From surf shacks specializing in shrimp ceviche to hidden hammocks in hippy chic areas, Sayulita seduces even the grumpiest beach bum into extending their stay!

Whether you plan to cruise down the scenic shoreline on a longboard or wander around town on foot, I have no doubt that you’ll find something fun there.

If you’ve never been there before, finding the best place to stay in Sayulita can be a hassle. But don’t worry – I got you!

In this guide, I put together a list of the very best neighborhoods so you can pick one according to your budget and expectations. Do you want to be near the shore? Or perhaps you’d prefer a place closer to tacos and tiendas? Then, let’s check out the best spots in Sayulita!

Two girls holding hands under the vibrant Mexican flags that line the streets of Sayulita.
Colorful Mexico.
Photo: @audyscala

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Where Is the Best Place to Stay in Sayulita?

Whether you are backpacking Mexico on a budget or have saved up for that once-in-a-lifetime trip, Sayulita has something to suit every travel style and every bank balance.

Now, let’s be real, adventure time is never truly fulfilling without a community to interact with and some secret corner to recharge (if you’re ever like me and need that personal space). Join us as we unveil our top 3 recommendations for the best places to stay in Sayulita and rock that adventure.

Hotel Ysuri Sayulita | Best Hotel in Sayulita

Hotel Ysuri Sayulita

Despite its central location, this hotel lies a mere few steps from the beach – perfect for enjoying a dip in the ocean whenever you fancy!

With an outdoor pool and garden, Hotel Ysuri Sayulita features various types of rooms, including Queen Rooms, Executive Suites, and Apartments.

Viajero Sayulita Hostel | Best Hostel in Sayulita

Viajero Sayulita Hostel's pool, with guests lounging and enjoying a swim

Easily one of my favorite places to stay in Sayulita, this Mexican hostel commands a great location near both the South End and Downtown!

You can crash into budget-friendly dorms or opt for a private room if you’d rather have your own personal space. All rooms have a coffee machine, so you can wake up to a hot brew every morning!  

Stylish Space for 2 | Best Airbnb in Sayulita

An Airbnb patio space with pool and lounge chairs overlooking the ocean in Sayulita

If you’re looking for independent accommodation right where the action is, be sure to check out this stylish apartment with ocean views!

Ideal for couples or solo travelers, this apartment offers a kitchen and a shared pool. You’ll find heaps of restaurants within walking distance, perfect for when you don’t feel like cooking!

Sayulita Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Sayulita

Sayulita beach Mexico

Downtown Sayulita

If this is your first time visiting Sayulita, believe me when I say there’s no better destination than the lively downtown area! Easily the most happening Sayulita neighborhood, the downtown area offers the ideal mix of shopping, nightlife, and surfing.

Sunset in Sayulita Mexico

North End and Nanzal

For parents traveling with their kids, there’s no better place to stay in Sayulita than the northern end of Sayulita Bay!

Carricitos Beach Sayulita

South End Area

One of the top Sayulita neighborhoods for surfers, the South End has a jungle-esque landscape, with a quieter vibe than the rest of the town.

Sayulita’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Here’s the thing about Sayulita: It’s small. Like, really tiny. It has just around 5,000 residents and is so diminutive that you can literally walk from one end to another.

Despite its size, this beach town in Mexico has 3 main neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. For instance, Downtown Sayulita is more suited to first-time visitors, since it’s basically the epicenter of everything fun and hip. From bars to restaurants, taco stands, and souvenir stalls, the downtown area can get pretty noisy at times.

Girl takes photo of the colorful sunset that lines the beaches of Sayulita, Mexico.
Always snapping the best deals.
Photo: @audyscala

Families looking for a more laid-back atmosphere can always consider staying in the North End and Nanzal areas. Tucked away among the hills, these neighborhoods are quieter, but rest assured that they’re still just a walk or golf cart ride from the town center.

Surrounded by gorgeous beaches, the South End area is definitely a surfer’s dream come true! Another quieter neighborhood, South End, is home to some pretty scenic hidden gems like Playa las Cuevas. With a stay in the South End, you’ll also be close to other great surfing towns like San Pancho.

Whether you’re looking for a hint of a luxury beach-side hotel or a good ol’ hostel in Sayulita to save your pennies and meet other travellers – I’ve got you covered. 

1. Downtown Sayulita – Best Place to Stay in Sayulita for your First Time

Syulita beach at sunset surroundeed by palm trees with people sitting along the sandy shore
A crazy social corner I call my own.

If this is your first time visiting Sayulita, believe me when I say there’s no better destination than the lively downtown area of Sayulita!

Easily the most happening Sayulita neighborhood, the downtown area offers the ideal mix of shopping, nightlife, and surfing. Scrumptious taco stands and art galleries beckon at every turn, and you’ll even find a cluster of hip cafes where you can set up shop for a few hours if you need to get some work done.

