Sayulita, Nayarit: Mexican Surf Mecca

Longboarding Sayulita

Sayulita is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people in this part of Mexico hear the word surf. This stretch of the Riviera Nayarit has become a favorite vacation destination for Tapatios and international travelers alike. Nayarit is a warm water tropical paradise and Sayulita is the cultural center. It is an international community that loves Mexico and loves to surf. It is a destination for artists, musicians, chefs and creative folks from all over Mexico.  

Downtown Sayulita
Downtown Sayulita

Sayulita used to be a small fishing village situated in front of a decent wave. Nowadays it is an international community with home prices that are denominated in dollars. There is a thriving restaurant and bar scene, plenty of surf shops for ding repair, lessons and rentals; and you can surf out front. The surf gets crowded with beginners taking lessons and is more often than not a longboard wave. There are plenty of local rippers who will be showing you how it’s done on a shortboard, but if you are interested in upping your wave count I would recommend a longboard.

Sayulita Longboard surf

What sets Sayulita apart from the rest of the Nayarit surf scene is the town. There is a diverse and international aura that is woven into, some might say on top of, your traditional Mexican beach town. Lots of people who love Mexico have moved here and blended their own culture to the cultures found throughout Mexico. There is live music to be found every night of the week. The wine shop is run by a couple from Los Angeles and has a better selection of wine than I can find in Guadalajara; and they offer classes on mezcal, tequila and Mexican wines. As you walk around the main plaza you notice that restaurants have placed tables in the streets and there is a feeling of European bistros with a distinctly Mexican touch.

There are all sorts of lodging options from beachfront campsites and hostels to boutique resorts and villas. I really liked the Airbnb options and thought that Casa Cereza was a particularly good deal.

Sayulita is not the end of the story. You probably wouldn’t fly to Mexico to surf only one wave when there are so many options close by. Renting a car will give you access to a plethora of great surf spots nearby. Some of the best spots may require an additional boat ride.

Sayulita Beach, Nayarit
Sayulita Beach, Nayarit, Mexico


  1. Ken Hudson
    September 10, 2018 / 2:35 am

    Great post Paul!!!! Sounds like my kind of place!!!!

    • Paul Hudson
      September 10, 2018 / 4:45 am

      Nico wants to take you to the beach! Grandpa needs to teach him how to surf!

  2. Mayra White
    February 2, 2019 / 11:53 pm

    What would be your most recommended lodging in Nayarit? I will be visiting cousins in Guadalajara in May and would like to entice them to take a jaunt there with me. Ideally a place I would love to stay would include great views, possibly a swim up pool and just an overall relaxing place to spend a couple of nights. Coming from Los Angeles 🙂

    • Paul Hudson
      February 3, 2019 / 8:43 pm

      Tough call. Chacala is the closest beach when coming from Guadalajara. There is an awesome place called Mare de Jade. If want to make it all the way to Sayulita, I really like Casa Cereza. Its an affordable and super clean Airbnb about a 5 min walk from the main plaza. And if you want to spend some money, The Grand Palladium in Punta Mita is awesome. There is a great surf spot right in front and the beach club has plenty of boards. So many great options! Have fun!!

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