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

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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.

📬 Reader Mail: Hi Trisha! After reading your posts about Sayulita, I finally decided to come to spend my winter there this year! I was battling between Puerto Escondido and Sayulita but based on your stories, Sayulita won my heart!

I am currently planning my travels. Do you still have the local taxi driver that can take me to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta airport? I’d love to support local so let me know how I can avail. Thanks again and I hope to meet you!
– Cherry Ann, USA

🎁🎉 Bonus: 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.

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

 

📍 Where is Sayulita?

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 and is very popular for water sports and activities. Its closest neighbor is San Pancho, about 10 minutes drive from Sayulita.

🛣️ How far is Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport?

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.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Trisha V. @ P.S. I’m On My Way (@psimonmyway)

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.

✈️ What airport do you fly into for Sayulita?

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.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Trisha V. @ P.S. I’m On My Way (@psimonmyway)

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. 

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

💲How much is Uber from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita?

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!

Uber from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita

Yes and no. Ubers are not allowed inside Puerto Vallarta airport so you need to go out and wait for your Uber outside the airport (on the highway).

It will be discussed in the next sections of this article so keep browsing or refer to the table of contents.

You can’t use Uber while you are in Sayulita but there are lots of taxi drivers in town that will take you wherever you want to go.

Sayulita is a walking town so I don’t really recommend you take taxis. It’s better to rent a golf cart especially when you’re traveling as a group.

Uber only works in Sayulita if you are going on an inter-city trip like Punta Mita, San Pancho, or Puerto Vallarta. This is a hit-and-miss opportunity though – there aren’t a lot of cars available all the time.

Do you need to wear a mask in Sayulita?

📨 Editor’s Note: As part of P.S. I’m On My Way’s editorial guidelines and ethics, this post is updated every 6 months. We live in strange times so we try our best to give you the latest information to plan your travels accordingly. You can also get these updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our Mexico newsletter. NO SPAM. NEVER.

⚠️ Know before you go

As of November 2021, Mexico is no longer giving 180-days visas.  Many Americans have overstayed here so Mexico reformatted their 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!



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. 

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

📢 Announcement: From February 2022, all orders will now be processed on Trisha’s Mexico-focused blog, Mexico Insider. Thanks for your support and let our team know if you have any questions! 🪅

#1: Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport via local driver

💲 from US$50
👉🏽 Book your trusted local driver

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.

⚠️ Disclaimer: If you are worried about your safety, I assure you that I do not recommend people or services in this blog without properly vetting them. Read my editorial ethics and guidelines for more information.

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
👉🏽 Book your VIP airport transfer 

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.

sayulita from puerto vallarta airport

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.

#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.

sayulita from puerto vallarta airport

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 Airportrt, 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.

 

#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.

sayulita from puerto vallarta airport

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

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.

#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.

renting a car in mexico

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!

✈️ First time solo travelers to Mexico, I am inviting you to join my trips this year! We will have fun, we will do crazy things but best of all, you will also learn about conquering the world on you own! 💃🏽

#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.

Read: Riding in cars with boys – my first bla bla car experience
sayulita from puerto vallarta airport

First hitchhiking experience in Sayulita to Puerto Vallarta / May 2019

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!

✈️ 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, you can reach my team at hola[at]mexicoinsider[dot]mx.

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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!

Marin Huston

Sunday 16th of January 2022

HI Trisha,

Thank you so much for your recommendations around Sayulita, you included such great information. My family and I will be traveling next week to Sayulita and I was wondering about Juan for traveling from PV to Sayulita. We have two adults, two small children (with inflatable booster seats) and a baby in a car seat. I see that Juan's car is for 4 only, just wondering if we could get all of us in his vehicle. Thank you kindly for your response! Marin

Trisha Velarmino

Sunday 16th of January 2022

Hi Marin! He also has a van (7-seater). Our office will get in touch with you. Thanks for reading the blog!

Renata Costa

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

Hi there, Trisha! Thank you for the guides and tips! Could you please give me Juan’s number (driver)?

Thank you so much Renata

Andrea

Friday 3rd of December 2021

Juan picked us up and drove us from PVR to Sayulita and it was great! Very easy to find him with WhatsApp and he took us to a great grocery store on the way. Highly recommend!