If you ever wanted to visit Sayulita, read this Sayulita travel guide to find the best spots and things to do in this charming beachy fishing village. Our wedding recap is also included by popular request!
It’s been a year since my husband and I got married in the magical town of Sayulita in Mexico, and we went back again recently for our 1 year anniversary. When I posted photos on Instagram and shared our experience on Instagram Stories, I received several requests to do a travel guide.
Also, last year, some of you asked for a wedding recap which I never got around to, so I’m combining the two together in this post to share one of our favorite places on earth because it’s definitely a relatively unknown gem that I highly encourage you to visit.
Sayulita is a tiny fishing village about 45 minutes north of Puerta Vallarta with a population of 5,000 people. The town itself is so charming and colorful with murals, delicious restaurants, spas, yoga studios, and shops, all next to a beautiful beach that you can swim, surf, or go stand up paddle boarding in. Before I get to our wedding recap, let’s start with the Sayulita travel guide and all the things you can enjoy there.
To get to Sayulita, you have to fly into the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR), then drive about 45 minutes north. There are buses that you can take from the airport which are super cheap, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a lot of luggage as they don’t have much storage space. It’ll also take a lot longer 45 minutes because there are many stops.
You can also take taxis from the airport but I’ve heard that you’ll have to negotiate the charge with them or they’ll overcharge you. The best and the most convenient option is to book a car in advance. They are usually about $130 round trip and totally worth it. We book through Sayulita Suburban, and they’ll even stop at a supermarket on the way to Sayulita if you want to stock up on snacks and groceries for your trip.
I don’t recommend renting a car because the streets of Sayulita are narrow and aren’t easy to get around with a car. However, you can rent a golf cart once you are in town, which is actually a main mode of transportation in Sayulita. We’ve rented through golf carts through Sayulita Suburban as well.
I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with most lodging choices in Sayulita. There are incredible Airbnbs and hotels that are not too expensive. You can get so much more bang for your buck there. Also, Sayulita is quite small so if you are used to a bit of walking, there are no bad areas to stay in. If you are a bit far out, then you can always rent a golf cart.
Last year, we used VRBO to book a 7 bedroom villa so all our family members could stay together during our wedding week. Our guests booked their own Airbnbs or hotels and I was told that their stays were all so nice without breaking the bank at all. Most of them had pools as well.
This year, we stayed at Hotel Oz Sayulita which was so comfortable and close to the town plaza. There was also a rooftop pool and bar that we fully took advantage.
Sayulita Beach – This is the main beach of Sayulita and honestly, it’s not my favorite. It’s always super crowded and it’s just not the nicest beach in the area. It’s definitely convenient, because there are a lot of delicious restaurants along the beach that you can eat at.
Playa de los Muertos – This is actually my favorite beach, It’s only a 10 minute walk south from Sayulita Beach, but the water is much more calm and it’s less crowded. It’s also very beautiful with rock formations that you can climb on over bluest of the waters. It gets its name because it’s right next to a cemetery that you walk by to get to the beach. I highly recommend this beach over Sayulita Beach.
San Pancho Beach – San Pancho is a beach that’s north of Sayulita in a city called San Francisco. We rode a cab 10 minutes north for a day trip there and it cost us about $7 each way. The beach here is also gorgeous and not too crowded, and it’s in the cutest town with fun shops and restaurants. Just be mindful that the waves here are no joke. People do swim here but the water is not kid-friendly. I was able play in the waves for maybe 10 minutes and then I had to call it quits before opting to lay out in the sun instead.
One thing to say about Sayulita’s food is that all of it is seriously AMAZING. Every place we tried is super cheap, so tasty, and being that it’s a fishing village, you can never go wrong with the seafood here. Most of the food is gluten free-friendly and I didn’t have any trouble or issues with the food.
Also, since the town is so small, all of these restaurants are within walking distance.
Mary’s – A hole-in-the-wall Mexican food place with great tacos and a delicious brunch menu. You can’t miss the bright pink wall in the main street of Av. Revolución.
Burrito Revolution – Another delicious taco and burrito place with outdoor seating. They also have vegan options.
Don Pedros – If you want to splurge a bit (as in, spend the same amount as you would do in the US), Don Pedros is a delicious restaurant with a beach view. They catered our wedding and the food was exceptional. Make a reservation if you want to sit along the beach. This is also one of the only places that take credit cards.
Palmar Trapiche – The cutest beer garden outside of the main town area with delicious food as well. It’s an outdoor spot surrounded my palm trees and lights, and it’s so charming. They have various craft beers that my husband enjoyed.
La Rustica – A restaurant with pizza and Italian food with gorgeous decor. If you go during lunch or brunch, they also have the most delicious pork tacos. It is a bit more high end than most restaurants in the area, but they do take credit cards.
I’ve only listed a few of the memorable spots, but you really can’t go wrong with most of the restaurants in Sayulita. After we realized this, we stopped checking for reviews online and just picked places to go to by walking around and seeing if we liked the menu (so old school).
There are so many cute shops in Sayulita, focused on local handcrafted arts and gifts. They vary in price and quality, and it’s so much fun to walk around and visit these stores. These are some of my favorites:
Farmers Market/Mercado del Pueblo – If you have a chance to be in Sayulita on a Friday, don’t miss out on this farmers market. It’s on the small side but they have delicious fresh food, flowers, and artisan crafts.
