Whether it’s the waves that rhythmically roll towards beaches covered in thatched-hut palapas, or the marlin, shrimp, and mahimahi tacos that are served with a squeeze of lime, there’s something exotic and nearly utopian about small town Sayulita. When compared to neighboring Puerto Vallarta—its glitzy, grown-up cousin—Sayulita is a laidback village where the pace of life is just right. “Discovered” by surfers in the 1960s, this Nayarit darling is the trendy new hotspot for escaping the nearby resorts. Thanks to the gentle, beginner-friendly waves that lap at Sayulita Bay, the town has become one of Mexico’s best for learning to ride the waves. Brides looking to say “I Do” now flock to the town in droves, drawn by the area’s affordable lodging and wealth of white sand beaches. Grab a snorkel and hop aboard a cruise to the Marieta Islands, where dozens of species of tropical fish all scour the coral reef. Or, hire a longboard and paddle into a world-class, righthand wave—perhaps choosing to standup paddle just before drinks at sunset. Add in some yogis, a healthy food scene, and a collection of coastal hiking trails, and Sayulita is the Mexican beach town that’s easier to reach than leave.
Sayulita is located approximately 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. By car, the journey takes about 45 minutes. By compestela (public transport), expect to spend about 1.5 hours on the journey from the international airport. Waves are best in the winter months on large, northerly swells, but there are small waves breaking at all times of year for beginners hoping to learn. Around town, there’s no need for a rental car, as golf carts, taxis, and hiking trails are the easiest means of transport.