This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.
Sayulita, Mexico is without a doubt my favorite sleepy beach town on the Pacific Coast. Known for its beautiful beaches, epic sunsets, laid-back lifestyle, and safety, Sayulita should be at the top of everyone’s Mexico bucket list.
Surprisingly, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Sayulita for such a small beach town. Many visit Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta for the surf, some for the yoga, and others to laze around on the beach. Personally, we try to do all three whenever we’re back in town. But there’s so much more to Sayulita than that. In fact, there are tons of activities to keep you busy!
However, at first glance, it can be hard to know where to start. So, here are over 50 of the best things to do in Sayulita to help plan your upcoming trip! From this list, you can easily choose the activities in Sayulita that most interest you, and you’re sure to have a fun holiday.
- 50 Things to do in Sayulita, Mexico
- 1. Visit Marietas Islands National Park
- 2. Visit YamBak Brewery
- 3. Rhythm of the Night dinner show
- 4. Go shopping!
- 5. Check out the Iguana Tree
- 6. Go on an ATV tour
- 7. Enjoy a sunset at the beach
- 8. Go whale and dolphin watching
- 9. Visit Playa Los Muertos
- 10. Visit the secret beach near Playa Los Muertos
- 11. Eat the famous cheese burrito at El Itacate
- 12. Go fishing
- 13. Get a massage on the beach
- 14. Go horseback riding
- 15. Go surfing
- 16. Eat Al Pastor street tacos
- 17. Rent a lounge chair at the beach
- 18. Drink Sayulita's biggest margarita
- 19. Take a cooking class
- 20. Tequila tasting
- 21. Day trip to San Pancho
- 22. Head to La Lancha for epic surf
- 23. Explore Malpaso Beach
- 24. Get a photo on Instagram street
- 25. Visit the boutique shops
- 26. Hike Monkey Mountain
- 27. Take a trip to Tequila (the town, not the drink!)
- 28. Walk to Carricitos Beach
- 29. Visit the Plaza
- 30. Eat healthy food at Organi-K
- 31. Eat Pizza at Pizza Venezia
- 32. Check out the local coffee shops
- 33. Scuba diving
- 34. La Cruz Market
- 35. Take a trip to Puerto Vallarta
- 36. Rent a golf buggy and explore
- 37. Drink from the street carts
- 38. Yoga
- 39. Stay at Sayulinda or visit for the day
- 40. Party the night away
- 41. Have drinks at Coco's Beach Club
- 42. Day trip to Bucerias
- 43. Get a photo with the Sayulita Sign
- 44. Visit Punta Mita
- 45. Go mountain biking
- 46. Mercado del Pueblo
- 47. Eat fresh seafood
- 48. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Si Senor
- 49. Zipline with ocean views
- 50. Cool down with gelato
- 51. Drink fresh coconuts
- Where to Stay in Sayulita, Mexico
- Thanks for reading!
- Renting a Car in Mexico
- Don't get Caught without Travel Insurance!
50 Things to do in Sayulita, Mexico
1. Visit Marietas Islands National Park
Islas Marietas, or The Marieta Islands, are stunning! This beautiful national park is home to several untouched, pristine tiny islands – the perfect place to relax and explore some of the best natural beauty Mexico has to offer.
From Sayulita, you can do tours to the national park, where you will enjoy a fun and relaxing day of traveling on the catamaran, kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. In fact, some of the best catamaran tours from Puerto Vallarta include a stop here too!
Some of the highlights are exploring different caverns and archways by kayak or paddleboard and seeing fish, turtles, and other sea life while snorkeling! You’ll also stop at Majahuitas Beach, which is very secluded and tranquil.
If you can, try to book the tour that also visits Hidden Beach (pictured above.) This is by far the highlight, but not every tour visits with the new restrictions to the number of visitors allowed. Even tours that advertise a visit to Hidden Beach don’t always get to see the beach.
The specific tour actually visits Hidden Beach and includes snacks, water, and an English-speaking guide. Although there are cheaper options, these DO NOT GUARANTEE a visit to Hidden Beach. If you want to save money, you can visit the islands without Hidden Beach for much cheaper.
This is easily the best thing to do in Sayulita!
Related Read: Hidden Beach is one of the best beaches in all of Mexico – find out what the others are!
2. Visit YamBak Brewery
I love craft beer, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that Sayulita has its own craft brewery. They serve everything from delicious IPAs to refreshing lagers… yum!
Yam Bak Brewery is the place to go if you too love craft beer. However, it’s also one of the best places to party in Sayulita, with live music and DJs from Thursday to Saturday.
A beer at YamBak is undoubtedly more expensive than other local bears at around 100 MXN ($5.30 USD) or a half liter. However, they have lots of deals they post on their Facebook, and it’s still cheap for quality craft beer!
