Sayulita, 15 things to do in this Magic Town

The Magic Town of Sayulita has a lot of amazing places to visit and fun activities to do. Come visit!

Sayulita, 15 things to do in this Magic Town
English 11/07/2019 20:04 Samantha Michelle Guzmán Mexico City Actualizada 13:31
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There are characters always present in Sayulita. There are the youths with athletic bodies that walk to the beach every morning holding a surfboard on their heads; they go barefoot even if there are still lots of blocks to go to reach the sand. There are adventure lovers who stop here to hike through the jungle and look for almost virgin coasts In nearby towns. There are, too, the women traveling with breezy clothing and traditional textile jewelry, who walk through small streets ornamented with hanging “papel picado,” full of locals with unconventional souvenirs.

In the middle, we, “godínez” in secret, are trapped, wanting to feel as free spirits for at least a couple of days. The good news is that this Magic Town with a hippie vibe does not discriminate anyone.

Sayulita is in Riviera Nayarit, 50 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. We went to explore it and, among its experiences, these are 15 that impressed us; most of them are available all year through.

To have fun

1. Learn to surf. In Sayulita, there is nothing more popular than conquering the waves with a surfboard. Of course, not everybody does so with the same degree of success. Children and adults gather on the beach to practice. The most skilled ones stand up rapidly and keep their balance during some seconds. The rest falls miserably, but the laughter is as constant as their plunges.

Located on the seashore, Lunazul is one of the best-ranked surfing schools. A class of an hour and a half costs approximately MXN$765 per person.

If surfing intimidates you, you can have fun with a buggy board, which is shorter and is made of foam. It allows you to slide lying on your stomach or on your knees. The rent for a day is MXN$250.

2. Climb the Cerro del Mono. To see one of the best sunsets of your life, you must go into the jungle and reach the top of this hill that surrounds the coast of the Magic Town. The ascent starts at 6 p.m. and lasts for more than an hour; you have direct views of the Pacific Ocean almost all the time. In addition, it is shocking to find authentic vertical gardens created by the dense vegetation. When you reach the highest point, the sky is stained with reds and oranges. The cost of the tour is of MXN$1,200 per person with MexiTreks.

3. Buy unique souvenirs. For a number of years now, Sayulita has been chosen for national and foreign artists and creatives to show their works to the world: clothes, jewelry, and house ornaments that you’ll hardly find somewhere else. It is possible that your shopping lasts several hours since most stores have unique identities and stories to tell.

You can start in the Delfines and Martín streets, both are parallel and just some steps away from the beach: they lead to the principal square of the town. Locals like "Artefakto" and "Evoke the Spirit" gather there. The first has rustic furniture manufactured with traditional techniques from different regions of Mexico. The distinctive mark of the second are cow skulls decorated by Huichol artists, through the technique of painting with worsted wool; in addition, there are workshops of macramé and wool pompons

Some blocks before the square is “Revolución del Sueño”, a fashion store, where sarcastic messages and Mexican design are always present. Next to the square, you will not resist the urge to take a photo with the skeletons decorating the front of “Esto es México”. The “catrinas” and the “lucha libre” are constant elements in the crafts of this store.

4. Discover the Huichol cosmogony. More than 25 years ago, the anthropologist Susana Valadez married the Wixárika artist Mariano Valadez and they created an organization that seeks to preserve the culture and traditions of this ethnicity. As a result, the gallery Tanana was created, which is actually managed by their son Cilau. He himself elaborates crafts that are for sale, in collaboration with other members of the community. There is jewelry, sculptures ornamented with beading, and paintings inspired in the beliefs of the Wixárika.

5. Taste raicilla. After traveling around Mexico tasting artisanal wines, mezcals, and tequila, the sommelier Isaías González collected his favorite drinks in a single place: Sayulita Wine Shop. He attends it himself, addresses your doubts, and guides raicilla tastings, a distillate of agave that is produced mainly in Jalisco. Here you can find award-winning wines, distillates of lesser-known brands and even cigars.

6. Free turtles. From June to November, thousands of Golfina turtles are born in Sayulita and start their journey to the sea. Almost daily, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., public releases take place in Campamento Tortuguero. It is located 15 minutes walking from downtown. To have an idea of the natural show you will see: in every nest, there are approximately 100 eggs, and just in the last days of the season approximately 17 nests are released.

