Sayulita Beach, Mexico: Go Now Before it’s too Late

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From high-class surf schools to a chill hippy vibe, Sayulita Beach, Mexico has all you need to make lifelong memories. Start your journey here

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In dire need of white sand, palm trees, and a true break from busy modern life? Meet Sayulita Beach, Mexico—the next stop on your travel bucket list.

This public beach resides on the west coast of Mexico, giving locals and tourists a chance to dip in the Pacific Ocean. With crystal blue waters and an unforgettable coastline, this is every beach fanatic’s paradise. 

But this gem of a beach isn’t the only reason you should visit. The area also boasts world-class surfing opportunities, traditional cuisine, and endless day trips to keep you busy. 

So, keep on reading if you’re ready to start planning your next once-in-a-lifetime vacation. We have all the details to help you organize your trip. 

All about Sayulita Beach, Mexico

aerial view of Sayulita beach Mexico

Attention all beach bums! It’s time for you to book your tickets to Playa Sayulita. This Mexican shoreline stretches across the bay, framing the local town with the same name. 

The picturesque views and swimming opportunities are the main attractions of this beach, both for locals and tourists. Many visitors head to this seafront to try surfing, but you don’t have to climb on a board to enjoy the scenery. There are many deckchairs and beach bars to help you unwind without the watersports. 

Sayulita doesn’t scrimp when it comes to food and drinks. This beach is peppered with local vendors selling tropical refreshments, allowing you to sip on the sand. However, if you’d rather take to a restaurant, there are plenty of options that combine Mexican plates with coastal views. 

This beach can become quite busy in the peak months, so don’t expect empty sands unless you arrive first thing in the morning! The early bird does catch the worm here.

Where is Playa Sayulita Beach, Mexico?

Sayulita sign

If you’re unfamiliar with Sayulita Beach, Mexico, have a quick look at the map to get your bearings. 

Only 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Puerto Vallarta, this beach and town is a popular tourist destination. However, it’s more of a backpacker’s favorite than a family vacation spot. 

One of the main reasons this beach town has soared to fame over the past few years is its proximity to Puerto Vallarta–one of the primary tourist cities on this coast. These days, more and more tourists are heading straight to Sayulita thanks to its growing appeal online and on social media. 

Goodbye, hidden gem status!

Top activities in Playa Sayulita

Already filling out your planner for your Sayulita Playa visit? 

Allow us to guide you! Here are some of the top activities in and around this coastline. 

Enroll in a local surf school

Surf beach in Sayulita Beach Mexico

Do you have an adventurous spirit? 

If so, the high-quality surf schools on Sayulita Beach, Mexico, must be calling your name. 

Surfing is one of the prime reasons tourists visit this pueblo. With large waves and strong tides, it’s a well-known surf town across Mexico. 

Surf schools here teach surfers of all levels. No need to be an expert with these professional teachers! All you need is some courage, and in no time, you’ll be able to dive into the white water to catch your first wave. 

Surfboard and wetsuit rentals are also readily available for some solo surfing bliss.

Luckily for tourists and locals, the waves here are large all year round. However, the peak months for surfing are from December to April. 

Beach hopping

Why travel to a stunning coastline and not visit Sayulita’s best beaches?

Most of these beaches have the necessary amenities you’ll need to chillax; from beach umbrellas to public toilets and changing rooms, they are all available. 

Just note these amenities might not be free, so carry a few extra pesos! 

Sayulita Beach

Best for surfers.

girl with surf board looking at waves

Sayulita beach is the closest to the town, only 3 miles (5 km) from the main plaza. 

This sandy expanse is a popular spot for surfers, sunbathers, and locals. Other common activities at this beach include stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming. 

You’ll always find holidaymakers here, perfect for anyone who wants a lively atmosphere or to make some friends while on the road.

Playa Los Muertos, Playa Escondida, and Playa Las Cuevas are three nearby beaches that also deserve your attention. 

Playa Los Muertos 

Best for busy beach lovers.

beach and palm trees in Sayulita Mexico

Playa Los Muertos is a popular pick due to its safe waters and close distance. 

This unique beach was named after historic pirate raids and offers more surfing and eating opportunities. 

Today, you’ll find lots of families on this seafront, as the surf is slightly calmer. 

Pro tip: Visit in the evenings or weekdays to avoid the weekend crowds. 

Playa Escondida

Best for a quiet beach day.

The surfing village of Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico

In the mood for some privacy? Playa Escondida is your speed. This part of the coastline doesn’t have a clear access point for vehicles, and you’ll have to hike to experience the warm waters. 

But this is all part of the fun! 

Not to mention the unique rocky headlands, quiet atmosphere, and blissful peace you’ll find.

