The Ultimate Guide To Sayulita Surf - Green Iguana Surf Camp

The Ultimate Guide To Sayulita Surf

Sayulita is a picturesque fishing village in Mexico. The gorgeous beaches, fantastic restaurants, and tasty food are just a few things you are sure to like about this patch of heaven. But, by far the best selling point of Sayulita is surfing.

This area is one of the best scenes on the Riviera Nayarit. This area is well known for the delicious tacos, stunning beaches, great waves and of course the relaxed attitude of the local people. 

As with anywhere, there are pros and cons to visiting any popular tourist destination, and Sayulita is no different. For example, on the good side, this part of Mexico is known for its surfing and the laid-back vibes of the locals.

The Surfing tuition is very affordable, and the weather is almost always incredible. The water is almost always a comforting and warm temperature, so you can almost always enjoy the waves, beaches, or just walk around.

On the negative side of things, the queues are getting worse year by year as the popularity of this location explodes.

Because of this coveted holiday destination, the hotels are pretty expensive and of course, there can be big events that occur when it is the holiday period. This further amps up how busy Sayulita can get. 

There are so many reasons to visit this wonderful part of Mexico, but before we get into surfing and other fun activities,  we need to learn a bit more about this holiday destination. So, without further ado, let us truly begin delving into the wonders of Sayulita. 

Where Is Sayulita?

Sayulita is a small fishing village in Mexico. It is not far away from the bustling coastal city of Puerto Vallarta. Once the fantastic breaks and white sandy beaches were discovered, this little fishing village exploded with tourists, and it is now bustling with life.

There are now thousands of tourists that travel down the 200 Highway heading north. Sayulita is one of the first places you will come across within the Riviera Nayarit.

In fact, if you want to stay in the famous city of Puerto Vallarta, there are buses you can take to get to Sayulita. Best of all they will only take you around an hour to reach your destination, all in all, quite an easy trek.

If you have travelled to inland Mexico, you can take a five-hour bus journey from Guadalajara. 

Sayulita is a great location you can visit for surfing and just to enjoy the culture of Mexico. Best of all, it is really accessible, and you can get there from the larger cities.

So, you can have the best of the bustling city life and the wonderful rural village of Sayulita. One bus trip or a short drive, and you can travel back and forth with ease. Or grab a hotel in Sayulita and enjoy your vacation. 

Sayulita Mexico’s Hidden Gem

If you had to describe Sayulita in one word, I would certainly use ‘Charming’ the little village and beautiful scenery all lend themselves to making Sayulita a charming getaway. The central plazas cacti, the sombreros in tequila bars, the beer holes, and coffee shops along stone cobbled roads are just a few things that really make this an incredible location.

On top of that, with all the high-end hotels and surf hostels, you are sure to find something that will suit your needs and your budget. Sayulita is quite literally the epitome of what you imagine a holiday in Mexico would be like. 

But, the real pull for this amazing little corner of the world is surfing, and that is what you are here for. In Sayulita there are over 15 surf breaks in the near vicinity, so you will have loads of options to pick from. The reason for this is the perfect placement of the town, Sayulita is located in a region of Mexico known as the Riviera Nayarit.

This in essence is a long stretch of beach that runs north from a place known as Puerto Vallarta. This long stretch of shore is strewn with beaches, reefs, and point breaks.

There are many areas you can surf, some are excellent for beginners to learn the ropes, and there are of course areas for more experienced surfers to enjoy. 

Sayulita is one of the most well-known areas for surfing in the Riviera, this is contributed to the selection of breaks that are just a stone’s throw from town. While the waves are not the most amazing in the world, what makes Sayulita so special is the variety of styles you can ride.

This means that you can begin with mellow beach breaks and graduate to left-right reefs, and you will just have a short distance to travel. It’s the options you have that make this such a special place for surfers, beginners and experienced alike. 

If you feel like travelling further away from Sayulita there are tons of tours you can take. Perhaps you might head down to Punta Mita Surf Spots where you can enjoy riding some A-frame wedges at your leisure. If you are feeling adventurous, you might enjoy a trip to San Pancho where you can enjoy some challenging and fast rides. 

There are so many options to choose from that you sure will not get bored if you visit Sayulita. So, if you want to enjoy a holiday, catch some great waves and enjoy the charming Mexican culture, this is a fantastic palace for you to check out. 

What Should I Bring?

If you are going to Sayulita you might be wondering what you would like to bring on this trip. What kind of surf gear and any other little things you might need. We have curated a shortlist of the must-haves: 

  • Surf Board
  • Wetsuit or a Short-Sleeved Rashguard
  • Sunscreen
  • Surfboard Bag

You will of course require the other essentials, but it will be a great help to yourself if you brought these items with you for your Sayulita trip. 

