Sayulita travel planning checklist: preparing for your trip
How far in advance should you do your Sayulita travel planning? I lived here for two years and though I did not plan anything, everything went with the flow during my transition from a traveler to a resident in Sayulita! Here are the best practices when planning your trip to Sayulita.
Reader Mail: Hi Trisha! Thank you for all your posts about Sayulita. Your resources about Sayulita are very genuine and I love that I don’t have to go to another blog to check what I need for my Sayulita travel planning!
Speaking of which – I just booked a private consultation with you about my trip to Sayulita with my family. I have three children and being a mom slash travel planner can be very tedious. I am looking forward to our consult call!
I would appreciate it if you can give me a Sayulita travel planning checklist as I am highly organized (not to mention super busy). Thank you for all your help and more power to your blog!
– Gemma, Canada
I am really excited for our call! I know I am not supposed to write a new post for you but it just inspired me to make a Sayulita travel planning checklist.
I will speak with you next week but in the meantime, save this checklist for your trip! Really excited to speak with you!
When should I start doing my Sayulita travel planning?
You should start your Sayulita travel planning between the months of May to August. Booking accommodations, tours, and activities are super cheap at this time because it is low season in Sayulita.
You will have more chances of finding great deals if you start planning during the summer. Sayulita is pretty empty at this time of the year so most accommodation listings put their prices at a lower rate.
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I am sure you are a very busy person and if you do not have the time to do this, I can definitely do this for you! I have a team of Sayulita travel planning experts (including myself) who can provide you all the information you need in order to have a great trip to Sayulita.
Just give me a ring or email me so we can arrange a consult call! Should you be on a tight budget, you can simply go to my Sayulita travel guide and I swear that everything you need will be there without my help.
Sayulita travel planning: a step-by-step checklist
✅ Know when to visit Sayulita
The first mistake that most visitors do in their Sayulita travel planning is not checking when to go to Sayulita. First piece of advice: do not go during the summer.
There are pros and cons to visiting Sayulita during the high and low seasons. In the low season, it is extremely hot in Sayulita, and knowing you, my American and Canadian friends, you will suffer a lot in this kind of weather. Trust me.
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I myself base myself in La Paz Mexico during the summer not because it’s not hot in Baja California but for some reason, it is the most tolerable weather for me.
The best time to visit Sayulita is from October to May when we experience great weather and zero humidity. You can even wear a jacket at night during this season.
However, if you already planned a trip to Sayulita during the summer, I can’t stop you. The only con you can get from this is that flights and accommodations are cheaper from June to mid-October.
✅ Set your Sayulita travel budget
Most Americans and Canadians who visit Sayulita don’t really have a fixed travel budget. For many of you, Mexico is a cheap country and you can always do a lot for $100 USD per day.
But what if you only have a $50 USD per day budget for your Sayulita travel? Will that be enough? The answer is YES. And I get this a lot from families traveling to Sayulita.
One of the reasons why Sayulita is worth visiting is that you don’t really need a high budget to go on a vacation to Sayulita. It’s just that people are not well-informed about how far their daily budget can go!
This is a sad thing about Mexico tourism. Since most are advertising and selling to an American audience, prices are ridiculous because they know you are going to pay for it.
You can definitely do $50 USD per day per person in Sayulita and I can teach you how to do it!
✅ Book your flight to Sayulita
When your flight to Sayulita is not booked, it almost means your vacation is not real. Flights are the first thing that motivates us to do our Sayulita trip planning so this is the first thing you should do.
To get to Sayulita, you need to book a flight to Puerto Vallarta International Airport. This is the airport that serves Sayulita and it’s a 40-minute taxi ride.
Related: 30+ best restaurants in Sayulita
As soon as this is booked, you will feel that your vacation to Sayulita is FOR REAL and you can start doing the next steps.
Please do not book tours and activities in Sayulita unless you have a flight. Airlines in the US are always changing schedules or cancelling flights to Puerto Vallarta so you need to make sure this is secured before doing anything else.
✅ Check if you need a COVID test to enter Mexico
As of July 26, 2021, you do not need a COVID test and/or vaccine certificate to enter Mexico. Pretty odd, right? Mexico has been open to tourists since July 2020.
We only had a brief lockdown from April 2020 but after that, all flights from the US and Canada resumed. Mexico is highly dependent on tourism so a lockdown will kill the economy.
I just included this in the checklist because maybe, just maybe, Mexico will have strict travel restrictions. In the future, should Mexico change its COVID travel rules, you can easily ask the airlines you are flying with if you need a COVID test. Their answers are always the most credible.
