I bet you've heard all the tourists raving about Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, but what about Sayulita? If you're looking for a Mexican destination that's memorable but away from the most crowded destinations, Sayulita is a great option.
During the 1990s, Sayulita was a tranquil fishing village. While many locals still consider it one, the city has transformed significantly in the past few decades. Now home to many a bed and breakfast, sandy beach resort, and hip and trendy restaurant, its surf town vibes keep the guests coming back.
If you're looking for a quiet place to relax with enough attractions to still make it worth exploring, Sayulita may be the ticket. Want to know where and what frequent visitors to the city prefer to do? If so, this guide to Sayulita's hidden gems is for you!
8 Top Things to Do in Sayulita in 2022
Sayulita is already a relaxed, uncrowded destination in Mexico. But if you want to check out some lesser-known activities, you're in for a treat. Here are the eight best things to do in Sayulita if you plan to visit this year!
8. Hit Up the Open-Air Hippie Markets
Exploring the Sayulita Hippie Market should be on your what-to-do-in Sayulita list! While this destination has increased in popularity over the years, it remains one of the best places in Sayulita.
Drop in if you're looking for unique items and local crafts to take home as a souvenir. The touristy vibe is growing, but exploring is still fun and exciting, as you never know what you'll find.
7. Visit the Local Cemetery
The Day of the Dead celebration is a big deal in Mexican culture. If you want to experience it yourself, it's undoubtedly one of the unique things to do in Sayulita. Just time your visit for the end of October, when it usually occurs, and head to the local cemetery!
The Mexican people honor the dead by visiting their loved ones' tombstones and leaving behind flowers, candles, flags, and all sorts of memorabilia. You can get a glimpse into this rich culture and even sometimes find unique items and activities to do here.
The local cemetery in Sayulita is a short walk from Playa de Los Muertos. Afterward, you can head toward the beach, swim in the calm waves, and have a picnic. Lounge chairs are even available for rent, and some shacks sell yummy food and drinks.
6. Sign Up for a Surfing Lesson
Sayulita is known as a surfing town. A visit without hitting up the waves is simply incomplete! If this is your first time, feel free to ask for help. There are plenty of surfing schools that offer beginner surfer lessons.
The conditions in Sayulita also make it a suitable year-round surfing destination. You can use this opportunity to start this hobby or brush up on your surfing skills. Litibu Beach is the ideal spot for surfing if you're a beginner. Meanwhile, there are several other options for surfing for intermediate levels, such as Stinky's and La Lancha.
5. Go to a Surf Camp
You've probably heard about a yoga camp or retreat before. But what about a surf camp? The concept of a surf camp is growing in popularity in Sayulita since many travelers visit this town to try surfing.
A surf camp is a package featuring accommodation with surf lessons bundled in. This deal is for you if you're visiting Sayulita mainly to learn how to surf.
Yantara Retreats Sayulita is one of the most popular surfing destinations. It offers private bookings, so you can become a master of the waves within the span of your stay. In addition to surfing lessons, you'll also get to enjoy yoga sessions, hiking, cliff jumping, and Mexican food tasting, to name a few.
Alternatively, if you're a total beginner at surfing, you might want to head out to the WildMex 7-Day Progressive Surf Camp.
4. Try Different Types of Mezcal
When visiting any Mexican town, you must sample its local Mezcal. In Mexico, there are several varieties, varying in taste depending on where they're made, just like their local moles! In Sayulita, things are no different.
Bars like Cava or Agave Experience even serve up various cocktails featuring Mezcal. Many bars also use local ingredients to give you a once-off experience in the form of a unique drink. Often, you can choose from up to 50+ Mezcal varieties from any of these local bars.
3. Shop at the Art Galleries & Boutique Stores
Staying true to its hippie-chic vibe, Sayulita boasts an abundance of art galleries, hip boutique stores, and artisan shops. If you're visiting, be sure to take the opportunity to explore the local arts and crafts by checking out one of these stores.
Revolucion del Sueño is one of many unique boutique spots selling limited-edition hipster designs. All pieces sold in this store are special because it only produces 100 of each in each color every year. Here, tradition meets modern, and quality and originality reign supreme.
Another store you must pay a visit to in Sayulita specializes in folk arts: Galerias Esto es Mexico. It's hard to miss this hidden gem because of the striking pink, yellow, and blue façade. According to the store owners, every piece in their collection is their best attempt at representing Mexican culture.
If you're into traditional jewelry, there's also Galeria Tanana. The brainchild of Susana Valdez, a designer and anthropologist, this store is a must-see. She works with small beads to create unique, traditional beaded jewelry designs featuring fine details. All proceeds are also donated to the Huichol Center for the Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts.
2. Go Whale Watching
While spotting whales is a seasonal activity, it's one of the top things to do in Sayulita. The season is usually open from December to March. So make sure to plan your travel around these dates if you want to do some whale watching!
Get the chance to see the whales up-close and admire the sheer size of these marine mammals. Even whale-watching tours are available if you want to make the best of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
1. Watch the Sunset at Carricitos Beach
Spending a ton of money is optional if you want to enjoy what Sayulita offers. In fact, there are many things you can do for free in this quaint surf town. The best thing to do in Sayulita for free is to watch the sunset.
My insider tip? Head to Carricitos Beach, or Playa Carritos, as the locals call it. It's approximately a 20-30 minute hike from the town center, but well worth it. Undoubtedly the best spot to truly appreciate this town's beauty and laid-back nature.
Discover Sayulita, Mexico with Pilot!
Sayulita is a charming town that feels authentically Mexican. Yet, it's more laid back than other popular destinations like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta. In recent years, a variety of boutique hotels, surf hostels, and cheap accommodations have popped up, attracting youthful, backpacking travelers across the globe.
As such, it's the ideal destination to plan an authentic Mexican holiday! Are you feeling overwhelmed by how much more it is to plan a trip? Stop worrying with this new travel planner.