Surfing, slow-moving waves, golden sand, ice cold margaritas, vibrant streets, art galleries, and Bohemian vibes. Is this a place you’d want to visit? If that’s the case, start planning your trip for Sayulita. The city offers so many memorable things to do, you’ll catch yourself planning your next visit very soon.
Sayulita is a beautiful town in Pacific Mexico, brimming with contemporary restaurants, boutique hotels, boho boutiques, and open-air markets.
This is your ultimate list of all the exciting things you can do in Sayulita, places to visit, and of course, dining options with great food and drinks. Read the following article to find out which restaurants and bars are a must-visit:
But there are a lot more things to do in Sayulita on vacation than just surfing! From fine dining to drinking a lime margarita at a swing bar to soaking up the sun on one of Sayulita’s beautiful beaches. Here’s my list of the best things to see and do in Sayulita, Mexico!
While in Sayulita, don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):
- Punta de Mita/Sayulita: Horseback Riding Tour
- Sayulita/Punta Mita: Zip Lines with Ocean View
- Sayulita: ATV Adventure Tour
- Sayulita: Surf Lesson for Beginners
- The Best Things To Do in Sayulita
- Get up early for photos on the colorful flag street (also known as “Slap Street”)
- Miscelánea Cafe
- Visit the sandy beaches of Sayulita
- Go surfing- enjoy the waves!
- Visit the cemetery & Playa de Los Muertos
- Shop at Sayulita’s boho shops & art galleries
- Wander through the open-air Hippie Market
- La Orca de Sayulita
- ATV Adventure Tour
- Zip Lines with Ocean View
- Sayulita Entourage
- Last words before I go down the zip line!
- Which of these things to do in Sayulita do you want to try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
Want to visit other places in Mexico? Check out the Best Things to Do in Cozumel, Mexico!
The Best Things To Do in Sayulita
The Calle Delfines, or “Slap Street,” as it’s known locally, is perhaps Sayulita’s busiest and prettiest street. But I just refer to it as “flag street.” Hundreds of multicolored flags (known as papel picado) are stretched between palm trees over this charming restaurant-lined boulevard.
The most popular activity for first-time visitors to Sayulita is walking beneath the flags. Everyone must take a photo in front of the flags! However, if you do, get there early! It will start to get crowded about 10 a.m. when tourists arrive for a day of sightseeing and surfing.
So, why is this street called “Slap Street” in the first place?
Locals claim that this roadway was previously the site of a heated argument between two gentlemen who wished to remodel it. Unfortunately, they couldn’t agree, and emotions escalated until one man lifted his hand and smacked the other in the face in the heat of the moment. Onlookers intervened and were able to calm the two men down.
The street became known as “Slap Street” as a result. There is a sign at the end of the road that explains the narrative.
Avenida Revolución 34 Interior A 63734 Sayulita // (52) 322 274 2255
There are hundreds of boho-chic breakfast and lunch restaurants in Sayulita, but none are as adorable or soul-satisfying as the Miscelánea Cafe. This café is one of my favorites, and I can’t help but return on every trip to Sayulita!
While most tourists discover breakfast at ChocoBanana (a renowned eatery located just across flag street), I feel that Miscelanea is the best spot to start my day in Sayulita.
Miscelánea Cafe uses local and organic products to create a fresh, nutritious breakfast and lunch meal. Not to mention that their beverages, such as the Oaxacan hot chocolate or the beet lavender latte, are delicious, healthful, and very appealing to the eye.
As I previously stated, there are hundreds of (excellent!) breakfast options, but for me, Miscelánea is a top-notch spot for food and coffee that epitomizes Sayulita flair!
Is it a one-beach, two-beach, three-beach, or four-beach vacation? Of course, going to the beach is one of the most obvious things to do in Sayulita! But did you know that Sayulita has more beaches than only the main beach (Sayulita Beach)? Yep! In Sayulita, there are numerous beaches to visit, each of which offers something unique.
Sayulita’s most fabulous easy-to-reach beaches include:
Sayulita Beach is the central beach in Sayulita and is easily accessible from the town. It is frequently busy, with colorful beach loungers and many merchants ready to sell their wares. But, of course, it’s also where everyone goes surfing (often in groups of dozens!).
Playa Carricitos: Continue walking down this dirt road through the forest from Playa de Los Muertos, and you’ll arrive at Playa Carricitos. It’s a quiet beach, perfect for unplugging off the grid and away from the crowds!
North Beach: If you head right instead of left from Sayulita Beach, you’ll arrive at North Beach. It’s the extended length of sand to the right of Sayulita where you may go for a long walk or a climb into the forest to reach San Pancho, the adjacent town.
A famous trek is from San Pancho to Sayulita, which takes approximately 1.5 hours. North Beach is one of my favorite beaches because of its beautiful seas and lack of humans. Also, it’s pretty lengthy and sandy!
Sayulita is the surfer’s heaven, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular things to do here. There will be a sea of surfers of all ability levels riding the waves as soon as you go out onto the main beach. In Sayulita, there are many surf shops where you can rent a board or even enroll in surf classes!
Many surf businesses and guides have put up their cabanas on the beach, making surfing in Sayulita even more accessible. Prices vary by shop, but a typical surfboard rental should cost approximately $20 per day, and a surf instruction should cost around $50-70.
Here are a few reputable surf shops in Sayulita where you may rent or take lessons: Lunazul (on the beach), Patricia’s Surf School, Sayulita Surf School, and WildMex Surf and Adventure are just a few of the many surf schools in the area. If you enjoy surfing, you should pay a visit to the renowned La Lancha beach.
The local cemetery and the beach that is attached to it are a sight to behold! A leisurely walk from downtown to the Sayulita cemetery is one of the people’s favorite things to do in Sayulita.
Flags, flowers, candles, and mementos of the loved one’s favorite items are commonly seen on tombstones here, as are leftovers from Day of the Dead celebrations. A surfboard is even placed on one of the graves.
A peaceful beach, appropriately named Playa de Los Muertos, may be seen just down the slope to the right. This area of the beach has gentle waves, making it perfect for families with children or swimming. Thanks to the new waste facility, Sayulita is a great place to swim now that the sewage situation has improved.
The beaches have everything you need, lounge chairs for hire, as well as paid parking and restrooms. You’ll find a small food shack with snacks and beverages.
Shop at Sayulita’s boho shops & art galleries
Sayulita’s boho scene is insanely stylish. Therefore, consider doing plenty of shopping when you visit. I know a lot of folks that enjoy going shopping while on vacation, including myself. Things to do in Sayulita that include splurging yourself? Absolutely yes!
You will find lovely boho shops lining Sayulita’s colorful streets, offering crochet swim tops, dream catchers, and flowing skirts. Favorite stores to visit all have earthy, boho vibes. I went to Evoke the Spirit, R2 Fashion, Artefakto, Rosemary, and Manantial (to name a few!) And the open-air stores on the approach to the beach are adorable!
You’ll also notice a slew of beautiful art galleries in and around Sayulita. The majority of the art galleries display Huichol art, including beaded work, sculptures, paintings, and jewelry, among other crafts. For example, the Laughing Jaguar is a cross between a shop and a gallery, specializing in Mexican art and home decor. They even sell pet collars with native Huichol designs and colors!
The Sayulita Hippie Market is currently more touristy than local, but it is still the place to go if you want to get a reasonable price on Mexican goods. It’s an outdoor market located immediately before the bridge leading into Sayulita’s downtown area.
Walking around the market in Sayulita is a pleasurable activity and an excellent opportunity to view the region’s art and crafts. It’s open every day, so go for a walk around the neighborhood!
Other markets in Sayulita include the Mercado del Pueblo (Friday mornings), which sells artisanal products and crafts, and the Tianguis (open-air) market near the beach (Calle Gaviotas), which sells handmade artwork and handicrafts from native Huicholes of Nayarit.
Calle Miramar 19 // (52) 322 121 3917
In addition to the other exciting things to do in Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta, and beyond, whale watching in Banderas Bay off the coast of Nayarit is yet another option! Whales migrate hundreds of kilometers from the cold waters of the north to the milder waters of the Bahia de Banderas.
There are several excursions available in all of the surrounding cities, which gives you more options to choose from, and organize which time suits you the best.
Whale viewing season runs from mid-December to the end of March/beginning of April in Nayarit. Tours usually take an entire morning or afternoon, or around four hours. You can view Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Grey and Sperm Whales, as well as playful families of dolphins.
Make sure you work with a business that values animals and the environment by utilizing low-impact boats and adhering to the highest safety and protection standards. La Orca de Sayulita is one such firm that prioritizes environmental protection.
Manuel Rodriguez Sanchez 14 // (52) 329 291 3112
This 2-hour ATV trip in Sayulita will give you a burst of excitement. In the presence of professional guides, explore the Cerro de La Loca, or Crazy Mountain. Enjoy beautiful panoramic views and lush greenery, followed by a tequila tasting.
If you haven’t driven an ATV before, get a brief lesson on how to do so once you arrive at the meeting spot. Children above six can travel in the rear with an adult if the driver is at least 18 years old.
Set out on your journey to the Cerro de La Loca when you’re ready. After a short drive, get out of your car and stroll to the Cerro del Mono viewpoint to take in the panoramic views while taking a break. Then continue downhill to Questo, a tropical beach where you may cool down.
After the tour, return to the meeting location for a tequila tasting to round off your adventure.
Rancho Mi Chaparrita // (52) 329 291 3112
Prepare for an unforgettable trip on the Riviera Nayarit. On ten zip lines and a hanging bridge in the mountains, soar over the foliage. Enjoy the most breathtaking ocean and rainforest vistas of any canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta.
As you begin on a spectacular canopy trip, including ten lines and a suspended bridge on the slopes of Higuera Blanca, Nayarit, you’ll be able to see everything from the Pacific Ocean to the rainforest natural reserve in Punta de Mita.
The facilities have been constructed to the highest safety standards, with two ropes in each zip line to ensure your safety while on the canopy tour. You wouldn’t have to worry about a thing; all of the required equipment for the tour will be provided by the experienced guides, including a waist-to-thigh harness, helmet, and gloves.
Don’t be shocked if you see wild boars, deer, and even gorgeous macaws known as guacamayas among the greenery.
Then, finish your exhilarating journey with a classic tequila tasting. Pickup and drop-off are available at six locations around the area.
Calle Miramar 20 // (52) 322 191 1066
The Marietas Islands are the most popular diving location in Banderas Bay. In this protected marine national park and UNESCO biosphere reserve, you will have an amazing experience.
In the late 1960s, Jacques Cousteau led a group of worldwide scientists in a campaign to have the Marietas Islands preserved from human activity. After receiving international notice, the Mexican government decided to declare the islands a Marine National Park a few years later.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Facility, the islands were once a military training area and a bomb testing site for the Mexican army. So Cousteau and his colleagues were the first to notice the islands’ extraordinary vegetation and wildlife, both below and above the ocean.
The islands include an incredible sequence of underwater mountains with numerous giant caverns and passages to explore because of their volcanic origins.
Divers of all abilities will enjoy the diverse selection of dive settings available. Seeing dolphins, turtles, and humpback whales on the boat trip to the islands is common (whale season is December to March), diving with puffers, angelfishes, Moorish idols, and trumpets is also common.
A brief search behind the rocks will reveal a plethora of moray eels. Swim by large schools of snappers clinging to the rocks, and keep an eye out for the eyes of the numerous rays lurking beneath the sand.
The diving facility in Sayulita will be your starting point, where the divers will be suited for equipment. You will be taken to Punta de Mita, where your four-hour adventure will begin.
The dive location is about 20 minutes away from Punta de Mita. Small groups will be used to provide a more personalized experience. PADI-certified instructors will ensure that the dives are tailored to everyone’s abilities.
Last words before I go down the zip line!
So many awesome, exciting things to do in Sayulita and so little time. I stayed there around one week and promised myself I would be back again as soon as a chance arises. Whether you’re staying for a week or a month, the city will entertain you day by day with its colorful streets and warm hospitality. I assure you, Sayulita will win your heart as soon as you step a foot there!
So here’s my final bit of advice: join a Facebook group or look up local events at restaurants or throughout town while planning your vacation to Sayulita! Some fantastic festivals, such as the Boho Fest, take place after the holidays, around mid-January to mid-February.
Sayulita is the place to go if you’re planning a trip, even if it’s your first time. Whatever you’re searching for in Sayulita, whether you’re a party animal or prefer a relaxing and serene vacation, whatever your age, you’ll find it.
It’s truly one of the most unusual destinations on the planet, perfect for all types of travelers. So, don’t be apprehensive about visiting Sayulita. This quirky little community will warmly welcome you. Just use your common sense, and you’ll be fine!
Which of these things to do in Sayulita do you want to try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.