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✅ Book your accommodation in Sayulita
Airbnb is still the platform that has many listings in Sayulita. I stopped supporting them in 2021 because I’ve seen how the local community (including me) has suffered in terms of renting apartments in Sayulita.
Since every apartment or property in Sayulita has been listed on Airbnb, we locals always have to pay more for rent. It’s saddening because a lot of people here have lost their jobs because of the high-cost rent on Airbnb.
You’re a tourist in Sayulita and I can’t stop you from supporting Airbnb especially if the listing is very enticing – pool, ocean view, jungle view, etc.
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✅ Create your Sayulita itinerary
There are many things to do in Sayulita but what I realized is that tourists who visit Sayulita have different travel styles. Some people come here for adventure travel. Most visitors are here to just… have a great weekend and get drunk.
The thing is Sayulita fits every travel style so you should identify your travel style before crafting your Sayulita itinerary. Answer these questions: are you here to have fun? Are you going to travel to Sayulita just to have a break from your stressful life in the US?
Sayulita is a very outdoorsy destination that fits all kinds of travelers and unfortunately, if you don’t have any idea what your travel style is, then I can help you figure it out! Just get in touch!
✅ Book some tours in advance
Here’s the thing: some Sayulita tours are only available during the high season. There are very few tours that operate during the summer because of the weather.
For example, the Monkey Mountain tours are only open from November to mid-May. Although I consider this an easy hike, it is extremely hot to do this during the summer.
Rangers also close Monkey Mountain because of the summer rains and typhoons. Landslides are common in this area when it’s raining so you won’t have a choice – it’s closed no matter what.
I am supporting a few local tours in Sayulita so if you decide to book them, you may use the code PSIMONMYWAY10 for a 10% discount.
✅ Book your airport pick up at Puerto Vallarta Airport
Before booking, educate yourself first on how to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta Airport. You can go by bus, Uber or private taxi but bear in mind that Ubers are now allowed inside. Read that article for more information!
As I suppose, you are on vacation so taking a bus is not really an option, especially after a long flight. There are many options on Sayulita Airport taxi services but like what I said, not all drivers have permits to enter the airport. They are also quite expensive (starting at $135 USD).
You can book my local taxi driver Juan for less than $50 USD and you may also use the code PSIMONMYWAY10 for a 10% discount. Juan is a great friend of mine (for years!) and I am supporting his business by promoting his services on this blog.
✅ Know what to pack for Sayulita
You already know the high and low seasons in Sayulita but honestly, if you are traveling here any time of the year, just bring beach clothes!
I also advise my clients and readers to just pack with carry-on luggage to avoid long lines at the airport. Beach outfits are super light anyway!
What’s next after Sayulita: Make sure to check out Puerto Vallarta
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Well, if you don’t want to bother to make a packing list for Sayulita, you can buy stuff that you forgot when you’re already here anyway. Bear in mind that shopping in Sayulita can be costly even if most American visitors find it cheap.
Sayulita has all kinds of shops (for everything!) so it’s very possible to travel light.
✅ Exchange USD to Mexican pesos
Sure, you can take out Mexican pesos when you arrive in Sayulita but we have a little problem with cash machines here. Since it’s a small town, you will find cash machines always empty.
Mexico is a cash nation so there are very few establishments in Sayulita that accept credit cards. Some people ask me if they will get better currency when exchanging USD to Mexican pesos in the US but the truth is I am all for this.
The dollar rates in beach towns in Mexico are super low and ridiculous. Establishments accept USD but bear in mind that their conversion is really low.
For example, if it’s 20 pesos for a dollar, in Sayulita, they will give you between 16-18 pesos.
✅ Get travel insurance
Most Americans travel with insurance from their credit card companies but recently, I wanted to file for lost luggage with my US credit card but they said I can’t claim a file if my credit card was not used to book the flight!
Well.. my bad. I forgot about that. They weren’t clear about it but I understood that they can only do it for flights purchased through my card. Lesson learned!
From then on, I promised to buy separate travel insurance. They’re not expensive anyway! I use SafetyWing and it only charges me $40 USD a month! (I usually travel for one month)
✅ COVID test going back to the USA or your home country
You can actually do this when you’re already in Sayulita. We do have a health center here that offers COVID testing. You can even do it 3 hours before your flight at the airport for only $25 USD!
Knowing where to get a COVID test in Sayulita (or in any destination you are traveling to) is very important even it’s the last box you have to tick on your Sayulita travel planning checklist.
Make sure you know where exactly the testing centers are because I already know a lot of people who missed their flights from not being able to go to the exact location on time!
And knowing you… you’ll be very pissed if you miss your flight home.