Discovering the hidden beach: Sayulita

It’s always so much fun to go on a less trodden path!

Exactly a year ago, I went on a trip to Sayulita with Miguel during Mexico’s Independence Day. Sayulita is the first beach town I visited in my exchange year, I still remember so clearly about everything of this trip!

Sayulita is a pretty popular destination for people living in Guadalajara, it’s one of the closest beach to Guadalajara, you will reach this town around 4 hours of driving. About the transportation, there’s this one important thing that I want to point to out: Pick an early time to go back to Guadalajara (or around), it will be best to leave Sayulita before noon, DO NOT wait until the evening. That way you will be able to avoid the horrible traffic. Since there’s only one route between Sayulita and Guadalajara, the traffic jam will be unbelievably crazy when everyone’s leaving (usually starting from the afternoon). Trust me, I learned this in a very hard way. Poor Miguel drove 8 hours to get both of us back to Guadalajara…we left in the evening and having no idea that the traffic would be this bad. So take my advice, leave early on your return!

What I like about Sayulita is that it doesn’t have fancy and luxurious clubs, bars, hotels etc. The road isn’t even that well paved, everything is pretty simple, natural, and a bit hippie. So if you’re looking for spending time in high end, all inclusive hotels, Sayulita is probably not for you. But I do love strolling around the streets checking cute and small shops, going to bars wearing just tank tops and bikinis, and eating street food. Overall, it’s just a very relaxing place, you don’t need to worry about having to look good to go out.

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Food and drinks are really good in Sayulita! I feel like a lot of beach towns serve expensive and only have tourist menus, but in Sayulita, definitely take some time to explore some food stands or small cantinas, Miguel and I randomly chose some places to eat and they all did a pretty good job with the food and drinks! The agua fresca de hierbabuena here is the best agua fresca I’ve ever had in that one year.

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The beaches in Sayulita aren’t the most beautiful in Mexico, but I did find out that there’s a great beach lying in a kind of secret place where you don’t run into many people. When Miguel and I arrived, we were the only people there.

I wouldn’t say that it’s a secret place, since it actually has a name: Playa Las Cuevas. And when we left the beach we saw there was a camping group sort of people at the far away end, so it’s not a completely new discovery, but it does offer you peace and quiet, to get away from the hustle and bustle and the crowd for a while. Here, there won’t be restaurants playing music or vendors constantly passing by asking you if you want to buy sunglasses, just the sandy beach and the ocean, which I absolutely love.

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How to reach this Playa Las Cuevas? What we did was taking a good long walk along beach, starting from the main beach of Sayulita, going all the way towards the North (towards the direction to San Pancho). When you pass by a small creek coming from the inland, you know you’re getting close to the “entrance”. Keep walking until you see a jungle appears on your right hand side, this is when you start changing your way along the beach to the jungle. Once you see a house covered with graffiti, you know you’re on the right track. Later on you will see a pebble road, it does look like a road to follow, but you will have to ignore it and keep going, and whenever you see the path that leads to 2 different directions, always take the left. And finally, you will arrive this beautiful Playa Las Cuevas.

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In total, it took us around 50 minutes to reach this beach, and we literally walked in small rivers and stepped on muddy roads but it was so much fun! I always love exploring and discovering places that are less known.

Another spot that we went is Isla Marietas. We didn’t go to the famous Playa Escondida (the beach in a rock dome) because of the tide was too high. But to be honest it was totally fine, the islands around are just as beautiful. We also did kayaking, stand up paddleboard, and snorkeling, which was really interesting, too!

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Sayulita is my start of trying to explore as many beaches in Mexico, and I’d say that it was a pretty good start!

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