If you follow me on Instagram then you likely know that I just recently was in Sayulita, Mexico. Last November, I went to Puerto Vallarta with my friend and after a day trip to Sayulita, I was in love and already planning my next trip back.
It’s a beautiful, laid-back, hippie town with something for everyone. There are great restaurants, fun bars, and tons of excursions available, and the beach is both a beach bum’s & surfer’s dream. Some say Disney Land is the happiest place on earth, well – I say Sayulita is.
This time, I went with a big group of friends. For the first time ever, we were able to gather up some of our closest friends and convince them to fly down to Mexico with us. The first week, there were 8 of us all together, and the next there was 5.
Travelling with friends is a ton of fun and something I highly recommend everyone do at least once (or why not make it an annual thing?!) because you really get to spend so much time together and form such amazing memories.
This trip will forever go down as one of my favourites because of all the people who were able to join us, and I am excited for us all to travel together again. Now, onto my guide to Sayulita!
Exploring Beautiful Sayulita | A Travel Guide to Sayulita, Mexico
Where to Eat
One of the big hits with our group of friends was Chocobanana. When you’re travelling in groups, it can be a challenge to find a place to dine that pleases everyone’s taste, but Chocobanana had something for everyone. I went twice for breakfast at Chocobanana, and both times I loved my breakfast choice – though if you’re heading there just once then be sure to get their famous French Toast Pudding.
When going to Chocobanana, be sure to wait to get a table upstairs. If you sit in the top corner, you’ll get a great view of the walkways, colourful flags, and bustling square below. It’s a perfect spot to relax, drink your morning coffee, and take in the beauty of Sayulita.
One thing to mention here is that if you’re someone who is wanting a breakfast cocktail – you better bring your own! Chocobanana does not serve any alcohol, so if you’re looking for a mimosa then you’ll want to bring one yourself. We saw many people bring their own beers and drinks to Chocobanana.
One place we frequented while we were in Sayulita was Yeikame. We loved the food, and our server (shout out to Ryan!), as well as the owner, were fantastic. The food alone was excellent, but their service and friendliness brought the experience up even another level.
Since there was such a big group of us there, we nearly tried out the whole menu – and what I can say is that you really cannot go wrong when ordering here! Our top favourites though had to be their chicken mole enchiladas, Aztec soup, and tacos.
One thing to know when you go to Yeikame is that they actually make their own tequila – and boy, is it ever smooth! For only 350 pesos you can purchase an entire bottle, and when you’re finished you can get it refilled for only 100 pesos. I mean, if that’s not a screaming deal then I don’t know what is!
While we were in Sayulita, we went to Mary’s just once. Mary’s was recommended to us by a couple we went on an excursion with, and they said it was an absolute must-try. So, that afternoon (after quading) we showed up at Mary’s looking as though we had all just been caught in a sandstorm.
We planned on returning more times because their food was so delicious, but we, unfortunately, weren’t able to make it back. At Mary’s, we tried a few of their tacos, and each one was absolutely delicious. Their food was flavourful, the service was friendly and informative, and the atmosphere was bright and fun.
If you’re craving something sweet then you’re going to want to stop by Wakika Heladeria. This colourful nook is home to some of the most flavourful and delicious gelato and fruity popsicles I’ve ever tasted! If you love mixing your fruit with chocolate, then be sure to request for your popsicle to be chocolate dipped – it’s delicious!
One thing we all became addicted to while we were away was empanadas. La Empanaderia had tons of flavours, and while I didn’t have a chance to try them all out – a friend of mine made it his trip goal to have one of each, and he loved them all. My favourites were the “Nancy”, a blackberry jam and cream cheese filled empanada, and the mushroom with cheese empanada (unfortunately I don’t remember the name of this one).
If you’re looking for a place to duck into for a drink or two, Cava is it. Located just outside of the main square, Cava is a unique spot to discover fresh cocktails and drinks. While we were there, we tried the Poblano Escobar and Paloma.
The fruit used in the cocktails was so fresh that it was cut up right in front of us! We loved the atmosphere at Cava, too. It was relaxed, friendly, and quieter than some of the other bars in town.
Things to Do
One of the things Sayulita is famous for is its surfing. Now, I don’t surf but I saw tons of people surfing and spoke to a few locals who said it was amazing. If you’re a surfer or just want to try it out then you’ll love Sayulita.
If you’re a serious surfer then you’ll probably bring your own board, but if not – don’t worry, there are tons of surf rentals along the beach which are all very reasonably priced.