3. Rhythm of the Night dinner show
The Rhythms of the Night dinner show is the most highly-rated show on the Pacific Coast, so it has to be one of the best things to do in Sayulita!
The Rhythms of the Night is a full-on evening experience. It starts with a sunset dinner cruise in the Bay of Banderas, leaving from Nuevo Vallarta port. On the 1 hour cruise, you can enjoy a drink on board a catamaran while enjoying the beautiful sunset. During certain times of the year, you may even see whales (November to April.)
Then, when you arrive at Las Caletas (a private beach), you’ll be seated in the amphitheater to watch the show. The Rhythm of the Night show was conceived by the co-founder of Cirque de Soleil, so it is an impressive combination of acrobatics, theatrics, and music and dance.
After the show, you’ll head to a restaurant on the beach to enjoy a romantic candle-lit buffet dinner. The food is fantastic, and there are cocktails, spirits, beer, and wine on offer. After, you’ll take a cruise back with some live entertainment onboard.
This is truly a unique experience near Sayulita and one you shouldn’t miss out on! Unfortunately, tickets do often sell out, so be sure to book online in advance!
From Sayulita, you’ll need to get yourself to a meeting point in Nuevo Vallarta. This ride should take about 45 minutes and you can easily arrange a taxi.
Once you arrive at the meeting point, you can upgrade your ticket to “all you can drink” for $10 USD or “VIP” for $40 USD. I got the all-you-can-drink package and certainly got plenty of use out of it. The VIP section just gives you closer seats and a fancier restaurant as well as the drink package.
The tour begins with a 7 pm check-in at the port, and we arrived back in Sayulita at around 2 am – it’s a long night!
Hot Tip: If you’re also staying in Puerto Vallarta, then you can do this tour from there instead of Sayulita if you want. Rhythms of the Night is one of the most popular tours/excursions in Puerto Vallarta and the departure point is at the Marina.
4. Go shopping!
Sayulita is one of the best places in Mexico to pick up a souvenir or unique gift. In fact, Sayulita has its own artisanal market located around the perimeter of the baseball stadium.
At the market, you can shop for products at really affordable prices. You can find items such as handmade jewelry, blankets, sunglasses, toys, and more. Seriously, it’s the place to visit if you want to shop.
At the artisanal market, be sure to walk the entire market around the stadium. On the back street, there are a lot of guys selling handmade jewelry. These are one-of-a-kind pieces.
Aside from the artisanal market, you can buy many items at the beach, including blankets, sarongs, and more jewelry. What I found though, was the prices at the artisanal market were much cheaper!
5. Check out the Iguana Tree
The Iguana Tree in Sayulita is an unknown attraction, but we got to know it quite well – seeing as it was right out the front of our hotel.
In fact, for those who don’t know, Green iguanas are endangered in Mexico. So a few years back, this old lady who lived near this tree would rescue iguanas and bring them to this tree. Over the years, she ended up with quite the family of iguanas, all safe and sound in one tree.
She, unfortunately, passed away, but her legacy and iguana family live on in the tree to this day. It is a Sayulita community effort to keep an eye on these iguanas. Pretty cool, right!?
Now visitors can come and see the iguanas in the tree – and some of them are huge!
The tree is located out the front of Bichos Tacos, and it’s asked that you keep your distance, especially from the larger males who can become aggressive.
6. Go on an ATV tour
If you’ve never done an ATV tour while traveling, then you need to. After doing my first one in Indonesia, I was hooked, so I just had to do one in Sayulita too.
Imagine cruising through the jungle, mud, and then on gorgeous beaches! This is really a fun activity that takes you around to see the sights while getting the adrenaline pumping. The best part is, if you go with two people, it’s very affordable at $90 USD.
The tour we did tour was around 3 hours long, and afterward, we were all smiling ear to ear. Without a doubt, this is one of the best things to do in Sayulita!
7. Enjoy a sunset at the beach
The sunsets in Sayulita are out of this world. On a beautiful day, the sky lights up in an array of colors as the sun sets over the ocean – it’s gorgeous!
An added bonus is that at this time of day the temperature begins to cool, so it’s the perfect time to sit on the shore and enjoy a sunset with a beer, cocktails, or nonalcoholic beverage in hand.
8. Go whale and dolphin watching
Whale watching is another activity that’s very popular in Sayulita. Whale-watching season in the region runs from December to April, and most tours head to the Marietas Islands or Banderas Bay.
On the tours, you’ll head out for around 4 hours in search of Humpback Whales. You may see dolphins and seals too.
From Sayulita, there aren’t many specific whale watching tours. However, this tour does include the chance to see whales as well as snorkeling at the Marietas Islands.
If you are serious about whale watching, then it’s best to head south to Puerto Vallarta.
This specific tour takes you out to view these large creatures and includes lunch and drinks. Of course, seeing whales is not guaranteed. However, if you are visiting from December to February, it’s very likely.
