I am not madly in love with Sayulita like the other 99%. I am the 1%. I do not love Sayulita because to me, Sayulita is about as Mexican as Taco Bell. It is Mexico-lite. Which can be great under certain circumstances (you can’t speak any Spanish, are afraid of Mexicans in the wild, you have the atlhelic ability to actually surf, you have money). But let me be more concise as to why I do not share my brethren’s unconditional amor for this surfer sanctuary.
Resting about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita’s humble origins began as a small fishing village that bohemians, hippies, and surf bums migrated to 30 years ago. Now it is a medium touristy fishing village that old bohemians, hippie communes, and surf bros permanently inhabit. Maintaining its “Mexican” village image, Sayulita boosts dirt roads and taco stands in the street, yet with the added allure shared by her big city brothers – floods of beach vendors hawking highly desirable trinkets (ponchos) and higher prices.
Despite my resistance to the white people siren calls of Sayulita, it is a little slice of heaven for certain target demographics. Let me elaborate.
Old White People
They say, “birds of a feather, flock together”, and this could not be truer than for quaint Sayulita. With over 85% of the beautiful, hilltop haciendas having white deeded ownership, it is no wonder why the town has a monopoly on white people in Mexico. Most haciendas serve as rentals year round to other white people who wish to get away from the mega tourist spots (Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun) yet still wish to have the Mexican experience. Which is why in the town you will find an abundance of all things gringos love: mochas, high-priced “local” artwork & other white people (safety in numbers).
30+ Year Olds with Lots of Disposable Income (hopefully my future friends)
I must admit, this is an awesome group that fills my heart with jealousy. In addition to hillside haciendas, there also exist many beachside party houses. Pools, open air-designs, and 8+ bedrooms, make these villas a dream for bringing back the glory years. Although many are located outside of the center town (making for an annoying walk), one can rent all terrain “golf” cart to tram the booze cruise around the town and back to house in a flash without spilling any of that mega-sized Corona (at a price for two roundtrip airfares of course). And in case you lose your mind from all the partying, there are a couple of different beachside wedding venues so that you can come back and tie the knot in the place you fell in love at (while highly intoxicated).
The bane of my existence. This is indeed the bastion of all bastions for hippies. Campgrounds, communal showers near the beach, and the ability to procreate at will, Sayulita is a Mecca for these unique creatures for a reason. One day of walking the streets of Sayulita will yield dreadlock sightings on almost every corner. The hum of “No Women No Cry” gently massages the ears as one meanders through the myriad of
foreign local artisan shops and Mexican gourmet coffee roasteries.
Bros (Surfer and faux-Surfers)
I don’t know when they evolved, but they did. The new age bro is a hybrid. Part old-skool surfer type, part hipster. Like their hipster cousin, they too done skinnies, havanna sandals and raybands when not cruising for the perfect wave, but they radiate a different type of magnetism. Abandoning the traditional surfer masculinity paired with indifference, the new age bro seeks more camaraderie amongst other bros. Gayer than a surfer yet less ultra-aware than a hipster, these specimen can be seen riding pipe during the day, and smoking pipe
of with other bros in the hammocks somewhere between the hippie communes and the surfer dude bars at night.
Sayulita is indeed dream location for most vacationers with a one-week break. Just Mexican enough to quench the ethnic-travel thirst, white enough to please the retirees, and with enough bros to salivate 30ish year-old cougars on a girl getaway weekend. It has great surf, beautiful beaches, burrito bars with all the accoutrements and lots of desperate white girls going to their girlfriend’s romantic beachside wedding feeling lonely.
Wait…maybe I do love Sayulita after all.
Naww braah – that is just the stuff the hippies gave me talking.