Révolucion del Sueño – This place screams color with their beautiful jewelry, bags, blankets, and other gifts. I bought a bracelet and a colorful garland here that I love. It’s so cute and you might want to buy everything here.
Manyana – This is a small shop near the beach with mostly clothes and bags with minimalist designs. However, what really drew me in is their small collection of pottery. I bought a beautiful mug here, but was also tempted to try on their clothing as well.
Evoke the Spirit – This is a boho style gift shop with ceramic pottery, beautiful blankets, and jewelry finely curated by local artists. I just love the decor in here, and I wish I could take one of the craft workshops that they offer.
Galería la Hamaca – Featuring a huge collection of Mexican folk art, they have some gorgeous artwork, tapestry, pottery, and other home decor items. They have some of the most beautiful, intricate designs at a reasonable price.
Other Things to Do
Besides eating, shopping, and hanging out at the beach, you can go snorkeling, take surfing lessons (which is HUGE there), stand up paddle boarding, do yoga, get a massage on the beach, or even horseback riding.
Another activity we really enjoyed was going on a beautiful sunset cruise, in which we ended up doing fun water activities. You can read more about it under the “Sunset Cruise” section below, as I now shift gears and recap our wedding 1 year ago.
Our Sayulita Wedding
First, to give you a little background… I was never someone who dreamt of her wedding. If it was up to me, I would have eloped and be done with it. I love to attend weddings as a guest, but I honestly dread the type of stress and attention that you get as a bride. So, as a compromise with my family, I decided to do a small destination wedding with 40 people max.
I honestly don’t remember how I came across Sayulita, a place I’ve never even heard of before. I think it was a friend who mentioned that it’s a beautiful town in Mexico near Puerto Vallarta, so I Googled it and fell in love with all the images and reviews I found. And literally based on that, we decided to get married in there. And no, we’ve never even visited before, and the first time we were there was for our wedding week. It might sound crazy, but everything about it just felt right so we just went for it.
One thing that’s great about having a destination wedding in a country like Mexico is that everything is much lower in cost than In the US so we were able to be way more flexible within our budget with what we wanted to do than if we had our wedding in the States.
We hired a wedding planner, Luz Ochoa, because I honestly wanted no part in the planning process. I had a specific vision in mind, which I relayed to her, and she was so amazing about picking out all the flowers and decor according to what I wanted and the end result was even better than I expected.
The day before our wedding, we held our welcome dinner with all the guests at a beach restaurant called La Terrazola. It was so cute and beautiful, because they set out tables on the beach alongside a bonfire and different games we requested like corn hole, bocce ball, and a giant Jenga set.
The food was delicious and the whole event took place over sunset, and we ended the night by lighting up sky lanterns that looked beautiful floating up over the beach sky lined with palm trees.
I wanted a beach ceremony, because the beach is truly my happy place, and that’s exactly what we got. It was held a bit north of the main Sayulita Beach, where it’s much quieter and less crowded. I was barefoot and the blue of the ocean with the sand under my feet was so so perfect, and exactly what I had envisioned.
We had a little less than 30 people who came from all over the world and it was truly the most magical experience. Afterwards, we took photos on the beach with our family and just us 2, which turned out beautiful.
By the way, our wedding photographer was Christine Sargologos and she did an amazing job. I highly recommend her!
The real party after the ceremony was at the villa that our immediate family members stayed at in Sayulita, which might be the nicest place I’ve ever stayed at in my life. We booked this 7 bedroom villa through VRBO, and while it was way up on the hills far away from the main town center, it had an incredible view, awesome pools, and an outdoor lawn area that was made for a reception. If you are ever in Sayulita with a big group, I highly recommend you try to stay there because everything about it was so beautiful. It was so perfect for to watching the sunset as well through the evening because it overlooked the entire Sayulita Beach.
We catered our food from Don Pedros which was so delicious and mostly gluten free, got a gluten free wedding cake, and after we danced the night away, we had churros and ice cream carts for late night snacks which were a huge hit. It was honestly so much fun to be surrounded by the closest people in my life and both of us had the time of our lives.
The day after the wedding, everyone slept in and relaxed on the beach or the pool to recover. Then, for the evening, we organized a private sunset cruise with Ally Cat Sailing for all the guests. It was a fun and relaxing 3 hour cruise, and they provided transportation to and from the marina, snacks and alcoholic drinks on the cruise, and various water activities like diving, swimming, and stand up paddle boarding.
I highly recommend this cruise company. The staff members both on and off the boat were some of the friendliest people and one of the best customer service experience I’ve had in a long time. It was the perfect way to end our wedding celebration.
Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding for us. It was everything I wanted with my closest friends and family in a place that was so magical and beautiful. It’s so fun to relive these moments through these photos!
If you have any more questions this Sayulita travel guide and/or about having a wedding there, leave me a comment and I’ll answer them the best I can. I hope this post encourages you to plan your trip to Sayulita because it truly is so charming and happy, and it’s a place you’ll fall in love with as soon as you get there!