Related Read: Whale watching is also one of the best things to do in Tulum!
9. Visit Playa Los Muertos
The main beach in Sayulita is often overcrowded. So instead, I usually head to the nearby Playa Los Muertos.
From Sayulita, you can walk to Playa Los Muertos in around 10 minutes, and its location is on Google Maps. Driving a golf buggy is also popular, but there is a 100 MXN ($5.30 USD) fee for parking.
Once at the beach, you can enjoy a much quieter environment with very few beach vendors. There are chairs for rent as well as drinks for sale, but nothing compared to Sayulita Beach.
The water here isn’t the nicest I’ve ever seen, but it is calmer and better for swimming than Sayulita Beach. I mainly come to enjoy the peace and quiet. But, if you want an even quieter beach, check out the next beach on this list that most don’t know about…
10. Visit the secret beach near Playa Los Muertos
Right next to Playa Los Muertos, there is a stunning secret beach. I found this beach towards the end of my stay in Sayulita, but I wish I had found it sooner.
To reach the beach, you must walk over the rocks to the right of Playa Los Muertos (if you’re facing the ocean.) It’s pretty easy to get there. Just be careful climbing down.
Once at the beach, you’ll have it to yourself (at least we did.) It’s a beautiful spot with no vendors or crowds and a beautiful bay to swim in.
It’s best to visit the secret beach at low tide when there is more beach to enjoy. Unfortunately, at high tide, the water does reach the top of the beach area.
11. Eat the famous cheese burrito at El Itacate
What makes a cheese burrito so famous? Well, this isn’t your average burrito.
In fact, instead of using a corn or flour tortilla, they use a freshly cooked wrap made entirely of melted cheese. I myself love cheese, so when I found out this existed, I just had to try it.
The Itacates, as they’re called, cost 185 pesos ($9.80 USD), and you can get the filling of your choice. They had chicken, seafood, prime rib, and flank steak. El Itacate is also famous for its steak, so that’s what I always got.
The best part about this meal is that I usually only eat half and get the other half to go – it’s a HUGE burrito! Cheese burrito breakfast the next morning? Yes, please!
This meal tastes better than it sounds, so cheese lovers, check it out!
12. Go fishing
Deep-sea fishing is one of the most popular activities in Sayulita simply because there’s plenty of fish to catch. In fact, at any time of the year, you can catch a huge range of fish including mahi-mahi, sailfish, marlin, tuna, and red snapper.
Panga Fishing is the most popular type of fishing tour. These fishing tours are onboard a simple open-bow fishing boat (a traditional Mexican fishing boat.) You can book the tours right from the beach. Our tour cost us $300 USD for 5 people. They head about 5 miles out to sea and we fished for 5 hours.
If you want to go out on a professional charter, you’ll need to head to Punta Mita or Puerto Vallarta. This specific tour from Puerto Vallarta is 6 hours long on a professional fishing boat but costs $1,200 USD for up to 8 people. I did a professional charter one year in search of marlin. Although we didn’t get any marlin we got a ton of mahi-mahi!
13. Get a massage on the beach
After a few days of exploring Sayulita, I was in need of a massage. Although there are a lot of places around town, I found them to be overpriced.
Instead, head to the beach for an hour-long massage for around 400 pesos (that’s what we paid but you need to negotiate.) The ladies at the beach can do deep tissue to relaxing massages depending on what your body needs.
I needed deep tissue after all the surfing I had done in the few days before. They really know what they’re doing, and for $20 USD, how can you go wrong?!
14. Go horseback riding
Horseback riding is such a fun and unique experience in Sayulita! The best part is, you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy horseback riding Sayulita.
Most of the horseback riding tours in Sayulita travel along the beautiful beaches. I did this 2-hour tour, and I really enjoyed it. We rode to Litibu Beach, right near Punta Mita, traveling through the jungle before arriving at the beach. Afterward, we did a quick tequila tasting.
For me, the short tour was enjoyable, and I thought it was great value for money. The horse was well cared for and in great shape. On top of that, our guide was 10/10!
You can also do horseback riding tours in Punta Mita and closer to Puerto Vallarta. In fact, we even saw some horses at San Pancho Beach one afternoon.
15. Go surfing
Surfing is one of the reasons Sayulita was put on the map. It’s home to great breaks for beginners as well as the more experienced.
If you’re just learning to surf, you should definitely do a lesson at Sayulita Beach. The waves here are perfect for beginners, especially on a calm day, and there is certainly no shortage of surf schools.
A surf lesson in Sayulita will cost you around $75 USD for a 3-hour private 1 on 1 lesson.
If you already know how to surf, you can rent a basic surfboard for 100 pesos ($5.30 USD) for an hour or a pro surfboard for 150 pesos ($8 USD) from Lunazul Surf School & Shop. They also do half-day rentals for 250 pesos ($13 USD).
