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Surfing in Sayulita is one of the best experiences a traveler can have in Mexico. Nayarit has some of the best surf breaks that are perfect for all levels, and you can choose from many surfing spots in the area starting with Sayulita and going up the coast of Nayarit or south toward Punta Mita or Puerto Vallarta.
You can find over 15 surf breaks near Sayulita that are perfect for all levels, whether you are a surfing pro or just a newbie trying to get better.
Where is Sayulita?
Sayulita is a small town in Rivera Nayarit, a stretch of the coast from Puerto Vallarta up the coast of Nayarit State. Once a quiet fishing village, Sayulita has become one of the most popular towns along Mexico’s Pacific Coast. It only takes one hour to reach Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta via Highway 200 and you can enjoy one of the best beaches in Mexico and a calm surf break.
Where to surf in Sayulita?
Sayulita has two main surfing areas. One is a right (longboard) break along the main beach and another one is a left break (which is faster) in front of the campground.
Surfing spots in Sayulita: an overview:
Sandbar is the most famous break in Sayulita which has made it one of the top destinations for surfing in Mexico. The calm waves and protection from the ocean make it a perfect spot for beginners. The waves here are consistent with good intervals.
If you want to surf Sayulita’s Sandbar, be ready to share it with dozens of other surfers – that’s where most surfing schools bring their students. Your best bet is to arrive early.
Sayulita Right (S Right)
Perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers, S Right has consistent, stomach-to-chest waves. This area is popular for longboards and breaks on the main beach over the rocky bottom with some reefs.
Similar to Sandbar, Sayulita Right gets pretty busy, so keep it in mind when planning your surfing session.
Sayulita Left (S Left)
Sayulita Left is located northeast of the beach. It’s a fun quick and fun wave that ends near the northern stretch of Sayulita.
Can beginners surf in Sayulita?
Sayulita’s main beach is the perfect place for newbie surfers and thanks to its gentle sand bar. More experienced surfers usually go to left and right point breaks.
Is Sayulita a good place to learn to surf?
Sayulita is one of the best surfing places in Mexico to learn surfing. It has mellow waves that are consistent enough on both right and left surf breaks. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or pro, you will love the Sayulita surf.
What is the best time of day to surf in Sayulita Mexico?
The best time for surfing in Sayulita is low to mid-tide when the conditions for catching the wave are optimal.
Best surfing schools in Sayulita
Sayulita has dozens of surfing schools offering different packages for all skills and levels. Some of the most established surfing schools in Sayulita like Lunazul and Sayulita Surf School have been in business for many years, and have tightly-knit groups of instructors, while others have opened just recently.
Here are some of the most popular surfing schools in Sayulita, according to customers’ reviews:
- Surf’n Sayulita – A popular surfing school in Sayulita, Surf’n Sayulita offers private and group lessons as well as daily outings to some of the most popular surfing spots in Nayarit. The school charges 1,350 Pesos for a private lesson and 1,050 Pesos for a group lesson.
- Marea Surf School – Area boasts a good selection of packages and trips to surfing areas around Nayarit. The school specializes in customized group retreats in Sayulita and has camps available in English, French, and Spanish. You can book a 3, 5, or 7-day surfing package, or start with one lesson and upgrade later.
A two-hour lesson includes a surfboard, professional on-land instruction, and a 2-hour surf lesson. One person $65,2 people – 55 USD per person, 3+ people – 50 USD per person
- Lunazul Surf School & Shop – Located on the main beach in Sayulita, Lunazul is considered one of the best surfing schools in Sayulita. It offers surf lessons in Sayulita and organizes trips to some of the best surfing spots near Sayulita like La Lancha and Punta de Mita. They also offer surfboards, paddleboards, and boogie boards for rent.
- WildMex Surf School & Adventure Center – WildMex is a one-stop shop for all things surfing in Sayulita. They offer trips to some of the best surfing places in Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta and have rentals like surfboards, paddleboards, and mountain bikes. They have surf camps, hiking trips, and outings to Islas Marietas, one of the best day trips from Puerto Vallarta.
