Crimson Skies of Sayulita

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path travel destination, a great place to surf, reflect, rejuvenate, and soak up the sun then look no further than a Sayulita Vacation. This quaint beach destination is located 29 miles north of Puerto Vallarta and is part of the newly designated Riviera Nayarit, a 200-mile stretch of the Pacific Coastline in Mexico.

Sayulita Streets

Sayulita is a prosperous fishing and surfing village with approximately 6,000 residents, and has an eclectic quality that radiates laid-back Bohemian style. The colorful bustling cobblestone town square is totally walkable. If you are lucky – you may see Victoriano, one of the outstanding characters of Sayulita as he paints by the river bridge. [Book Hotels]

Victoriano Sayulita

Things to do in Sayulita

Sayulita offers a variety of activities for people of all ages. There are places that offer horseback riding, hiking, jungle canopy tours, snorkeling and fishing. It’s also known as a mecca for beginner surfers. The “I Love Waves” facility has friendly instructors willing to take on anyone looking to ride the waves. You can also rent paddleboards on the beach if that’s more to your liking. Fill an entire day with shopping with an impressive range of locally owned stores selling a variety of handmade goods or peruse the best of Sayulita’s produce and handicrafts at the Mercado del Pueblo, or Farmers’ Market.

Sayulita Beach

Weekends on the beach can be very busy. Sayulita beach is very popular and on weekends it can be a zoo. For something less crowded check out Los Muertos Beach (aka beach of the dead). Located west of Sayulita beach, it is just a few yards from the Sayulita cemetery hence it’s name. There is a lifeguard on duty and you can buy fresh fruit and cold cervezas from the local vendors near the beach.

Los Muertos Beach

Another great location to explore is the Marieta Islands. Located in the mouth of Banderas Bay, a group of small uninhabited islands called the Marietta Islands, are known as Mexico’s Galapagos. Formed by volcanic activity over thousands of years, these islands were used by the Mexican military as a practice range for heavy artillery until scientist Jacques Cousteau advocated for their protection. Now hunting, fishing, or even just stepping foot on the Islands is prohibited. The Mexican government allows only a few companies to charter to these islands and permits the landing of passengers onto one secluded beach called Hidden Beach. You can get there by chartering a boat or finding a tour out to Marieta Islands National Park. [Book Here]

Marina Riviera Nayarit

If sport fishing is more your thing, then head down to the Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. You can book from a number of fishing charters however in most cases it’s best to stay with a locally run company so you get the full fishing experience.  Your day on the water will likely involve purchasing freshly caught squid for bait, being entertained by a mother whale and her calf, catching some amazing Pompanos and enjoying some of the freshest ceviche you have ever had. This is a day the whole family will enjoy, just make sure you have plenty of sunscreen. [ Book Here]

San Panchos

A short 15 minutes north of Sayulita is San Pancho. Known as the village of San Francisco, is home to art galleries, restaurants and unique shops. San Pancho has a beautiful beach, where the waves can get very large and tend to break heavily on shore. It’s not the best area for swimming, but surfers can usually catch their share of big waves.

San Panchos Beach

The Altavista Petroglyphs in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, are part of an intriguing archaeological site northeast of Jaltemba Bay.  Identified locally as” La Pila del Rey,” the site has one of the largest known concentrations of stone engravings (petroglyphs). There are more than 2,000 petroglyphs spread over the 80-hectare site.  Although less than half of them can be seen due to the jungle brush, there are enough visible to makes the site worth seeing.

Altavista Petroglyphs

Dinning in Sayulita

From taco carts and stands offering the best peso-a piece tacos in the world to Mexican restaurants ranging from humble to high end. You will also find the tastiest barbequed chicken you have ever eaten, amazing coffee, artisan breads, and fresh-picked organic produce. Sayulita has some of the best Mexican food you will find.

Evening In Sayulita

Don Pedro’s Restaurant and Bar – touted as one of the best restaurants in town, it’s location is unbeatable – right on the water. They have an open-air section in the back where you can kick off your heels with your feet in the sand. The steamed Mussels a la Provencale and Crab Cakes are heavenly.

La Rustica – has some of the best wood fired pizza, salad or pastas in Sayulita. With the great ambience and attractive modern decor, the atmosphere is intimate and the service is very attentive. From inventive cocktails and delicious gluten-free pasta dishes to vegan pizza, the food is delicious. Try the Caprice salad with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes layered under fresh basil almond pesto, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Caprice Salad

Chocobabana – the menu offers everything from breakfast to lunch, great coffee and a solid gold selection of refreshing smoothies. The namesake Chocobanana is something everyone should try, a frozen banana on a stick dipped in chocolate and covered in coconut or granola. They also make a fantastic carrot cake that will keep you going back for more.

Sunset in Sayulita

If you have ever traveled in Mexico you will certainly find, Sayulita to be a unique and special place. You will fall in love with the beautiful quaint streets, the slow laid back pace, sandy beaches, friendly locals and incredible food.  You will find everything you’re hoping for in Sayulita. There’s just something about the calming crimson skies, and the sweet breeze of a muted purple nightfall that makes everyone feel at peace.

San Panchos Beach
San Panchos

Submited by Lorna Schiefner
Photographs by Lorna Schiefner

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