Playa Las Cuevas

Great for advanced snorkelers.

rocky shore of Sayulita Beach Mexico

Playa Las Cuevas is another even more secluded beach great for anyone who enjoys peace and quiet. Portions of this coastline disappear entirely when the tide is high. 

Las Cuevas provides advanced snorkeling options with rocky outcrops and caves hiding colorful fish. However, recreational swimming isn’t recommended due to strong currents. 

So, if you want a busy beach, this isn’t it. Head to Sayulita Beach or Playa Los Muertos.

Pro tip: You’ll need to bring water, food, and your own amenities for Playa Escondida and Las Cuevas. 

Carricitos Beach and North Beach

Great for sunset lovers and paddle boarders.

Surfer at sunrise. Sayulita Mexico

Two other beaches near Playa Sayulita include Carricitos Beach and North Beach. 

Both take you away from the main hustle and bustle, but beware–the surf on these beaches can get rougher than the others. 

Carritcitos is a particularly popular beach for sunsets, as it’s west facing. 

North Beach is a favorite for paddle boarding as there are fewer swimmers. 

Take a day off from surfing and pitch your towel on these unforgettable beaches to enjoy the views, warm waters, and traditional Mexican hospitality. 

Anyone for a cold beer?

Enjoy the hippy vibes 

colorful flags in Sayulita Beach Mexico

Whatever your personal style is, a trip to Sayulita Playa, Mexico isn’t complete without time spent admiring the chic hippy atmosphere. 

Unlike other mainstream beach towns, this area has been occupied by surfers since the 1960s. Due to these laidback wave catchers, Sayulita has since been known as a relaxed surfing destination. Here you’ll find eclectic shops, hipster cafes, and local art galleries that’ll blow your mind. 

Plus, buskers are commonly found along the cobbled streets, adding an extra dose of creativity to the town. 

Shop with local artisans

colorful market wares in Mexico

Since Sayulita Beach, Mexico, has been a haven for hippies, surfers, and artists for decades, it’s no surprise you’ll find rows of vibrant arts and crafts shops. 

From unusual modern art to traditional patterns, the vendors here cover all styles. There’s an abundance of Huichol art, Mexican folk designs, textile crafts, indigenous art, poetry, paintings, and more. 

Great news for fashionistas! Many of these independent sellers offer traditional jewelry and handmade garments. Ideal for any style-conscious visitor who wants to stand out in a crowd. And you can refresh your wardrobe while on holiday!

Sip a local margarita

2 margaritas on a table on the beach in Mexico

With an abundance of locally owned bars and restaurants, you can’t visit Sayulita Beach, Mexico, without trying one of the local delicacies, AKA an ice-cold margarita. 

Many hipster beach bars use Mexican tequila and locally sourced ingredients to whip up this classic cocktail. Nothing beats the fresh citrus taste while enjoying a beachfront bar view. 

But if you don’t fancy leaving your beach towel, you don’t have to. Instead, you’ll find vendors selling almost anything up and down the beach. These kind souls will bring your cocktail onto the sand so you can be as lazy as you should be on holiday.

Pro tip: It’s customary to tip your waiter in Mexico.

Mercado Del Pueblo

farmers market veggies

The shopping doesn’t end with locally-owned boutiques and stores.

Sayulita Beach boasts a not-for-profit outdoor market every Friday from November to May. The Mercado del Pueblo is a fancy farmer’s market with natural products, organic foods, garden produce, health products, beauty supplies, and traditional crafts. 

Around 80 vendors join the fun—you can spend hours exploring, shopping and eating without getting bored. 

Many musicians also join, creating a joyful ambiance with their folk guitar melodies.

 The Mercado Del Pueblo is open from 10 am to 2 pm every Friday and is on Calle Revolucion.

Indulge with a massage

Aerial drone top view of Sayulita Beach in Nayarit, Mexico.

A massage on Sayulita Beach? Sounds too good to be true–but it’s not. 

You’ll find multiple massage tents along the sand to enjoy a soothing rub-down in a tropical paradise. Popular options at these pop-up tents include deep tissue massages, relaxation massages, sports massages, and aromatherapy. 

Of course, these professional massages aren’t free. However, they’re absolutely worth the cost! 

Day hike to Playa Malpaso

Hiking trail to Malpaso Beach, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Intrigued by the gorgeous Sayulita Beach scenery? 

Take a day to explore nearby beaches and the rugged coastline with a trail hike to Malpaso Beach. 

To get to this remote spot northwest of Sayulita, you’ll have to follow a jungle trail through Playa Las Cuevas until you reach the hidden cove. It may be a bit obscure, but once you get there, you’ll be treated to rugged rock outcrops, caves, and thick green vegetation.

Malpaso Beach is much less crowded, so you won’t find any vendors or amenities here. So, if you choose to go for this gorgeous hike, remember to pack some food and water with you!

