How to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara in 5 ways
These two Mexican destinations are famous routes as many people visit them one after the other. In this post, I will share with you the cheapest and easiest way to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara. Happy trip!
Reader Mail: I’m so glad I found your post on Pinterest, it is filled with tons of information about Sayulita. I have a trip planned there with my sister and daughter next month and honestly, all we have is our ticket down there. I decided to book directly to Guadalajara since the tickets were cheaper than flying straight to Vallarta. We’re visiting from Chicago by the way. It would be so helpful if you have any advice you could share as to what’s the best and safest form of transportation getting to Sayulita from Guadalajara. Thank you in advance.
– Wendy, USA
I am so glad you found the blog and that you wrote to me! This blog thrives on reader questions so keep them coming! I’ve been coming to Sayulita from Guadalajara frequently but I have a car. I only had a car for a year but in the previous years, I commute a lot back and forth – it’s such a great city to be in when you’re sick of small-town living!
If you have any additional questions that weren’t answered in this post, I’d love to hear from you. For general tips about Sayulita, feel free to check all my blog posts about Sayulita.
How far is Sayulita from Guadalajara?
The trip to Sayulita from Guadalajara is usually 4 hours but public transport can take longer. Sayulita and Guadalajara are two places that are visited by tourists one after the other so commuting in this route is pretty easy.
How much is the bus to Sayulita from Guadalajara?
The direct bus to Sayulita from Guadalajara costs $33 USD for adults and $17 USD for ages 18 and below. This bus does not stop as much as the normal busses but they only have two trips per day. You’ll learn more about this in the ‘how to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara by bus’ section of this article.
How to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara in 6 ways
If you are a frequent visitor of Sayulita, you probably know that 90% of Mexican nationals who visit Sayulita are from Guadalajara. It’s only a 4-hour drive and this is actually the closest beach for the Tapatíos (yep, that’s what you call people from Guadalajara).
There are many ways on how to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara and I will show these options one by one. First, you need to know where Sayulita is located.
Sayulita is in the state of Nayarit and it’s one of the most beautiful beach destinations on the Pacific Coast. I want to call our home the Nayarit best-seller but I do have high respect for our neighbors like Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, Punta de Mita, and San Pancho.
When you visit Sayulita, you will definitely get to know these small towns as well. Many first-time visitors don’t really consider visiting us but there are many reasons to visit Sayulita – you don’t need to look further!
#1: How to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara by bus
A lot of people don’t know this but there is one company that goes directly to Sayulita from Guadalajara. It’s called Vallarta Plus. There are two stations in Guadalajara for Vallarta Plus: Colon and Tlaquepaque. You need to go to the one in Colon. Tlaquepaque is a bit outside of Guadalajara but there are also busses available there.
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However, there are only two trips for this route that leaves in the morning: 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM. The trip will take 4 hours but because this bus stops in some towns along the way, it can take up to 5 hours. But don’t worry, this is a comfortable ride! It’s definitely not a chicken bus.
The bus costs $33 USD for adults and $17 USD for minors (18 and below). If you are traveling with kids, this bus is child-friendly. We’ve seen a lot of foreigners with their families traveling this route!
This bus goes directly to the Sayulita bus station and from there, you can walk to your accommodation or take a taxi. In order to know how far the bus station is to your accommodation in Sayulita, click this link and put your hotel’s address. Click “directions.”
Remember that Sayulita is a walking town and there are no Ubers so the white taxis can charge you a lot even if it’s just a short distance. By “a lot,” I mean by Mexican standards. Foreigners usually don’t care to pay $5 USD for a taxi ride inside the town but for us, that’s too much!
Is there another bus company going from Guadalajara to Sayulita?
What if you missed the morning bus or if it’s full? Is there another bus that goes to Sayulita from Guadalajara?
Yes! This happened to me a lot so I feel like this is very important to discuss. The Vallarta Plus trips are very limited so they can easily get fully booked. If this is the case, you can book a bus to Puerto Vallarta via Primera Plus.
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This will take you all the way to PV which is about one hour from Sayulita. The ride costs $25 USD and this bus is super comfortable with TV screens and charging ports.
The funny thing is that the route to Puerto Vallarta passes by Sayulita but by Mexican Federal law, busses are not allowed to stop on the highway. They can only leave passengers in the stations. The closest stations to Sayulita are La Peñita and Nuevo Vallarta (Mezcales) if you don’t want to go all the way to Puerto Vallarta.
La Peñita is only 20 minutes away from Sayulita but the problem is there aren’t Ubers there. There is also no bus connected to Sayulita from this route. I always just ask my friends to pick me up from this station.
