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

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Sayulita Nayarit is often sought after digital nomads. However, is it a conducive place for remote work? This pueblo magico has been 2020’s favorite digital nomad destination in Mexico despite its infrastructure problems. I lived here for 2 years and in this digital nomad guide to Sayulita, you’ll find out if this is the right base for you.

📬 Reader Mail: Hi Trish, my name is Lu from Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. I’ve been following you for quite a while I just don’t remember when I first came across your blog.

I can see that you are in Mexico and I am planning to travel there and stay longer in places. Do you recommend Sayulita? How is the Internet there? If you already have a digital nomad guide to Sayulita Nayarit, can you send me the link?

I am really worried about the Internet. I have daily working hours even though I work remotely. My employer requires me to be online at certain times of the day. Thanks for your help and hope to meet you in Mexico!

– Lu Gallman, Pennsylvania, USA

Hi Lu,

Thank you for following the blog. I am glad you find this blog helpful. I am currently living in Sayulita and have been very efficient in working remotely here.

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.

In this digital nomad guide to Sayulita Nayarit, I will share all the hacks I learned after weeks of failed attempts in being productive. Sayulita has too many activities it can hinder productivity!

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

 

🎁🎉 Bonus: Use the code PSIMONMYWAY10 upon checkout to get a 10% discount on all local things to do in Sayulita!

Is Sayulita Nayarit a good digital nomad base?

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.

Recommended: The best digital nomad destinations in Mexico

sayulita travel tips

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!

Is Sayulita expensive for digital nomads?

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).



Booking.com


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.

How is the internet in Sayulita Nayarit?

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

Recommended: Mexico no longer giving 180 days tourist visas

things to do in puerto vallarta

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!



Sayulita Nayarit as a digital nomad: my personal 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.

Read: The best places to live in Mexico for expats and digital nomads

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 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.

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.

Related: How to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta airport

sayulita lifestyle

For the 8 weeks that I am here, I unlocked some productivity hacks that I will share with you in this digital nomad guide to Sayulita.

Sayulita Nayarit digital nomad: quick facts

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

Sayulita Nayarit 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 Nayarit Facebook groups to join

➡️ Witches of Sayulita: exclusive Whatsapp group for digital nomad women in Sayulita
➡️ Sayulita People Comunidad: a new Facebook group for locals (mostly Spanish)
➡️ Sayulita People: it’s harder to get in here because the admins are only accepting long-term residents. It took me a while to be accepted into this group!
➡️ The Original Sayulita People: most of the foreigners and expats are in this group
➡️ Renta Sayulita. Casas, Departamentos y Habitaciones: this 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.

 

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.

See also: How to open a bank account in Mexico as an expat or tourist

solo female travel in sayulita

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).

Best Sayulita restaurants

Barracuda by the beach is also a great place to celebrate birthdays! Always great to have a community here.

Sayulita internet speed

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!

You might also like: Where to find digital nomad jobs

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.

I also have a portable wifi device that works in over 100 countries. I use it in case of emergency. You can get a 10% discount when you use the code PSIMONMYWAY upon checkout.

Cost of living in Sayulita Nayarit

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.

Read: The cost of living in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

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).

Food costs in Sayulita

Basic lunchtime menu$7 USD
Local taco stand$2 USD
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast$2.25 USD
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk$0.82 USD
12 eggs, large$1.50 USD
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes$0.88 USD
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese$3.85 USD
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples$1.53 USD
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes$1.04 USD
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket$0.96
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality$7 USD
2 liters of Coca-Cola$1.22 USD
Bread for 2 people for 1 day$1.14 USD

I find cooking and eating out with very little money-saving difference in Sayulita. You see, most fruits, vegetables, and meat have to travel all the way here, so it costs more. Below are some restaurants I can recommend in Sayulita that are cheap and tasty:

  • Burrito Revolution: a vegetarian burrito costs $4.72 USD
  • Itacate: tacos start at $1.57 USD
  • Mary’s: my favorite jalapeño poppers costs $2.62 USD
  • La Rustica: a whole pizza costs $8.92 USD

There are many food options for eating out in Sayulita. It’s a small town so if you are staying for a month, you can try all the restaurants in town!