Spend a Day on a Catamaran
So to start, I’m going to let you all know a little secret: I do not fair well in the ocean. I get terrible sea sickness pretty much every time I set foot on a catamaran, or sailing boat – heck, even sometimes Vancouver’s sea bus makes me queasy. But, while we were away the group wanted to go on an Ally Cat Sailing Adventures catamaran day tour so I hoped for the best and went in with a positive mindset.
Within minutes my seasickness hit, and I thought I was going to be in for a very long and painful day. But, the amazing staff running the Ally Cat tour hopped right into action to help me out. They brought me drinks which helped ease the seasickness and even steered the boat clear of any larger waves. By the end of the day, I was having a ton of fun and my seasickness was at bay.
Aside from my seasickness, everyone had an amazing time. My friends (who aren’t plagued by going sea green) had hours of fun as they enjoyed paddle boarding, swimming in the ocean, and soaking up the sun. While my first few hours on the catamaran may have been rocky, I could tell that for almost everyone else it was a total hit, and by the end of the day it was a hit for me, too – and that’s why I am recommending it to all of you.
Aside from the incredible staff, seeing humpback whales really made this excursion one that I am glad I went on. I love whales, and seeing humpback whales was a major highlight of my trip.
There are lots of trails around Sayulita, most notably one called Monkey Mountain. The greenery around Sayulita is so lush and beautiful, and the views at the top of these hikes always prove to be spectacular. If you’re looking for a way to keep those cervezas from hitting your waistline then plan on going for a few hikes during your stay in Sayulita.
Explore the Town
One of my personal favourite pastimes is walking around the town. There are so many great shops and restaurants, that it’s easy to lose an entire day to the magic of this little town. Whenever I travel, I like to have a few days without an itinerary so that I can really just go and explore. The beauty of a town like this is that there’s always something new happening, and there’s always something to see..
One fun way to see Sayulita and the jungle around it is with an ATV tour. We did this during the first week of our trip, and I found it quite helpful in figuring out how to get around the city. With the tour, we discovered new trails, areas, and even beaches.
Enjoy a Relaxing Day at the Beach
Sayulita’s main beach is beautiful, and we spent a lot of time there during our holiday but we also ended up discovering a few really beautiful beaches that were a bit more private and a lot less populated which we liked even more.
Our favourite beach was Playa Malpasos Beach because it was so serene, beautiful, and empty. We ended up going to Playa Malpasos beach a few times and we were always really surprised by just how few people visited this beach. There were occasionally another family or two there, but for the most part, we had the beach totally to ourselves!
Another beautiful beach to check out is Los Muertos. Los Muertos is located just a few minutes outside Sayulita’s town centre. Whenever we went to Los Muertos, we just would walk, though some people used quads to get to the beach. While this beach definitely isn’t as secluded or quiet as Playa Malpasos, it’s still a beautiful place to set up for a day in the sun.
If you watch Bachelor in Paradise then you’d likely recognize Playa Escondida as it’s the beachfront often shown in the TV show! We ended up walking (and dangerously hiking over some rocks – do not recommend!) to this beach and absolutely loved it. Like Playa Malpasos, this beach is very quiet, beautiful, and secluded.
Places to Stay
During our first week in Sayulita, we stayed in Casa Paz. This home was located at the top of gringo hill road and though it was difficult to get to, it was a beautiful home and offered a stunning view of Sayulita. Walking into the home, you are welcomed with an open concept kitchen and dining area.
In front of the dining area is the infinity pool, which was where I spent most of my mornings taking in the unbelievable view. The home had laundry available, though you wouldn’t use it yourself, instead, the house cleaner would pick up your laundry to clean and return it by end of the day. The home was 2 floors and fit our entire group comfortably.
While we loved this home, it was a trek to get to – and going into the town was always an adventure. The trial you need to take to get to the main road is overgrown with weeds, trees, and bushes, and it’s very easy to get hurt.
In fact, at one part of the trail, you need to duck down in order not to get caught on barbed wire. This could be quite treacherous at night, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you have bad knees.
During our second week, we stayed at Pajero De Fuego – an apartment complex closer to town. This apartment had a very modern feel and had its own in-suite laundry which was great as it felt like there was always something that needed to be washed – towels, clothes, sheets, etc. This apartment had one master bedroom, and one room with 3 smaller beds. It would be ideal for a family to stay in, though it also fits our group of 5 comfortably as well.
Downstairs from our apartment was the pool area, which was a great spot to grab a bit of sunshine or to cool off after being in town. While we didn’t spend a ton of time here, we did find that having the pool there was a nice luxury after spending time under the hot sun.
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