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How to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport in 6 ways

Uber is not allowed in Puerto Vallarta airport so you’ll end up paying a lot of money for an authorized taxi service. In this post, I will share with you 6 ways to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport for a lower price.

Hola, Cherry Ann!

Glad you decided to go to Sayulita! Yes, I still have that local taxi driver and I will definitely connect you with him. I don’t live in Sayulita anymore but I spent 2 years there.

I’ve written a lot of super local Sayulita travel guides so if you need anything during your stay, just let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful stay and please, don’t hesitate to contact me if there’s anything I can do for you. All my friends still live there so if you’re traveling by yourself to Sayulita, I’d love to introduce you to them! Good luck!

Xx,
Trisha

solo travel

🎁🎉 No time to read? Head directly to your cart! Use the code PSIMONMYWAY10 upon checkout to get a 10% discount on Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport transfers.

⚠️ Know before you go

As of November 2021, Mexico is no longer giving 180-days visas.  Many Americans have overstayed here so Mexico reformatted its visa rules and regulations.

I myself as a foreigner had to get a temporary resident visa to avoid problems coming in and out of the country. I only applied for the visa because it’s really comfortable to be here, especially in these challenging times.

Believe me, I tried to travel to Brazil, Argentina, and even Asia – it has been hard on a pandemic because of their blurred rules but Mexico has always been consistent!

sayulita

Before you go, make sure you have a secured accommodation booking in Sayulita and a flight itinerary to show to the immigration officer. This way, you can prove that you are not going to overstay.

Should you cancel your trip, Booking.com has flexible cancellation policies and they won’t even charge your credit card!

For solo travelers and backpackers, you can also use Hostelworld. They give you instant confirmation and you only pay a confirmation fee that’s less than US$20. 

puerto vallarta to sayulita
Pin this image to Pinterest and save it for your solo trip to Sayulita!

🗺️ How to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport in 6 ways

#1: Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport via local driver

💲 from US$50

I stopped taking public transport this year because of COVID. I also got a car so I barely use taxi services between Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita but when I do, Since we are always traveling in groups with our staff, I always call my trusted local drivers.

We’ve known each other for a long time and they’ve taken care of me while I was living in Mexico! I am really amazed at how speaking Spanish can easily connect you with people!

I met Juan and Michelle 2 years ago through Uber. I’d usually be freaked about taxi drivers who are very chatty but Juan has a different vibe.

He only speaks Spanish but he’s very willing to learn English. You’ll see how he will be very chatty with you during the ride!

Through the years, Juan and I remained friends. We go to dinners and he even helped me move to different houses while I was living in Sayulita!

I am also a proud godmother to one of Juan’s many children. I love supporting Juan so I hope you’ll help me support him, too!

Right now, the family of locals that this blog is supporting is growing so if Juan or Michelle are not available, our office will send another trusted driver for you.

Many of you ask if the local drivers can take you to other routes (for example, surf trips or other things to do in Sayulita) and the answer is YES! 

Just feel free to contact me and I will arrange it for you no matter what the route is.

#2: Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta airport via authorized taxi service (VIP)

💲 from US$250

If you don’t know yet, Ubers and taxis without permits are not allowed to enter Puerto Vallarta Airport. That’s just the rules and politics of the airport.

You can definitely go for any company that will charge you US$200 for it if you don’t want to complicate your pick-up.

If you are traveling to Sayulita with a big group (more than 3 people), you need to get a Sayulita airport van service. This van can hold up to 7 people and is also a VIP service.

They will have a sign with your name on it and they will be waiting for you at the arrivals gate. These drivers have a permit to operate inside Puerto Vallarta International Airport so don’t worry about its legitimacy.

sayulita from puerto vallarta airport

#3: Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport via Uber

The Uber app does not work in all Mexican cities (for example, Puerto Escondido) but it does in Puerto Vallarta. However, Uber is not allowed to enter PV airport.

If you booked an Uber through the app, you will have to go out of the airport to meet your driver. All you have to do is cross the bridge that’s outside the PV airport and your driver will be at the other end waiting for you.

If you are traveling light, this is ideal but if you have heavy luggage, this bridge is a little bit long and high. There is a ramp at the footbridge for your luggage so don’t worry.

Uber in Mexico is really cheap, especially in big cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara.

All trips are just less than US$5! In the case of Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport, Uber normally charges between US$25 – US$40, depending on the time of the day.

I find nighttime taxi fees more expensive but this all depends on Uber’s algorithm, not the drivers.

There’s a lot of taxi politics in PV airport against Uber but if you’re willing to bring all your luggage and go out of the airport to meet your Uber driver, then this option is for you.

sayulita from puerto vallarta airport

#4: Bus to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport

You can find regular busses from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita. These busses have the big letters ‘Compostela’ on them and usually have a written sign on the windshield that says SAYULITA.

