Sayulita and the Marietas Islands: the jewels of the Riviera Nayarit
The Riviera Nayarit is a region of small towns, port cities and gorgeous beaches along Mexico’s Pacific coast from Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay in Jalisco state to San Blas in Nayarit state. The small towns of the Riviera Nayarit are quiet, adventurous and authentic, unlike the more developed, commercial and luxury-oriented resort towns of the Caribbean. If you’re interested in exploring a more cultural and environmentally conscious slice of Mexican paradise, Riviera Nayarit has what you’re looking for. One of the best sleepy coastal towns in the state of Nayarit, just a half-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta, is Sayulita. The populated volcanic islands of Islas Maritéas are also worth exploring.
Sayulita is a colorful and authentic magical town full of family restaurants, modest boutique hotels and native Nayaritans proud of their culture and the bounty of natural wonders that surround them. The beaches in and around Sayulita are ideal for surfing, snorkeling and snorkeling.
Whether you visit Sayulita as a day trip or decide to stay in a cute hotel, hostel, or beach campground, you’ll want to explore the various local beaches and explore one of Sayulita’s most magical attractions: Isla Marietas.
Islas Marietas, Mexico
Beaches of Sayulita.
Sayulita has a central beach with restaurants, a small marina, and local art and souvenir stores, but there are also better beaches for swimming and relaxing within walking distance. In addition, walks to some of these more secluded beaches pass through interesting natural and historical sites.
For example, Playa Los Muertos (appropriately named “the dead”) is a beautiful and clean beach surrounded by the rugged rocky ledges and lush jungle-covered mountains typical of Jalisco and Nayarit beaches, which can only be reached by walking through an old cemetery.
Playa de los Muertos, Sayulita, Nayarit
At another beach called Carriquitos, you have to walk through an unfinished construction site that seems to have been swallowed up by the surrounding jungle. Another gorgeous beach, Malpaso, requires you to walk along the main beach to the north until you reach a rocky ledge that you can climb over or take a less treacherous dirt road that runs parallel to the shoreline.
Playa Malpaso, Sayulita Nayarit
Playa Carricitos, Sayulita Nayarit
These three beaches are less crowded and offer a more tranquil and unspoiled setting for swimming, surfing and snorkeling in the cool blue waters of the Pacific. However, Sayulita’s main beach is where you can take surf lessons offered by local surfers and go on epic morning or evening excursions to Islas Marietas.
Islas Mariteas is a group of uninhabited volcanic islands off the coast of Sayulita that are second to none in natural beauty and are a must-see for travelers. One of the islands is home to a rare and endangered species of blue-footed booby, as well as other aviary populations, not to mention the dolphins and whales that swim around the islands during the fall, winter and spring months.
On another island in the Marietas group is Playa Escondido, or Hidden Beach, a beach completely enclosed by volcanic rock with a natural circular skylight, accessible only by swimming through a cave.
You can take a kayak or paddleboard excursion around Islas Marietas, but the only way to visit Hidden Beach is to pay an extra fee to the park service or buy a snorkeling excursion that includes a visit to Hidden Beach. It is much more expensive, but the cost is worth it. Hidden Beach is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
You can spend the morning exploring the Marietas Islands and then enjoy late afternoon and spectacular sunsets on the west coast at one of the smaller beaches of Sayulita. You can also change the schedule and spend the morning swimming and sunbathing, then take a sunset catamaran ride around Marietas Island. Regardless of the order, the beaches of Sayulita and Marietas Island are amazing gems of the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico’s captivating and amazing natural gem.
Hello, my name is Julia and I live in Mexico. I came to Mexico as an ethnographer to work in Chiapas, but I fell in love with this country: the pristine and wild beauty of nature, the modesty and responsiveness of the locals, the rich and diverse culture. I decided to stay, and now Mexico is my home.
The 9 best beaches in Sayulita, Mexico
This tiny corner of the world will provide true bliss for beginners and experienced surfers and divers alike. The colorful and authentic town is great for families too, with restaurants, boutiques, and hotels, but most importantly, the cleanest beaches. It is the reason why locals from Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara come here for the weekend, and why tourists from as far away as Mexico go for a few weeks. This article is about the truly magical beaches within a 5 kilometer radius of the central plaza of Sayulita.
The lively central beach of Sayulita is located on the Riviera Nayarit . It is shallow and ideal for paddling, surfing and swimming. Here you can also take lessons and courses from professional athletes, and the boards themselves are for rent. It’s better to go surfing before the evening to avoid the numerous swimmers.
On the beach for vacationers are installed deck chairs, between which scurry local vendors and offer food, drinks and souvenirs. If you want some privacy, you can move a little to the north, where no one will disturb the peace of tourists.
2. Malpaso .
Here the conditions for swimming, surfing and snorkeling in the cool blue waters of the Pacific are calmer . Getting to this beach can be a bit more difficult than to the others in this list, as you have to walk over a rocky ledge or along a dirt road, but you will be rewarded with several kilometers of clear beach line. There is a cave in the rock that leads to another cove that you can explore. You will not find a place to eat on the beach, but you can have a picnic.
3. Los Muertos
A small and beautiful cove stretches just behind Punta Sayulita. Here you can shelter from the winds and the sun in the lush green jungle. The beach is great for paddling because of its calm and sheltered waters. In addition, there are drinks and fruits for sale and other related services for more comfort of the tourists. The beach is called “Dead” only because it can be accessed by walking through an old cemetery.
3. Los Muertos
4. Carriquitos .
Known for its soft sand and canvas-worthy sunsets, Carriquitos is charming for its seclusion . There are no vendors scurrying around and not many vacationers. A perfect place to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle.
Pazquarito is not the biggest beach, as it is only 800m long. However, what it lacks in length it makes up for in natural beauty. The coast is dotted with rocks and untouched by civilization. And the most amazing thing here is the three different colors of sand, one of which is black. Against the background of the surrounding white and gold it looks very contrasting.
6. San Pancho (San Francisco)
San Pancho is a tiny town near Salilita, but it is quickly gaining popularity as a beautiful beach resort. Beach huts and sun loungers can be found along the coast and are rented out for the desired period of time. The beach here is clean and safe, which suits surfers, and there is a store within walking distance where you can rent boards.
6. San Pancho (San Francisco)
7. La Lancha
La Lancha, or “The Boat,” is a wide stretch of beach for wave lovers. It is surrounded by greenery and covered with white sand, so walks along the coast will also be a pleasure for tourists, even long ones if you take something to eat.
8. Punta Mita
Punta Mita was once a small fishing village . Now it is a unique tourist area on the shores of the bay. The local beach serves as a destination for those who like to stand up paddleboard or surfboard.
8. Punta Mita
9. Marietas Islands
Islas Marietas are a group of uninhabited volcanic islands off the coast of Sayulita that are unmatched in their natural beauty. They can only be reached by boat, which makes the trip a real adventure. The islands are unique: one is home to a rare and endangered species of blue-footed booby, the other has a beach completely enclosed by a volcanic rock with a natural circular skylight.
9. Marietas Islands
This place, known as Playa Escondido, by the way, often makes the list of the most incredible in the world . It can only be accessed at low tide by swimming through a cave 15 meters long. Also on Marietas you can find an underground crater beach or just surf where you will not be disturbed by other athletes.