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What I love the most about this small town is the strong sense of being part of the community. I lived in Sayulita for two years and in this list, you will find the best things to do in Sayulita that supports the local community. As a solo traveler, this could be very interesting for you!
📬 Reader Mail: Hi Trisha! Great blog you got here! I am going to Sayulita in a month and I was wondering if you have a list of things to do in Sayulita?
I am going alone and I am afraid that it won’t be easy to make friends in Sayulita. As I read your stories, I become more confident in traveling Sayulita by myself. You make it sound so doable so thank you!
I am planning my trip right now as I don’t have lots of vacation days. I saw that you are living in Sayulita and I’d love to get some local tips! Thanks in advance!
– Martha Embree, USA
A solo trip to Sayulita is always a good idea! It is one of the safest, most fun, and young solo travel destinations in Mexico. I actually just want to do a 2-week vacation here and yet I ended up living here for 2 years!
Many destinations are not solo traveler-friendly (i.e. you have to book tours with a minimum of 2 pax) but there are so many things to do in Sayulita on your own. Some of them, you don’t even have to pay for!
🎉 🥳 Bonus: Use the code PSIMONMYWAY10 upon checkout for a 10% discount on all the local things to do in Sayulita!
Other things to do in Mexico that you may like:
- Things to do in La Paz, Baja California Sur
- Things to do in Los Cabos
- Things to do in Oaxaca City
- Things to do in Puerto Escondido
- Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
32 things to do in Sayulita, Mexico
📢 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: Go to a Batalla show (a must!)
Batalla is a super cool group of percussionists that plays around the area every weekend. It’s a super big band of expats, locals, and community members that brings joy and colors to town whenever they perform.
For similar content like this, check my complete Sayulita travel guide
A Batalla show is a must. They usually play in different places around town like the beach, the plaza, and more often in San Pancho where most of the group members are from.
For Batalla show updates, follow my homegirl @amanda.kuso on Instagram.
#2: Try craft beers in Yambak
📍 Calle Marlin 29
💲 craft beers from US$3.50
I am not a beer fan but Yambak is brewing their own beer so when I am not sipping wine at home, I am drowning myself with IPA beers at Yambak!
There are many beers to choose from and every quarter, they never fail to reinvent their menu. Just last month, they launched a double IPA and gave it for free to everyone for one hour!
Aside from being the best beer brewery in town, Yambak is also famous for its live music. They bring DJs from all over Mexico every weekend – it’s definitely a party place!
The best thing I love about Yambak is you can come here any time – whether you’re in the mood for day drinking or partying at night, this is the place. You can’t miss it – it’s next to the plaza and is always full of people!
As a solo traveler, you will very much enjoy the nightlife in Sayulita and will make so many friends be it locals or fellow solo travelers.
#3: Take surfing lessons
💲 from US$75
👉🏽 Book your surfing lessons
Surfing is one of the best things to do in Sayulita. In fact, some people come to town only for surfing! When I came here in May, it was the best time to learn as the waves are really low and are perfect for beginners. Most of my friends who tried it the first time we’re able to ride right away.
These waves are really friendly! There are many surf schools in Sayulita but they are pretty expensive. It can cost up to US$35 per hour.
In my case, I took surf lessons with a young Mexican guy who works at the beach. He’s not a teacher but he is very good at it so I casually asked him if he can teach me some longboard techniques.
Just for fun, he agreed without even asking me for a fee! Of course, I still paid him at a minimum amount but if you don’t want to pay for expensive surf lessons in Sayulita and still want to learn with a teacher, make friends with the locals at the beach.
#4: Watch the sunset at Carricitos Beach
Carricitos is my favorite beach in Sayulita and I come here every day with my dog, Lola. It’s quite a hike to get there – if you are walking from the center of Sayulita town, it can take you 20-30 minutes depending on your speed.
The walk is a canopy forest where you can see hundreds of fireflies during its season (August-September).
Swimming in Carricitos is possible but waves can get really aggressive, most days, out of nowhere. This beach is not necessarily for good swimmers.
There are days when the tide is low and everyone can enjoy a dip. However, be mindful of certain conditions. I had a bad experience here when one person I know almost drowned but don’t let this discourage you.
Sitting by the beach and bringing beers is your thing if you don’t want to swim.