In Nuevo Vallarta (which is about 30 minutes from Sayulita going north and 30 minutes to Puerto Vallarta going South), you can definitely try to get an Uber to Sayulita but I still don’t guarantee it as NV is quite posh – Ubers don’t work 100%.
If you decide to go to the Nuevo Vallarta station, you can book this driver to pick you up at the Nuevo Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta bus stations. You may use PSIMONMYWAY10 to get a 10% discount. Contact me if you need help with this booking!
#2: How to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara: Bla Bla Car
Now, if you don’t live in Mexico, you probably have not heard of this app. Bla Bla Car is a ride-sharing app where Mexican travelers from Guadalajara invite people to share travel expenses with them. Oh no, they’re not Uber drivers.
They’re literally people who are making their way to Sayulita, probably for a vacation as well. This is my best tip on how to meet locals and practice your Spanish during a long drive.
Some cars only accept 3 passengers so it’s more spacious but other drivers maximize it by squeezing 4 people in. Before booking, you need to ask the driver how many people he’s taking. There are many drivers coming from this route so don’t worry – you’ll always find a ride.
If the driver says he’s taking 4, then it’s up to you. But I usually go for drivers who only allow 3 passengers. It’s more comfortable as these are usually Sedan cars. If you’re a group, you can just pay for the extra seats to have more space.
This only costs $15 USD but the driver will not pick you up at your hotel. The usual meet-up point in Guadalajara is at Riu Plaza Guadalajara, a luxury hotel located at the entrance of the city. I can say that this ride is ultimately faster than the bus. Bla Bla car drivers usually stop for toilet breaks or food.
Is Bla Bla Car safe?
Definitely! There are many driver profiles on Bla Bla Car that you can refer to. Customers can give a review. I’d ask you to leave a review after your ride so you can help other travelers who are also worrying about safety! Let’s continue supporting our travel community by leaving authentic reviews.
#3: How to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara: rental car
Is this really ideal? Many people will tell you that it is very hard to rent a car in Mexico but I’ve done this a lot – it’s really not that difficult especially if you know the driving situations in the country.
Most Americans and Canadians tell me they are afraid to drive in Mexico but you’ll be surprised how your fellow Americans and Canadians who live here in Sayulita are super brave in paving the daily traffic in Nayarit!
Renting a car in Guadalajara to go to Sayulita is probably the best choice for families traveling with kids or groups of friends. Don’t worry, the rental car companies in Mexico are very familiar to you as you also have it back home.
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The most common are Avis, Europcar, Hertz, and Dollar. I usually just use Expedia to secure my booking but there are lots of hidden fees when using third-party platforms like this. It’s up to you if you will use it but this is how some of us do it. Read more about hidden costs in this renting a car in Mexico guide.
I assume that you are in Guadalajara for a vacation so if you don’t want to risk not knowing the extra fees, you can always go to the airport to rent a car. Most of the international rental companies mentioned above have offices there.
The airport is about a 20-minute taxi ride from the city center. Car rental prices start at $15 USD per day for a basic Sedan. Again, read the car rental guide in Mexico to get to know about the other fees!
Think about it if you want to travel all the way to the airport but honestly, if you choose this option, you don’t have a choice. The airport rental car offices are 100% guaranteed open as other branches closed because of COVID.
#4: How to get to Sayulita from Guadalajara: by plane
The airport that serves Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The flight duration is only one hour so many of you will definitely prefer to travel this way, especially those who are traveling on a certain timeframe.
Aeromar is the airline that serves this route. Light packers, you can get a flight from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta for only $30 USD (one-way).
If you have checked baggage, that will cost around $52 USD. TAR is another airline you can check out but they’re more expensive than Aeromar. Flights to PV from GDL via TAR start at $75 USD, one way and with checked baggage.
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You can directly book through these websites but sometimes, international credit cards don’t work. I usually use our Mexican credit/debit cards as it’s the one that always goes through. I’ve had lots of problems booking on the Mexican airlines itself – sometimes, I get charged but no booking confirmation. You know, all the shebang.
The safest way is to use third-party flight booking platforms such as Kiwi.com and Expedia flights. I love both of these and I usually have no problems when I use these.
As soon as you arrive in Puerto Vallarta, I can definitely arrange a taxi service to Sayulita for you, through a local driver I am supporting.
#5: Getting to Sayulita from Guadalajara: hitchhiking
I’ve done this and this is completely safe. I added it to this list on getting to Sayulita from Guadalajara because we know there are some adventurous backpackers and solo travelers who are also following this blog. Nayarit and Jalisco are super safe but I don’t recommend this if you have not hitchhiked before.
The trick is to hitch a ride from families or groups. Mexicans are super-friendly to foreigners so you will definitely enjoy this hitchhiking adventure.
Please note that some parts of Mexico are not that safe for hitchhiking but since I tried this route myself, I can definitely recommend it.
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