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Working in bikini: the digital nomad guide to Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico

This digital nomad guide to Sayulita is from my 2 years experience of living in this pueblo magico. Is it a conducive place for remote work?

This small town has been everyone’s favorite digital nomad destination in Mexico despite its infrastructure problems. I lived here for 2 years and in this Sayulita digital nomad guide, you’ll find out if this is the right base for you.

Hola Lu,

Thank you for following the blog. I am glad you find this blog helpful. The average Internet speed is 11 MBPS but you can get better connectivity in a co-working space. Some cafes also have strong Internet but not all.

I will share all the hacks I learned after weeks of failed attempts in being productive. Sayulita has too many activities which can hinder productivity! I will also include an overview about the cost of living in Sayulita based on my monthly expenses.

I hope to see you when you come – it would be lovely to connect. I can be easily reached via Instagram DM. Good luck and see you soon!

Xx,
Trisha

digital nomad

ℹ️ Sayulita digital nomad: quick info

Nomad guide

  • 🌍 Region: North America
  • 🚩 Country: Mexico
  • 📡 Internet speed (avg) 15 Mbps
  • ⛅️ Weather: October-April (best time to visit); May-October (extremely hot/humid)
  • 🌧 29°C + 🥵 Sweaty (80%) = feels 34°C
  • 🔌 Outlet: 115V60Hz
  • 🚑 Travel medical insurance: Safetywing Digital Nomad coverage
  • 📱 Best wireless carrier: TelCel
  • 🏧 Suggested ATM takes out: do it at the airport!
  • 💸 Tipping: 15%
  • 💳 Cashless society: no, cash only
  • 💻 Best coworking space: Tabachines Cowork
  • 🚰 Safe tap water: No, not drinkable
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Population: 3,000 people
  • 🏞 Foreign land ownership allowed: Yes
  • 💻 Online electronics shop: None. You have to go to Puerto Vallarta
  • 🏠 Apartment listings: Vrbo
  • ✈️ Where to find cheap flights: Kiwi.com
things to do in puerto vallarta

Nomad costs/budget

  • 💵 Cost of living for local: $550 USD per month
  • 🏠 1br studio rent in center: $400 per month
  • 🏢 Coworking: $120 USD per month
  • 🏨 Hotel: $800 per month
  • 🏨 Hostel: $20 USD per night
  • 🏠 Vrbo: $1,000 per month
  • 🍛 Meals (restaurants): $8 USD
  • 🍺 Beer (bars): $1.71
  • ☕️ Coffee: $2.20
sayulita digital nomad

Facebook groups to join

sayulita digital nomad
Pin this post to Pinterest and save it for your trip to Sayulita Mexico!

See also:

🐱‍💻 Sayulita digital nomad experience

When I first arrived at Sayulita, I asked the hostel I checked in about the Internet connection and they said it’s really slow and more often, really bad.

I figured I tried it anyway because I really wanted to visit and I was sure cafes had a good Internet connection. I also thought that hostels have decent Internet enough for me to access my e-mails.

But the Internet connection didn’t end up being good enough, especially when uploading blog posts. It was really slow and it hindered my productivity.

Sayulita is also a town where something is always happening so it was hard for me to get the work momentum, especially since I was staying in the hostel.

There were so many activities that I always had to participate in, day and night. I don’t usually have patience with slow Internet – I always end up telling myself that I will try again “tomorrow” but it became a vicious cycle. I couldn’t find the momentum.

sayulita lifestyle

Then I moved to my own apartment and had the Internet to myself but it still was pretty slow. It’s the same connection that I had when I stayed in the hostel.

The only difference is that the Internet in my apartment wasn’t shared. It gets faulty in the morning and goes on and off during the day.

I really hated starting my day working at home and going out mid-day to go to a cafe. The little pueblo of Sayulita Nayarit also starts its day pretty late (10:00 am) so you’ll find peace and quiet before that.

I find 8:00 am – 10:00 am a very crucial time for productivity: no loud Mexican music and fewer people on the road. At this time, I always sit outside the cafe. They normally open between 7:00 – 8:00. They are all closed by 6:00 pm though.

sayulita digital nomad
As a small town, it is so easy to make friends here and be part of a community of expats and remote workers.

