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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
thank you, Casa de Chile Relleno
bananas with rainbow sprinkles and toasted coconut from Chococabana
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.
a suite at St. Regis Punta Mita
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.
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.
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.
ceviche with green apple at Casa Tradicional
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.
beautiful outdoor lobby at Hacienda San Angel
So, what will it be for your next Mexico trip – Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita or Punta Mita?
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