If you consider yourself a pro, then head to La Lancha or San Pancho for the larger surf swells.
16. Eat Al Pastor street tacos
After late nights in Sayulita, the Al Pastor tacos on the street are a lifesaver. In the main square, there are two places you can get excellent Al Pastor tacos until 3 am.
My favorite was next to (not across the road) from YamBak Brewery. For 20 pesos ($1 USD), you could get a cheese Al Pastor taco, and they were delicious!
There’s no need to go to bed hungry in Sayulita!
Did you know: The first Al Pastor taco came from Mexico City. Visiting the restaurant is one of the best things to do there!
17. Rent a lounge chair at the beach
Sayulita is a hot place and the sun is relentless. This can make enjoying the beach a little uncomfortable. However, if you plan on having a long beach day, you can rent lounge chairs and an umbrella on the beach.
These come set up ready to enjoy and cost around 300 pesos ($16 USD) per person for the entire day. On top of that, they’ll serve drinks and food right to you – that’s some A+ service!
If you don’t mind sitting back from the water, you can also sit at one of the beach restaurants for free – so long as you buy something. The prices at these restaurants are surprisingly low, and my go-to place was El Costeno.
18. Drink Sayulita’s biggest margarita
Ever dreamed of drinking out of a margarita so big you can barely carry it? Probably not, but now that you know you can, why not give it a go!
El Costeño is a beachside restaurant in Sayulita that’s home to the town’s largest margarita. For 600 MXN ($30 USD), you get to drink from a 4L cup of delicious margarita. They even do their best to salt the rim!
The margarita is the best way to get your friends back home jealous of your trip!
One thing I will point out is that the large (grande) margaritas for 100 MXN ($5.30 USD) are much better value. They are also large and significantly cheaper. So, once you get the perfect photo, move to the large margaritas and pina coladas!
19. Take a cooking class
You probably already enjoy eating Mexican food, so why not add a new skill and learn to cook some?! A cooking class is a fun activity in Sayulita that’ll have you impressing your friends back home with tasty traditional recipes.
This cooking class on Airbnb experience has you cooking some of the most traditional Mexican meals such as Mexican Salsa, guacamole, Chile Relleno, Enchiladas, Arroz Mexicano, Frijoles Fritos, and more. On top of that, you’ll make hibiscus water, margaritas, and taste some tequila.
The best part is, you get to eat and drink it all once you’re done! Not bad for $69 USD.
20. Tequila tasting
If you’ve never done a tequila tasting tour before, you should do one in Sayulita.
Now, most of us have tried tequila, but not the different types of tequila you find in Mexico. In fact, we primarily enjoy tequila by the shot, but there are plenty of high-end sipping tequilas to try – some at prices that will surprise you.
Around Sayulita, there are a lot of tequila shops that offer tours for around 500 pesos ($26.50 USD). On the tour, you’ll try a huge range of tequilas and learn about the different types. Don’t plan on driving afterward either, they give you plenty of tequila!
There are also more expensive tour options, and on these, you’ll just try the higher-end tequilas!
21. Day trip to San Pancho
San Pancho is the even sleepier surf town around 5 minutes to the north of Sayulita. It’s a must-visit for anyone going to Sayulita, and there are a ton of awesome things to do in San Pancho.
My favorite thing to do is relax at the beach. Not only is it quieter, but it’s more beautiful! If you surf, you’ll love the waves here – they’re much larger than in Sayulita.
Don’t eat lunch at the beach though, head into town to Yasmina’s Itzalanyasayan Restaurante for a healthy meal made with love. At Yasmina’s, they serve Mexican food with a healthy twist, and their bowels are amazing.
For dinner, Barracuda Cocina Del Mar San Pancho is really good if you don’t mind spending a little more. Their Chicharron de Pescado (a traditional dish from the region) is amazing!
For beer, you simply must visit the Cerveceria Artesenal San Pancho. I sat here one night listening to live music and enjoyed a great beer with even better people. They have four beers on tap, which include a pale ale and a hoppy IPA.
If I had my time again, I would have stayed a night or two in San Pancho. It’s quiet, but sometimes that’s just what I need!
22. Head to La Lancha for epic surf
If the surf in Sayulita and San Pancho just aren’t cutting it for you, then head to La Lancha.
La Lancha is known as one of the best surf beaches in the area, both for beginners and the pros (on big days.) When the swells are small, the waves here are perfect for learning – clean, light, and well-spaced.
If you’re taking a taxi from Sayulita, it takes around 25 minutes to reach La Lancha Beach and costs 300 pesos ($16 USD). The beach is accessed via a tiny trail through the jungle that takes 10 minutes from the road. The taxi drivers know where to go, but if you’re trying to find it on your own, you need to keep a lookout.
There are surfboards for rent at the beach WildMex Surf & Adventure for similar prices as Sayulita on the main road. Also, please stay away from the river. There are lots of large crocodiles in it!
