Sayulita, Nayarit – Mexico
This was my first trip to a smaller town in Mexico and it was quite a different experience from Cabo San Lucas or Cozumel. We happened to begin our vacation a few days after Hurricane Patricia had made its way through. Thank god it didn’t turn out to be as intense as they predicted but this still left us with muddy rivers down every street and overcast skies.
There are a few ways to get to Sayulita from the Puerto Vallarta Airport. One would be to arrange private transportation but, we decided to adventure and take the public bus. (Keep in mind, my boyfriends family has taken the public bus with their one year old daughter and all of their suitcases and baby gear – it is completely safe.) After exiting the airport doors, go left towards the highway and you make a sharp left. There you will see a blue overpass, on the other side you will find the public bus stop. Many buses will pass through but there is only one that goes to Sayulita, the bus line is COMPOSTELA (green & white) and it will say “SAYULITA” on the windshield (yes, painted on the windshield). The trip is 35 pesos and takes about an hour – the bus drivers are pretty reckless and drive too fast and slam on the brakes a lot so HOLD ON!
The first night we stayed at Casa Blanca which is perfect for couples. Our room had a balcony that was next to the pool but still have plenty of foliage to keep our room private. We had a kitchen/living room and a separate bedroom/ bathroom. This hotel is located on steps away from the beach and about a 10 minute walk from the main square in town.
For the remainder of the trip we stayed at Las Hamacas (The hammocks) where you can rent much larger homes. Below is a picture of the view from the home that we stayed in. It was 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a large living/dining space. It had a balcony that over looked the beach (where we set up our hammock )
Next door to Las Hamacas, there is a turtle conservation organization. They provide protection to the turtle eggs until they are hatched. They release the baby turtles every couple of days and it is quite a show!
Obviously there are plenty of stands to grab some tacos at but the one you MUST experience is Tacos el Ivan (see map below). They have a few different tacos but the pork tacos are definitely the most well-known. The pork is cooked on a vertical broiler and sliced off to order (they include pineapple with the tacos also!) Check out this link to see them in action Tacos el Ivan
Although most of our days consisted of eating tacos and laying on the beach (sometimes at the same time) we did take an interesting day trip to islas marietas. Instead of doing the hour+ boat ride to the island we decided to take a 30 minute drive to Punta Mita and take the 20 minute boat from there. We began to approach islas marietas and the guide said we would need to jump out and swim through a tunnel where the tide was very high. The picture below is what it usually looks like but imagine the space between the water and the cave being about 6 inches. The swim did pay off, it was beautiful inside!
We were lucky enough to be in Sayulita during one of the most exciting times of year, Dia de los Muertos. The streets were filled with costumes and decorations . The main square was filled with altars dedicated to those who had passed away. It was awesome to see death being celebrated and the family members honoring those who had passed with their favorite foods , candles and pictures of their loved ones.