💰 Cost of living in Sayulita

Here’s the thing in Mexico: the norther you go, the more expensive it will become. I find Sayulita really expensive compared to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

This is a very touristic place and the nearest airport (Puerto Vallarta) has direct flights from major cities in the USA and Canada.

The currency in Mexico is called the Mexican peso (MXN). $1 USD = 19.05 Mexican pesos. To have an idea of your monthly budget, see the tables below. All prices are in United States dollars (USD).

cost of living in sayulita
Sayulita has a healthy eating culture so you will find many bowls like this for US$8.

Food costs in Sayulita

  • Eating out (restaurant): US$15
  • Local taco stand: US$3
  • 500 gr of chicken breast: US$3
  • 12 eggs: US$2
  • 6-pack beer in a store: US$7
  • Cocktail in a bar: from US$7
  • Beer in a pub: US$3.50

Housing costs in Sayulita

  • Studio apartment: US$400
  • 1-bedroom apartment: US$550
  • 2-bedroom apartment: US$700
  • Villa with a pool: from US$120 per night (you can haggle for a monthly price)
  • Wifi: US$17

Now these are the normal costs in this pueblo magico but I also want to share with you my personal expenses. I must clarify that the cost of living in Sayulita depends on your lifestyle and here’s what I spend monthly:

cost of living in sayulita
I always order home service massage because spas are expensive! Book a massage with my local contact – she is good!

My personal expenses in Sayulita

  • 3-br apartment rent: US$650
  • Gasoline (Truck/Pick-up): US$100
  • Home Wifi: US$100 (I don’t use Telmex that’s why it’s expensive)
  • Electricity (CFE): US$7
  • Water: I never paid for this not once. My landlord said it’s FREE but it does not apply to all
  • Mani/Pedi: US$150
  • Waxing: US$100
  • House help/cleaning: US$15 per cleaning day
  • Massage: US$85
  • Pet care/grooming: US$15
  • Eating out: I ate out a lot and spend at least US$25
  • Partying: Sayulita is a party town and I somehow have added this to my budget. I have no idea on what I spend on alcohol!
cost of living in sayulita
What I love the most about living in Sayulita is the remoteness of the beaches.

💃🏻 The digital nomad scene in Sayulita

I’ve met many artists in Sayulita who are working remotely. Mostly from Canada and the United States, digital nomads choose Sayulita because of the beach and the tropical vibe.

Photographers are the most common digital nomads here as there are many opportunities for the photography business here.

I rarely met people who are in the digital marketing niche but most of them are in finance. There are a lot of opportunities to collaborate with fellow digital nomads in Sayulita Nayarit, especially if the work that you do is related to art and photography.

Though there is a thriving digital nomad scene, cafes are not that crowded. You can always find a table in a cafe if you opt not to sign up for a monthly co-working space desk.

The size of the cafes are big enough to accommodate digital nomads so no need to call for reservations. It does get busy every peak hour (lunch).

sayulita digital nomad
Fellow travel bloggers from the USA always visit – they really love Sayulita! | Photo: @alexinwanderland

📶 Internet speed in Sayulita

There are many mobile carriers in Mexico but for Sayulita, Telmex is preferred. When I arrived in Mexico, I bought a sim from AT&T but that didn’t work well when I was in Sayulita.

Telmex still has better coverage than most Mexican mobile carriers. I pay $10 USD per month for a data plan with calls and texts. This data plan, however, is not enough for you to connect your phone via hotspot.

I did it once and within minutes, my credits run out! This pricing plan is only for unlimited social media use (i.e. updating Instagram). I didn’t even find it enough for Facebook/Instagram live – they use so much data!

There is a Telmex kiosk in Sayulita so don’t worry about buying the sim card beforehand. You can definitely do it as soon as you arrive. Higher data plans are available but I didn’t want to spend that much on the Internet.

sayulita retreats

🏠 Sayulita apartments for rent

Most digital nomads and expats who move to Sayulita rely on Airbnb for finding housing in Sayulita. When they are already here, they get connected to a chain of people and end up finding cheaper rent.

Airbnb is really expensive so if you don’t have contacts on the ground, expect to pay more. Apartments in Sayulita are becoming harder and harder to to get even for us locals but see my Sayulita apartment huting guide to learn more.