There are no vendors at the beach so be sure to bring some water and snacks with you.
23. Explore Malpaso Beach
If you’re like me and prefer a beach with no vendors, lounge chairs, and hundreds of umbrellas, you should certainly enjoy the walk to Malpaso Beach.
From town, it took me around 30 minutes to reach Malpaso Beach. Head down Avenida del Palmar to the end and then begin the trail. You can download Maps.ME beforehand, and some of the trails are on there.
Take a packed lunch and some water with you and relax in paradise – without the crowds!
24. Get a photo on Instagram street
Instagram Street is a famous street in Sayulita just off the main square. The street itself is nothing special. However, above the street, you’ll find “Papel Picado”, a typical Mexican decoration.
This, along with the cobblestone street, makes it the perfect place to get a great Instagram photo. While I was there, they were also beginning to tile mosaic on the sidewalks – once it’s finished, this will be the most beautiful street in Sayulita!
Oh, and that Ruben Sandwich place on the left is amazing!
25. Visit the boutique shops
One thing I loved about Sayulita was all the boutique shops! Instead of buying your next item of clothing or gift from a large retailer, take a walk around Sayulita and support the many local businesses here.
You’ll find tons of unique items and be able to take a piece of Sayulita home with you.
Some of my favorite places include Rosemary Sayulita Boutique, Manyana Sayulita, and Révolucion del Sueño.
26. Hike Monkey Mountain
The most famous hike in Sayulita is, without a doubt, Monkey Mountain. From this epic viewpoint, get breathtaking views over the mountains and the many beaches below. It’s a gorgeous hike well worth doing for the more adventurous.
From the Sayulita side of Monkey Mountain, the trail takes around 3.5 to 4.5 hours to complete up and back down. Although not overly difficult, the heat can prove challenging, so hiking this trail in the morning is best.
At the beginning of the trail, you need to cross the river and head past a chicken farm. Stay on this road and when you reach the fork in the road, keep left along the farm fence. You will reach a gate that says “NO PASAR” this IS the way to go (it’s quite the adventure.)
The Monkey Mountain Trail begins on Calle Playa Pátzcuaro, around a 10-minute drive (4.5 kilometers/ 2.8 miles) from town. So, my recommendation is to get a cab to the start of the trail.
If you want to hike the trail without the hassle. You can either book this organized tour, or get a taxi to Higuera Blanca town and hike the south side of the peak.
The trail on this side is much easier to follow and well-defined. I believe it is also shorter. A popular thing to do is to hike from the south side up and north side down.
Hot Tip: The entire trail is viewable on the Maps.ME app.
27. Take a trip to Tequila (the town, not the drink!)
Did you know that the spirit “tequila” was actually named after the town where it was first created? That’s right, there is a town in Mexico called “Tequila” (with a capital -T) that is the birthplace of tequila (the alcoholic drink!)
And what’s better, the town of Tequila is located only a 3-hour drive from Sayulita!
To be completely honest, I loved the town Tequila. I actually spent two nights there so I could really experience what it had to offer visitors. I learned all about the making of tequila as I toured distilleries and Blue Agave farms.
If you do have the time, I highly recommend renting a car, driving to Tequila, and then staying at least one night (you’re not going to be in any shape to drive after a tequila sampling, that much is for sure!)
However, it is possible to go to Tequila on a day trip from Sayulita. Although a long day, it is definitely worth it! Touring the oldest tequila distilleries in the world is still one of the best things I did in Mexico!
28. Walk to Carricitos Beach
Carricitos Beach is located around a 20-minute walk from downtown Sayulita. Although not the best beach for swimming due to the larger swells, it’s a great beach to relax without the crowds or vendors.
We actually loaded up some drinks into a cooler bag with ice that we bought at the Oxxo. Then we walked down the beach to enjoy some drinks and music. There were only a few other people around at the beach, and it was safe enough to take a waste deep swim in the ocean.
If you don’t want to walk both ways, take a cab. They cost around 70 pesos ($3.70 USD) from the main square. However, plan to walk back as it isn’t likely there will be cabs waiting when you’re done at the beach.
29. Visit the Plaza
Sayulita’s main plaza is a livley place! Not only should you enjoy the atmosphere here during the day, watching all the kids skateboard and buskers play music, but you should certainly visit at night.
We often have drinks here with all the locals. There was even a guy offering chiropractic services on a blanket (not sure I’d recommend that.)
It’s a cheap way to enjoy drinks in Sayulita and an exciting place to people watch.
30. Eat healthy food at Organi-K
It can be easy to find yourself eating a lot of tacos, cheese burritos, and other not-so-healthy food while in Sayulita. Luckily, Sayulita has many healthy options, and one of my favorites is Organi-K for fresh poke bowls.
My favorite bowl was their original Poke Bowl, but I also loved the acai bowls – especially for breakfast.
