Puerto Vallarta : What to do in Sayulita in a day

If you ever visit Puerto Vallarta – you must visit the magical town of Sayulita! It is just a 45min – 1 hr drive from the town of Puerto Vallarta. Whether you choose to spend a day like I did or stay in the town for a few days you are sure to fall in love with this little Mexican town. It is one of the towns part of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos programme. This programme was developed by the tourism board in order to promote the rich cultural heritage and history through smaller towns and villages around the country. Each of the 120 towns under this are charming in their own way – and offer something a little different, whether that’s traditional architecture, stunning natural wonders or authentic local food. So far I have visited 3 of them – Loreto (my personal fave!), Tulum and now Sayulita.

What I loved most about Sayulita – was it’s boho beachy surfer vibes. The colorful town is a pleasure to explore with all its cafes, boutiques, quaint streets, colorful buildings and beaches. Often called the crowned jewel of the Riviera Nayarit, this little slice of paradise would be the perfect little Mexican getaway. If you do plan on going – there are tons of airbnbs in town and if you are looking for a hotel – check out Petit Hotel Hafa in town or Playa Escondida. (Bachelor fans – this is where they shoot Bachelor in Paradise fyi ;)!). Since we only did a day trip to Sayulita, in this post I am going to share top things to do in Sayulita in a day :

1 ) Playa por favor :

Playa De Los Muertos

Sayulita has a funky beach scene! The main beach is the place to be in town – it has tons of beach clubs and restaurants right on the beach. Being a surfer town – it is the perfect place if you want to try your hand at surfing or catch a few waves if you are a pro. The main beach has an area for seasoned surfers with stronger waves and also has one side which has smaller waves ideal for first-timers. There are a ton of surf schools on the beach where for just $50 you can take a lesson in a small group.

And if you are like me and simply want to just soak up the sun and sunbathe, then head to Playa De Los Muertos. Its literal meaning means “beach of the dead” and is called so cos you have to walk through a cemetery to get here. But unlike its name, this cove is absolutely gorgeous! Its about an easy 10 min walk from town and is worth it to visit. I liked this beach a lot more than the main beach – it was way less crowded, cleaner and so picturesque. If you have the time check out San Pancho beach, a short drive from Sayulita. I have heard that it is breathtaking!

2 ) Shopping in town :

The town of Sayulita is heaven in terms of boutique shopping. It reminded me so much of Tulum! Whether you are just window shopping or a serious buyer, I urge you to get lost and wander around the streets of Sayulita town it is such a pleasure. Some of my personal fave stores – Evoke the spirit, Pachamama, Revolucion Del Sueno and of course the colorful street markets.

All the pom poms in the street markets ; I was in heaven!

Evoke the spirit

3 ) Restaurant hopping :

Sayulita is a foodies paradise! I would recommend – come on an empty stomach haha! There are so many delicious restaurants to try. Since we were there only for a day we stopped at only one but I have listed out other places based on my research.

  • La esperanza : This is where we went for lunch. Delicious healthy restaurant with an inventive organic menu with items like – plantain chips and guacamole; quinoa salads bowls; vegan chocolate mousse made and more! I tried their fish tacos and cold pressed juice – it was seriously out-of-this-world. 

Meal at la esperanza

  • Best places for tacos – Tacos el Ivan (super authentic) and Itacate
  • Chocobanana – a Sayulita Staple; great joint for breakfast.
  • El conejo – super chic ambiance and serves Mexican-Asian cuisine. 
  • Don pedro’s – for seafood
  • La reinita Paletas – delicious Mexican ice fruit pops, need I say more! 

All the colorful paletas, yum!

4 ) Marieta Islands

There are tons of other things to do in and around Sayulita but we didnt have the time. If I ever go back I am dying to visit the Marieta Islands, which are a group of small uninhabited islands a few miles off the coast of Nayarit. In the early 1900s the Mexican government began conducting military testing on the islands because no one lived there. Many bombings and large explosions took place on the islands causing amazing caves and rock formations to be created. It is home to the world famous “hidden beach” (google marieta islands and you will know what I am talking about!). Today it is a national park and can be accessed via many tours.

Hope this guide helps you if you are planning a trip to Sayulita. Here are some more photos from my time exploring this magical town.

Thanks for stopping by! xoxo


All photos by Paulina Perrucci Photography. 



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