Surfing Seasons

It will be very important to know when it is ideal to surf, what time of year, and what weather you can expect in the different seasons. Sayulita has very consistent weather for surfing, but here are some changes that tend to happen as the seasons change and this is what you can expect for the surfing seasons: 

  • November to March: Wintertime in Mexico is a great time of year to enjoy surfing. The weather is actually on the warm side, but on the plus side, there is actually more chance of swells happening.

    This helps to keep everything manageable, the waves usually stay at about chest height at this time of year but can sometimes get to head height. This is especially the case at breaks like Punta Mita.

    At this time of year, the best time to enjoy surfing will be at dawn or in the afternoon. But, as with most beaches here, you will need to watch your time so that you avoid the crowds.

  • April to September: The summer months are when most people will be surfing, it will be the peak surfing season at this time of year. This is both a good and bad thing, with the influx of tourists and surfers it might be harder to enjoy the waves yourself.

    Especially with beginner surfers taking the time to learn at this time of year. You will need to pick your times of day to go surfing so that you miss the boards of people who want to enjoy the beach and catch some waves themselves.

    It is also important that we mention that this time of year will be very warm and because of this, you will need to pack sunscreen and other items that will protect you from the harsh sun. 

The Best Surf Spots In And Around Sayulita

Now that we know a little more about Sayulita, where it is, and why it is such an amazing tourist destination for surfers of all levels. It is time to look into which spots are the best. So, in this section of the article, we are going to look at a series of surf spots in Sayulita itself and some that are further afield but not too far away. 

So, let us begin by looking at the best surf spots that are in and around Sayulita itself. 

Sayulita Left Or S Left

The S Left can be a little quirky, the waves tend to appear during the summer months. This surf spot is located on a river mouth and is located northeast along the beach. It is very close to Sayulita Right, they are practically neighbors.

This surf spot tends to have faster take-offs as well as smaller zones in which you can take off. The waves can be quick and fun. Overall, this spot is a great palace for beginners or intermediates to enjoy the waves, all while being inside the village of Sayulita. 

  • Beginner to Intermediate: The waves at this surf spot are ideal for people that are at a beginner or intermediate level, this is because of the less challenging waves that frequent this spot.
  • Location: This beach is right next to Sayulita Right and both are within the village of Sayulita. So, you will not have to travel far for a decent surfing day at the beach.
  • Seasonal: The best time to enjoy decent waves at this spot is during the summer, when waves are at their best for this surf spot. 

Sayulita Right Or S Right

This surf spot has the most consistent waves of all the beaches in Sayulita. It breaks at the river’s mouth and on the beachfront by a rocky and sandy reef. At the S Right, waves are usually belly or chest height, so you do not have to be scared of larger-than-life waves if you are a beginner and new to the scene.

The use of eight-foot boards is a common sight at this surf spot. The best time to hit this beach is mid or low tide and of course, be aware of when it is the busiest time of the day because you may be stuck in a queue for a long while and that is sure to put a damper on your day.

A few things to keep in mind about the Sayulita Right beach for surfers:  

  • Beginner to Intermediate: The waves at this beach are not too big and tend not to be too challenging, making this an ideal spot for surfers at a beginner or intermediate level.
  • Location: This beach is located within Sayulita, so you do not have to travel far if you have set up your base in this fishing village.
  • Busy: As with most of the surf spots in Sayulita, if you go at peak times you will have very busy beaches, which can put a damper on your ability to have a blast on the waves.
  • Tide: The best times to go surfing at the Sayulita Right is when it is mid or low-tide. 


This location is one of the main reasons that Sayulita was put on the map for surfing in Mexico. The Sandbar faces north, which helps to cut down on heavy S-SW swells and protects this area from the ocean.

Because of all these factors, this surf spot is sure to get nice periods of time with glassy conditions.

In addition to that, there is a long take-off zone that offers both green and whitewash. Because of all these optimal conditions, there are a lot of surf schools in the area. The mellow waves and low possibility of challenging waves are what really make this an ideal spot for beginners. 

The only bad thing about the Sandbar is that it has a tendency to be very busy. Despite the fact that it is a great surf spot and one that is safe to enjoy for beginners if you are not up early, you might find that the beaches will become crowded very quickly.

So, if you want to surf at the Sandbar, you really need to make sure to be up early and start surfing before it becomes unbearably busy. 