The cafe is entirely plastic-free so you’re also supporting a great sustainable business in Sayulita. They even have straws made of avocado scraps!
A poke bowl at Organi-K costs 170 pesos ($9 USD), and their acai bowls are around the same price. For the quality, these are great prices in my opinion!
Related Read: If you love amazing food, be sure to visit Puerto Vallarta! There are tons of amazing restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and it’s a foodie’s paradise!
31. Eat Pizza at Pizza Venezia
Want to eat the best-tasting pizza in Sayulita? Then head to Pizza Venezia for their famous 99 peso ($5.25 USD) pizzas with unlimited toppings.
We ate here a few times simply because it was delicious and cheap. Oh, and I love pizza! The hardest part is not overdoing your toppings – which is easy to do when they’re free! This is considered one of the best restaurants in Sayulita, and after visiting for myself, I can see why!
32. Check out the local coffee shops
One thing Sayulita has no shortage of is excellent cafes. In fact, you could eat at a different cafe every day during your visit and probably still not try them all.
My overall favorite was Yah Yah Cafe, located on the outskirts of downtown Sayulita. Not only do they serve fantastic coffee, but their bagels are delicious. If I can recommend one, it’s the ” Buenos Dias.”
For a more “Mexican” breakfast, I loved ChocoBanana. Their huevos rancheros (Mexican-style fried eggs) are the best I have had in Mexico, and the frappes are delicious.
If you love french toast, head to Anchor Cafe. Great coffee, and their banana bread french toast is out of this world!
33. Scuba diving
Scuba diving is another popular thing to do in Sayulita.
There are a few options where you can go, including dive sites along the coast near Sayulita. However, in my opinion, it’s not worth going unless you visit the Marietas Islands.
You’ll experience the best dive sites and see various wildlife within the park, including turtles, seals, sharks, and manta rays.
This specific tour includes two dives within the national park as well as all your transport and equipment. There will also be a professional guide with you the entire time.
Although it costs $160 USD, considering a visit to the Marietas Islands costs around $100 USD without any diving, it’s not a bad value for money. You basically get two tours in one!
34. La Cruz Market
The La Cruz market is one of the most popular markets near Sayulita. Held on weekends from 9 am to 2 pm during the dry season from November to April, the La Cruz Market is home to over 200 vendors.
It’s one of the best places to pick up fresh seafood right from the marina, but there are plenty of other stalls for visitors. Better yet, come for a meal, the amazing views, and live music.
The La Cruz market is located in Punta Mita at the Marina Riviera Nayarit, around 30 minutes from Sayulita. A taxi will cost around 300 pesos ($16 USD) one way.
After the market, explore the town, relax at Punta Mita Beach and just enjoy the calm waters. This is easily one of the best things to do in Sayulita!
35. Take a trip to Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta holds a special place in my heart – I just love the city.
There are a ton of amazing things to do in Puerto Vallarta, many of which are similar to Sayulita. Picture days by the beach, fishing trips, food, wildlife tours, and more.
However, a unique activity in Puerto Vallarta I love and recommend to everyone is the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. These beautiful gardens are home to thousands of plant species and the animals that thrive in them. A highlight is feeding hummingbirds by hand at the restaurant!
If you can, I also highly suggest joining a food tour. Some of the best tacos I have had in Mexico were in Puerto Vallarta. There are tons of amazing restaurants in Puerto Vallarta to choose from!
Regardless of what you choose to do, Puerto Vallarta is a lively, fun place, and visiting on an overnight trip, or at the very least a day trip, is a must from Sayulita.
36. Rent a golf buggy and explore
Renting a golf buggy in Sayulita is a great way to get around. Although a small town, there’s no shortage of hills and hot weather, so exploring can get exhausting.
A golf buggy rental starts at 1000 MXN ($53 USD) per day for four people. However, there are larger vehicles available. Please be aware you are not allowed to drive your golf buggy on the main highway.
Renting a golf buggy is not only practical but really fun!
37. Drink from the street carts
As you walk around Sayulita, you’ll notice some drink stands with rows of tequila, mezcal, vodka, rum, and more on their shelves. These are not tasting carts but cocktail carts!
While partying in Sayulita, you don’t even need to sit down at a bar or restaurant. Instead, head to one of the drink carts and grab yourself a cocktail to go!
Price for cocktails are reasonable and you’ll find the carts around the main square and nearby streets.
After days of surfing, a yoga lesson goes a long way in recovering those sore muscles. In fact, I need them afterward to avoid a sore back and tight muscles.
As you can imagine, there are plenty of places to enjoy a yoga session in Sayulita – it’s one of the most popular things to do.
The Selina Hostel offers yoga classes most days, and they cost around 180 MXN ($9.50 USD) depending on the type of yoga session.
My favorite place though was Yoga Los Sueños. They offer classes every morning at 9 am and some evening classes at 6 pm. A drop-in class here is only 150 MXN ($8 USD), but they have deals if you want to go more than once.