This area also offers easy access to Playa Sayulita, one of the most popular spots in the city. Often referred to as the ‘beating heart and soul’ of Sayulita, this beach offers excellent swimming conditions. The shallow lagoon has quite a gentle break, but bear in mind that it can get quite crowded in summer.

If you’re into loud and busy atmospheres, I can assure you that downtown Sayulita’s got you covered!

Hotel Ysuri Sayulita | Best Hotel in Downtown Sayulita

Hotel Ysuri Sayulita

Downtown Sayulita has several great hotels to choose from, but one of my favorites is no doubt Hotel Ysuri!

For starters, this hotel commands a great location, just a few steps from the beach. It also comes with a sprawling garden and an outdoor swimming pool – perfect for enjoying a refreshing dip after an exciting day of sightseeing.

Various types of rooms are available, including independent apartments.

La Redonda Sayulita Hostal | Best Hostel in Downtown Sayulita

Colorful entrance with hippie vibes at La Redonda Sayilita Hostal
I’m here for the colors!

Wondering where to stay in Sayulita while keeping your travel budget in check? How about The Redonda Hostel, located smack in the heart of the city?

Not only will you be close to numerous restaurants, convenience stores, and nightclubs, but the hostel also offers spacious, air-conditioned dorms with ten, eight, and six beds. Private rooms are also available.

There’s plenty to do onsite, with barbecue facilities, table tennis, a garden, a hammock area, and a smoothie bar.

Stylish Space for 2 | Best Airbnb in Downtown Sayulita

An Airbnb patio space with pool and lounge chairs overlooking the ocean in Sayulita

If you’re looking for independent accommodation right where the action is, be sure to check out this stylish apartment with ocean views!

Perfect for traveling couples and solo travelers, this apartment comes with numerous facilities, including a well-appointed kitchen where you can whip up a quick meal.

The apartment complex also has a shared pool where you can cool off with a swim on warmer days – which is practically every day in Sayulita!

Things to See and Do in Downtown Sayulita

The shores of Nayarit, Mexico, featuring lounge chairs and palm trees along the beach
A serene, vibrant, and tropical fairytale.
  1. Spend a day soaking up the sun at Sayulita Beach, a gorgeous stretch of sand fringed by clear waters.  
  2. Take in the best sights in just one day with a guided ATV tour.
  3. Munch your way through the city’s diverse culinary scene. Some of my favorite spots to eat in the downtown area include El Itacate (amazing cheese-wrapped burritos!) and Chaman Creative Kitchen.
  4. Check out the Sayulita Plaza, a lively and colorful square where you can shop for handcrafted souvenirs.
  5. Take a day trip to Puerto Vallarta, located just an hour’s drive from Sayulita. This town is famous for its hidden beaches and snorkeling opportunities.

Let me hit you with another sweet spot – Puerto Vallarta, which is just an hour’s drive from Sayulita.

From ol’ style hostels to fancy seaside retreats, you’ll find a range of places to stay in Puerto Vallarta that’ll make your journey unforgettable.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

2. North End and Nanzal – Best Place to Stay in Sayulita for Families

a calm beach in Sayulita Mexico during sunset with golden and pink skies and people swimming
You know the true essence of a destination when the sun sets.

For parents traveling with their kids, there’s no better place to stay in Sayulita than the northern end of Sayulita Bay!

In fact, this area is home to Nanzal, a charming little commune that’s just 15 minutes from the downtown area. Up until a decade ago, this charming Mexican neighborhood was entirely devoid of construction, but it’s since been transformed into a charming little residential area.

While Nanzal has several high-end properties, accommodations can be quite expensive in this area of town. On the flip side, houses are quite luxurious and really well-appointed.  

Unlike downtown Sayulita, the northern end of the bay is pretty quiet, providing a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere for families. You won’t find a lot of restaurants around, so it’s always a good idea to book a place with a kitchen.

Nanzal has a few steep areas, so if you’re traveling with small children, I would really recommend that you hire a car or a golf car instead of walking uphill. Northern Sayulita Bay is also prone to riptides. If you’d like to go swimming, you can always walk over to the central section of the beach instead.  

Hotelito Los Sueños | Best Hotel in North End and Nanzal

Double queen bed setup framed by a large window at Hotelito Los Sueños.

Located just a 10-minute walk from Nanzal, Hotelito Los Sueños is one of the best places to stay in Sayulita for families.

Not only is it fairly affordable compared to other accommodations in the North End area, but it also features quadruple rooms for up to four guests.

Enjoy the convenience of onsite yoga classes, bicycle rentals, an inviting outdoor pool, and a restaurant that caters to different tastes. However, it’s important to note that the WiFi here isn’t super great, so bear that in mind if you need to stay connected.

The location is also epic, you’ll be a short distance from North Sayulita Beach and the Playa de los Muertos. So, pack your beach essentials and head west for an unforgettable trip.

ITH Amazing Hostel Sayulita | Best Hostel in North End and Nanzal

a tripple room at ITH Amazing Hostel Sayulita with a wide window and a blue wall

I know what you’re thinking: a hostel? For parents traveling with their kids? Well, yes!