Some things to remember about the Sandbar as a surf spot: 

  • Location: This surf spot is located in Sayulita, so you can enjoy the beach or surfing just a stone’s throw from your hotel of choice in the village.
  • Beginners: It is a great spot for beginners, the waves are mellow, and it is not likely to be challenging. On top of that, there are several surf schools that use this beach.
  • Busy: Because this beach is inside Sayulita itself, it can be a very busy beach. So, you will need to make allowance for this fact and either go surfing earlier or later if you do not want there to be lots of people around you while you try to catch some waves. 

Litibu Beach

This surf spot is a short drive from Sayulita, 25 minutes of driving through a coastal jungle, and you will be at Litibu Beach. Litibu Beach is a fantastic spot for anyone that is a beginner or intermediate.

In fact, this beach is most frequented by beginners and those that are looking to improve their skills. This beach offers a little more challenge and is different from the usually mellow waves a beginner might start with. 

One of the best features of this beach is the lack of foot traffic. So, if you would like to enjoy a beach that is not overcrowded, this might be the perfect spot for you. On the negative side, this spot is quite exposed and is likely to be closed if there is a swell. 

  • Beginner to Intermediate: This beach is suitable for beginners and intermediates, while the exposed location of this beach can mean swells and bigger waves it can be a great spot if you are looking to improve your skill or try something new.
  • Location: This beach is a short 25 minutes drive from the town of Sayulita.
  • Not Busy: This beach is quite remote and does not tend to have a lot of foot traffic, so if you want a quiet day surfing, this beach will be a good bet.


This surf spot is about 30 minutes away from Sayulita and faces a small town called Punta de Mita. Stinky’s is a very popular break, some might say it is the most popular around Sayulita. The waves here are ideal for any level of surfer. There are mellow waves and whitewash for beginners to practice on.

The only thing to be aware of is the reefs tend to lie below this area. A person of intermediate skill level will be able to enjoy some long rides. But these waves only really happen when there is a strong S swell that gets everything going.

If you want to surf here it might be a good idea to wait until it is low tide as this is when surfing conditions are the best at Stinky’s. 

  • Any Level: This beach is ideal for any level of surfer, there are easy waves for new surfers to learn or practice with and there are of course longer waves that an intermediate might enjoy.
  • Location: This surf spot is a thirty-minute drive from Sayulita and is opposite a town called Punta Mita.
  • Tide: if you want the best waves at this location, you will need to check out Stinky’s beach at low tide for the best conditions. 

The Cove

Otherwise known as Bahia Cove, this surf spot is a little ways from Sayulita itself. This beach faces the ocean, which means that the beach may be more exposed, and as such on an extremely windy day, you will not want to be surfing.

In fact, the best way to enjoy The Cove is to start early and go with a tour group. This way you can avoid the beachgoers in the afternoon. Some undisturbed surfing times do sound like bliss, does it not?

To get to this surf spot, you will need to catch a ride with a tour or local fisherman in order to get to the swell. 

  • Intermediate and Over: The exposed nature of this location can mean that the waves will be more challenging and unpredictable. So beginners may not have the best time learning how to surf. It is however ideal for intermediates and over to enjoy.
  • Location: This surf spot is a bit of a distance from Sayulita, so you will need to make allowance for your travel time as well as the peak rush times, so you can enjoy your surfing time relatively undisturbed. 

San Pancho

This break is to the North of Sayulita and is in a town called San Pancho. This beach can be quite challenging and is not really ideal for beginners. Those that are intermediate and above will do much better with the challenging waves, peaks, and closeouts.

Skill will be needed to deal with the drop, speed, and paddling needed to succeed at this San Pancho break.

On top of the great surfing here, the town of San Pancho is a fantastic spot to spend the day. If you want to experience Mexican culture or enjoy a playa beer while you walk down beautiful cobbled streets, this will be the perfect place for you. 

  • Intermediate and Over: This beach has challenging waves that are not suitable for those that are trying to learn. The waves can be quite big and fast, so some level of skill will be needed to deal with everything that is thrown at you at San Pancho.
  • Location: This beach is located in the town of San Pancho which is north of Sayulita. 

La Lancha

This surf spot is one of the best around Punta Mita, it is located on the Northern side of Bahia de Banderas. It is a very popular spot for Sayulita surf schools to visit. This beach is not only great for surfing, but it is also a picturesque beach that has a gorgeous ocean, and a lining of coconut trees along the sandy beaches.

At La Lancha there are two breaks, in this area, there are spots that are ideal for beginners, and others that tend to have taller waves that move quite quickly, on top of that there are even ideal spots for longboarders. 

  • All Levels: This beach is great for any level of surfer. There are two breaks with various wave types that will be suitable for beginners, intermediate, and experts alike.
  • Location: This beach is located near Punta Mita and is near the Bahia de Banderas.
  • Busy: This beach can be quite busy, this is because of the variety of wave types that you can enjoy in this one spot. So, pick your time to visit wisely to avoid the traffic. 