There’s also this Yoga and Hike experience that will have you stimulate all your senses. From the beautiful scenery on the hike to the calming sounds of the waves on the beach which is where your yoga session will take place.
This tour has all 5 start reviews on Viator so it’s definitely one of the top relaxing things to do in Sayulita.
39. Stay at Sayulinda or visit for the day
One of the most beautiful hotels in Sayulita is Sayulinda.
This luxury hotel is most famous for its breathtaking infinity rooftop pool. For many, the hotel will be out of their price range (it’s $232 USD per night.) However, they also offer a day pass for non-hotel guests.
The day pass costs 600 MXN ($32 USD) and gives you access to the pool and bar, as well as 400 MXN ($21 USD) to spend at the bar. So really, it costs 200 pesos ($10.60 USD) for the use of the pool. That’s not a bad deal!
On hot days in Sayulita, I recommend coming up here to enjoy a little bit of luxury.
40. Party the night away
It’s no secret Sayulita is a party town. Yoga and surf in the morning, relaxing during the day, and then partying at night – that seems the daily cycle.
A quick walk around town after dark will prove my point, and there are plenty of great places to go. One of my favorites was Atico Breakfast Cafe & Bar. Despite having “cafe” in their name, this is a bumping bar with live music, great beer, and an addictive atmosphere.
If you love salsa, head to Davalu Restaurant-green bar. They often have a live salsa band and a huge dance floor. Some of the dancers we saw were really good, and they are happy to teach you.
If you’re out late, YamBak Brewery is the place everyone ends up. They have DJs that play early into the morning.
41. Have drinks at Coco’s Beach Club
Coco’s Beach Club is one of the best places to relax and have drinks in Sayulita. The beach club is famous for its upstairs bar with epic views of Sayulita Beach. They also have lots of lounge chairs.
Head here in the afternoon for some drinks and food. It’s a great place to end a day at the beach or start a night out on the town. Coco’s kitchen closes at 6 pm, but the bar upstairs stays open until 7 pm.
During the dry season, they also run a Friday night party that starts at 10 pm.
42. Day trip to Bucerias
Heading along the southern coast from Sayulita will land you in Bucerias – a local city with a gorgeous beach. A day trip to Bucerias is about coming to enjoy the beach, which in my opinion is much cleaner than Sayulita’s.
There are also many cool things to do in Bucerias, such as visiting the El Edén Jardín Botánico, Crocodile Sanctuary El Cora, and more. Or, just relax at the beachside restaurants, lounge on the beach, walk the local market and just enjoy the lower prices.
A great time to visit is after the La Cruz Market (if you plan on going.) From the market, Bucerias is only 10 to 15 minutes away. On the way back, it’s a 30-minute drive from Bucerias to Sayulita.
43. Get a photo with the Sayulita Sign
Want to look like a real tourist? Then head to the main square and get a photo with the Sayulita sign!
It’s painted with beautiful artwork and makes for the perfect picture to remember tour time here!
44. Visit Punta Mita
Punta Mita is home to some of the most luxurious resorts in Nayarit. So as you can imagine, there are some beautiful places to see here.
A common day trip from Sayulita is to visit the small town of Corral del Risco (where the La Cruz Market is.) Here you can wander the cute streets and explore. Then, stop for lunch and just let your nose do the exploring – there’s lots of seafood to be had. After exploring the town, head to Punta Mita Beach and enjoy the calm waters with some SUP!
Another popular place to visit on Punta Mita is Playa Careyeros. The beach is known for its calm waters and clean sand. A perfect place to visit – especially when the swells are large in Sayulita.
45. Go mountain biking
If you love the outdoors and enjoy riding, then this next tour is for you. With Wildmex Surf & Adventures, you can opt for some serious downhill fun or a more beginner trail and explore the rainforest around Sayulita.
If you are a pro, they have technical downhill trails that will get your heart racing. If you’re a beginner, take it slow and enjoy the views. Regardless, exploring on a bike means you’ll explore more with less effort but still get off the beaten path.
The tour comes with all your safety gear as well as good-quality bikes.
I, unfortunately, didn’t get to give this a go while in Sayulita. However, it’s on my bucket list for next time!
46. Mercado del Pueblo
On Friday mornings from November till May, you can visit one of the trendiest markets in Sayulita.
Mercado del Pueblo is a non-profit market specializing in natural, organic, and unique products. There are over 80 vendors at the market, and they also have live music and lots of food! It’s an enjoyable morning out that I highly recommend.
The market is open from 10 am to 2 pm and is located on Calle Revolucion across from Galeria Tanana.
47. Eat fresh seafood
If you come to Sayulita, you have to try the seafood! But, of course, you most likely already planned on it, so here are a few places and dishes to try!
