First, let me say that we love Puerto Vallarta. Our bigger, noisier, flashier neighbor to the south is a vacation destination with plenty of thrills and big time fun and endless sunshine for anyone and everyone who goes there.
We just happen to love Sayulita more.
But we believe, as is obvious from our home page, that Sayulita is Not For Everyone. Is Sayulita for you? Or is Puerto Vallarta your stronger suit? Or does some combination of the two sound more inviting? What to do! Once you’ve decided on this particular patch of Mexican real estate—Jalisco and Nayarit– as your vacation destination, you’ve got to decide which way you want to go.
To clarify matters, we have divided potential vacationers into four categories here:
1) Those who should stay in Sayulita for their entire vacation, be it a few days or a few weeks or something in between
2) Those who should be in Puerto Vallarta the whole time they are here
3) Those who should be in Sayulita most of the time but would enjoy a few days in Puerto Vallarta as well
4) Those who should be in Puerto Vallarta most of the time but would like to spend a little time in Sayulita
Which category do you fall into?
Well, if you like all-inclusive resorts offering bottomless troughs of food and endless vats of alcoholic beverages; chilling under a beach umbrella and not moving except to fall in the pool and cool off every hour or so; the drone of passing motorboats, jet skis, airplanes, and parasail boats; big noisy discos with plenty of late night thrills; American-priced gourmet restaurants; sunset booze cruises; and plenty of like-minded, party-minded, beach blanket bingo-minded people, Puerto Vallarta is the place for you. If you like to stay up late and cruise the bars, Puerto Vallarta is the place for you. If you want an American-style shopping mall experience while in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is for you. Big, shiny, tropical Puerto Vallarta can be fun city. Stroll the Malecon at sunset, and you’ll see a happy city. Stroll it later, and you’ll find a party.
Which category do you fall into?
So if you like all of the above, and then some, stick to Vallarta and have yourself a wild time, or do nothing but lie by the pool, cool pink drink in hand, and enjoy the sunshine and the afternoon of scheduled events, including bingo. Just don’t get sunburned, it’ll ruin your week and cramp your style on the disco floor.
On the other hand, if this citified and possibly over-organized vacation business starts to wear you out, consider taking a few days off, as it were. Get on the bus, or in the rental car, and meander north on the main highway, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself climbing up into a small mountain range, and then down the other side, where a left turn at a gas station with a Subway restaurant will take you on the road to Sayulita.
Laid-back Bohemian style
Here you’ll find a small town, but a busy scene: colorful, welcoming, and coolly hip, Sayulita radiates laid-back Bohemian style without being in the least intimidating. Surfers and hippies mingle with families on vacation, and everybody appears to be glad to see each other. A sax players blows jazz standards, a mariachi band blows mariachi standards. Great stores sell strange, entertaining, and offbeat stuff, some of it traditional Mexican, some of it from elsewhere in the universe, most of it unusual. You’ll find great food here, if not quite the range of choices available in Vallarta. You’ll find surf, and surfers all over it.
You, too, can ride waves, which are few and far between deep in Bahia Banderas, where lies Puerto Vallarta. You won’t find jet skis, parasails, or discos in Sayulita, although a few of the bars have dance floors that get pretty busy late at night. You will find peace if you want it, for there are plenty of quiet corners and deserted beaches around here; on the other hand, the main town beach is a great party all day long, every day, and you can sit there and watch the surf show, and the bird show, and the cloud show, and know that life is good.
Plenty to do here
So spend a few days there and then a few days here, if you want a real adventure while you visit Vallarta.
Or spend your time here, and forget Vallarta. You’ve got plenty to do here, and you won’t hear airplanes or motorboats or jet skis. The town beach gets crowded, but within ten or twenty minutes’ walk you’ll find empty stretches of virgin sand. You can stay in town and party if you want; or sit in the plaza and watch the populace, local and visitor alike, stroll past, welcoming, kind, and sweet, kids running free, everybody watching out for everybody else. The place gets a little wilder late, but in the early evening, Sayulita’s plaza is a sanctuary, a taste of grace, a soulful place. Buy a slice of cake or flan from the cake lady selling off the back of her truck, or an ice cream from one of the stands, sit down, and enjoy the sweet, gentle parade of Sayulita.
Peaceful little pueblo
Feeling stuck here after a few days? Get on the bus and go…to Puerto Vallarta. Go to Old Town and look at some art and hit the gay bars late. There’s no doubt it’s a sexy scene. Go to El Centro, downtown Puerto Vallarta, and troll the big city bars. Stroll the Malecon by day and see how well life can be lived in Mexico, if you give it time. Come back at night and find half a dozen smoking hot discos.
Vallarta’s a great place to visit, especially if you can come back at the end of the day to Sayulita, our peaceful–if at times rocking and rowdy—little pueblo.
We love Puerto Vallarta, but we prefer Sayulita. This is where we live and work and wait for our guests to arrive. Whatever you choose, if you come here from the US or Canada or even Europe or Asia, you’ll be happy to soak up some sunshine for a week or two. We hope to see you here in Sayulita.