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Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

As a travel blogger, I am often asked what my favorite country that I’ve been to is. Though I could never choose just one, Mexico is and will always be in the top five.

It is a beautiful country with incredibly varied landscapes, gorgeous scenery and kind & hospitable people. Not to mention some of the most delicious food you’ll find anywhere! Mexico is a place I will return to again and again.

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

freshly made guacamole with queso blanco, anyone?

If you’re looking to take a trip to a coastal location in Mexico, I highly recommend either the Riviera Maya on the East coast or a small area on the West coast where the states of Jalisco and Nayarit meet. There, you’ll find the city of Puerto Vallarta and the towns of Sayulita and Punta Mita.

Though close in proximity to each other, Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita and Punta Mita are all very different places with their own unique charm.

Whether you’re looking to surf, dive, club, be pampered or just plain relax on your vacation, this corner of Mexico has it all.

Let’s start with some basic facts about the area…

How to get here: You’ll need to fly into the Puerto Vallarta airport. Central Puerto Vallarta is located only 15-20 minutes from the airport, while Punta Mita is 45 minutes away and Sayulita can be reached in just under an hour.

When to go: This area of Mexico is ideal for visits all year-round! In the winter months, temperatures are around 75 degrees and in the summer, go up to around 85 degrees. To avoid the high prices and massive amount of tourists that come with the winter, though, I recommend booking a trip here between late-March and early October.

How long to stay: A week or more is ideal! I recommend visiting two (or three) of these places while in the area.

Sayulita

Perfect for: Surfing, relaxing on the beach, getting off the grid

Ahhh, even typing the word Sayulita brings me back to this town. It’s one of those places that makes you feel a certain kind of happy, you know?

Sayulita is a small surf town, full of charm and color. It has a very relaxed, boho feel with a big expat community, quaint shops and a slew of casual juice bars.

Days here are spent lounging on the beach, surfing and snorkeling, shopping for unique (and cheap!) clothing pieces and wandering adorable streets with a fruit smoothie in hand. Your only responsibility here is to soak up the hot Mexican sun and relax.

[easy-image-collage id=3356]

While in town, I recommend staying at Villa Amor, one of Sayulita’s most luxurious resorts with beautiful oceanside villas and plenty of Sayulita charm.

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

soaking in the views at Villa Amor‘s Paraiso Villa

In terms of dining, eat delicious Mexican food at Casa de Chile Relleno, scarf down pizza at La Rústica, get a chocolate covered banana at Chococabana and enjoy smoothies at The Anchor & La Esperanza.

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

thank you, Casa de Chile Relleno

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

bananas with rainbow sprinkles and toasted coconut from Chococabana

Punta Mita

Perfect for: Relaxing in true luxury

Punta Mita isn’t so much a town or city like Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta. Punta Mita is a small area home to  a couple of ultra-luxurious resorts. There are quite a few options, but I recommend staying at either the St. Regis Punta Mita and the Four Seasons Punta Mita.

The St. Regis and Four Seasons are world-renowned for their hospitality and luxurious accommodations, so these properties are like a destination in and of themselves.

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

a suite at St. Regis Punta Mita

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

a suite at Four Seasons Punta Mita

Book a stay at one of these resorts and work on checking off the only item on your “to-do” list: relax. More specifically, soak up the sun on a private beach, enjoy a therapeutic spa treatment and lounge in your villa. If you want a bit more adventure, book a snorkeling or boating excursion through the hotel or a local tour group.

Puerto Vallarta

Perfect for: More touristic activities, clubbing, city life

Of the three, Puerto Vallarta is hands-down the most busy place. It is, after all, a city, so you will find plenty of touristic places like Señor Frogs and the like.

The key to enjoying the best of Puerto Vallarta is going off the beaten path.

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit? Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

Check out the crowded waterfront for 20 minutes, but then head up into the city streets where the tourists start dissipating. Wander! There, you’ll find cute cobblestone streets, quaint boutique shops and some of Puerto Vallarta’s best local restaurants.

I recommend checking out Casa Tradicional for lunch and El Arrayán for dinner.

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

ceviche with green apple at Casa Tradicional

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

El Arrayán

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

order the duck at El Arrayán – it’s the specialty!

I recommend staying at Hacienda San Angel, a luxurious boutique hotel with charming rooms. It’s the perfect hidden oasis that will allow you to escape from the bustle of the city.

Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

beautiful outdoor lobby at Hacienda San Angel

So, what will it be for your next Mexico trip – Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita or Punta Mita?

xo,


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Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Which Should You Visit?

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17 Comments

  1. Courtney on July 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    I’ve been to Puerto Vallarta twice and felt the urge to go back pretty much the moment I left! I definitely need to check out Sayulita and Punta Mita! I’ve been reading through a lot of your posts and really appreciate the depth of your writing, which is a rarity in the blogs I’ve come across. You’ve got my subscription. Thanks, Christina!

    • Christina on July 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Oh you absolutely need to check out Sayulita and Punta Mita! I’m so in love with this area of Mexico. And that is so nice of you to say! I’m happy to hear that and glad that you are now following along, Courtney. xx

  2. Courtney on July 19, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I looove the decorative skulls! I haven’t heard of Sayulita, but I think based off your descriptions, that’s the one I would visit! Enjoy and safe travels <3 !

    • Christina on July 20, 2017 at 12:49 am

      Sayulita is seriously the BEST! You should absolutely visit.

  3. Paroma Chakravarty on July 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    I have never been to Puerto Vallarta but it seems so much more beautiful than the party city it is made out to be! The food pics are great too!

    • Christina on July 22, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      It is super gorgeous if you explore off the beaten path! Thanks for reading xx

  4. Nikki on July 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I went to puerto Vallarta with Contiki two years ago – it’s definitely a busier part of the area but I had a lot of fun. I wish I had seen the oxen heads you’ve pictured here, they are gorgeous! I’d love them for my wall!

    • Christina on July 22, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      It definitely is busier, which is why I preferred Sayulita actually 🙂

  5. Rosalie on July 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    These places all look so amazing! I love your photography too – what kind of camera do you use?

    • Christina on July 22, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Thank you, Rosalie!! I use a Fujifilm X-T2 with a 18-135mm lens. I love it xx

  6. Natalie Anastasia on July 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Ahh this is so helpful as I am hoping to plan a birthday trip to Mexico in January and was debating between these areas! I am really intrigued by Sayulita and can’t get over the view at Villa Amor. You had me at guac! xo

    • Christina on July 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Wait I want to go to Mexico for my birthday in January too!!! 🙂 Sayulita is the most amazing place and I would love to go back. Thank you for reading Natalie xx

  7. Sky on July 23, 2017 at 12:49 am

    I’ve never been to any of these places (or Mexico at all) but actually almost moved to Sayulita a few years back because it felt like eeeeveryone was living there. I definitely think I would love this region and hope to check out at least Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta next year!

    • Christina on July 24, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      That’s so funny! After I visited once I immediately wanted to live there for a few months. It’s such a great place and you’ll love it when you go!

  8. Octavio F. on March 19, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Next time you visit Sayulita, maybe you could be interested in staying with us at Casablanca Sayulita Hotel http://www.CasablancaSayulita.com

    Check it out, its right on the beach!!

  9. Chris on April 21, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Hey Christina,
    In Sayulita, what is the nightlife scene like? I like to surf and then enjoy some beers afterwards. Also, is there a good mix of tourists and locals?

    • Christina on May 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      The nightlife scene is low key bars, but still very fun! Definitely a good mix of tourists & locals – that’s part of why I love Sayulita so much is that it doesn’t seem touristy at all ?

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