Sayulita is best know for its main beach which made the town famous with its surf-able waves, friendly fishing guides and many great beach bars. If you like people watching and sipping mango margaritas, or if you want to learn to surf then this beach may be your favorite…
Playa Sayulita is the town’s jewel, you’ll always find tourists and locals enjoying their days seaside. The perfect place to scarf some local cuisine and watch the surfers in the warm waves, both beginners and pro surfers from Sayulita share the line up.
While no visit to Sayulita would be complete without a visit to the main beach, there are more walkable beaches in or near town and many more a short drive away. If you like an adventure and want to get away from the crowds, check out this guide to some of these harder to find beaches. It may take a little extra work, but the reward is well worth it!
First on my list is Playa Malpaso. The name translates to ‘misstep beach’ in English; this is probably because when you finally get there it feels like something you’ve accidentaly stumbled upon.
Playa Malpaso is one of my favorite beaches in the whole world! Getting there requires a little hike through the jungle, so you have to be up for an adventure! It’s worth it, the beach is usually deserted! However as Sayulita grows more people have discovered this paradise. Malposo used to be known as the place to go nude & get rid of those tan lines, so don’t be surprised if you see topless beachgoers. I wouldn’t recommend swimming here on days the waves are big, the undertow is very strong, conditions change quickly, and the beach is far from help.
How to get there:
First head to the north end of Av. del Palmar. If you have a vehicle or golf cart it’s easiest to drive and park. Once you reach the dead end you will see clearly where the trail starts. Follow this trail for about twenty minutes. You’ll run into another small rocky beach on the way and you’ll know you’re on the right track. If it’s low ti
de you can walk through the cave from this beach to Malpaso. At all other times continue on the same trail and you’ll find the remains of an old house and stairs that lead down to the beach. There is no shade so don’t forget an umbrella for this beach!
Playa Carricitos is a local favorite! Here you’ll find space away from the noise of town, but it’s still easy enough to get to. You won’t be hassled by vendors here since it is mostly a local’s beach; it’s a great place to truly disconnect or host a bonfire with friends.
How to Get There:At the south end of Calle Ninos Heroes the road heads into the jungle, this is easiest done in a golf cart but it’s definitely walkable! When you reach the first T go to the left (the right is another way to get to playa de los muertos.) Keep walking you’ll hit two more T’s, go right at both of them. Then you seem to be at the end of the road, look to the left and there is a steep cement road, go up it. At the top of the hill there will be a sign pointing to the left and you’ll know you’re going the right way. From there you’ll see a cement wall with an obvious opening and signs for beach access. Good luck!
Playa de Los Muertos is a small beach just a hop and a skip from Sayulita’s main beach. The reason for the namesake is the beautiful graveyard that you’ll walk through to reach the beach. If you’ve never been to Mexico before you’ll see that the culture has a different view of death than you may have. Graveyards in Mexico are colorful and still feel full of life, a place to remember, not mourn. Please be respectful while taking the path to playa de los muertos. This beach is very popular because it’s a calm area to swim, it can be very crowded with tourists and vendors, so keep that in mind.
Beaches a Short Drive Away…
Punta NegraPunta negra is on the way from Sayulita to Punta de Mita off of highway 200. After you pass the Litibu resort the highway will become two lanes, take the first dirt road on your right. The dirt road leads to a residential area, but if you go left and continue to the last house you’ll find a place to park. This beach is usually very quiet and peaceful, very few people, and you’ll find some caves if you explore the area.
La Lancha Surf Beach
Just down the road from Punta Negra you’ll find this not-so-hidden gem. If you’re traveling to the area to surf, this is the best place around to do it. La Lancha is known for its consistently good surf break and brings visitors from all over the globe. There’s a surf shop across the highway where you can park and rent a board. The beach is about a 5-10 minute walk down a beautiful well-beaten jungle trail. There are two trails now, one on each side of the river, a resort has attempted to close the trail closest to the surf break. The trail is still open as of now (disregard signs, the beach is public). This is my personal favorite beach to bring a cooler of cervezas and spend the day with friends. There’s plenty of beach to wander, the water is crystal clear, the vibe is always relaxed, and let’s not forget the hot surfers.