Field Guide to Sayulita

Jono Stark

If you’re like me, you have countless friends who won’t stop talking about Sayulita, Mexico. They visit and return with legendary tales of perfect surf, even better fish tacos, and Mexican moonshine. This past summer, it was finally my turn. Short answer: Sayulita lives up to the hype.

This guide will help you skip the kook traps and get down to all things well and wonderful. 

So, you’ve convinced your crew to follow you south, and it’s time to book a room. There’s a wide variety of vacation rentals and hotels for any budget. The best place to find your perfect match is Sayulita Life. The town is small enough to stay pretty much anywhere and still be within walking distance to the beach and downtown. Pro tip: arrange a ride from the airport ahead of time, so you’ve got transportation right out customs. I recommend Sayulita VIP Transportation. They were punctual, super helpful, and kind enough to stop for Mexican road sodas.

As you settle in, you find that Sayulita has a plentiful supply of charming restaurants, bars, and shops. Here are my faves.

Pastries — La Empanaderia

Amazing empanadas and various treats perfect for breakfast or a quick snack.

Tacos — El Itacate

Best tacos in town. Make sure to grab the marlin and steak.

Ceviche — Mariscos Seafood

Fish tacos and the best ceviche in town. What else do you need? Perhaps beer to wet your whistle while you wait. Check.

Burritos — Burrito Revolución

Oh man, these dudes know how to make a mean burrito. Be sure to give the ghost salsa an honest try.


There’s a lady located at the west end of the central plaza. She sets up a table in the evenings and sells some of the best cakes you will ever taste. Make sure to try the tres leches.


Honestly, you can get a good drink just about anywhere. Fittingly, margaritas get larger the closer you are to the beach. If you’re lucky enough to track down some raicilla, do yourself a favor and take it slow.

Art & Homegoods — Revolución Del Sueño

This shop has the best lifestyle collection. From art to jewelry, sugar skulls to tank tops, this place has it all. And their vibe is a perfect mix of modern and traditional with a twist.

Surf Lifestlye — Lunazul

If you’re looking to buy or rent surf gear, Lunazul is your shop. They also specialize in surf safaris and lessons.

Street Market

On the weekends, artists set up a street market that’s full of local handmade goods.

For those of you getting in the waves, here’s some pre-game info to avoid kookin out in the lineup. The main break is a right, with a quicker left more north up the beach. The bottom is rocky and can get pretty shallow, depending on the tide. The locals rip. Give them respect, even before they surf circles around you.

The only real beach dangers are sea urchins and eight-year-old rippers slashing waves like a wild Friday the 13th film. Watch out for both, and you should be golden. Need to rent equipment or lessons? Swing by Lunazul to get hooked up.

Sayulita is the perfect mix of sleepy vibes and adventure high fives. Safe for families, home to super friendly locals, and removed enough from bigger resorts to make it feel like you’re in a tropical wonderland. Because it is.

See you there.