Renta Sayulita. Casas, Departamentos y Habitaciones is a great place to look for cheap apartments in Sayulita but it’s in Spanish. The landlords here are locals so expect a cheaper price! You just have to post in Spanish.

cost of living in sayulita

☕ Sayulita cafes for digital nomads

Yah Yah Cafe and Bagels

📍 Niños Heroes #3

📍 Location: Yah Yah is not located in town (in Sayulita, the most central is the plaza). It’s not a far walk – it’s about 5 minutes from the plaza. They are not in the commercial area (more residential) so peace and quiet are guaranteed even in their outdoor area.

🥯 Food options: Yah Yah specializes in bagels, brunch food, coffee, and breakfast food. If you are vegan/vegetarian, this place is your best bet. They also have gluten-free bread and a wide array of the sandwich menu.

Food prices start at $4.20 USD while beverages range from $1.57 – $5 USD. Whenever I stay here for 8 hours a day, I spend up to $15 USD on coffee, lunch, and snacks.

Sayulita digital nomad

Organi-k

📍 Location: Organik is right next to the famous Sayulita bridge and is very central to town. It’s a 5-minute walk to the beach and is close to markets and other restaurants.

🥘 Food options: Organik is known for smoothies and bowls. If you are looking for a heavy meal, this might not be the place for you. They don’t have bread, sandwiches, or anything salty.

They do have pastries but I don’t recommend them. I’m not sure if they make them fresh but every time I try the pastries, they’re old and dry. Smoothie prices start at $4 USD while coffee is at $2.62 USD. Their bowls cost $5.25 USD.

🔌 Plug/outlet/table setting: Organik doesn’t have air conditioning but I love how airy their sitting area is. Outlets are available at every table (they have about 4-5 tables).

📶 Internet speed: Quite average and sometimes turns off/on but manageable if you don’t want to walk far to Yah Yah.

Anchor Cafe

📍 Location: This is my favorite location because it’s kind of hidden. You won’t see people passing by so you won’t be distracted while working!

🥪 Food options: Lots of tasty vegan meals and also big savory plates! They also have lots of bowls for those who prefer a sweet breakfast.

🔌 Plug/outlet/table setting: The Anchor has air conditioning and is in fact the most spacious cafe in Sayulita. There are plugs everywhere, even in their outdoor seating! This is probably the most comfortable cafe in Sayulita for digital nomads because of how the tables and chairs are set.

📶 Internet speed: Fantastic but I haven’t really tried uploading Youtube videos there, which is the bulk of what I do. I feel like if you’re just doing basic e-mails and conference calls, then you’ll be fine.

sayulita digital nomad
Photo: @jonny.melon / Instagram

💻 Co-working spaces in Sayulita

Sayulita Central Cowork

Sayulita Central Cowork is currently the coolest space for digital nomads in Sayulita! The design is chic, the space is neat, and there’s a lot of light coming into the space that will make you feel you’re in some cafe in Canggu.

This coworking space has a great location and is very centric to town. For as low as $5 USD per day, you can stay in the shared space at Sayulita Central co-work!

There are many restaurants and cafes around the area and you can even call for delivery on your busy days at work. This is definitely the best new space in town but be quick – it gets full fast!

sayulita digital nomad

Tabachines CoWorking Space Sayulita

A brand new coworking space in Sayulita, you will love Tabachines because it’s in the outdoors! This used to be a food park and they turned it into an open garden coworking space – it’s really a brilliant idea, especially in these strange times. The area is super spacious and you’ll be in an open-air space filled with plants.

The photos above are from when it was still a food park but I will go next week to take some more photos! Get your monthly or weekly pass at Tabachines Cowork using the code PSIMONMYWAY10 (10% discount) upon checkout.

Sayulita CoWork

Owned by Sayulita Wifi, it is one of the few places that have lightning-fast fiber optic internet, air conditioning, and a community of locals and international professionals.

