When we first took a day trip from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita, Mexico we fell in love with this sleepy little surfer town and every time we go to Puerto Vallarta we always take Sayulita day trip. You must visit Sayulita if you are around this area in Mexico!
Sayulita is a town away from all the typical resorts communities of Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta, which lets you see another side of Mexico. A funky little surf town that should be checked out sooner rather than later.
What You'll Find in This Post
Where is Sayulita, Mexico?
Sayulita is approximately about 25 miles and 45 minutes North of Puerto Vallarta, which makes it a great day trip.
How to get to Sayulita?
For our first day trip, we took a local bus ride from Nuevo Vallarta through the curvy highways, which makes it easy to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta. The bus drops you off at the edge of town and you can easily walk around the small town for the day. Ask your hotel concierge for the closest bus route to your hotel.
We have also hired a private driver where there were 10 of us travelling together in an air-conditioned van to take us there for the day. I think it was about $100 USD and was easier than trying to take the bus.
Things to do in Sayulita
1. Learn to Surf
As we approach the Sayulita beach we were surprised by this little slice of paradise hidden away from mainstream tourism. The water has rolling waves that looked just big enough to make you feel like you actually might have a chance to learn how to surf in Sayulita without being terrified by the waves. It is one of the Sayulita things to do while visiting!
We instantly dropped our stuff on the beach and went looking for someone to teach us how to surf and a surf rental shop in Sayulita. At the time, there were only a couple of rental shops on the beach so the selection wasn’t great but it was easy! At the time I was only about 6 weeks pregnant (barely pregnant with Luca), but being cautious the owner paired me up with an instructor that was so helpful I hardly did any work! Jamie, as always, picked it up surfing like he had been doing it for years. We had an awesome time trying something new!
2. Boogie Boarding
We we went back with the kids and other family members we tried out the boogie boards. The boogie board rentals were approximately $20USD each for the day and provided a never end of fun for the entire family. Luca was 5 and Sofia was almost 3 and we couldn’t get them out of the water!
Out of our entire trip to Mexico that year, our day trip to Sayulita was by far the best day.
3. Beach Time
The rest of the day we spent relaxing on the beach with a Cerveza, walking through the town and finding a local taco food stand. There are chair rentals on the beach for anyone that wants to otherwise the towels on the beach work great too!
4. Activities around Sayulita
If you are still looking for more activities to do in Sayulita there is snorkelling, zip line, canopy, horseback riding and more things that can be arranged with a local tour guide. There are also day trips from Sayulita which can fill up some days if you decide to stay longer in Sayulita.
Here are some examples of more things to do in Sayulita:
Places to Stay in Sayulita
If you even have one night it would be great to take an overnight trip and stay in Sayulita for the night. You could also choose to spend half your time here in Sayulita and then the other time in Puerto Vallarta or Nuevo Vallarta.
We would recommend you stay close to Sayulita beach so you have easy access to the beach, restaurants and shopping. Or the other option is to be nestled up in the hills and get some great views of the bay. There are also some very nice boutique style hotels like the Hotel Boutique Siete Lunas which have amazing views.
There are also plenty of Airbnb options in Sayulita if that works for you better to have your own place to yourself or for larger groups.
Sayulita Travel Tips
- Bring your younger kid’s life jackets with you, the waves can sometimes be rough and this will help keep everyone safe. We love the Speedo Learn to swim life jackets and travelled all around the world with one of these for the kids.
- Here is a helpful Hot Holiday Packing List.
- If you are taking the bus, be sure to arrive at the Sayulita bus stop early since they always don’t run on schedule and you don’t want to miss the last bus from Sayulita.
- Bring your own beach towel for the day.
- You can pack some snacks and drinks, but they now have local shops you can buy most things if you forgot something.
- Bring a change of clothes. There were no changing areas but we just changed after our beach day in the restaurant that we were eating at. You can use their bathrooms if you buy anything! This way you and the kids are driving back in wet clothes.
- Don’t forget to have travel insurance for when you are visiting from out of the country. We use World Nomads for our insurance and highly recommend it. Really easy to get a quote! You can read our entire review of World Nomads for travel insurance here.
- Have a close eye and be within arms reach of your kids in the water, the riptide will take them farther than you expect and there are a few dips in the shoreline that you need to be aware of.
- Find out more details about Sayulita local events or festivals check out their tourism website here.
Would I go back to Sayulita?
Yes! It is one of the best day trips from Puerto Vallarta or Nuevo Vallarta area. I think if we go back to the area we would stay there longer. It’s definitively manageable and worth it for one day.
I love the hippie vibe and I hope this town never loses it.
Have you ever been to Sayulita?
Do you have a favourite surfer town that we should check out? If so, leave it in the comments below.