Great waves for surfing, delicious tacos and a chilled out vibe—that’s about all we need for us to be happy beach bums. Make it an inexpensive flight to Puerto Vallarta airport to get there and throw in refreshing margaritas and we’re ready to book that vacay faster than you can say carnitas. Which is why when booking.com’s Passion Search suggested the casual town of Sayulita for a quick surf getaway, our vacay plans came together easily. Got a long weekend to spend in this town that’s less than an hour from Puerto Vallarta? Here’s how to kick back over three days.
Where to stay
One short block from the beach is vibrant Hotel Diamante, where you’ve got a sweet pool in the courtyard and A/C to keep you cool on those hot Mexican nights. Prefer digs with your own kitchenette (a fridge to keep some cervezas cold is handy, after all)? Just a short walk away is Hotel Y Suites Los Encantos, where the suites are updated and you can grab a beer to enjoy on your balcony or by the illuminated saltwater pool after dark.
Where to eat
If your trip is not complete without filling your belly with plenty of fish tacos–you’ll have to refuel after surfing, after all–head to The Real Fish Taco for crispy fish tacos that are loaded with fresh ingredients (tip: one local suggests going earlier in the day wherever you eat so you’re getting the catch of the day at its freshest). If you’re in the mood for steak, the meatiest, juiciest (and tastiest) tacos when it comes to beef are to be scored at El Itacate. Besides, a seat at one of the streetside tables makes for great people watching.
Where to work out
At the main beach, you’ll be able to easily spot where the beginners are being taught to surf, and where the more advanced surfers are catching waves. If you’re new to surfing, book a lesson with Lunazul (they’ll only take you out if the tide is cooperative). If you’re good to go on your own, they rent boards, too (N.B. There are some rocks on the ocean floor to watch out for). If trading in your surfboard for a stand-up paddleboard is your M.O., rent a board from Stand Up Sayulita and paddle the challenging waves for a good core workout.
Where to shop
Splurge on a yarn-painted cow skull (or just get a print of one) and pick up a trinket such as a pretty headed necklace for your GF back home at Evoke the Spirit, a lovely boutique focused on the works of local and Oaxacan artists. For colourful Huichol pompons and figurines, support Sayulita locals with stalls on the streets of the town.
Where to sightsee
While a cemetery might not typically make it onto your itinerary, the colourful tombstones and art in the one near Playa de Los Muertos makes this resting place one that seems more of a celebration of life than your typical resting place. Besides, it’s en route to this lovely, more secluded beach, where you can score some shade (a scarce commodity on the main beach) underneath palm trees.