#5: Breakfast in a local’s home
💲 from US$25
👉🏽 Book breakfast at a local’s home
During the pandemic, many businesses in Sayulita lost their jobs which pushed them to re-invent the food scene in Sayulita. Sayulita has big eating out culture and when all the restaurants closed, many people longed for those days where they can sit in a restaurant and enjoy a meal.
My friend Macarena, who is a chef from Argentina is one of those people who opened her home to tourists by providing private breakfast. This experience is not only about food but Macarena also shares some insider tips about the beauty of living in Sayulita.
You will get a full-service breakfast at a local’s home – it’s the best way to get to know the Sayulita lifestyle. You can also gain friends along the way with this experience! Best of all, if you want to practice your Spanish, this is one of the best activities!
#6: Don’t spend a lot on airport taxi services!
A lot of people don’t really know that Uber is not allowed in Puerto Vallarta airport so they always end up spending over US$100 for a taxi service in Sayulita.
I am currently supporting a local driver that can take you from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita for less than US$50.
I met him when I first arrived in Puerto Vallarta in 2018. Since then, we became good friends and I always supported his services by advertising them on the blog. He is a real local and you will definitely learn Spanish from him!
#7: Get a private massage at your Airbnb
💲 from US$70
👉🏽 Book your home service massage
I should tell you this now but massages are expensive in Sayulita. They’re all at $600 MXN (US$30) per hour but they are all pretty good.
Beach massages might be uncomfortable for some but massage parlors in Sayulita have set up their tents by the beach – I can assure you it’s comfortable and relaxing.
My friend Nahomy is a local that I am supporting. This blog also supports her massage schooling in Bucerias so it would really help us if you book with her!
#8: Bar Don Pato nightly themed parties
💲 national beers from US$0.50
📍 Calle Marlín 12
I remember being at Don Pato every day during my first month in Sayulita. This is where everyone ends up at night because something is happening nightly! If you are out of options and looking for something to do after midnight, Don Pato is your place!
- Mondays (Salsa night)
- Tuesdays (Open mic night)
- Wednesdays and Fridays (Rock night)
- Thursdays (Funk night)
- Saturdays (cumbia)
- Sundays (reggae)
My very good friend David is a bartender at Pato’s. If you’re coming alone, sit at the bar and look for him. He will definitely give you a good time!
You can’t miss David because he has a big personality. He also has a tequila tasting independent business which I will share with you later in this post.
✈️ First time solo travelers, 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! 💃🏽
#9: Take yoga classes
Sayulita is a yoga paradise. Many yoga practitioners come here not just because it’s a great place to teach yoga but it’s also a big industry here!
We have many yoga teachers from all parts of the globe who fell in love with Sayulita and decided to stay here.
While most teachers are foreigners, there are also lots of Latinos who do their yoga classes in Spanish. This is another way to practice your Spanish while you are in Mexico.
The words used in yoga are very simple and I always tell my American friends to take their lessons in Spanish! A good teacher I can recommend is my friend Melissa Webb. You can send her a WhatsApp message at +52 322 172 5180.
You’d want to be friends with Melissa because she is Mexican (married to a Canadian) and is very knowledgeable about town! She’s a good ally. 🙂
#10: Trek to Mal Paso beach
It’s peaceful and beautiful – you’ll definitely enjoy it especially during the bioluminescence season! If you plan to do this (for real), make sure you bring food because there’s literally nothing there – no tent rentals, no porters, no food stalls – just nature and the sea that you can enjoy by yourself.
There have been a few reports of theft on the trail but nothing really heavy. Just make sure that you don’t go there very late or if you want to spend the night there, bring some locals or be with a group of friends.
Mal Paso is also a famous camping spot so when you make friends in Sayulita, you can invite them here. I am sure you are going to sound super local to your fellow solo travelers when you suggest this activity.
#11: Take a picture at the famous slap street
Right next to the plaza is the famous selfie street and is on top of the list of the best things to do in Sayulita. People who visit town always take a picture here as it is iconic to Sayulita (and all the pueblos magicos of Mexico).
Don’t miss the spot as the photos always look so good here! This is right in front of Barracuda Restaurant and is perpendicular to the plaza so it won’t be hard to find!
#12: Spend an afternoon at Los Muertos Beach
Next to the Sayulita main beach, Los Muertos Beach is a favorite. People always come here to spend a whole afternoon drinking micheladas and lounging by the beach.