Book your surfing lesson in Sayulita
Best Surfing spots near Sayulita
Litibu is a small beach town located about 25 minutes south of Sayulita, Litibu is a popular surfing area that’s used primarily by surfing newbies who want to try a new spot after surfing in Sayulita. I loved Litibu because of the beach, there is long and wide and the town is not as crowded as Sayulita.
If you want to surf in Litibu, remember that it’s pretty exposed and tends to close out when there’s a swell.
The Bahia Cove (also known as the Cove) faces the ocean and has extra exposure, which means it’s best to surf here early morning and on a day without much wind. This reef break has mostly right-handers and shorter lefts occasionally, which means it’s better for short boards.
This wave works on any tide, however, it’s said to offer the best conditions early in the morning.
The Cove is a popular place for more experienced surfers. You will need to boat ride to get to the swell which you can catch from one of the local fishermen in Punta Mita.
Stinky is one of the most popular breaks near Sayulita. Both beginner and experienced surfers can enjoy the waves here. Low tide has the best conditions, but you should always be aware of the rocks and reefs below you.
La Mancha is considered one of the best surfing spots in Punta Mita on the northern side of the Bahia de Banderas.
Many surfing schools in Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta bring their students to La Lancha. Not only the beach is gorgeous here, but it also has two consistent breaks – one is a faster A-frame suitable for intermediate surfers, and an easier right-hand break perfect for beginners.
San Pancho is a hidden gem north of Sayulita that makes for a perfect day trip. It doesn’t feel as touristy as Sayulita and has more authenticity than Sayulita thanks to its quiet atmosphere, small beachside bars, and uncrowded beach where you can spend a lazy afternoon.
San Pancho is not a popular place for new surfers because of the heavy swell. Perfect for short-boarders, this is a challenging break that tends to have close-outs, so you need to be particularly good at paddling on take-off.
Burros is a popular surfing spot near Sayulita that can be reached by boat or by car. This break attracts mostly intermediate and advanced surfers thanks to its consistent break.
Burros works for long boarders, and short boarders and performs best on the south or southwest swells.
How to get to the best surfing spots in Sayulita?
To reach some of the best surfing spots near Sayulita, you will need to rent a car or join an organized tour with one of the surfing schools in Sayulita.
Although taking a tour is an option if you are a newbie, you will likely want more freedom if you are an experienced surfer.
Renting a car in Puerto Vallarta
If you are serious about exploring some of the best surfing spots near Sayulita, you need to rent a car. I recommend doing it as soon as you arrive in Puerto Vallarta because it’s the largest city in the region that has the most options.
My favorite car rental platform is DiscoverCars. It has dozens upon dozens of available vehicles and is perfect if you want to have some variety to choose from. They also offer Mexican car insurance that’s required for driving a car in the country.
All you need to do is select your travel dates, choose the vehicle you like, and arrive at the car rental office to pick it up.
CLICK HERE TO RENT A CAR IN PUERTO VALLARTA
Best surfing seasons in Sayulita
If you are serious about learning how to surf, something you need to know about is the surfing seasons in Sayulita. Although there’s no bad time to surf in Sayulita, different times of the year have varying conditions.
Like the rest of the Pacific Coastline in Mexico, Sayulita has dry and rainy seasons with specific weather patterns, and it’s important to know about them before planning your trip.
Dry season (November through April)
November through April is the dry season in Sayulita with minimal rain and plenty of sunshine. While the weather is great, it’s the busiest time in Sayulita with many people coming to enjoy the perfect climate and escape cold weather elsewhere.
In winter, Sayulita tends to have north swells with consistent waves that peak at the head height, perfect for beginner surfers. For the best experience, begin your surfing sessions early morning to avoid the offshores.
It’s also a good idea to wear a rash guard and surf booties if you are around the reef.
Wet season (April through September)
June through September is the rainy season in Sayulita. Summer brings the hurricane season which affects the swell coupled with the hurricane conditions which sometimes create double and triple overheads.