They are all very good and have a wide variety of options. Taquerias (taco stands) on the street are super cheap and you can find them anywhere.

➢ Click here to see 30+ restaurants in Sayulita by category
 

Housing costs in Sayulita

Studio apartment $367 USD
One-bedroom apartment$472 USD
Two-bedroom apartment $550 USD
Villa with pool$1,100 USD
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas)$15 USD
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month)$30 USD
Daily rate for cleaning help$15 USD

I am currently renting a two-bedroom apartment with a garden view for $550 USD per month, utilities not included. Airbnb is pretty common here and is often the cheapest choice for digital nomads staying a minimum of one month. There are many cool apartments in Sayulita for cheap though the cheapest studio I found is at $20 USD per day.

I use Agoda and Booking.com to find the cheapest accommodations in Jordan and all over the world. I love the “pay at the property” feature which doesn’t require a credit card and has no cancellation fees.

You may also like: Is Sayulita safe?

sayulita retreats

I also stopped using Airbnb as I find Vrbo easier to use. They have a lot of Sayulita listings with flexible cancellations. Meaning, Vrbo will give your money back in the event that your trip gets canceled.

House-sitting is also very big in Sayulita, especially during the summer. This will save you on accommodations homeowners only need house-sitters to watch for their pets.

You can do your work in between without having to pay for rent! Locals in Sayulita (foreigners) post house/pet sitting gigs on a Facebook group called The Original Sayulita People.

You can also join Trusted House Sitters – I did this during a 3-year backpacking gig in South America and I did not pay for accommodations for one year!

Sayulita cafes for digital nomads

#1: Yah Yah Cafe and Bagels

Niños Heroes #3 | +52 322 278 9080 | Yah Yah Cafe Menu

📍 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.

See also: The best bank for travelers and digital nomads

Sayulita digital nomad

🔌 Plug/outlet/tables: I always sit outside Yah Yah because the tables in the outdoor area are higher. Inside the cafe, there are sofas and low tables to it’s not ideal if you are going to spend the whole day here.

There are also high tables and chairs upstairs but you cannot bring food in that area. All tables have plugs very close to them so don’t worry about running out of power!

Yah Yah has air-conditioned so it’s a good place to work especially during the summer.

📶 Internet speed: Superfast! If you want to get work done, Yah Yah Cafe has the fastest Internet in Sayulita!

💡 Tip: Yah Yah is always full during lunchtime and brunch so come before 11:00 am.

#2: Organik

Av. Revolución 21B | +52 329 298 8770 | Organi-K Menu

📍 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.

Recommended: The only Sayulita travel guide that you’ll need

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.

#3: Anchor Cafe

C. Marlín 45 | +52 311 151 5987 | The Anchor Sayulita Menu

📍 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 sweet breakfast.

Recommended: The best Sayulita tours by local individuals 
sayulita digital nomad

Photo: @jonny.melon / Instagram

🔌 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.

Co-working spaces in Sayulita

#1: Sayulita Central Cowork

💲 5 USD per day | Delfines 7 | +52 646 472 5072

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.

Related: Where to get the best massage in Sayulita

sayulita digital nomad

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!

#2: Tabachines CoWorking Space Sayulita

💲 5 USD per day | Av. Revolución 27

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.

See also: Is Mexico City the best digital nomad city in Mexico?

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.

#3: Sayulita CoWork

💲 7 USD per day | Avenida Revolucion 41A | +52 322 147 0974

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 Nayarit digital nomad tips and advice

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.

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.

digital nomad guide to Sayulita

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.

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.

sayulita retreats

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

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.

life in sayulita

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.

Always have a portable wifi device

As a digital nomad for over 10 years, I know the dynamics of my work so I always make sure I have a portable wifi device that works anywhere in the world.

If you rent or purchase using the link above, you can use my 10% discount code PSIMONMYWAY upon checkout.

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.

Get digital nomad insurance with COVID coverage

Many fellow digital nomads ask me how I am able to continuously pay for travel insurance. Guess what? I only pay $40 USD per month for my digital nomad insurance and it also covers COVID-19!

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.

✈️ 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 a 1-on-1 coaching with me if you need more help!

🤳 Follow this adventure: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | PINTEREST | TWITTER

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!