as whitewashed as the facade, but marked with turquoise accents. There's AC and a beautifully tiled shower floor. Outdoors, a sleepy patio decorated with terra cotta planters allows you to peek into the Neapolitan Pizza place below. I highly recommend going there.
Luna Liquida: Resort like a Rockstar, Literally
Just in case you want to tack on a day here... In Puerta Vallarta, staying away from the crowds and all-inclusives certainly has its advantages. For which, this hill-top mansion, formerly home to a member of Mexican rock group, Maná serves as the ideal illustration. Despite the posh appearance of this recently renovated boutique hotel, price does not mirror aesthetic.
On arrival, you're greeted by pristine white stucco accented with robin's egg blue and cheery yellow. Inside, you'll ascend a stone-laid staircase which wraps around an outdoor courtyard tied together with greenery and water features. Every level offers kitchen space and dining tables available on a first-come-first serve basis. There's also plenty of lounge space, I think would accommodate groups nicely.
A limited breakfast menu is served in a number of those seating areas every morning. I opted for the patio.
Admittedly, it's a bit of a hike down to the boardwalk and historical district, but if you've got a solid pair of tennis shoes you'll be fine. Plus, just look at this terrace! Well worth it, in my opinion.
If you're looking for nightlife and high levels of activity this is NOT to place for you. If you're looking to relax, none could be better. Now back to Sayulita...
Stuff your Face:
Burrito Revolution: For hot tacos and hot political takes (note aggressive chalkboard below).
Micheladas are a morning necessity - and from time to time I still think about the crispy onions on their shrimp tacos. What a combo.
Mary's: Another taco spot I would highly recommend. I indulged in some flaky cod.
Pro Tip: Download some "offline" maps on Google maps. Star all the places you're looking to go. That way, when you don't have WiFi or cellular service you still have a means of getting around and most importantly, getting where you *want to go.
Organi-K: For Acai bowls equal parts fresh and satisfying head here. This smoothie stop is located close to the river, which if you have not already heard can smell REALLY bad. However, the trek and a mild stank is well worth it. I mean, look at this presentation value!
ChocoBanana: A local staple. Here you can eavesdrop (yes I typed that) on some great local banter and snag a frozen banana chocolate-covered rolled in rainbow sprinkles - every influencer's dream.
Lets go to the Beach, Beach, Let's go Getaway
Playa Sayulita --> Playa De Los Muertos --> Playa Carracitos.
Easily accessible beach from the downtown area. Both at day and night there's plenty of activities such as Coco's Beach Club, if you're keen on some latin dancing. During the day its bustling with vendors selling grilled shrimp on a stick, tourists taking surf lessons and sunbathers boasting margaritas.
Playa De Los Muertos:
Beside a rainbow-colored gravesite is a cozy-cove of a beach. Not as large as Playa Sayulita, but spacious enough. If you pass the amore-themed hotel you'll know you're on the right path.
Fans of Bachelor in Paradise would be pleased to know you too can have your "Almost Paradise" on this isolated beach. Located next to where they actually film the show! Explore the muscle-covered tide pools and pull out a book as you listen to the breakers crash beside you.
The trek through the forest from Playa De Los Muertos takes roughly a half hour to 45 minutes. Have on a pair of athletic footwear if you're planning to do so as there's a couple of up hill drags.
Though this destination lies on mainland Jalisco, Yelapa is only accessible by water. I visited this isolated gem via sailboat through Chica Locca Tours. I would highly recommend this excursion service for the price point. You depart from downtown Sayulita and take a bus through the jungle to a marina. Note, for the drive bring a light jacket as you're exposed to the outdoors and the wind can be a bit chilly.
The trek to the island is well over an hour but on the way we had breakfast, lunch, cocktails and a humpback whale sighting!
Once you arrive at Yelapa you only have about an hour to explore. You can either opt to hang at the beach or go on a waterfall hike. I chose to hike and on the way ran into this lovely "Mexican-Moonshine" man. We also stumbled upon into this little lady who was fast asleep on the hike.
Planning your trip to Sayulita? Comment below or shoot me an email and I'm happy to provide extra info on travel, accommodations and excursions.