Like Uber, you have to cross the footbridge outside PV airport to get to the bus stop.

This costs US$2 and will take you directly to the bus station in Sayulita. However, this trip is longer (can take up to 1.5 hours) as these busses stop frequently.

They also don’t stop all the time at the bus stop in Puerto Vallarta airport so make sure to raise your hand when you see the sign! They are not very frequent – sometimes the wait time can take up to 20 minutes.

sayulita from puerto vallarta airport
This is what the bus to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta airport looks like. You won’t miss it!

#5: Rent a car from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita

Renting a car in Puerto Vallarta airport is also one of the ways on how to get to Sayulita. However, this is a very tedious task as you have to drive yourself, pay for the security deposit (about US$350), pay for the daily rates (US$25), etc.

This is more ideal if you are going to use your car in Sayulita but bear in mind that parking in Sayulita is a horror story! As this is a walking town, the streets are very narrow and are often one-way.

Sayulita is a walking town so heavy traffic in the center is very normal.

The best thing to do is to rent a car while you are already in Sayulita. This will allow you to discover day trips from Sayulita such as Lo de Marcos, San Pancho, Los Ayala, and many more.

If you’d like for me to arrange a rental car for you while you are in Sayulita, feel free to get in touch!

renting a car in mexico

#6: Hitchhiking

I want to add this to the list of ways to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport because the question is from a backpacker and solo traveler.

I’ve hitchhiked a lot within the Nayarit area and I can assure you that it is really safe! Mexicans are super friendly to foreigners and you will surely get a ride in this area easily.

To hitchhike, all you have to do is cross the bridge from PV airport to the other side. Nayarit is the other way so you have to go to the other side of the road.

Put your big smile on and thumbs up! There is only one highway to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta airport so you’ll have higher chances to get a ride!

sayulita from puerto vallarta airport
First hitchhiking experience in Sayulita to Puerto Vallarta / May 2019

🔗 Airport transfer booking

I put into detail all the ways how to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport in this post but if you read the comments below, I still get questions about it. 

Below are some of the quick booking links you can use to book your airport transfer, not just to Sayulita but also in other areas in Riviera Nayarit:


What’s next after Sayulita?


⁉️ Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport FAQs

Sayulita is located in the state of Nayarit, north of Puerto Vallarta. It is famous for its super-friendly surfing waves, small-town vibes, and friendly people.

Sayulita is also one of Mexico’s pueblos magicos (magical towns) and is very popular for water sports and activities. Its closest neighbor is San Pancho, about 10 minutes drive from Sayulita.

Sayulita is about an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta airport. From downtown Puerto Vallarta (say, the Malecon), it can take about 1.5 hours.

Through the years, we’ve seen how the traffic situations changed in Sayulita. In 2018, we used to do it for only 40 minutes but as Sayulita gets popular with tourists, traffic gets heavier and heavier.

Please note that the number of minutes driving to Sayulita depends if you are taking a bus, a private taxi, or driving yourself.

If you look at TripAdvisor threads and other resources online, you will only see expensive public airport transport from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita.

This is because these are taxi companies and luxury transportation. The Nayarit area is an American and Canadian vacationer’s favorite and usually, their travel style is a grand vacation (ex: all-inclusive stays).

Backpackers and budget travelers, I totally understand why you won’t be willing to pay for a US$150 taxi (come on, I won’t do that, too!) so I am also sharing some cheap ways to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport for as low as US$4.

Travel time to Sayulita is just 40 minutes from PV airport. We want you to know this so you’ll have an idea about taxi pricing. 

If you’re coming from downtown Puerto Vallarta, you can simply take an Uber that will charge you around US$25 – US$45. Uber is commonly used in Puerto Vallarta so if you have the app, you’re good to go!

White taxis charge US$40 – US$65 and you can’t haggle with that. So better use Uber if you’re coming from PV downtown!

Below is a list of airlines and destinations that fly direct from the US to Puerto Vallarta:

  • Austin: American Airlines, 2h 07m
  • Charlotte: American Airlines, 4h 08m
  • Chicago: American Airlines and United Airlines, 4h 05m
  • Dallas: American Airlines,  2h, 32m
  • Denver: Frontier Airlines, 3h 24m
  • Detroit: Delta Airlines, 4h 13m
  • Houston: United Airlines, 2h 27m
  • Las Vegas: Frontier Airlines, 3h 13m
  • Los Angeles: Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, 2h 59m
  • Minneapolis: Delta Airlines, 4h 16m
  • Phoenix: American Airlines, 2h 24m
  • Portland: Alaska Airlines, 4h 53m
  • San Diego: Alakas Airlines, 2h 52m
  • San Francisco: Alaska Airlines, 3h 50m
  • San Jose: Alaska Airlines, 3h 38m

✈️ Ready for your trip to Sayulita? This blog thrives on reader questions so feel free to leave a comment below if you need help in reserving your airport transfer anywhere in Riviera Nayarit, you can reach my team at hola[at]mexicoinsider[dot]mx.