7. Watch humpback whales jump. We challenge you to hold in the tears of emotion when you see in front of you this immense cetacean that arrives at the coasts of Riviera Nayarit from December to March. The company ”La Orca de Sayulita” arranges tours of only eight people, guided by a zoologist. The boat is equipped with hydrophones that allow to listen to these sea giants communicating between themselves. With some luck, you will also find killer whales and dolphins. The experience costs around MXN$1,400 per adult.

8. Practice paddle-boarding. The town of Lo De Marcos, 20 minutes away from Sayulita, is practically unknown by national tourists. Its beach is only visited by American and Canadian pensioners who travel in campers and spend long stays there. In this almost virgin coast, there are tours of paddle-boarding, a sport that consists of rowing on a surfboard.

Standing on your feet is harder than it looks. Before starting, the guides ask you to keep your balance over a lifted cord: almost everyone fails. However, rowing over the waves is very relaxing. The tours are organized by “Xplore México” and the cost starts at MXN$450 per person.

9. Sail to the Coral Island. In a small portion of land, you will find one of the few turquoise beaches in Riviera Nayarit. You should better visit it in the morning because it is empty. The tours can depart from Lo De Marcos, or the Los Ayala town (30 minutes away from Sayulita), and it takes almost an hour to get there. In addition to swimming and taking the sun, the island is perfect for snorkeling. It is inhabited by pelicans and Blue-footed Booby birds. The tours cost MXN$1,000 per person with MexiTreks.

Where to eat

10. Pizzas in front of the sea. “Don Pedros” is a restaurant under a palapa, just steps away from the sand. As every restaurant by the coast, it specializes in fish and seafood. However, several of their courses distinguish it: pizza with shrimp and bacon, and beer-infused shrimp served with chipotle sauce are some of the best. The sushi of spicy scallops and the lobster ravioli deserve a special mention.

11. The famous popsicles. Both locals and tourists visit the Wakika ice-cream parlor in the Delfines street. Their popsicles are simple, yet delicious. Almost all of them are stuffed with big chunks of fruit. Some flavors are nanche, cherry, pineapple, or the traditional mango with chili.

12. Get prepared for the spice! The most acclaimed “aguachiles” of the region are prepared in the neighbor town of San Francisco (most known as San Pancho), 10 minutes away from Sayulita. The restaurant is called “Las Palmas” and is located by the shore. With your feet buried in the sand, have a hibiscus, mango, or green “aguachile.” Their toasts of tune and crispy onion are also very tasty.

13. Party! Sayulita has a very active nightlife. The most popular bars are distributed around the main square. “Don Pato” stands out for its atmosphere, since it has live-music almost daily and offers artisanal beers and mezcal-based cocktails. For a more private experience, go to the wine bar “Escondido;” do not miss their Old Fashioned cocktail made with mezcal. And if you prefer something near the beach, you should visit “Frente al Punto.”

To rest

14. With style and inner peace. Can you imagine practicing yoga with a spectacular view of the jungle and the Pacific Ocean? If that is the inspiration you are looking for, book a reservation in Haramara Retreat. Its 18 cabins with palm roofs are immersed in nature and are only lighted by candles so that you forget technology for a while. It has an infinity pool and a restaurant focused on organic foods, open to the public in general.

You can take individual yoga classes or book an all-inclusive retirement, with foods and planned activities. There are seven-night packages for MXN $31,421 per person.

15. Stay awhile in your own flat. “El Pueblito” is a hotel designed as a traditional Mexican “barrio.” Its family rooms are equipped with living room and kitchen; if you do not want to make your own food, there are all-inclusive plans. The property has a pool and a jacuzzi. The rates start at MXN $1,992 per night for four adults. If you are traveling with your couple, you can book a smaller suite.


How to get there:

You must arrive at Puerto Vallarta Airport. Volaris has round-trip flights from MXN$1,888 per person.

Car rentals:

We recommend this option to move freely from Sayulita to the nearby towns. Through Skyscanner, the rates go from MXN $1,331 for three days in a car for five passengers.



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