Planning a trip to the beautiful West coast of Mexico? Here are some of the best things to do in Sayulita when you visit.
Mexico has many vacation destinations to choose from, but if looking for one with a blend of action-packed adventures and relaxing getaways, Sayulita is the place to be. Located on the west coast of Mexico, the town has been a favorite escape from the bustling Puerto Vallarta and a hippie hideaway for surfers.
Don’t be fooled by its laid-back vibe — Sayulita has everything any tourist would look for. Its thriving art scene, stunning beaches, a vast selection of fabulous hotels, and five-star yoga retreats offer a vast range of activities for you to explore.
If it’s your first time in Sayulita, getting lost in the beehive of activities here is easy. So we’ve prepared a list of things to do in Sayulita to guide you.
Learn How to Surf
Sayulita town is an excellent spot for beginners who want to learn to surf. The waves here are large enough to allow surfers to stand up without getting swallowed up. Its prime location also makes it a great surfing spot. Sayulita faces north allowing the waves to swell northwards, a handy feature for seasoned surfers.
Playa Sayulita is the most popular surfing spot in the town as it has three distinct surf breaks. The bay’s south side is great for beginners, while experienced surfers head to the middle break for a more adventurous surfing session. Beginners can enroll in surfing lessons in one of the famous surfing schools or ask an experienced instructor on the beach to help them.
Explore the Beaches
The beaches here are a sight to behold. Dotted with eateries, surfing areas, and vast stretches of white, fluffy sand, nothing feels better than strolling along Sayulita beach. The Playa Sayulita beach is pretty famous because it’s a popular surfing spot and has large crowds which bring it to life.
A walk further south of Sayulita is Playa de Los Muertos, a famous swimming and surfing spot. It offers opportunities for windsurfing, jet skiing, and parasailing, not to mention the assortment of bars and restaurants for you to relax and unwind. What’s more, it’s regarded as a party haven for LGBTQ travelers.
Go for a Boat Tour around Islas Marietas National Park
If you’re a nature buff, head to Islas Marietas National Park. Located on the northern end of Banderas Bay, off Sayulita and Punta de Mita, the park is home to more than 40 plant and wildlife species.
You’ll find endangered species like the blue-footed booby and other animals like the sea turtle and manta rays. The island is also home to reef fish and coral fish, a significant draw for scuba divers and snorkelers.
A boat tour is the only way to get around the national park. However, it’s not open for the public view because the islands and the National Park are part of a UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve. Visitors can only explore the islands through select tour companies with valid permits.
Islas Marietas also has a hidden beach on one of the islands. A short swim through the small channel should lead you to this hidden beach. It’s a perfect place for you to take a stroll on the soft, powdery sand and explore indigenous wildlife.
Go Shopping in Sayulita Markets
Taking a stroll in this laid-back town makes one of the fun things to do in Sayulita. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience its rich culture and explore its market. The town has a Farmer’s Market every Friday where local vendors and producers offer lots of delicious foods.
There’s also an open-air market on Sunday, where you buy textiles, clothing, and artwork. Be sure to carry a beach blanket, artwork, or a pair of earrings as a relic.
Take a Hike to Money Mountain
Sayulita’s unique location, i.e. between the forested mountains and the ocean, makes it a perfect place for hiking. Many trails weave through the jungle, the most popular being the Money Mountain trail. It’s the largest of the southern hills in Sayulita and takes up to four hours to trek up the entire trail.
Reaching the summit is quite a challenge but worth it, thanks to the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Nayarit state. Punta Mita peninsula is also visible from the summit, and if visiting during the whale season, you’ll see whales dancing in the water.
Attend a Yoga Class
A yoga retreat is one of the best things to do in Sayulita when it rains and the town’s laid-back atmosphere makes it a perfect place for the activity. Haramara Yoga Retreat stands out among the many yoga retreat centers here. It sits on a 12-acre of Sayulita’s jungle and is well-equipped with yoga pavilions, sleeping cabanas, a pool, and a restaurant.
The retreat hosts up to 50 guests at a go, and the accommodation options vary by budget. Visitors come here to do yoga while experiencing nature and tranquility. You get immersed in the calming natural surrounding while viewing butterflies, birds, and iguanas. Although there’s no electricity, the lamplights keep the nights well-lit.
Explore the Beach on a Horse
Exploring Sayulita’s stunning beaches and jungle on foot can be tiring, so why not go horseback riding? You cover more ground while having fun. Cowboys are always available to accompany guests, and if you’re riding a horse for the first time, don’t fret. The horses are calm, well-fed, and well-trained to cover long distances.
Go for a Spa Treatment
There’s no better time to pamper yourself than during a vacation. A spa treatment is a perfect way to pamper yourself, and if doing it in Sayulita, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Most massage parlors charge $25-$40 per hour, and you may find some great facial deals too.
There are plenty of spa parlors in town, but if you don’t mind having one in an open place, you can hire one of the women offering massages at the beach.
Go Whale Watching
Whale watching is another one of the great things to do in Sayulita if visiting between mid-December and April. Blue, gray, and humpback whales migrate during this time to enjoy Nayarit’s warm waters. You can book a tour with a reputable company to get most of the activity.
Visit the Art Shops
Sayulita is known for its thriving art scene, drawing visitors from far and wide. A stroll around the town is an excellent way to explore fine art pieces, textiles, and leather goods. A walk further down is Cori Jacobs Gallery, known for its colorful paintings, textiles, and ceramics. Founded in 2002 by Cori Jacobs herself, the gallery pays homage to Sayulita’s colorful and vibrant culture.
Be sure to stop at Tierra Huichol Art Gallery too if you want to learn more about Sayulitan’s culture. It has exhibits showcasing colorful, beaded art inspired by Huichol’s indigenous mythology. You may also stroll around the town to view Huichol’s crafts on display.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for jungle ziplining, head to Tulum and take one of its ten zip lines. It also has a suspended bridge that provides incredible views of the mountains, jungle, and beach. What’s more, you enjoy tequila at the end of the tour.
Final Remarks – Things To Do In Sayulita
With so many things to do in Sayulita, the town makes a great vacation destination. Whether visiting with family, as a couple, or on a solo trip, you’re confident that your stay here will be fun-filled. Above are activities to make your stay here unforgettable for many years.