Hotels In Sayulita

If you are sold on the fantastic beaches around Sayulita and want to catch some waves in the area, you must be wondering what hotels you could use. There are some great choices out there, and even some that are geared toward surfers.

So, whether you are looking for a fancy hotel, hostel, or B&B, you are sure to find something with a sea view and is definitely worth the money you pay for it. 

So, without further ado, let us look at some of the finest hotels in and around Sayulita. 

Hostel Tortuga

A hostel might be exactly what you are looking for. Something cheap and affordable, so you can spend more of your time and money doing things in the local area.

The Tortuga hostel is a great port of call if this is what you are going for. It also has a pool in the garden, so you can relax in style on the days when surfing is not on the cards.

Even though you may be sharing a bathroom, everything will be clean and modern, so you can rest assured that it is good value for money to stay at the Hostel Tortuga. 

Hotel Ysuri

If you are looking for a place with a stunning sea view, this place will absolutely impress you. This hotel will likely be quite pricey, but the luxury that you will experience is worth what you are paying.

So, if you want your trip to Sayulita to be luxurious and enjoy all the comforts you can imagine, this hotel will certainly suit you. Best of all, if you are a surfer, you can check out the condition of the sea from your balcony.

On top of all the grandeur, this hotel has a pool and of course, the inside is impeccably decorated with an infusion of modern and Hacienda decor. 

La Redonda Sayulita Hostel

If you want to stay at a hostel and enjoy the nightlife of Sayulita or just enjoy social activities, the Le Redonda Sayulita hostel is a great bet for you. This hostel is perfectly situated for those of you that plan on using the beach break in Sayulita.

It even faces the breaks, so you will not have far to go to have a surf day. This hostel is only for adults and so it is not appropriate for families with children. 

Casa Pia

If you are looking for a stylish hotel, the Casa Pia is your guy. The modern furnishings and comfortable furniture are sure to impress even the most difficult of people. Overall, this hotel is beautifully decorated and will allow you to have a comfortable stay in Sayulita.

On top of the great style and look of the Casa Pia, this hotel has a coffee shop in the building. So, even on an early morning when you are about to go catch some waves, you will not be far away from a coffee to get you going. 

The Best Surf Shops In Sayulita

If you want to go to Sayulita for surfing, you will undoubtedly want to visit a surf shop to get your board waxed or to patch up a few nicks and scrapes on your board. There are loads of places you can buy what you need to have your own equipment attended to in Sayulita. These are some of the best ones that we know of. 

The Los Rudos Surf Shop

This shop is near the main plaza in the center of Sayulita. This shop is full of amazing merchandise and souvenirs to tempt you inside. Caps, bags, t-shirts and so much more are available within this shop’s walls.

But, they also offer surfer fashion, in addition to that they offer waxes for surfboards and much more. 

The Quivering Surf Shop

This charming little shop is located in the center of Sayulita. The owners are wonderfully happy and really friendly. They draw in a lot of customers with their amazing selection of handmade merchandise like t-shirts, bags, ornaments, and of course surfboard rentals. 

The Best Places To Eat In Sayulita

Swimming always makes you hungry, and who can argue with that fact. After hitting the waves, you will surely be starving and need to get some great food in you. But, where can you eat? Well, let us tell you about some of the best food places in Sayulita. 

Cocos Beach Club

The main selling point of this restaurant is beer. So, if you want to enjoy a nice crisp and cold beer on the beach, this will be the perfect palace for you to relax and unwind after a long day of catching waves.

On top of the great beverages, you will certainly enjoy the nachos and other grilled foods that Cocos Beach Club will serve you. 


This food place is a mixture of art galleries and cafés, so you can be sure that the vibe will be interesting. They sell healthy food that will leave you wanting more.

Even if you want to stop by for a coffee or a drink, this restaurant has you covered. The smoothies and coffee are always great here.

Jack’s Place

This restaurant is on the main road that leads into town. The creative and yet delicious meals that are served here are simply to die for. They offer a variety of cuisines such as Thai and Asian foods.

If you want something classic, delicious, and perfectly divine, the pizzas that are served at Jack’s Place are exactly what you are looking for. 

Final Thoughts

That is all for this article, we hope that we have been helpful in guiding you on your next great adventure. A trip to Sayulita will certainly not be a trip you will soon forget. It is a fantastic surfing location for beginner and experienced surfers, and you are sure to find something that will suit your level in the area.

On top of that, you get to enjoy some amazing Mexican cuisine and experience their culture. So, if you are looking for an incredible trip to the beach to enjoy surfing this year, check out Sayulita and catch some waves.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *