City Secrets: Sayulita, Mexico

Shop Latitude globetrotter Ashley Wick was recently headed to a destination wedding in the rustic unpretentious town of Sayulita, Mexico. We asked her to share her insiders guide to this charming beach town brimming with local color!

Best Place to Stay

I have two suggestions. If you are traveling with a big group, rent the Villa del Oso, a rental home (accommodating up to 12) situated on the beach in North Sayulita. 

If you are traveling as a couple and looking for greater privacy and romance, stay at the Playa Escondida resort in one of their bungalows nestled on a hillside overlooking the ocean. This environmentally conscious boutique hotel offers laid back luxury and easy access to an unpopulated beach and the Harama Yoga Institute (next door).

Tip: Rent a golf cart or car as the walk to town is longer than 10-15 minutes.        

Restaurant Recommendations

The Real Fish Taco (Sayulita Main Plaza, Sayulita,) truck parked across from Don Pedros restaurant grills up some of the best mahi mahi soft tacos in town and is a short distance from the main beach where most of the town gathers during the day. The tacos truck’s name is justified- they are worthy. 

You can reach the town’s other recommended taco vendor by walking from the town square up Jose Marisco Street north about 1-2 blocks.  The inconspicuous stand, which bears no name, is on the right hand side, closest to the bridge. The communal table, plastic chairs and paper plates are all part of the experience.  

For an alternative to the traditional Mexican staples of beans, rice and cheese, cleanse your pallet at Cafe Esperanza (Av, Manuel Navarrete #8 | Col, Centro, Sayulita), which is owned by a lovely couple, a Peruvian and his Aussie wife - and just opened a few months ago. Go for lunch and try the vegetarian tacos made with beet humus, arugula, avocado and quinoa and the pineapple basil cooler. In fact, try all of their hard-pressed juices - you can't go wrong.

Dinner at the Playa Escondido (Ave Playa Escondida # 1 | Sayulita Nayarit, Sayulita), by the pool under individual palapas is lovely and the food is healthy and fresh. Farther afield, try Mar Plata or La Ola Rica in the town of San Pancho- a fifteen minute drive. Or stay in and hire Chef Daniel Mexotik to cook a 3 course meal at your home:  (usually $40 per person per day).

Tip: Generally no reservations are needed for any of the restaurants in town.

Best places to go shopping

To start, you don't need to bring much to Sayulita beyond sandals, a sundress, a pareo and a bikini. The idiom, ‘Less is More’ rules in the informal barefoot beachy town, where no shirt, no shoes gives you greater street cred and right of passage. There does not seem to be an occasion or location where it is appropriate to dress up, so leave your heels at home.

The Mignot sister’s store, Pacha Mama, sells leather fringed satchels, traditional embroidered Mexican wedding dresses and Tahitian pearl necklaces on leather strands (Pacha Mama, 4B Calle Delfin, Sayulita).

If you or are searching for more contemporary beachwear, visit Hanna Waxman’s shop Yemaya for sexy pull-on active wear and crazy sexy swimsuits. Located off Avenida Revolutcion +52 322 103 9650

In June, the temperatures rise into the 90's, so it's advisable to stay close to one of the town's three beaches. Visit Playa de Los Muertos (calmer alternative to the main beach), or Playa Carricitos (often deserted and bigger surf).

After Dark

Most of the town’s nightlife can be found around the center square. After hours, stop by either Don Pato's (+52 322 150 6350) or Yambak, (+52 329 291 3756) which stays open late. Or, bring the party to your house which is where we spent most of our evenings sipping homemade margaritas on a cantilevered deck under the stars.

First-time visitors to Sayulita must see?

You’ll likely see everything in a matter of hours given the town’s size. The beauty of being in Sayulita is the feeling that you do not need to check activities off your to-do list; you come to Sayulita to relax and unwind. As my husband noted immediately, it is “muy tranquilo”.

Images and article courtesy of Ashley Wick.