Tourists still come to Sayulita despite increasing COVID cases in Mexico
Thank you for writing! I am not supposed to write about COVID travel in Sayulita since I don’t really want to encourage people to come. However, I feel like whether I write about it or not, people are already here. Our town has been so packed since the day of the dead.
Please note that this article is based on my experiences and observations from living in the area. I already left Sayulita but I still come there every week. I now live in Nuevo Vallarta, which is just 30 minutes away.
If you ever make it here, also feel free to get in touch with Sayulita Insider. They will have more information about the current situation and lots of Sayulita travel tips!
Good luck and please let me know when you come – I’d love to show you around! I can be easily reached via Instagram direct message.
Is Sayulita on lockdown?
Thinking of traveling to Sayulita but not sure what to expect during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Situated in the heart of Nayarit, the colorful pueblo magico of Sayulita usually comes alive with movement and activity during the fall and winter months. A popular destination for holidays like Day of the Dead, and a sunny paradise during the winter months, Sayulita would normally be heading into its busiest season. But what should tourists expect given Covid 19 restrictions?
As public hesitancy about traveling to Sayulita increases, Sayulita governors and locals are eager to communicate safety facts regarding traveling to Sayulita during these COVID-restricted times. Travel Weekly sites the Travel Health Notice in informing visitors that Mexico is one of the countries least affected by Covid 19. Sayulita is among the places that fall into the lowest-risk category, making travel here a great option! While Sayulita is taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus, it is still very much a hub of activity.
I really want to show you how we are in Sayulita. We are not on a lockdown. Americans and Canadians are here, especially now that the high season started. As a person who’s been living in Sayulita for the last 2 years, I am happy that the local businesses are getting back on their feet. Since this is a small town, many locals here rely on tourism for their livelihood. During the pandemic, we did a free food drive for everyone who lost their jobs. It was such a great community project!
I do not, however, agree with the big group gatherings. There are a lot in Sayulita and the reason why we can do this is that the cases in the state of Nayarit never went up. It just stays at 6,000. For example, in the photo below, all of us in one table were tested for COVID. This way, we guarantee that we are safe and will not affect others. In Sayulita, people don’t take COVID tests because they are expensive. Most people can’t really afford it. For Mexican standards, it really is expensive.
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I tried to reach out to the Bahia de Banderas government to help us implement wearing of mask in our pueblo and they did not respond. The lockdown in Sayulita is very selective. It goes on and off. It is usually on when there are big holidays like Mexico’s Independence Day last September and the recently ‘canceled’ day of the dead. We just woke up to the announcement, “today is lockdown day,” as well as ley seca, where Mexican government bans alcohol to avoid big gatherings. Well, people do it anyway!
I am not in a position to encourage you to come but please, if you are coming, make sure that you bring a negative COVID test with you. We are a small town. People here are very dependent on their jobs (like housekeepers, hotel staff, etc). If they get sick, they will lose their jobs and their big families will not have food on the table. Remember that in order for you to take care of other people who are more vulnerable, you need to take care of yourself. Better yet, do not come and stay home.
Sayulita COVID travel update
Since March 21, travelers can’t drive to Mexico from the US, and governments of both countries extend their agreement to close the land border to nonessential travel until September 21. However, there are no restrictions on flying into Mexico. Commercial flights are operating to and from Mexico. In the airport, expect to have your temperature taken and respect social distancing.
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American nationals can enter Mexico without a problem. You will only be stopped when you’re showing symptoms like high fever, cough, or flu. Other than that, I have not seen anything very extreme when it comes to checking people coming in Mexico. The only important change was I needed to be in the airport way earlier than the usual. The security and health checks can take long so make sure you allot extra time before your departure. I almost missed a flight because I didn’t plan ahead. Airports are different because of COVID so keep that in mind.
If you are used to being in the airport an hour before (for domestic flights), add another hour and a half just to make sure.