Sayulita is a very family-friendly town so you will see a lot of kids on this beach especially at the weekend. There are food and drinks vendors here so don’t worry about getting hungry.
At the beginning of the pandemic, a hotel wanted to privatize this beach. The community of Sayulita rallied for 2 weeks for this project to shut down and luckily, we still have Muertos to enjoy today!
If you want to know more about what happened to this case, you can watch this video. It’s in Spanish but English subtitles are available.
💃🏽 Local tip: Before going to Los Muertos Beach, swing by Mini Super Camacho – the cheapest store for national beers!
#13: Sunset and beers at Camaron
Camaron is located at the Sayulita main beach where everyone goes for sunset. Order a beer (around US$1.50) and enjoy their beach bar setting while watching the sunset.
Camaron’s bar design (pictured above) is super pretty so make sure to take your pics, too!
#14: Day trip to Islas Marietas
💲 from $120 USD
👉🏽 Book your Marietas Islands tour
Islas Marietas is not exactly in Sayulita but there are a lot of tour companies that offer day trips to the famous Mexican islands. Tours normally cost US$100 but I did this tour myself.
I went hitchhiking to Punta Mita from Sayulita which I found very easy because a lot of cars always travel this route. From there, I was able to get a tour for US$25 but this doesn’t include entering the secret beach.
In 2004, the Marietas Islands were designated as a world heritage site. My former landlord is a fisherman and I help him promote tours to the Islas Marietas.
If you want to support a local tour, get in touch with me and I will connect you to him! He’s really amazing and speaks good English. I am totally vouching for his Marietas tours!
#15: Try over 50 mezcal types in Cava
💲 mezcal cocktails from $5 USD
📍Ave Revolution 54A
A small mezcaleria in Sayulita, Cava has over 50+ types of Mezcal to choose from, hailing from different parts of Mexico like Puebla and Oaxaca.
My personal favorite here is the Marta e Ines, a mezcal based drink made by Miguel, the best bartender in town who also happens to be a friend.
The watermelon mezcal (Watermelon Mezcalita) is interesting, too. Cava is kind of a pre-game chill night kind of place so make sure to come before they close at 12:00 midnight.
Attention solo travelers: this is also my Tinder dating spot in Sayulita if you ever need a safe and private place for your potential matches. If things go south, Miguel can save you! 😉
#16: Go to La Lancha Beach
La Lancha is about 20 minutes away from Sayulita (by car) and is a surfing spot. When the surf beaches of Sayulita are full, this is where everyone go.
The surfing here is a little more advanced than Sayulita main beach so if you are a pro, this can be your spot. Non-surfers can also enjoy this beach. Lay your beach towel, bring beers, food, and enjoy a good sunset.
The good thing about going to La Lancha on your own is that it’s super easy to hitchhike! All the cars going to Puerto Vallarta from Sayulita pass this way since the main highway (300) is always busy!
Hitchhiking in Riviera Nayarit is super safe so you don’t have to worry about it. I’ve done it myself and I feel comfortable here.
#17: Tacos, tacos, tacos
Finally, some meat tacos in these things to do in Sayulita list! Personally, I think taco stands in Mexico is a default. They don’t need to be in listicles like this because they are everywhere!
In Sayulita, there are over 6 popular taco joints and they are all the best. In fact, I am living next to two of those 6 taco joints – it’s literally right next to my house!
Taco prices in Sayulita are a bit more expensive than in major cities like Guadalajara and Mexico City so don’t be surprised – they’re worth it!
#18: Volunteer at Sayulita Animals
Sayulita is a truly pet-friendly town. If you’ve been here, you will see how dogs wander around freely and 100% of them have owners!
Sayulita Animals, the organization that’s been taking care of spay and neuter in Sayulita has saved hundreds of animals (not limited to dogs and cats) free of charge!
I would like to encourage you to visit them and if you have some extra bucks, donate to Sayulita Animals to lighten their load on expenses. The work that they do is truly important not just for Sayulita but for the whole of Riviera Nayarit.
You can also volunteer here on Wednesdays but I am not sure if they are accepting foreign volunteers right now. Just swing by, look for Sara, and ask! She’s very accommodating.
#19: Jungle trek to Patzcuarito Beach
Playa Patzcuarito is not very popular with tourists as there’s literally nothing there but a spectacular sunset. I always go here during the full moon as I can always enjoy the beach by myself (and my dogs).