Common area

  • Day Pass Hot-Desk in common space – $13 USD/day
  • Weekly Hot-Desk in common space – $66 USD/week
  • Monthly Hot-Desk in common space (Calendar Month) – $131 USD/month

Dedicated cube spaces

  • Daily Dedicated Desk – $21 USD/day
  • Weekly Dedicated Desk – $97 USD/week
  • Monthly Dedicated Desk(Calendar Month) – $184 USD/month
  • Private Single Cube – $209 USD/month (only 1 available)

✨ Sayulita digital nomad tips

A message from the community

I don’t live in Sayulita anymore but during my 2-year stay there, I have cultivated great relationships with locals.

As an outsider, the first thing you need to know is that the Sayulita community may be very inclusive and welcoming to tourists but people who live there for a long time can be snobs. Sometimes with reason, sometimes, just petty.

But I am writing this because I want to warn you that a very small town and community like ours have very close ties with each other. It’s either you blend in or keep yourself in the cube.

If you ever decide to be friends with the local community, you need to be mindful of how you behave, especially with environmental concerns (or anything, really). Sayulita people can be very judgy but anyway, it happens anywhere in the world.

digital nomad guide to Sayulita

Anyway, no drama whatsoever. I am writing this because just last week (end of June 2021), there was a big concern in the community that digital nomads are bad for Sayulita.

I was actually a bit hurt because they also attacked bloggers and Influencers who popularized Sayulita but I understood that everyone was coming from a place of love and concern.

Yah Yah cafe, the most popular digital nomad spot in Sayulita because of their fiber-optic wifi posted about digital nomads sitting down in a cafe for hours without ordering, demanding to turn off the music because they have a Zoom meeting, etc.

It was really bad and I couldn’t believe that people would do this. The post was in English and they usually publish Spanish posts so I guess this is directed to foreign digital nomads who come live in Sayulita.

sayulita solo travel
The expat community in Sayulita is growing and is becoming particularly popular to remote workers.

Look, I lived in Sayulita and have sat down at different cafes but I order. Actually, most of us locals do. This is why I wondered why dollar-earning nomads can’t even order.

I’m sure $25 USD (500 pesos) for 4 hours isn’t that bad, right? I mean, come one? If you sit down a whole day at a cafe, you need to understand that they are losing customers because you owned the table.

If you are only ordering one coffee for 8 hours, then that doesn’t help them as a business.

Most cafes in Sayulita are really small and have less than 10 tables. The staff and locals who work there depend on these jobs for a living so I highly encourage you not to stay in cafes for more than 2.5 hours.

If you would at least spend $5 USD per hour by ordering food. If you’d like to save money, go to a Coworking space that charges less than $10 for the full day. This way, business will be fair for everyone in Sayulita.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope you will bear in mind that supporting each other in our community is a high priority in Sayulita.

Even travel bloggers from the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia are all inlove with Sayulita!

If you’re visiting during the high season, always book your accommodations in advance

Alright, I know you are traveling for an indefinite time but Sayulita is different in terms of accommodation availability. Let’s just say it’s the most sought-after during the winter months (October to May).

What I am trying to say is if you want to have good accommodation during this season, you have to book them at least 3-4 months in advance.

If you look for Sayulita accommodations in September, I guarantee you that it will be hard for you to find something decent.

sayulita retreats

When wifi is down, phone signals are also down

As I said, Sayulita still needs to improve its infrastructure so get ready for sudden signal outages which is very common not only during typhoons but also with the influx of people.

What do I mean here? Most of the accommodations have the traditional Telmex connection. Locals also have the Telcel sim card (not Mobi or AT&T) because it has the widest coverage in the most remote areas of Mexico.

When the Telcel wifi is down in Sayulita, you think you’ll have a backup connection with your Telcel sim card but that’s not the case – both will be down at the same time since they are the same company.

So your backup plan is to go to places that don’t use Telmex but then again, everyone is thinking of the same thing so these same places will be full.

In my case, I just always cancel my day and go hiking instead of stressing. Luckily, I have very flexible work hours since I work for me but this lifestyle doesn’t really work for people who needs to be online at a certain time.

life in sayulita

Always use VPN, not just in Sayulita but anywhere, really!

In this day and age when our online data is super accessible, I always make sure that I am connected to VPN. There have been numerous reports of credit card identity fraud in Sayulita Nayarit when I was there – I didn’t understand why everyone was experiencing it.