🇲🇽 Sayulita Travel Resources

  • ✈️ Cheap flights to Sayulita: The airport that serves Sayulita is Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR). Use the code PSIMONMYWAY to get a 10% discount upon checkout.
  • 🚑  Mexico Travel Insurance: SafetyWing is the best. Choose the best plan for your trip to Mexico from US$40.
  • 🚕 Puerto Vallarta Airport transfer: book with my local driver using the code PSIMONMYWAY10 upon checkout on Mexico Insider.
  • 🚗 Sayulita Rental Cars: Rent a car and go around Sayulita and the Riviera Maya for only US$35 per day (credit card required for car deposit). Check prices at Rental Cars Vallarta.
  • 🚌 Sayulita bus transportation: traveling around Mexico by bus is pretty common. Use Busbud to find the best routes and prices online.
  • 🧭 Sayulita Tours: find 100+ things to do in Sayulita, day trips, and tours on Mexico Insider. Tour prices start from US$35.
  • 🛏️ Sayulita Hostels: backpackers and young travelers, you can stay in a dorm bed for as low as US$15! Check Hostelworld Sayulita for the best rates.
  • 🏨 Sayulita Hotels: there are many good hotels in Sayulita for as low as US$65 per night (private room). Check Booking.com Sayulita for the best deals!
  • 🏖️ Sayulita Luxury Hotels: Stay in treehouses in the jungle or a glass Airbnb perched on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Banderas: find unique stays in Sayulita starting at US$200 per night.
  • 📧 Sayulita Updates: subscribe to our newsletter and get honest and transparent updates about Sayulita. NO SPAM. NEVER.

thirteen + one =

Chris

Sunday 18th of September 2022

Hi, We have a party of 2 that will need a ride to Sayulita on the 14th of October. Can you set us up with a driver? Thanks, Chris

Trisha Velarmino

Monday 19th of September 2022

Hi Chris, you will find all the taxi transportation for Sayulita here. Use the code PSIMONMYWAY10 for a discount. Enjoy Sayulita!

Cassie

Saturday 10th of September 2022

please contact me for ride from airport, pick up Monday. Sept 12 about 3pm

Trisha Velarmino

Sunday 11th of September 2022

Hi Cassie! You can book it here or e-mail [email protected] if you need more help. My office will assist you!

Jake

Sunday 17th of July 2022

Thanks Trisha.

Excellent job on the details!

I’d love to support some of the local trusted drivers like Juan and Michelle so please send me their contact info.

Also what are your recommendations on getting to and from San Pacho?

I’m going there (solo) right when I arrive (7/21) and then staying in Sayulita from 7/24-7/28 and then back up to PVR.

Thanks so much!

Trisha Velarmino

Sunday 17th of July 2022

Hi Jake! Thanks for reading and thank you for supporting our local drivers! Here are some helpful links for your trip to Sayulita and San Pancho:

- PVR Airport transfer to Sayulita - PVR Airport to San Pancho

If you need help, you can visit my Mexico website called Mexico Insider or you can e-mail our office at [email protected] and they will help you book whatever you need. Thanks again and let me know if you have any questions!

Junglewench

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Hi Trish! Great site and info. I am 66 years young and have travelled from PV to Sayulita with a rental car and on another trip a taxi to Punta Mita. In 2019 the taxi from Zona Romantica to the Westin in Punta Mita was $60USD but the cab driver took care of us and even took us to the Mega store. Unfortunately from the Westin, a cab almost anywhere else seemed astronomical. We felt like we were held hostage by the Westin (which is not a bad place to be by the way.) Upon our departure from the Westin a cab back to PV cost us over $150USD. This time I'm planning on taking the bus in both directions to save money.

Lourdes

Saturday 12th of February 2022

Hi Trisha! Wow, I love your blog! So many great tips! Reading your blog has motivated me to book my first solo trip to Sayulita! I was hoping you could connect me with you recommended taxi driver, to get me from the puerto Vallarta airport to Sayulita! I would love to support local. And if you could also recommend any surf instructors, I’d truly appreciate.

Saludos!

-Lourdes

Trisha Velarmino

Saturday 12th of February 2022

Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Lourdes! You can book with Juan here. If he's not available, my office will send another driver!