Complete the day with an unforgettable sunset

orange sunset in Sayulita Beach Mexico

Finish your day at Sayulita Beach, Mexico, with a vivid sunset and good company. 

As the sun goes down, many beach bars come alive! 

You’ll find crowds gathering to enjoy a tipple and some live music against the unique Pacific Ocean backdrop. Perfect if you’re looking to make some new buddies. 

Another popular way to say goodbye to the day is to find your spot on the sand and bring a sunset picnic. Don’t forget your phone–you can’t miss out on this Instagram story opportunity! 

Accommodation in Playa Sayulita, Mexico

red archway in Sayulita

Finding somewhere to stay in Playa Sayulita is easy, thanks to the abundance of options. As more travelers mark this location on their map, more accessible hotels pop up to counter the demand.

Plus, tourists here aren’t limited to one kind of accommodation. This town offers budget hostels, luxe hotels, and everything in between. There are plenty of guest houses and apartments to stay in, ideal if you want a different experience. 

Packing list essentials for Sayulita

woven donkey on table

You might be eager to fill your case for your Sayulita Mexico beaches holiday, but don’t rush! Use these suggestions to ensure you’re prepared for whatever this lively beach town throws your way.

For the coast:

  • Bathing suits
  • Sunglasses
  • Water shoes (especially if you’re a swimmer!)
  • Waterproof bags
  • Sunscreen
  • A beach bag
  • Towels
  • Spare cash for beach amenities – don’t always rely on cards!

For day trips:

  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers
  • Water bottle
  • Plasters
  • Sports clothes/comfortable clothing
  • A protective hat
  • GPS watch (for long hikes)

And, of course, double-check your camera is charged up for all activities! You don’t want to miss any iconic photo spots in this area.

Weather in Sayulita Playa, Mexico

girl walking into the surf

Knowing the weather in your destination before you arrive is essential. 

Sayulita Beach has a sub-tropical climate and two distinct seasons. The dry and warm winter runs from November to May, with average daytime temperatures around 27°C (80°F).

June to October is hot, humid, and wet summers with higher temperatures of 35°C (95°F). 

No matter your travel dates, you’ll be able to enjoy the warmth. But when you book, consider how well you deal with heat. The humidity in the summer can make the temperature feel even warmer. However, the humidity and higher rainfall result in extra lush greenery in the jungle areas. 

If you prefer cooler temperatures and dry climates, the winter period might be better for you. It’s a popular time for travelers from cooler climates, as it provides a chance to enjoy the winter sun.

But really, it’s always a good time to visit this paradise!

Map of Sayulita Beach, Mexico

Find out where all the hotspots are in this blog…

Getting to Playa Sayulita

street scene of Sayulita

Since Sayulita Beach, Mexico, is on the tourist map, getting here isn’t too much of a fuss.

Puerto Vallarta has an international airport with flights landing daily from around the world. Once you arrive, public transport from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita is available via private minivans. These journeys take around 1.5 hours, a little longer than self-driving, but they remove the stress of hiring a car and finding a parking spot. 

Are you arriving from Mexico City? You’ll need to get to Puerto Vallarta first and then make your way to Sayulita. 

From Mexico City to Puerto Vallarta, you can choose an 11.5-hour bus ride or a quick 1-hour and 35-minute flight. Depending on your schedule, you can add more stops to your trip as you make your way to the beach town.

Sayulita: The final verdict

Sayulita Beach, Mexico, is the ultimate stop on any vacation. With an unmatched hippy vibe, unparalleled surfing, and local traditions, this area has a character that just can’t be replicated. Once you visit, you’ll see this humble town in your dreams each night until you visit again. 

So, when are you booking your tickets?

Before you start entering your credit card details, make sure you’re getting the best deal with Bookaway’s Mexico routes. Our aim is to find you the best deal, no matter your budget or where you’re going. So, let’s make this holiday unforgettable. 


What is the closest airport to Sayulita Beach, Mexico?

Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) is the closest international airport–about 1.5 hours away.

What is the closest town to Sayulita?

Playa Sayulita’s closest town is Sayulita–a quaint hippy town just behind the seafront. The nearest city is Puerto Vallarta.

Is Sayulita safe?

Yes. Sayulita is safe for tourists. Just keep your street smarts about you, as you would anywhere in the world.

Can you swim at Sayulita Beach?

Yes, swimming and surfing are everyday activities here. The waves are calmer on the south side of the beach.

Posted January 11, 2023
photo of blog writer Isobel
Isobel Coughlan
Isobel is a keen traveler and writer from London, UK. With 40 countries under her belt and months spent on the road, Isobel knows what it’s like to travel without a concrete plan. Her love for freelancing started while studying, and now she embraces the on-the-go life. When she’s not writing, Isobel can be found planning her next trip!
photo of blog writer Isobel