This happens anywhere so make it a habit to always connect to a VPN as a digital nomad. I am using NordVPN and so far, I am very happy with their services.

is sayulita safe
2 years living here and I’ve made meaningful friendships. It’s such a privilege to call this my home!

Get digital nomad insurance 

Many fellow digital nomads ask me how I am able to continuously pay for travel insurance. Guess what? I only pay US$40 per month for my digital nomad insurance.

I’m also on a recurring payment scheme so I don’t need to worry about renewing every month. We are living in very strange times so I hope you understand that if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you shouldn’t be able to afford traveling as well.

is sayulita safe

⁉️ Sayulita digital nomad FAQs

I would say YES and NO at the same time. It really depends on what you do. In my article about the Sayulita wifi situation, I listed a few things I do on my daily job as a digital nomad (i.e. WordPress, Youtube, emails, Zoom, etc) and explained my productivity with each task when I was living in Sayulita.

As a small town, Sayulita has very poor infrastructure. As it grows yearly, it gets worst – more expats and digital nomads move here, and honestly, the town can’t hold that many people anymore.

I can say that Sayulita is on the top list of best places to visit in Mexico. I’ve never seen anything like it. The quality of life is great, the outdoor/nature is spectacular, and the people who live here are great!

Out of all the small towns I live in, there are way more things to do in Sayulita. This is very important for me when I am finding a digital nomad base as I’m always outside!

Not at all! It’s really affordable although the cost of living in Sayulita Nayarit is relatively higher than in Puerto Vallarta but lower than Tulum. You can rent a studio apartment for $350 USD per month (if you speak Spanish and look really deeply into the Facebook groups).

Later on, I will share with you the exact costs if you want to make Sayulita your base. I will also give examples of what I spent while I was living there.

Internet in Sayulita is pretty fair although it really depends on what you do as a digital nomad. When I lived there, I availed of fiber-optic wifi in my home that cost $100 USD per month, which is quite a lot for Mexican standard.

The Internet provider which is Telmex only costs $15 USD per month but is really slow (for what I need to do) and goes on and off depending on weather conditions or the number of people that are in Sayulita.

In order for you to know if the Internet speed in Sayulita Nayarit is for you, you need to come and give it a few days. It’s so easy to find another digital nomad base in Mexico that you will like but Sayulita is one of a kind!

✈️ Ready for your trip to Sayulita Nayarit? This blog thrives on reader questions so feel free to ask questions about Sayulita digital nomad by using the comment box below. You can also sign up for 1-on-1 coaching with me if you need more help!

🇲🇽 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.

eighteen + seven =

Brad

Friday 11th of March 2022

I love my co-working space here in Canada and can't wait to come to Sayulita in a few weeks and get some sun and work a bit, far far away from our long winter and the chilly spring we're experiencing.

Hayden

Monday 17th of January 2022

Hi Trisha,

I am planning to work remotely from Sayulita and stumbled upon your blog post. I am wondering if you have any hookups with reliable internet. My work duties include 1:1 video calls primarily.

I would prefer a private room with a kitchen close enough to surfing.

Thank you for any help you can provide,

Tamira

Sunday 16th of January 2022

Hey, Trisha!

First of all, thanks for all your awesome blog content on Sayulita! I'm looking into different options for working remotely in Mexico for a couple weeks to a month in Febuary and March. I couldn't find the link to your airbnb on your blog, but I'm hoping you can send me that as well as any other listings that you know of with good wifi. We've been to Sayulita a couple of times and would love to be able to spend an extended period of time there.

Thanks so much for your help!

Hanny

Sunday 16th of January 2022

Hi Trisha,

Happy new year! I came across your email address on one of your super informative blog posts about the internet in Sayulita, Mexico.

My wife and I are hoping to spend 2-3 weeks there in April and I was curious if either of the Airbnb listings you mentioned might be available then? Preferably the Airbnb with the pool :)

Let me know if they’re available and if you’ve got the links to those Airbnb listings. Thanks so much!

Stefan

Sunday 16th of January 2022

Trish, thanks for all the Sayulita blogs. We are English teachers who need fast Internet for Zoom calls. Are you still renting your Airbnb? It's so hard to find good accommodations with fast wifi this time of the year. Thank you for your help!