“Mama, I’m figuring out how to make a surfboard out of a pizza box.”
We’ve called Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico home for what will be nearly three weeks when we leave. Mornings are slow as the thunderous crush of magnificently powerful waves reminds our sleep to give way. The soft glow of a new day drifts in through mosquito nets and screened canvas alike. I am often awake before the rest of the family and listen as the noises of a coastal town in Mexico prepare for another go at life.
The Sayulita Trailer Park is a complex of trailers filled with annual snowbirds, surfers here renting a few steps away from the sand and travelers like ourselves alike. Coconut palms dangle shade across the entire place as various inhabitants mingle with one another more or less given their own predations.
A 12v fan does what it can to blow the stark heat of midday from the Bus and as a family we scurry from what shaded corner of the street we can find to another on our daily walk to town. In search of sustenance, Sayulita offers everything from good hamburgers to great pizza, plenty of Mexican food of course, and an abundance of craft beer…the latter of which is nearly impossible to find in our travels through this country thus far.
Yoga and surfing fill the voids of the touristas and ex-pats alike between restaurants, while occasionally a poor woman sells trinkets on a corner as her young daughter plays games with abandoned flip flops on the sidewalk. Men selling everything from hammocks to lollipops to marijuana peddle their wares along the beach and into downtown. Again, the ocean crashes thunderous.
“The water is too high!” one of our children screams, trying to fill a plastic bottle with the incoming tide.
“No one can control the ocean,” his mama says, “except for the moon!”
We leave the door open at night and the breeze is the perfect rhythm guitar to the oceans’ random beat.
Sayulita is one of the great towns, and though it may be something less than an authentic Mexican experience, it is one of the great places on this content to experience period.
Things to Do in Sayulita
Eat pizza. Check out La Rustica and, just across the street, INO Laboratorio Gastronomico, two great pizza joints that also happen to have craft beer.
Horseback riding. There’s a creek (kind of a sewage drain, unfortunately), in the middle of town, between Palmar Trapiche and Calle Pelicanos. On the side away from the RV parks, closer to “downtown”, several cowboys will offer you rides on their horses that follow a trail through town, along the beach, and into the jungle, culminating on a cliff that provides a gorgeous view of Sayulita and beyond.
San Pancho. Just a few minutes drive north of Sayulita lives a sleepier, less touristy experience by the name of San Pancho (or San Francisco on some maps, including Google). A similar experience, with fewer crowds.
Sayulita Trailer Park. Bearing a less than appealing name perhaps, this little RV park is within walking distance to everything Sayulita has to offer. WiFi is available, decent showers, a small library and ping pong table, and it’s right on the beach.