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Sayulita: bohemian surf town on the Nayarit coast

Christina Stobbs

Sayulita beach is stunningly beautiful, and most visitors are completely captivated by its charm. The two-mile long beach boasts soft fine sand, warm blue waters, perfect surfing waves and is adorned by rich tropical foliage and swaying palms, fulfilling most people's fantasy of a tropical oasis. Indeed Sayulita is commonly referred to as "The Jewel of Nayarit."

Sayulita visitors come from all walks of life. You will meet the friendly hippy who chose to miss his flight home as well as the rich and famous searching for an off-the-beaten track vacation destination, who add a definite touch of glamour to the town. Even the stray dogs in Sayulita seem to be hipper than the rest of the strays in Nayarit, many adorned with jewelled collars.

The charm of Sayulita is that it remains a true Mexican town, with a mix of cobblestone and sand streets frequented by friendly locals, dogs, chickens, roosters and a large expatriate population who happily coexist. But it also offers the tourist — especially the younger generation — a hip, trendy and charming destination off the beaten path. Indeed, the town of Sayulita offers an eclectic mix of Mexican people who happily reside amongst a large population of Canadian, American and European and Japanese expats who call Sayulita home for at least half of the year.

Sayulita offers great surfing. The town hosts a number of tournaments and tours throughout the year, attracting surfers from all over the world. In fact, surfing is a way of life for Sayulita, and young surfers with toned bodies bedecked in the latest fashions appear enthralled by Sayulita.

The south end of the beach is populated by tourists, who recline on deluxe lawn chairs or under the shade of a palapa, taking in life at this beachside paradise while enjoying a cool one. This end of the beach can be a little crowded with tourists, vendors and surfers during the height of the tourist season. However, to avoid the crowds, one simply needs to walk a little way towards the north end of the beach, which is always quieter.

Sayulita offers visitors a wonderful variety of trendy upscale boutique stores with sand floors where clerks in the latest bohemian fashions sell rare imported black pearls, authentic Huichol creations, blankets from Oaxaca, and the hottest "Sayulita Fashion." Sayulita also offers a lot of activities for the adventuresome, active and young and heart — ATV Tours, group hikes, yoga retreats and even services like acupuncture and massage therapy.

We love to visit Sayulita whenever we have an expatriate craving for lox and bagels, rye bread, chocolate chip cookies, bran muffins, or simply a deluxe dinner on par with some of the finer dining one might expect to find in San Diego, San Francisco or Vancouver. Don Pedro's on the beach is our favourite place for dinner for its unbeatable beach setting, excellent service and cuisine, and because they serve the best chocolate mousse and crème brulee in Mexico. Of course, the prices are a little higher in Sayulita then in other beach towns along the Nayarit coast, but are well worth it, and still far less expensive than dinner at any comparable establishment, north of the border.

Published or Updated on: September 20, 2009 by Christina Stobbs © 2009
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