Having a blast in Mexico is rather easy. A flight into Puerto Vallarta deposits you amidst a sea of fancy resorts and splashy entertainment options that will make for a memorable trip. But for a more unique experience, you should head north out of PV and make your way to the town of Sayulita.
Just an hour from Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita may as well be a thousand miles away from the din of the big resort towns. Sayulita is situated on a tiny bay on the north shores of Nayarit, a state on the central Pacific coast of Mexico. The area was not settled until the early 1940s, and even then it was comprised mainly of large communal farms and family-run fishing operations. During the 1960s, surfers discovered the area’s incredible breaks and – once a new highway was constructed – the crowds began to grow. As a matter of fact, Sayulita is widely hailed as one of the best surfing destinations in the western hemisphere and surf shops dot the landscape.
Despite its remoteness and size, Sayulita does offer plenty of things to do. The residents have really been able to maintain the rural quaintness of the area with just enough modern amenities sprinkled in make for an enjoyable time. Locals still carry on their traditional festivals and parades – especially around major religious holidays – and tourists always have a blast joining in the fiestas. There are several dozen restaurants from reasonably upscale to little shacks serving up fast, cheap grub. Tours of the dense surrounding jungles are widely available – some of them including the handful of ancient Aztec sites which have been unearthed in recent years. The biodiversity of the still-virgin jungle surrounding the palm-fronted town is astounding. A few American colleges operate research centers in the jungle here, studying Sayulita’s vast array of bird and reptile species.
Brightly colored Mexican and Aztec-influenced architecture dominates the town. Color is everywhere as the tropical environment promotes the growth of spectacular flowers that seem to hang from every window and adorn every flat surface possible.
Sayulita is not exactly a backwater location, however. Recent years have seen the rise of a couple luxury resorts, and the entire Riviera Nayarit region is now popular as a retirement or second home location for Americans and especially Canadians. During the winter months, the breaking surf is more appealing and the beaches can become somewhat crowded. But again, Sayulita clings hard to its rural culture, and it is easy to find in this charming village.
Cat Morgan is a New Energy Healer and is now living on the Riviera Nayarit, in Lo De Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico.
As 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day for the next few years, thoughts of retiring to a simpler, cheaper way of living come to mind. One of the great places to retire is Mexico and there are several towns along the Riviera Nayarit along the Pacific Coast of central Mexico that offer whatever it is you are looking for.
Sayulita Mexico is a great little hippie town just an hour north of Puerto Vallarta that has great surfing.