Sayulita: Land of endless surf, beautiful beach, and bros

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.

Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

  • Cameron Ottosen on Facebook
    Posted at 10:43h, 15 March

    I like your break down of Sayulita. I hate to say it, because I’m in that 99% that loves it, but it’s very true! Did you end up making it up to hostel Sayulita by chance?

  • Tyler Haugen on Facebook
    Posted at 18:15h, 15 March

    Sounds perfect, but I hear you… it would annoy the shit outta me at the same time, for all the reasons you hit on.

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  • Carleenlong
    Posted at 19:38h, 09 May

    You write like your in kindergarten. Grow some! Your going to want to live somewhere cool when your old too. Should Retirees, live in some bohemian village without the comforts Sayulita has to offer just to be cool.  I’m glad surfers have evolved to  kinder, gentler souls. I’m married to one and watched the fights at the beach. How cool! As far as hippies, maybe they are people that are trying to get by without hurting anyone.  You sound like the the establishment years ago.  Stay out of Mexico because everyone has just as much right as you do to live there.  Love, A Retiree 

    • Turner (@80WorldJobs)
      Posted at 22:25h, 09 May

      Thanks Retiree for the sage wisdom- Some may not appreciate my writing style or understand satire, sarcasm, irony…etc. and think I write like I am in kindergarten, or perhaps they just in general disagree with my perspectives, sentiment, preferences – which is great. Differences are what make the world such a special and lovely place. But poor grammar and not knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” is universally moronic – at any age.

      • Leche
        Posted at 23:20h, 09 May

        Ouchie! That one stung a bit.
        Stop being so mean you big poop head!

  • Mikal laguerre
    Posted at 23:10h, 09 May

    Hey Carleenlong,

    Your face

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  • Riderjag
    Posted at 12:53h, 11 October

    you are an idiot, maybe next time you go you actually open your eyes and see the town for what it’s worth. as a gringo who spends 8 months a year in sayulita your views are way too american. and like they say, if you don’t like sayulita then why the fuck are you here.

    • Turner
      Posted at 13:24h, 11 October

      Thanks for writing Riderjag. I appreciate your critical feedback and keen ability to recognize satire.   All views are welcome. I have seen Sayulita, and enjoy some aspects, but feel it is better for people in certain demographics. Apparently, based on the gringos who respond with such passion and poor grammar, I should add the demographic of “People who can’t read too good”. And like other expat gringos who write such well-articulated responses, I must say, that if you want to be taken seriously as a person, you must spell words correctly and use the English language in a way that doesn’t make you sound like the guy who is in Mexico because Goodwill rejected his job application. [words at the beginning of sentences and locations must be capitalized]

  • simplyvallarta
    Posted at 18:30h, 07 March

    Your post was amusing as I’ve lived in Puerto Vallarta for four years now and find Sayulita to be a douche haven; however, your responses to the critical comments of your readers seem to paint you as a type of douche that would fit right in. Resorting to calling people out on grammar does nothing to refute their claims. It’s also a fool’s errand for one who chooses to start sentences with reflexive pronouns, forgets to tuck commas inside quotation marks, is inconsistent in the use of the Oxford Comma, and uses ‘done’ when clearly the context calls for ‘don.’ 

    I’m also curious as to your understanding of the word satire, which is commonly understand to be the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices. If this piece is one of satire, then take a stand in your responses and defend your intentions to ridicule and criticize the people of Sayulita.