One of my overall favorite taco places was Mariscos Purillo’s. Crispy battered fish, homemade slaw, and a delicious dressing – doesn’t that sound good?!
Another top-rated place is Barracuda Sayulita. Without a doubt, they have the best ceviche in the area, and the molcajete (traditional Nayarit seafood dish) is a must-try! It’s one of my favorite restaurants in all of Sayulita.
Finally, you need to visit El Jakal. Everything they serve is amazing, and the seafood is so fresh!
48. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Si Senor
Traveling with your loved one? Surprise them with a sunset dinner at Si Senor.
This gorgeous restaurant brings you as close to the ocean without getting wet. Under a large tree, you’ll enjoy a candle-lit dinner while watching the sunset.
The menu is a little pricey, but if it’s a special occasion you’re after, this is the place to do it!
49. Zipline with ocean views
Ziplining is becoming of the most popular tours in Sayulita. You’ll get a bit of an adrenaline rush as you soar high above the jungle canopy with epic ocean views. It is exciting, but it’s also beautiful!
Some of the longest ziplines in all of Mexico are located not far from Sayulita, making it the perfect place to give it a try!
This adventure tour includes 12 zip lines and an ATV ride through the jungle. Pickup is offered in Sayulita, and it’s a 30-minute transfer to the ziplining area.
50. Cool down with gelato
On a hot day, who doesn’t love ice cream?
While in Sayulita, I may have enjoyed a little too much ice cream – but it was all in the name of research. My go-to place was Buonissimo Cafe and Gelato not only because it was close to the beach but the ice cream was so creamy!
Another place I love is La Fuente. These guys sell creamy ice cream as well as ready-to-go popsicles. They’re perfect when you’re after something fruity!
Don’t let the heat get the better of you! Enjoy one of the best things to do in Sayulita and eat gelato!
51. Drink fresh coconuts
Last on this list of epic things to do in Sayulita has to be one of my favorites. I’ve always loved drinking fresh coconuts and when I’m in the tropics, that’s just what I do!
A fresh coconut in Sayulita costs between 50 and 60 MXN ($2 to $3 USD) and you can find them all over the place. From Sayulita Beach to Playa Los Muertos, you’re never far from nature’s perfect nutritional drink!
Grab one between beers to keep those fluids up. Or get one after a night out to replenish those electrolytes!
Where to Stay in Sayulita, Mexico
Choosing a place to stay in Sayulita is almost as hard as picking what to do once you arrive – there are so many choices! Luckily there are a few places that stand out from the rest.
On top of that, there’s something for everyone’s budget! For a full breakdown, we have this guide on where to stay in Sayulita or you can check out our top picks below.
Luxury – $$$
If you’re looking for a dreamy vacation and budget isn’t an issue, there are some excellent choices in Sayulita. Hotel Boutique Siete Lunas is our top pick as this beautiful hotel is located just a few minutes from town (you can easily walk), so it’s more peaceful and scenic. This hotel is located on the hillside looking out over the ocean near Playa Los Muertos. There are amazing views from every room and an infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
Rooms are typically $300-$400 USD in peak season, but you can find the best deals on Booking.com.
Mid-range – $$
If being close to all that Sayulita has to offer and having lots of room is important, I highly recommend Aurinko Bungalows. These one and two-bedroom apartments are located within stumbling distance from the plaza – making shopping, restaurants, and beach days easy! On top of that, they have a pool (much needed), and all the rooms have AC. Rates are typically around the $130 USD mark. Unfortunately, it’s often fully booked, so you’ll want to reserve a room as far in advance as you can!
Another alternative is Nuiya Hoteles Centro which is within walking distance of Sayulita Beach but tends to be quieter at night than hotels closer to the main plaza. Every room has a little patio – perfect for that cup of coffee before starting the day! There’s an outdoor pool and the rooms are clean and comfortable. Rates start at $115 USD in the busy season which is a great deal for a place like this. You can check availability on Booking.com.
Budget – $
For budget travelers, Casa Love is an excellent option. It’s just steps from the beach – so close that you hear the ocean at night! This budget hotel is ideal if location and price are your must-haves as prices start at $93 USD even in the busy season! You can book a room right here.
If you don’t mind the hostel life, La Redonda Sayulita Hostal is the way to go. This hostel is perfect for social travelers who want to meet people, and it’s located in the heart of town, only one block from the beach. Dorm beds are about $25 USD a night and breakfast can be added on for an extra $2 USD. You can book on either Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.
Renting a Car in Mexico
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car.
I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically.
I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend.
The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too.
Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit.
Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper!
Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!
We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.
They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!
Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)
Thanks for reading!
With so many amazing things to see and do, it’s no wonder Sayulita is one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico. I love this small beach town so much and can’t wait to return again!
Thanks so much for reading! I hope this guide has helped plan your upcoming trip to Sayulita. If it has, be sure to check out some of our other Mexico content such as: