I have always felt connected with Mexico. Both my mother and my grandmother were born in Mexico, and as a child we spent time in Mexico and South America. I live for the beach days, leaving the sand and sea on all day, the colors, the culture, the tacos, the tacos, the tacos.
There is definitely plenty to love about travel with a hotel that has all the amenities, it has its perks don’t get me wrong. However, if you are going to go anywhere, you should make issue of spending time exploring the finer differences of people and land. Off the beaten path has always been somewhat of a travel “moto” for me as of late. I am no stranger to remoteness and sandy solitude. In fact, I usually go out of my way to find it even amongst the densely populated travel spots. Although, at times, it seems harder to find these hideouts with crowded beaches and every secret beach path already discovered by some guy who picked up a vintage Frommer’s Travel Guide at the thrift store. And, well, as much as that bums me out- I am continually on the hunt for secret beaches and best sit-spots.
Sayulita is deeply populated by locals, travelers of all shapes and sizes, and many residential ex-pats. It has a unique melting-pot of cosmopolitan cultures. There’s french boulangerie with amazing coffee and pastry, a woman who opened a shop who came from Santa Cruz, CA, and beach-camping-wanderlusters from north and south. One moment I glanced up it felt very Dogtown-y. A busy Venice beach vibe, with a small town feeling at the same time. People far and wide are definitely bringing lots of flavor so this beautiful “little” town. Most of the action happens in and around the town centre, and this is the most densely populated. However, you don’t have to walk far to find a quiet sanctuary or side-alley fruit stand-and I loved exploring these spots as well.
Yes, some of the shops are gentrified, but the local artisan goods and craftsmanship are here to stay. When shopping in town, I always asked where my goods were made, and by who. One of my favorites was woman was making the pom poms right in front of me, and I was sold. I think I went back about three times to buy more from her. My mind was exploding with colorful inspiration to bring back home. Not to mention some major cabin remodel inspo! This trip has made me understand more about who I want to be as a traveler and in turn, a consumer. Which is a word I don’t necessarily like- but I enjoyed a more mindful consumerism practice on this trip. Picture of all the spoils below.
I had a sleepier idea of what Sayulita was going to be. That perhaps there were a few ex-pats and beaches would be mostly empty. While it’s not at super drunk levels of Vegas-debotchery, it nestles right in between the two: which works wonderfully for different types of travelers. People are continually coming and going out of town, whether it’s in their Tundra trucks from Colorado or on their horses- things are happening. However, the hustle is at a slower pace. Sayulita has a lovely way of giving you the option to chose: go to a bar and hang with traveling gypsies and ex-pats, drive with a margarita sippy cup in your lap or head back to your casita, dive into a good and take a nap listening to the waves. The larger villas or hotels up the hill a bit from town make it easy order to escape noise, if need be. This leaves space for the large amount of families I saw as well-and they seemed to be having a blast with kids in tow. I loved this diversity and it made for some amazing people watching.
Day in the Life:
I am all about options so when I plan a trip I like to research as many opportunities, sites, and food that I can find from other travelers. We had no plan on any given day, which is a nice change from my regularly over-scheduled life. We had coffee and breakfast on some days, but other days we went into town and at ate a larger breakfast to keep us full for the beach day. We loved Terra Viva in the mornings: watching all the shops open up and the surfers heading in from their early morning sessions. We loved Chocobanana for their Green Goddess juice and their big breakfasts, too. It’s always busy and they have a large extensive menu for all types of appetites.
After walking off breakfast along the main beach and and peeking in shop windows I was bookmarking to go later, we usually went back to our casita for a bit. Most days were beach days so we packed up a cooler and stopped to pick up some cervezas. We explored as far as our battery powered golf cart would take us up some of the hills, but our favorite beach to cruise to was Playa Los Muertos, south of town a bit. Less crowded, less vendors, and the waves were floatable and nice. It was our go to, and we mostly spent the core of our day lounging, talking and swimming. We also enjoyed Corralitos Beach, and the hike out to it was super jungle-y and bursting with canopy green jungle arches. It’s more of a surfing beach, but it stretches for days, we were one of five people on the beach and most of them were local.
Lunch was usually passed over and supplemented with beer, plantain chips, ceviche, or a small taco snack. We loved trying all the different restaurants and among our favorites were: Mary’s, Tacos Ivan, Terra Viva for ceviche, and when we wanted something different, La Rustica Pizza was amazing and the street-side tables with your toes on cobblestones made for an amazing dinner with a few musical guests and some killer margs. Oh, and go the churros guy, he is on the corner of Av Revolucion and El Zarquito. Trust me, you will be back every single night for those churros. I can attest to that.
Planning our trip for next winter, and always dreaming of Mexico.
PHOTOS BY NIK Z PHOTOGRAPHY