Just say yes to a vacation in Sayulita

By: Elliot Rowe, Contributor

Hidden in one of the coves on Mexico’s western coast is the little oceanfront village of Sayulita. This beautiful gem, just a half an hour drive north of Puerto Vallarta, is a fishing village and also an isolated vacation spot that’s home to the occasional surfer.
Most businesses, art galleries and about everything else in town are situated around a few central streets, but life in the village moves at a snail’s pace. Even though there are a large number of rental houses and a few hotels, it still hasn’t lost its small-town charm.

The best time to visit Sayulita (or any other tiny Mexican village for that matter) is during the town’s Holy Week. My family visited during a yearly celebration centered around Easter and there’s a nightly event for a week. When the sun sets, Sayulita comes alive with loud music and attractions that the town enjoyed during Holy Week. Be prepared for a late night – the party lasts until 2 a.m.

If the sun and humidity prove to be too much, the omnipresent Playa de los Muertos beckons you to venture in and snorkel. Don’t be fooled by the name, the beach is inviting with gentle waves that are perfect for beginner surfers.

Should you decide not to get wet, there are plenty of things to see and do around town. During the afternoon, you could watch the fishing boats ram into the beach at full speed and bring in that night’s dinner.

When it’s bedtime, few things are more comforting than hearing the sound of the night’s gentle breaking waves, even if it is heard through mosquito nets. The mosquito nets are necessary to keep the annoying bugs away, but other than that inconvenience, the rooms at the hotel Villa Amor are remarkable. Given the tropical beauty of the hotel and the views from the room, leaving it is difficult at best. The adobe-style terrace opens to overlook the Sayulita bay.

Because the hotel is in a secluded area a half-kilometer away, windows were open. In fact, the only enclosed rooms were the bedrooms. To hell with shower curtains, even the bathing area opened up to face the bay. The view from the kitchen is the best view of all and separates itself from the rest of the terrace. It sat under its own little grass-covered cabana enclosure.

Unbeknownst to many visitors are the ever-present indigenous natives. These misunderstood inhabitants have been known to procure valuables from vacationers.

During my family’s stay, one managed to pilfer my mother’s purse, but not before she scared him off. The hotel owner later told us that the natives were a superstitious bunch and that our assailant fled in part because he saw himself in the makeup mirror my mother kept in her purse. To them, seeing their reflection is supposedly a bad omen with the risk of losing their soul to the mirror. The natives still hold fast to their traditions and live independent of the town in the jungle, but they were hardly menacing.

Other than the town’s beauty, Sayulita appealed to me on a much more personal level. The whole town emitted a rustic, laid-back feeling that said, “Relax, we’ll finish our work later. Let’s grab a taco and enjoy the scenery.” If you’re ever apt to get away from the busyness of city life and slow down for a week, might I suggest Sayulita? It’s something you have to get off the cruise ship and out of the resort city to see, but it’s well worth the adventure. Who knows – you may even find another little village by the sea just waiting to be explored.
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