It’s a perfect time for experienced surfers but could be challenging if you are new to the game. You can still catch a manageable wave along the main beach in Sayulita.
What is the best time for surfing in Sayulita?
August and September see the most rain, which tends to fall in the afternoon, and humidity is typically high. If you want better weather, I recommend visiting Sayulita in November – the shoulder season. It’s a great time to enjoy mild temperatures, and plenty of sun and avoid the high-season crowds.
Best restaurants in Sayulita
After spending a few hours surfing in Sayulita, it’s time to recharge your batteries! There are many great restaurants in Sayulita where you can grab a delicious meal, and some juice or a yummy smoothie before heading back into the water.
- La Rustica – A popular pizza restaurant in Sayulita, La Rustica has a great atmosphere and mouth-watering pizza! Aside from their staples, they also offer appetizers like calamari and chilaquiles.
- El Itacate – El Itacate is one of the most popular restausrants in Sayulita near the main square. It boasts many options, including a vegan section with vegetarian tacos and burritos.
- Yeikame – Yeikame offers some of the best Mexican food in Sayulita with plenty of options like fajitas, huevos rancheros, and flavorful quesadillas. Don’t forget to try their Chile Relleno and Pineapple Agua Fresca. I highly recommend Sopa Azteca, one of the best traditional Mexican soups you will ever try!
- Flores & Colores – One of the best vegan restaurants in Sayulita, Flores, and Colores has smoothies, acai bowls, waffles, and delicious vegan sandwiches, vegan desserts like vegan cheesecake.
How to get to Sayulita?
Most travelers arrive in Sayulita via Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR), the transportation hub in the region that has domestic flights from Mexico, as well as flights from the United States and Canada.
Once you arrive in Puerto Vallarta, you will need to decide how you will get to Sayulita. Check my complete guide on how to get from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita to help you plan your trip.
Getting to Sayulita by bus
The cheapest way to get from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita is by bus. You can catch it outside the Puerto Vallarta Airport for $2, which has to be paid in cash.
To catch the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita, you need to walk across the footbridge outside the Puerto Vallarta Airport and find the bus stop. Buses to Sayulita often have the big letters “Compostela” or “Sayulita” on the windshield.
Getting to Sayulita by car
Renting a car in Puerto Vallarta is the best option if you are serious about exploring some of the best surfing spots near Sayulita. When you have a car rental, you don’t have to rely on public transportation and can explore some of the best surfing beaches in places like Litibu or Punta Mita.
Check my complete guide to renting a car in Puerto Vallarta
I recommend DiscoverCars, my favorite platform for renting cars in Mexico and other countries with flexible rates and many options. All you need to do is type in your travel dates and choose the vehicle you need.
CLICK HERE TO RENT A CAR IN PUERTO VALLARTA
Driving from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita
Take the highway toward Bucerias, a town in Nayarit about 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, where you can find many supermarkets and convenience stores. Continue north toward Sayulita and follow the signs.
Getting to Sayulita by private transportation
If time is short and you care about convenience, hire a private transfer from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita. A private transfer can pick you up at the airport and drop you off at your hotel in Sayulita. It’s a good option if your Spanish skills are limited and you don’t want to use a public bus or haggle over the price.
Taking Uber from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita
You can catch an Uber at Puerto Vallarta’s Airport, but since Uber is not allowed to pick you up at the airport, you will need to cross the footbridge that connects the airport with a bus station across and look for an Uber stop.
How much is Uber from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita?
Uber in Mexico is cheaper than in the United States and Europe, and you will spend between $25 to 40 USD to get from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita. The downside of taking Uber is that you will have to carry all your luggage across the bridge, which is not very convent, so it’s better to pack light.
Best hotels in Sayulita
Looking for the best place to stay in Sayulita for surfing? The town has a good variety of hotels, from simple hostels to luxurious beachfront stays. If you coming to town to enjoy Sayulita surfing, book your stay in one of the hotels close to the beach like Siete Lunas.
This way, you will be close to most surfing schools in Sayulita and within walking distance from Sayulita beach. I’ve stayed in Sayulita several times, and know the best hotels in town within walking distance from the beach in Sayulita.