Sayulita COVID travel Frequently Asked Questions
Upon arriving at Sayulita, you will notice everything is much more relaxed. Although you will see the occasional mask wearer, most people are out socializing and soaking up the sun just like in preCovid times. Also, the air, the ocean, and the streets are at an all-time cleanliness level due to the drop in tourism. Restaurants and grocery stores are limited to 50 percent capacity, however, you will notice very few lines since tourism has dropped as well.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS FOR TRAVELERS ENTERING SAYULITA DURING COVID?
None at all. You are not even required to test negative on a Covid test in order to enter the country or the state. You will be required to fill out a quick health form in the airport and checking temperature is a common safety procedure so make sure you are not running a fever when you travel!
DO I NEED A (COVID) TRAVEL INSURANCE TO ENTER SAYULITA?
No, it is not required. Not even if you enter Mexico City International Airport from another country.
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ARE MASKS REQUIRED IN SAYULITA?
Rarely. While out and about, enjoying the ocean breeze, taking a walk on the beach, having a drink at a bar, or hanging out in the town square, you will not be required to wear a mask. The odd small business as well as some grocery stores will ask you to put a mask on in order to enter so have your mask handy just in case, but you can look forward to days on end of breathing clean, sea breeze, unobstructed by a mask.
Are hotels open in Sayulita?
From June 8, 2020, hotels have been allowed to reopen their doors with some sanitary restrictions and reduced capacity. As of this month, hotels can operate with up to 50% of their rooms full.
There is a lot of availability in Sayulita hotels and hostels at the moment and they are eager to fill their rooms so finding a place to stay shouldn’t be difficult.
Airbnb is also a good bet, prices are down and availability is up, just make sure you check the cancelation policy before you book. Hotels are abiding by the reduced capacity regulation and will require you to wear a mask and gel your hands upon entry to the lobby.
Are restaurants open in Sayulita?
Although restaurants are not opening at full capacity, almost all of Sayulita’s restaurants are open and food is one of the town’s main attractions. Typically, you will not have to wear a mask to enter a restaurant in Sayulita and, since most of the restaurants are outdoor or partially outdoor, they have easily transitioned to the new regulations by spacing out their tables a little. Options include beachside, fine dining, casual, Italian, Mexican, cafés, Chinese, seafood, sushi, coffee, Mediterranean, organic, Indian, sandwiches, desserts, bakeries, and more!
Are Sayulita beaches open?
Yes! Sayulita has one main beach that is currently open and, although it is slightly less crowded than usual, it is very active nonetheless. It is a family-friendly environment, a perfect place to learn to surf, and lined with restaurants and bars. There are also several beaches close by such as Palito Verde, Punta Negra, La Lancha, and Playa Burros that are all within 20 minutes driving from Sayulita and are much less crowded.
Will I be able to rent a car in Sayulita during COVID?
The best option is to rent a car at the airport upon arriving to Puerto Vallarta. The car rental office is at the airport and you will see signs guiding you to it as soon as you get off the plane. There are also several other car rental offices in Puerto Vallarta that you can get to by taking a cab. These include Avis, City Car Rentals, and Mex. The average price for a four-door car is $11 USD per day. You can also rent a golf cart in Sayulita at Roy’s Golf Carts, Rivera Golf Carts, Nava Golf Carts, or Sayulita Roly’s Golf Carts. The price is comparable to that of a car rental and the town is small enough to make this a fun and viable option.
How do I get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport?
There are many ways to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport. Airport taxis charge between $55 – $75 USD. Ubers are not allowed inside the airport but you can order an Uber. You just need to go out and meet your driver. The cheapest option is to go by bus which is about $2 USD (1.5h ride). If you want a private ride, I recommend this Sayulita local taxi driver. I can get a good price for you. Just contact me on Instagram!
Where to get COVID test in Sayulita?
Sayulita might be a small town but we have high-end hospitals here. To know more about where to get a COVID test in Sayulita, read this post. You can also go to Puerto Vallarta for your test as both areas have different pricing options.