About Sayulita – Riviera Nayarit – Mexico
Sayulita is the bicultural mecca of Riviera Nayarit. Eclectic, vibrant, and sophisticated in its own simple way, Sayulita is a mix of international surfers, expats, and tourists, mingling with locals who welcome them to share life in their jungle beach town.
Sayulita is a scene. Its kid-friendly main beach is lined with umbrellas, its swells dotted with paddle and boogie boarders who join the surfers to put on a daily show. Waiters in flip-flops hustle out cold beers and margaritas. Strolling vendors offer mangoes-on-a-stick and flowered pareos. Dogs crash into the surf after sticks; bongo players pound drums set on the sand; kids dig holes and run back and forth to fill them with sea water.
And that’s just the beach. A few blocks away, the town plaza serves as its cultural heart. It beats to the sound of the people who gather there day and night—Huicholes selling art made of beads and home-spun yarn; kids showing off their break dance moves; diners enjoying a meal in one of the many outdoor restaurants that surround this hub. At last count, forty-five boutiques and thirty-four eateries fill the narrow streets that fan out from the plaza, like spokes on a wheel.
Sayulita likes to party. The year kicks off with “Festival Sayulita.” A combination film festival (forty films in 2015), music fest (five live bands), tequila tasting, and surf competition, “Festival Sayulita” has drawn enthusiastic, record crowds each year.
March brings the Sayulita Surf Classic and long boarders and paddle boarders from around the world. Entrants from as far away as Japan and Brazil compete for top honors and in support of their main cause, which is environmental protection for the world’s oceans and ocean wildlife. (www.sayulita.com/sayulita-surf-classic.html)
Throughout the year, Sayulita’s horsewomen compete in “charrerias” (rodeo riding), just like their male counterparts. Unlike the men, the “escaramuzas,“ as the women’s teams from all around Mexico are called, sit sidesaddle in long-skirted traditional Mexican costumes, and wear only one spur. Sayulita’s team, “Las Perlas,” is beloved by the town and appears in every parade and special occasion. They also host competitions in their home ring, which draw big crowds from around the Bay of Banderas. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIVOY7ZNB_8)
The year comes to a close with the December 12 celebration in honor of Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe. Sayulita pulls out all the stops with a parade of floats and the town band playing for hours for scores of dancing horses in the plaza. A salsa dance troupe joined in one year, a zumba class the year before, for a curious mix of devotion and fun.
The annual margarita contest, the weekly Salsa Lunes and farmers’ market, the tango and qi gong classes, the massages offered on the beach—all on offer in lively Sayulita.
Foodies are happy in Sayulita. Mexican favorites, organic coffee, sushi, falafel, croissants from a French bakery, pastas and paninis and gelato handmade by Italians are all available. From seafood in elegant restaurants to tacos at street stands, Sayulita has food choices to satisfy everyone. (www.sayulitalife.com/sayulita-restaurants.htm).
The best shopping outside of Puerto Vallarta is in Sayulita. Boutiques carry high-end Mexican textiles, ceramics, and tableware as well as the colorful, less expensive “barro” pieces so loved by cooks and homemakers. One shop specializes in black pearls, another in handwoven bedding, another in stylish tees. And best of all, virtually all the shops are within a four-block radius of the central plaza, making it easy for shoppers to cover all the bases in a couple of hours. (www.sayulitalife.com/sayulitashopping.htm)
Like much of the Bay of Banderas area, Sayulita’s remoteness and thick jungle caused it to remain largely unnoticed until well into the 20th century. In 1941, the “ejido” (cooperative) of Sayulita was established when the first families arrived from the mountains of Jalisco. Roving surfers “discovered” the town in the late 1960s with the construction of Highway 200 and spread the word about its consistent river mouth surf break. Today Sayulita is a prosperous growing town of 5,000 residents.
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Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico3 Bedrooms / Sleeps 6 / From $1,800 USD / night
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Villa Punta Sayulita 2 is a 3 bedroom, 4 bath luxury rental home located about an hour’s drive north of Puerto Vallarta in the distinctive Punta Sayulita complex. From its perch within the jungle canopy, this unique vacation rental provides spectacular views of Sayulita Bay and the village beyond.
Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
5 Bedrooms / Sleeps 10 / $3,500 per night
On 85 acres of unspoiled jungle - Villa Sayulita 8 - a 25 thousand square foot estate complete with 3 suites in the main house and two separate private villas adjacent, all comfortably conditioned with zoned conditioned air, 10 private baths, satellite television and breathtaking views.
Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
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This fabulous new seven bedroom compund is made of two villas of 3 and 4 bedrooms and are a study of exquisite contrasts. At once open and cozy, private yet connected, laid back in luxury.
Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico7 bedrooms / Sleeps 14
Villa Sayulita 5 provides a total of 7 suites, each with private bath (three of which have a Jacuzzi), that combine with elegant original art-laden living spaces to create a luxurious harmony and continued delight during your stay.