Like Los Muertos and La Lancha, you can come to spend the whole afternoon here and watch the sunset. Make sure to bring beers and snacks!
#20: Rent a golf cart and go around town
Golf carts are a thing in Sayulita and are probably the main mode of transport. There is no public transport here (aside from taxi) so most people walk from point A to B.
However, if you only have a few days in town, rent a golf cart for a day and get to know the town! Please note that these golf carts can’t travel outside Sayulita (i.e. La Lancha or Punta de Mita).
It is solely for going around town and short-distance drives. There are many golf cart rental companies in Sayulita and I don’t want to recommend anything yet as I have not found “the best.”
But I’ll let you know what’s the best gold cart rental place in Sayulita soon! I just need to investigate more.
#21: Go diving
Sayulita is definitely a great place for diving. There are many dive shops here that can also do PADI certifications, surf trips, snorkeling tours, and whale watching.
The dive spots are not within the town but in the neighboring town, Punta de Mita, which is also home to the Marietas Islands. You can contact the guys at Oceano Surf Sayulita. They are young, cool, and they will take care of you!
#22: Participate in a turtle release
Sayulita is a community that is greatly involved in saving Planet Earth – literally! The sea turtle release is part of those efforts. There are many sea turtle release and protection programs in the whole of Riviera Nayarit but Sayulita is one we can consider the most active.
We also have the night’s watch in Sayulita where locals volunteer to protect the baby sea turtles from poachers. This is a great activity, especially for families visiting the town.
#23: Explore Sayulita’s street food scene
Street food is not for everyone we have a lot of this in Sayulita! We actually know most of them as we recently opened a TV series called Sayulita Street Food Icons.
Most of these are family-run and we felt very privileged that they wanted to share their stories with us.
Believe it or not, some beach towns in Mexico do not have street food as much as Sayulita does. Our street food is not limited to tacos so try them all and support local!
#24: Get to know La Casa Clu in San Ignacio
Jessica is from Mexico City. When she moved to Sayulita, she saw that there were no organizations in town that focus on early childhood development.
As a psychology graduate, Jessica started La Casa Clu, a recreation and learning center for children. Their technique is positive reinforcement and emotional support.
Jessica is assisted and helped by a group of psychologists, teachers, artists, and even athletes who are locals in Sayulita. Consider visiting and donating to La Casa Clu today!
They are also accepting volunteers so if you are planning to stay longer in Sayulita, you can live here while working with the kids!
#25: Explore Nayarit: go on day trips!
Nayarit is a really beautiful area and it is one of the reasons why we live here. There are many things to do in Sayulita but what we’ve noticed is that whenever a foreigner is staying for a longer time, they tend to have the Sayulita fever aka getting tired of the Sayulita nightlife.
I’ve done a lot of day trips from Sayulita which is within a 15 minute – 2 hours driving distance. If you are not pressed for time and want to explore Nayarit, see our day trips from Sayulita ideas below!
#26: Get to know the Sayulita bird sanctuary
Through the efforts of Tracie Willis, a Sayulita ex-pat who has been very active in environmental issues in Sayulita, or town has a certified bird sanctuary located in her home!
Tracie and her team save endangered animals as it is very common to have caged birds in Mexico. They go house to house to educate the people that it is illegal (and actually a law) to have a caged bird even in your private homes.
Unfortunately, that is not being strictly enforced in the country but the Sayulita community has been trying their best to rescue all the caged birds in the Riviera Nayarit area.
To schedule a visit, get in touch with Tracie Willis to visit the Bird Sanctuary in Sayulita: +52 322 120 6996
#27: Celebrate day of the dead in Sayulita!
Dia de muertos or Day of the Dead is probably our most favorite time of the year! It happens from October 29 – November 2: it really is a week-long celebration!
While our day of the dead celebrations is relatively smaller than that of Oaxaca state, it is also filled with colors, music, and people with make-up.
There will be a band playing until 6:00 in the morning in the plaza, mariachi bands in the cemetery, processions, parties, and more! Sayulita is a good place to get to know the day othe dead cultures of Mexico.
#28: Spend the whole day at Sayulita’s main beach
The Sayulita main beach is the busiest beach in town. Here, you will find food vendors, bars, restaurants, and everything you need to have a relaxing vacation by the beach. The main beach is a long stretch so there’s definitely room for everyone.
