Sayulita is a town on the Pacific coast. Northwest of La Cruz, Sayulita is known for its waves and surfing culture. Imagine a California beach town from the 1960’s mixed with a healthy dose of tourist and you get the idea.
You may have seen Sayulita in the news a few months ago when the former boyfriend of a well-known singer was allegedly spotted there after disappearing off a boat near San Diego.
Overall the gringo population there is younger (and much hipper) than in the cruising/condo community where we are, maybe because it was summer and the snowbirds weren’t around.
The first time I went was in early October when a friend was visiting, and none of us knew the area, what to expect or what to look for. As a matter of fact, my friend and her friends drove up from Puerto Vallarta to pick me up, missed the turnoff to La Cruz and got to the Sayulita exit without me before they realized it.
Once we all got there together, we drove around to look for parking, finally made it out of the car and just wandered around before settling on a beach restaurant for lunch. Many places were still closed as October is still in the slow season for tourists in Mexico. The shops we did venture into all seemed to be very boutique-y (by which I mean pricey). One shirt my friend liked was priced at 900 pesos (over $50 US). It was cute but not that cute. She passed.
The one part we all liked and thought would be fun was the golf carts. It’s a small town with narrow streets and not much parking. Lots of people have golf carts to zip around in. I have no desire to drive in Mexico but sometimes it would be cool to just hop in a cart for short trips to the tienda or out to lunch. Even though I know walking is better for my health……
A couple weeks later John and I ventured back. There is a turtle camp there and I wanted to check it out as a potential Kids’ Camp activity for the La Cruz Marina when the youngsters start arriving. This time we took the bus, which means first backtracking to just outside Bucerias then changing to the Sayulita bus.
Sadly I didn’t get a photo of the bus stop in Sayulita with all the molded plastic seats set up in rows under a tree. Apparently the summer rains washed out part of the road so they had to relocate the bus stop to a new temporary location.
My experience this trip was a little different as John had been there a few times before when I was out of town, so he knew the fun little taco stands and places that we like. I left John with an icy beer and walked up the beach, checked out the turtle camp and walked back through town to find my beer-sipping sweetie at one of the beach bars.
A few photo-ops on the way back:
On my walk, a beach vendor walked past me selling trinkets of all sorts, including pipes, and in a very low voice, “something to go in them”. Yeah, it’s a surfing town.
Being mid-October it was still hotter ‘n heck so after lunch and a couple hours at a beach bar we opted to taxi back to La Cruz instead of trudging up the hill to the bus stop (or stealing a golf cart and riding up the hill).
This is my opinion: Sayulita is a fun little town for a few hours, but it was already crowded even in off-season. I can’t imagine what it would be like in high season. We’re told it’s outgrown the infrastructure and the sewage treatment plant can’t always keep up so there is that problem. Also being a tourist draw, it’s a bit expensive. Nice place to visit for a few hours and a couple beers or for special events (like the longboard surf competition) but I’m still glad we’re in La Cruz.