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If you have landed on this blog post on getting from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita, you’ve hopefully already decided to book a trip to the beautiful Sayulita, Mexico. Maybe you’ve already booked your trip, or you may still be mulling over the idea. If you need any inspiration, check out my guide to the best places to eat in Sayulita.
Where is Sayulita located?
Sayulita is a bustling surf town located on the west side of Mexico. It can be found just north of Puerto Vallarta (38 km to be exact), located in Riviera Nayarit.
Sayulita is a wellness destination known for great surf, incredible seafood, yoga retreats, and a whole lot of partying. It is popular with young travelers, and is definitely one of the most touristy places to visit in Nayarit. But it is charming and fun nevertheless!
How to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta
If you’ve already discovered the magic of Sayulita as your next travel destination, you’re probably wondering the fastest and cheapest way to get there.
Closest airport to Sayulita?
Unfortunately there is no Sayulita airport, but there is still one close by! By far the closest airport to San Pancho is the international airport in Puerto Vallarta. You can find direct flights to Puerto Vallarta from a number of major US cities including New York, Los Angeles Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis. Flights to Puerto Vallarta are served by major airlines including Delta, JetBlue, American and United. A direct flight from NYC to Puerto Vallarta takes 5 hours, while Puerto Vallarta can be reached from LAX in just 3 hours.
The second closest airport is in Guadalajara, however this is 4-5 hours away by car. If you are planning to fly into Guadalajara, I recommend spending at least a day or two here to explore the city.
How to get from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita?
The easiest way to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta airport is by Uber. Ubers tend to be cheaper than taxis, around 600 pesos for the ride. However, price will obviously differ based on time of day and demand. While Ubers are not allowed to operate in Sayulita or San Pancho, drivers are allowed to drop you there.
However, Uber drivers are not able to pick you up directly within the airport. In order to grab your Uber you will need to cross over the pedestrian bridge to meet your driver on the other side of the highway in front of Tacon de Marlin.
I personally wouldn’t chance relying on an Uber if you are arriving in PV late at night. In this case, you’d be better off grabbing a taxi or hiring a private driver.
If you do not have cell service in Mexico, a taxi is likely an easier option for you. Note, we were quoted 1,200 pesos for a taxi, which is double what our Uber driver was charging.
There are two different types of taxis that you can get from the airport in Puerto Vallarta. The most common is to grab a taxi from the stand in the airport. It is almost the most expensive. However, if you head across the bridge to where the Ubers pick up, you may be able to flag down a cheaper taxi. However, just know that taxi drivers not operating within the airport are less likely to speak English, so make sure to brush up on your Spanish.
If you aren’t able to find a taxi, you can also call a local taxi driver. Either way, make sure that you have cash available to pay. If you are just arriving in Mexico, you can withdraw money from the ATM at the airport. But beware, ATM fees can be quite high.
Here is the number of a local taxi driver in Riviera Nayarit: +523221599710.
If you have the time and are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can also take the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita. Same as the Uber pickups, you will need to cross the pedestrian bridge to catch the bus.
The bus typically takes between 1 hour and an hour and a half, depending on the number of stops the bus makes. While this is typically the slowest way to get from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita, it is definitely the cheapest. The bus costs only 50 pesos, so it is a great option if you are on a budget or don’t have other travelers to split a cab with. Let the driver know that you are heading to Sayulita. You will be dropped off at the bus stop right in the center of town.
When returning to the airport, you can catch the bus from the Sayulita bus station. The buses typically run between 6 am and 10 pm, leaving every 20 minutes.
By Rental Car
Lastly, you may also want to consider renting a car if you plan to explore the regions around Sayulita. This is a great options if you want to see more of the surrounding areas and attractions. It is also a super affordable option if you are traveling in a group. Of course, it is important to make sure that you feel comfortable driving in Mexico, and abide by all local travel laws. I would personally avoid driving in Mexico for the first time at night, since not all of the roads leading to Sayulita are great. Check out rates on rentalcars.com here.
I highly recommend booking travel insurance through World Nomads. This will ensure that you are covered in the event that any issues arrive during your travels.
Getting to Sayulita from other nearby cities:
- San Pancho: 15 minutes by taxi
- Guadalajara: 6 hours by bus
Where to Stay in Sayulita, Nayarit
There are tons of amazing places to stay in Sayulita, and the best thing is that you can find something for any type of traveler on any budget.
One thing to note when choosing a place to stay, the center of Sayulita is busy and loud, especially on the weekends and during the high season. You can expect to hear people out partying until the early hours of the morning.
WiFi is hit or miss, but cell signal is pretty strong throughout the town if you have an international plan. I got perfect service throughout my trip with my T-Mobile cell plan.
Visiting Riviera Nayarit? Here are some articles to check out:
- Where to eat in Sayulita, Mexico
- Things to do in Sayulita, Mexico
- Best Restaurants in San Pancho, Mexico
- San Pancho Travel Guide