Here are some of the best hotels in Sayulita with beach views:
- Selina Sayulita – one of the most popular Sayulita hotels for digital nomads and budget travelers, Selina is in the middle of town, with daily events and cozy accommodations with private thread rooms.
- Hotel Vista Oceana – A beachfront stay with a spacious rooftop, Vista Oceana is one of the best hotels in Sayulita that has a combination of good prices and amenities
- Hotel Ysuri – one of the best Sayulita hotels along the beach with spectacular views that has a restaurant, bar, free private parking, and an outdoor swimming pool.
Check my complete guide to the best hotels in Sayulita
Surfing in Sayulita: FAQ
How much do I need to pay for a surfing lesson in Sayulita?
Most surfing schools in Sayulita charge between $50 and 70 USD for a lesson. Expect to pay an average of $20 to rent a surfboard or paddleboard.
Is Sayulita a surf town?
Sayulita is a former fishing village that became one of the most popular places for surfing in Mexico over the last decade.
Is Sayulita like Tulum?
While Sayulita is often compared to Tulum, the two towns are quite different. Tulum is located in Mexico’s Caribbean and is known for its white-sand beaches, Mayan ruins, and jungles, while Sayulita is part of the Riviera Nayarit along the Pacific Coast and is surrounded by mountains and lush hills that are perfect for hiking.
Do I need a wetsuit in Sayulita?
If you are in Sayulita from December through March, put on a 1-12 millimeter rash guard. The weather in Sayulita is sunny most of the year, and the water is warm, so you don’t need a wetsuit.
Is it safe to surf in Sayulita?
Sayulita is one of the safest places surfing places in Mexico. Whether traveling alone, with your friends, or with family, you will love the consistent and gentle waves in Sayulita that are perfect for all levels.
Whether you are an experienced surfer or just want to learn surfing, I suggest buying a travel insurance that will protect you in the event of accidents and injuries and cover your hospital visits, if something goes wrong.
Safety Wing insurance is the most popular choice among travelers that protects you in case you get sick, lose your luggage or your flight gets canceled. It’s perfect for long-term travelers too.
Where is the best surfing in Mexico?
Mexico’s Pacific Coast has many great surfing places where you can catch the wave.
Here are some of the best surfing spots in Mexico:
- Rosarito, Baja California
- Ensenada, Baja California
- Todos Santos, Baja California
- Mazatlán, Sinaloa
- Pascuales, Colima
- La Ticla, Michoacan
- Troncones, Guerrero
- Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
Is Sayulita good for surfing?
Sayulita is one of the best surfing spots in Mexico thanks to its calm break. There are also many great surfing spots near Sayulita like Punta Mita, Litibu and San Pancho that have good surfing spots for all levels.
Surfing in Sayulita: the final word
Learning how to surf was one of the highlights of my stay in Sayulita. I loved taking classes, getting to know fellow students, and catching the waves with a spectacular view of the Sayulita beach. I hope this article gave you a good picture of what surfing in Sayulita is like, and you can now book your surfing lesson and enjoy this popular sport.
More resources for planning your trip to Sayulita Mexico
- Agoda.com – a great website for budget hotels in Sayulita and other parts of Mexico.
- WorldNomads – Great service for insurance coverage that will keep you safe on the road.
- Safety Wing – Excellent insurance plan for long-term travelers that offers competitive rates is you are planning to stay on the road several weeks in a row.
- iVisa – the best website for getting help with your Mexico visa.
- DiscoverCars – There’s nothing like exploring Sayulita and surrounding areas at your own pace. Consider renting a car at Discover Cars if you want more freedom exploring the Pacific Coast of Mexic
- GetYourGuide.com – This is one of the best platforms for finding best tours in Sayulita. Get Your Guide is my favorite platform that offers awesome tours and top-notch guides in many destinations in Mexico.
- CheapoAir.com – One of the best platforms for saving money on flights within Mexico and beyond.
- Booking.com – a popular website with tons and tons of options for accommodations of all sorts.