Favorite Funky Beach Town


Sayulita is a funky mixture of easy going California surf culture, a dose of traditional Mexican heritage, a sprinkle of outdoorsy, affluent American tourists, and a sub-culture of Mexican artisans, traveling musicians, and backpackers from all over the world.

Sayulita features a beautiful clean beach in front of the village with consistent surf breaks and a modest level of foreign tourists.   A little further up the beach and the crowds dissipate, leaving plenty of room for everyone.

The locals in Sayulita are warm and seemingly appreciative of the foreign influence.  The overall vibe of the place is reminiscent of Southern Cal in the 60s and 70s (not that I was there, but I can imagine!).

Fine dining, live jazz, traditional Mexican music and even hip hop and break dancing all thrive here in small doses.  Well removed from the highway traffic, the air fills with musical notes, children’s laughter and birds singing and squawking amongst the surrounding vegetation.

Sayulita is not as neatly pruned as more established beach resort towns, which lends to its charm.  Stray dogs roam the town and ramshackle housing blends eccentrically with elegant boutique hotels.

Espresso bars, taco stands, and cafes serving vegan wraps and organic burritos all compete successfully for tourist dollars. Sayulita is a fusion like none other.

Like most of Mexico, tourism in Sayulita peaks in the winter months of December – April.  Most tourists only stay for a few days, but there exists a core group of expats who live here for at least six months per year.  The whole area feels very safe.

There are quite a few good restaurants with decent wine selection.  Overall the village offers a great balance of surf, dining, social ambiance but still quiet with hardly any traffic.

The small size of the Sayulita community makes it easy to meet people and make friends. Everyone from retired financial planners to surf-hippies, to 30-something escapees seem to dwell in harmony along with peaceful Mexican families.

Gone are pesky street vendors, timeshare pushers, greedy taxi drivers and other annoyances you might find in Puerto Vallarta.  Located just 40 minutes from Puerto Vallarta international airport and all of the amenities provided by a large resort city, Sayulita is a world of its own.

Here are some photos I took during one of my trips to Sayulita…

Chillaxin' in Sayulita

Everybody just chillaxin’ in Sayulita

Surf vibe in Sayulita

Did I mention the Southern California surf vibe circa mid-1960s?

Big cowboy hats in Sayulita

The surf can get big here, so can the cowboy hats…

What's not to like in Sayulita?

Beautiful palms, beachside beverages, what’s not to like?

Surfing in Sayulita

This is the slower right break, but there’s a faster left on the other side of the river mouth that is just epic during a big swell

Beach vendor in Sayulita

The beach vendors aren’t pesky in Sayulita, and there are very few of them.

Dream homes in Sayulita

The surrounding hillsides are strewn with ocean view beach homes, and yes, I want one!

Sayulita main beach

Another shot of the main beach in front of Sayulita

VW bus in Sayulita

A lot of VW buses and VW bugs came here to retire…

Sayulita town square

The view overlooking the town square

Rolling in Sayulita

Out of place looking hat for Mexico (not to mention a weird bike), but this is how people roll in Sayulita

Architecture in Sayulita

Thank goodness there are no (or few) building codes here. The variety of homes and buildings lends to the charm and character of the village

Thatched roofs in Sayulita

Personally, I love the thatched-roof verandas

Sayulita township

Another look at the township of Sayulita

Sayulita dry season

The countryside looks quite dry but this was late in the dry season

Town Square in Sayulita

Thankfully many of the palms around the town square and beach have been preserved



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