Not only is the ITH Amazing Hostel Sayulita child-friendly, but it also features private family rooms to comfortably accommodate groups of up to five.

Set near Calle Nazal, this hostel features barbecue facilities and hammocks. You can also take advantage of the hotel’s communal kitchen.

Luxury House for 8 | Best Airbnb in North End and Nanzal

Spacious queen room

Okay, this one is definitely on the more expensive side. If you don’t mind splurging, though, this Mexican vacation rental has everything you need for one heck of a vacation with your family!

Designed in wood, concrete, and stone, this space has a saltwater-heated infinity pool as well as paved tropical gardens. There’s also a roof deck with hammocks. Outdoor showers and ocean views only complete this image of tropical perfection.

Classic home comforts await, including a well-equipped kitchen and four spacious bedrooms for eight guests.

Things to See and Do in North End and Nanzal

Girl smiles cheerfully as she stands on a cliff overlooking a beach in Zipolite Mexico.
Just hang out…
Photo: @audyscala
  1. Take an afternoon stroll in Nanzal, a delightfully rugged area with jungle views.
  2. Enjoy a family-friendly zip-lining adventure in the heart of the jungle.
  3. Visit the Mercado del Pueblo, a super lively market located just a 6-minute drive from the Nanzal area.

3. South End Area – Where to Stay in Sayulita for Surfing

A person surfing a small wave
This surfer crushed that wave.
Photo: Roaming Ralph

Set just a couple of blocks from the main square in Sayulita, the South End area of Sayulita Bay is especially known for its gorgeous views.

One of the top Sayulita neighborhoods for surfers, the South End has a jungle-esque landscape and a quieter vibe than the rest of the town. Despite its remote setting, this area still lies close to the city center, so rest assured that you’ll find heaps of shops and restaurants within walking distance!

Surfers totally have it made in this area, since this neighborhood offers easy access to Playa Carricitos and Playa de Los Muertos, two charming Mexican beaches that are mostly frequented by the locals. A favorite of mine, Playa Carricitos offers quite the spectacle at sunset, with its golden shoreline mixing with black sand.

Advanced surfers can also drive over to San Pancho, located just a 15-minute drive from the South End area. Away from the tourist crowds, this quiet town is known for its impressive swells and hollow waves.

Hotel Vista Oceana Sayulita | Best Hotel in the South End Area

Hotel Vista Oceana's patio space with a hammock and lush greenery

Set within walking distance of La Playa de Los Muertos, Hotel Vista Oceana offers beautifully decorated rooms, some with balconies and ocean views.

With concierge services and a sun terrace, this 4-star hotel is also close to Playa Escondida and Carricitos.

Oh, and did I mention that the hotel is found smack on the beach?

Viajero Sayulita Hostel | Best Hostel in the South End Area

Viajero Sayulita Hostel

One of the best places to stay in Sayulita for budget backpackers, this hostel has an amazing location near the South End and the Downtown area!

While the hostel features budget-friendly dormitories, guests can also opt for private Family, Double, Triple, or Twin rooms.

All rooms have a coffee machine, so you can wake up to a hot brew every morning!  

Gorgeous 2-Bedroom Home Near the Beach | Best Airbnb in the South End Area

A spacious bedroom with a king-size bed and a sliding glass doors with a balcony.

A beautiful Mexican Airbnb for small families and groups of friends, this space features two bedrooms for four.

With eye-catching Hacienda architecture, this house is just a 10-minute walk to both Sayulita Plaza and the beach.

After a day of exploration, you can always prepare a meal in the kitchen before relaxing in the generously sized living area.

Things to See and Do in the South End Area

backpacking oaxaca mexico
Just chill the heck out.
  1. Catch some waves in Sayulita and surf your heart out.
  2. Check out Playa Los Muertos which translates to ‘Beach of the Dead’. Despite its morbid-sounding name, this beach is quite picturesque.
  3. Relax on Playa Carricitos, a quieter and lesser-known beach that’s mostly frequented by the locals.
  4. Hike the beautiful jungle trail from the end of Sayulita Beach to Playa las Cuevas, another hidden gem with caves and passageways. This is not a swimming beach since, the shorebreak is quite powerful.
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Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

What To Pack For Sayulita

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Sayulita

Right, now, let me be the first to admit that my travels sometimes involve some sketchy activities! But rather than ignore my wild side, I play it smart and insure myself. That way, I can still have my adventures while knowing if shit hits the fan – I’m covered by good travel insurance.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Sayulita

Whether you’re just there for the weekend or passing through during your backpacking trip across Mexico, I do not doubt that you’ll have an absolute blast in Sayulita!

As you can see, there’s no shortage of great places to see in Sayulita, but if you need to narrow it down to just a couple of options, then I would totally go for Hotel Ysuri Sayulita or Viajero Sayulita Hostel.

A side-profile photo of a girl with a scarf wrapped around her head, breathing in the beautiful views around her
It was a wonderful world in Sayulita!

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