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Things To Do In Sayulita, Nayarit: Mexico Travel


by Liva Archuleta



Sayulita, located in the state of Nayarit, Mexico, is a vibrant and charming coastal town that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures. Nestled along the Pacific coast, Sayulita has become a popular destination for travelers seeking a laid-back and authentic Mexican experience. With its picturesque beaches, lush jungles, and colorful streets, Sayulita captures the essence of Mexico’s charm and offers a multitude of activities for visitors of all ages.


Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, a food lover, or simply looking to relax and unwind, Sayulita has something for everyone. Its pristine beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. The warm and clear waters of the Pacific Ocean make Sayulita a haven for water sports enthusiasts, particularly surfers who flock to its renowned surf breaks.


Aside from its natural beauty, Sayulita is also home to a vibrant art and cultural scene. The town center is adorned with colorful murals and vibrant street art, reflecting the creative spirit of the community. The local shops and markets offer a wide array of traditional crafts, jewelry, and clothing, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich Mexican heritage.


When it comes to cuisine, Sayulita is a food lover’s paradise. From street food vendors to upscale restaurants, the town offers a diverse range of culinary options, including mouthwatering seafood dishes, traditional Mexican delicacies, and international cuisines. Visitors can indulge in delicious meals while enjoying the laid-back and friendly atmosphere that Sayulita is known for.


For those seeking adventure beyond the town, Sayulita’s proximity to the Marietas Islands provides opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, and witnessing the breathtaking natural beauty of hidden beaches and wildlife sanctuaries. Additionally, visitors can explore the surrounding jungles through hiking trails, zip lining, or even horseback riding.


Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, cultural experiences, or simply a memorable getaway, Sayulita has it all. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty of Mexico’s Pacific coast, and get ready to create lasting memories in Sayulita, Nayarit.


Exploring the Beaches

One of the main draws of Sayulita is its stunning beaches. With its crystal-clear waters and golden sands, these beaches are a paradise for beach lovers and water enthusiasts.


The main beach in Sayulita, Playa Sayulita, is a vibrant hub of activity. With its wide shoreline and gentle waves, it’s a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. The beach is lined with palapa-style beach restaurants and bars, where you can relax and enjoy a refreshing drink or indulge in some delicious seafood.


If you prefer a quieter and more secluded beach experience, head to Playa de los Muertos. This beach is located just a short walk south of the town center and offers a more tranquil atmosphere. Surrounded by lush vegetation and rocky cliffs, Playa de los Muertos is a hidden gem that provides a serene setting for sunbathing and picnicking.


For those seeking some adventure, Punta de Mita beach is a must-visit. Located just a short drive from Sayulita, this beach is a popular destination for surfers and paddleboarders. The waves here are more challenging, making it ideal for experienced surfers looking to catch some impressive waves.


If you’re in the mood for a scenic hike, make your way to secluded Playa Carricitos. This pristine beach is surrounded by lush jungle, giving it a remote and untouched feel. The hike to reach the beach is a bit challenging, but the reward is well worth it. Be prepared to have the beach mostly to yourself, perfect for a peaceful day of swimming and relaxation.


Lastly, Playa Malpasos offers a unique experience for nature lovers. This beach is known for its rocky formations and tide pools, where you can discover fascinating marine life up close. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and exploring the diverse ecosystem that thrives along the shoreline.


When visiting the beaches of Sayulita, it’s important to respect the environment and follow local regulations. Always swim in designated areas, dispose of trash properly, and be mindful of the marine life and coral reefs. By doing so, we can ensure the preservation of these natural treasures for future generations to enjoy.


Surfing and Water Sports

Sayulita is renowned for its fantastic surf breaks, making it a haven for surfers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, Sayulita has the perfect surf spot for you.


Playa Sayulita, the town’s main beach, offers consistent waves and a friendly atmosphere that is ideal for beginners. There are several surf schools and rental shops along the beach where you can get a board and take a lesson from experienced instructors. They will teach you the basics of surfing and help you ride your first wave in no time.


For more experienced surfers, there are several breaks in and around Sayulita that offer bigger and more challenging waves. Playa Los Muertos, just south of the town, is a popular spot for intermediate to advanced surfers. Its reef break produces powerful waves that can offer a thrilling experience.


If you’re looking for a true adventure, consider taking a boat trip to the nearby Marietas Islands. These volcanic islands are a protected marine reserve and offer some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities in the area. Swim through vibrant coral reefs, encounter colorful tropical fish, and marvel at the unique underwater rock formations.


In addition to surfing and diving, Sayulita offers a wide range of other water sports for those seeking an adrenaline rush. Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a popular choice, allowing you to explore the coastline and test your balance on a paddleboard. Kayaking is another great way to navigate the calm waters and discover hidden coves and secluded beaches.


If you’re looking for a unique water activity, try your hand at fishing. Sayulita is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, particularly for catching mahi-mahi, tuna, and marlin. Take a fishing charter and spend the day on the open ocean, casting your lines and enjoying the thrill of reeling in a big catch.


Whether you’re a surfer, a diver, or simply looking to have some fun in the water, Sayulita has no shortage of options to satisfy your adventurous spirit. Get ready to hit the waves, explore the underwater world, and create unforgettable memories in this water sports paradise.


Visiting the Sayulita Jungle

Beyond its stunning beaches, Sayulita is also blessed with lush jungle surroundings that offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. The dense tropical foliage, exotic wildlife, and cascading waterfalls make the Sayulita jungle a must-visit destination for nature lovers.


One of the best ways to experience the jungle is by taking a guided hiking tour. These tours will take you through well-marked trails, allowing you to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the jungle. As you walk through the dense forest, you’ll encounter towering trees, vibrant flowers, and a variety of bird species. Keep an eye out for colorful butterflies fluttering through the foliage.


For a more thrilling adventure, consider going on a zip-lining tour. Strap in and soar through the treetops, experiencing an adrenaline rush as you take in breathtaking views of the jungle below. Zip-lining is a popular activity in Sayulita, and there are several reputable operators that ensure your safety and provide an unforgettable experience.


If you’re interested in learning about the local flora and fauna, take a guided nature walk with an experienced naturalist. They will point out different plant species, explain their medicinal uses, and help you spot native animals such as monkeys, iguanas, and tropical birds. It’s a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse ecosystems that thrive in the Sayulita jungle.


Another highlight of the Sayulita jungle is its stunning waterfalls. Just a short drive from the town, you’ll find hidden cascades surrounded by lush greenery. Take a refreshing swim in the natural pools beneath the falls and relish in the tranquil atmosphere. Some tours even offer the opportunity to rappel down the waterfalls, adding an extra element of adventure to your visit.


If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, consider going on a horseback riding tour through the jungle. Ride along scenic trails, feel the breeze on your face, and listen to the sounds of nature as you explore the lush landscape on horseback. It’s a unique and memorable way to experience the beauty of the Sayulita jungle.


Visiting the Sayulita jungle is like stepping into a tropical paradise. Whether you choose to hike, zip-line, take a nature walk, visit waterfalls, or go horseback riding, the jungle offers a serene and magical setting for unforgettable adventures.


Shopping in the Town Center

Sayulita’s town center is a vibrant hub of activity, offering a plethora of shops and boutiques that cater to all tastes and interests. From unique artisanal crafts to stylish clothing and accessories, the town center is a shopper’s paradise.


Wander through the colorful streets and you’ll find a wide range of shops selling traditional Mexican handicrafts. These include intricately woven textiles, hand-painted ceramics, vibrant textiles, and delicate silver jewelry. These items make for a perfect souvenir or a gift to bring back home.


The town center is also known for its surf shops, where you can find everything you need for your surfing adventures. From surfboards to wetsuits, wax, and other accessories, these shops cater to surfers of all skill levels. You can also find trendy swimwear, beach towels, and other beach essentials.


If fashion is more your style, Sayulita has a selection of boutique clothing stores offering bohemian-chic pieces. From flowy dresses to stylish beachwear, these boutiques showcase the latest fashion trends with a local twist. You’ll find a range of unique and handmade clothing that perfectly reflects the laid-back vibe of Sayulita.


For those looking for home decor and artwork, there are numerous galleries and shops showcasing local artists’ works. Explore the vibrant art scene and discover paintings, sculptures, and handcrafted pieces that will add a touch of Mexico’s artistic flair to your home.


Aside from crafts and fashion, the Sayulita town center also has a variety of specialty stores. You’ll find organic markets offering locally sourced produce, health food stores, and shops selling natural skincare products. These stores cater to those seeking a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.


To fully immerse yourself in the local shopping experience, don’t miss the opportunity to browse through the town’s weekly markets. The Tianguis market, held every Friday, is a bustling affair where you can find a wide variety of goods, including fresh produce, clothing, accessories, handmade crafts, and more. It’s a great way to support local vendors and discover unique treasures.


Shopping in Sayulita is not just about acquiring material goods; it’s an experience that allows you to connect with the local culture and take a piece of Mexico’s vibrancy back home with you.


Enjoying Local Cuisine

When it comes to gastronomy, Sayulita is a food lover’s paradise. The town offers a wide range of culinary delights that showcase the rich flavors and traditions of Mexican cuisine. From street food to upscale restaurants, Sayulita has something to satisfy every palate.


One of the best ways to experience the local cuisine is through the street food scene. Wander through the vibrant streets and you’ll find numerous food stalls and vendors offering delicious snacks and traditional Mexican dishes. Tacos, quesadillas, elotes (Mexican street corn), and churros are just a few of the mouthwatering options available. Don’t be afraid to try the different salsas and toppings to enhance the flavors.


If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, Sayulita has a wide variety of restaurants that cater to diverse tastes. From family-owned eateries to trendy beachfront restaurants, there are options for every budget and preference. Sample the incredible array of seafood dishes, including ceviche, shrimp tacos, and grilled fish. Traditional Mexican favorites like enchiladas, mole, and tamales are also abundant on menus.


To truly immerse yourself in the local culinary experience, indulge in some traditional Mexican street snacks. Taste the flavors of tlayudas, a large crispy tortilla topped with beans, Oaxaca cheese, and a variety of toppings. Sip on a refreshing agua fresca, a fruity and refreshing drink, or try a michelada, a Mexican beer cocktail spiced with chili peppers and lime.


For those seeking a unique dining experience, Sayulita is also home to a few upscale restaurants that fuse Mexican flavors with international influences. These establishments offer innovative dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients, creating a fusion of flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more.


To truly appreciate the culinary diversity of Sayulita, consider taking a food tour. These guided tours allow you to explore the town’s culinary hotspots, taste a variety of dishes, and learn about the cultural significance of the ingredients and flavors. It’s a fantastic way to gain a deeper understanding of the local food scene and try a wide range of dishes in a short amount of time.


No trip to Sayulita is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. From street food vendors to upscale dining, the town offers a delectable array of flavors that will leave you wanting to explore the culinary delights of Mexico even further.


Discovering the Marietas Islands

Just off the coast of Sayulita lies a hidden gem waiting to be explored – the Marietas Islands. These uninhabited islands, located within a protected marine reserve, offer a breathtaking natural paradise that is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.


One of the highlights of a visit to the Marietas Islands is the opportunity to witness the stunning hidden beach, Playa del Amor (also known as the Hidden Beach). This beach is tucked away inside a collapsed volcanic crater, accessible only through a small tunnel. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by azure blue waters, powder-white sand, and the feeling of being in a secluded paradise. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.


Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities around the Marietas Islands. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and discover a colorful underwater world teeming with marine life. Swim alongside vibrant tropical fish, spot graceful manta rays, and marvel at the coral reef formations. Guided tours are available for both snorkeling and diving, ensuring that you have a safe and informative experience.


The Marietas Islands are also home to a variety of bird species, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise. Keep an eye out for blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and pelicans soaring above the islands. It’s a unique opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.


As a protected marine reserve, it’s important to remember to respect the delicate ecosystem of the Marietas Islands. Follow the instructions provided by tour guides to ensure the preservation of the wildlife and the conservation of the islands.


To visit the Marietas Islands, you can join a guided boat tour from Sayulita. These tours typically include transportation, snorkeling or diving equipment, and the opportunity to explore the islands and their hidden treasures. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during high season, to secure your spot and ensure a memorable experience.


A trip to the Marietas Islands is a chance to connect with nature, explore hidden beaches, and witness the biodiversity of Mexico’s Pacific coast. It’s an adventure that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.


Relaxing at the Yoga Studios and Spas

Sayulita is not only a destination for adventure and exploration; it is also a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. The town offers a wide range of yoga studios and spas where visitors can unwind, find inner peace, and pamper themselves.


Yoga enthusiasts will find an abundance of options in Sayulita. The town is home to several yoga studios that offer a variety of yoga classes for all levels, from gentle flow to vigorous Vinyasa. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a beginner, these studios provide a serene and welcoming space to practice yoga and connect with your body, mind, and breath. Many of the studios also offer workshops and retreats for those looking for a deeper immersion into their practice.


In addition to yoga, Sayulita boasts a selection of spas that offer a range of wellness treatments and therapies. Treat yourself to a soothing massage, relax with a rejuvenating facial, or indulge in a traditional Mexican temazcal ritual. These spas provide a tranquil sanctuary where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and focus on your well-being.


Some spas in Sayulita also offer holistic healing treatments such as Reiki, acupuncture, and crystal therapy. These alternative healing modalities aim to restore balance and promote holistic wellness. If you’re looking to explore different healing practices, these spas provide an opportunity to embark on a transformative and nurturing journey.


Aside from the traditional studios and spas, Sayulita also hosts a variety of wellness retreats throughout the year. These retreats typically combine yoga sessions, mindfulness practices, healthy meals, and excursions into the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Attending a retreat allows you to fully immerse yourself in a wellness-focused experience and take a break from the stress of daily life.


Whether you’re seeking to deepen your yoga practice, treat yourself to a relaxing massage, or embark on a transformative wellness retreat, Sayulita has the perfect options for you. Take the time to prioritize self-care and embrace the spirit of relaxation and rejuvenation that permeates the town.


Taking a Cultural Tour

Immersing yourself in the local culture is an essential part of any trip, and Sayulita offers a multitude of opportunities to explore the rich traditions and history of Mexico. Taking a cultural tour allows you to delve deeper into the heritage of Sayulita and gain a better understanding of the local way of life.


One popular cultural tour is a visit to the nearby town of San Francisco (San Pancho). This charming town is known for its thriving art scene and is home to the EntreAmigos community center, which offers workshops and activities showcasing traditional Mexican crafts. Explore the art galleries, visit local artisans and learn about their creative process, and witness the vibrant colors and designs that make this region’s artwork so distinctive.


Another way to immerse yourself in the local culture is by visiting the Sayulita Plaza. This central square is the heart of the town where locals gather and various events and celebrations take place. Take a leisurely stroll through the plaza, admire the vibrant architecture, and perhaps catch a live performance of traditional music and dance. The plaza is also home to the Sayulita Mercado, a market where you can explore stalls selling crafts, clothing, and local produce.


To gain a deeper understanding of the traditional Mexican flavors, consider joining a cooking class. Learn how to prepare authentic Mexican dishes using locally sourced ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. Discover the secrets of making handmade tortillas, salsas, and mole, and savor the delicious results of your culinary adventure.


A guided historical tour of Sayulita allows you to learn about the town’s origins and its historical significance. Visit landmarks such as the Sayulita Church, a charming white-washed building in the town center, and hear stories about the town’s past from knowledgeable guides. These tours provide insight into Sayulita’s transformation from a small fishing village to a popular tourist destination.


Participating in a cultural tour not only allows you to appreciate the rich heritage of Sayulita but also supports the local community and promotes sustainable tourism. By engaging with local artisans, attending cultural events, and learning about the history of the town, you contribute to the preservation and appreciation of Mexican culture.


So, embark on a cultural tour in Sayulita and delve into the captivating stories, art, and traditions that make this town truly special.


Participating in Ecotourism Activities

With its diverse ecosystems and stunning natural beauty, Sayulita offers numerous opportunities for ecotourism activities that allow you to connect with nature, support conservation efforts, and learn about the importance of sustainability.


One popular ecotourism activity in Sayulita is whale watching. From December to March, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean to give birth and nurse their calves. Join a guided whale watching tour and witness these majestic creatures breaching and tail-slapping in their natural habitat. These tours not only provide a thrilling experience but also raise awareness about the need for marine conservation.


For nature lovers, exploring the surrounding jungles through hiking trails is a must. Take a guided tour or venture out on your own to discover hidden waterfalls, spot exotic birds and wildlife, and marvel at the lush vegetation. With every step, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of the ecosystem and the importance of preserving it.


Snorkeling and diving tours in the nearby marine reserves offer the chance to explore the vibrant coral reefs and their diverse marine life. These activities play a crucial role in promoting conservation efforts and reminding us of the importance of protecting our oceans. Be mindful of the marine life and follow eco-friendly practices, such as not touching or disturbing the coral or other marine creatures.


Another eco-friendly activity to consider is visiting the turtle conservation projects in the area. Sayulita is a nesting ground for sea turtles, and several organizations work tirelessly to protect their nests and ensure the survival of these endangered species. You can participate in releasing baby turtles into the ocean or learn about the efforts to protect their nesting areas.


To minimize your environmental impact during your stay, consider staying in eco-friendly accommodations that prioritize sustainability. Several hotels and resorts in Sayulita have implemented green initiatives, such as energy-efficient practices, water conservation, and waste reduction programs. By choosing eco-friendly accommodations, you directly support their efforts to conserve resources and protect the environment.


Remember, ecotourism is about experiencing the beauty of nature while promoting conservation and sustainability. By participating in these ecotourism activities, you not only create unforgettable memories but also contribute to the preservation of Sayulita’s natural wonders for future generations to enjoy.


Nightlife and Entertainment Options

When the sun sets in Sayulita, the town comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene that offers a variety of entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. From lively beach bars to live music venues, Sayulita has something to cater to everyone’s taste and ensure an unforgettable evening.


One of the main attractions of Sayulita’s nightlife is its beach bars. Situated along the shoreline, these open-air establishments provide the perfect setting to enjoy a cocktail, listen to live music, and dance the night away with your toes in the sand. Experience the vibrant energy as locals and tourists gather to socialize and unwind under the starry sky.


For those who appreciate live music, Sayulita offers a range of venues showcasing local talent. From intimate acoustic performances to energetic bands playing a variety of genres, you’ll find an eclectic mix of music that adds to the buzzing atmosphere of the town. Check out the local bars and restaurants for their live music schedules and let the rhythm take you on a journey.


Indulge in the cultural performances that often take place in Sayulita’s town square, such as traditional Mexican folk dances and music. These performances offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Mexico and provide an enjoyable and entertaining evening for visitors of all ages.


If you’re in the mood for dancing, Sayulita also has a couple of small clubs where you can dance to the rhythm of upbeat tunes until the early hours of the morning. These clubs often play a mix of Latin music, reggaeton, and electronic beats, creating a lively and energetic atmosphere for those who love to dance and let loose.


Want to test your skills on the dance floor? Look out for salsa or bachata dance classes and socials where you can learn the moves and immerse yourself in the passionate world of Latin dance. These classes are offered at various locations in Sayulita and provide the opportunity to meet new people and have a fun-filled night.


Alternatively, if you prefer a quieter evening, you can stroll through the streets of Sayulita and explore the local shops and art galleries that often stay open late. This allows you to discover unique souvenirs, handicrafts, and artwork while enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the town at night.


Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, enjoy live music, or simply unwind with a refreshing drink, Sayulita offers an exciting nightlife scene to suit every taste. So put on your dancing shoes, embrace the energy of the town, and create unforgettable memories under the starlit sky.



Sayulita, Nayarit, is a destination that captivates visitors with its stunning beaches, adventurous water sports, lush jungles, and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, thrilling adventures, or an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich Mexican culture, Sayulita has it all.


From exploring the beautiful beaches and taking part in thrilling water sports like surfing and paddleboarding, to venturing into the lush Sayulita jungle and discovering hidden waterfalls, there are countless outdoor activities to keep you entertained and in touch with nature.


The town center of Sayulita offers a delightful shopping experience, with a wide range of artisan crafts, boutique clothing stores, and local markets. Indulge your taste buds in the local cuisine, sampling traditional Mexican dishes from street vendors and gourmet restaurants alike.


For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Sayulita provides opportunities to unwind in yoga studios and spas, immersing yourself in wellness practices and pampering treatments. Additionally, participating in cultural tours allows you to delve into the local heritage, visit art galleries, and learn about traditional cooking techniques.


Eco-tourists will find plenty of activities in Sayulita that promote sustainability and environmental conservation. Whale watching, snorkeling, and visiting turtle conservation projects are just a few of the ways you can engage with nature and support efforts to protect the local ecosystem.


As the sun sets, the nightlife scene in Sayulita comes alive with beach bars, live music, and cultural performances. Whether you’re dancing to Latin beats, watching traditional folk dances, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll through the town center, Sayulita offers a vibrant and entertaining atmosphere for all.


Throughout your time in Sayulita, the friendly and welcoming spirit of the locals will make your stay even more memorable. The town’s commitment to sustainability and the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage is evident in its various eco-friendly initiatives and community efforts.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or a mix of everything, Sayulita is a destination that has it all. So pack your bags, embrace the beauty of Mexico’s Pacific coast, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Sayulita, Nayarit.