You can easily spend a whole day here playing frisbee, drinking with friends, watching the sunset, reading, running your dogs, etc. Sayulita main beach depicts our true lifestyle. You will learn a lot about local life here!
#29: Experience the bloom of primavera trees every April
If you come here in April, you’re in luck! You will get to see how the primavera trees bloom that making the town go yellow! Primavera is a large rainforest canopy tree most common in South America.
As Sayulita is located in the rainforests of Nayarit, we have a lot of these trees and they really are very beautiful in April.
We feel that it is important to tell you that this only lasts for a month (like Japan’s cherry blossoms season) so if you don’t come in April, you won’t be able to see them.
#30: Go paddleboarding
Sayulita is big with water sports and paddleboarding is one of them. There are many surf shops and schools at the main beach where you can rent your paddleboard, however, we can recommend the locals that we trust who can take you on a SUP trip!
Some of us at Sayulita Insider are not surfers but we do enjoy paddleboarding as a form of exercise. Don’t worry, Sayulita waves are not that high!
#31: Horse riding in the jungle beaches
💲 from US$83
👉🏽 Book here
Horse riding is one of the biggest activities in Sayulita as it is appropriate for family (and group) travelers. Horse riding tours will take you to the jungle, to the beach, or even around town.
Horses are a big part of the Mexican tradition so expect to see lots of them around town! Among ex-pats who live here, many are also taking horse riding lessons in Nuevo Vallarta and some of them are even horse riding professionals!
#32: Participate in clean up drives
Every weekend, the community of Sayulita gathers and does clean-up drives in the whole town. Like I said, we are a very close-knit community so if one calls for Sayulita activities like this, everyone will come!
Ser Su Voz is the lead organization organizing these clean-up drives. We do it all over town, in the river, and even on the beach. This is a great activity for families traveling with kids.
If you are moving to Sayulita soon, this is the best way to get to know the community as you will gain many friends and contacts here. To check volunteering opportunities, you can contact Vida Farias at +52 312 114 9483.
Things to do in Sayulita FAQ
Is Sayulita open?
Mexico is currently accepting tourists from all over the world. Right now, there are lots of Americans currently in Sayulita – probably hanging out as digital nomads and living here for a longer period of time.
We’re not like Tulum levels though – we do not have that many tourists so you can still enjoy the beaches and the town with fewer people.
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It is also recommended to get travel insurance that covers COVID before your trip to Sayulita. For real-time information about COVID in Sayulita, you can send a message to my office, @mexico.insider on Instagram.
Is it worth going to Sayulita?
ABSOLUTELY! I’ve been living in Mexico for the last three years and I have a bias in Sayulita. It’s really incomparable compared to other places to visit in Mexico!
Originally, I only came here to visit for 2 weeks, and yet I ended up staying for 2 years plus rescuing two dogs. It’s been a crazy ride and I really loved my time here!
There are many things to do in Sayulita compared to other small towns I’ve been to. Sayulita is rich with outdoor activities and this town never sleeps – there’s always something happening 24/7!
What is there to do in Sayulita for a week?
Look, Sayulita has 5 beaches accessible by foot. And mind you, all of these beaches are super pretty! You don’t even need a car to get to them! Together with these beach visits, you will also get to experience a short hike in the canopy jungle.
There are also many water activities like surfing, sailing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, fishing, etc. There are over 40 things to do in Sayulita in this list so if you are only visiting for a week, I doubt that you can do these all!
What’s next after Sayulita? Check out Puerto Vallarta
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Is it safe to go to Sayulita as a solo woman?
Super safe. Sayulita is actually the safest place I’ve lived in in Mexico. The community is super small everyone knows everyone, which, in my personal opinion guarantees safety.
As usual, while traveling to Mexico, don’t buy drugs because it’s the only way that you can ensure your safety in Sayulita. You can enjoy this town without drugs anyway, I promise!
Things to do in Sayulita sustainability and ethics
At P.S. I’m On My Way, we make sure to support local, especially when it comes to Sayulita. I lived here for a long time and have learned that even though this is a close-knit community, people come and go which means new tour companies can pop out of nowhere.
I cannot vouch for all the tour operators you will find online but I’d be happy to tell you what I know in private. Feel free to contact me on Instagram or via the contact page of my blog.
✈️ Ready for your solo trip to Sayulita? This blog thrives on reader questions so feel free to leave a comment below if you need help in finding more fun things to do in Sayulita!
Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She’d like to believe she’s not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.