Mexico week 2: beachy, steamy & colorful living in Sayulita

For my second week in Mexico, I said goodbye to the remote small town of San Pancho and hello to the more lively, colorful Sayulita where Joe joins me for the next 3 weeks. When I was researching where to go in July, I originally wanted to try a new city (my usual travel style is to always go someplace new), but somehow I kept coming back to Sayulita…Joe and I have actually visited before and it was one of my favorite trips of all time. After a lot of deliberating, we finally landed on Sayulita as we knew we loved the city and it had everything we were looking for our digital nomad experience.

Within hours of stepping foot in Sayulita, I knew it was the right decision. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are so SO happy here, beyond what I could possibly imagine. The upbeat, hippie vibes mixed with our familiarity with the town has made us feel right at home.

The difference this time is that we’re less in “vacation mode” and more in “daily life mode” since we are working remotely, so the first week was filled with settling into our apartment, figuring out our work routine, finding the grocery stores/laundromat, etc.

Nevertheless, daily life here feels like an absolute dream as the steamy beach setting has made me feel more relaxed and always marveling at something exciting. We’ve already packed a lot of fun in one short week and I’m so excited for the month ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sayulita is a village on Mexicoโ€™s Pacific coast known for its funky hippie vibes and laid-back beaches with solid surf. The streets are lined with colorful decor with vendors selling jewelry/trinkets/artwork.

Sayulita sign
Road to Sayulita beach
Local bar with swings in Sayulita
Street vendors in Saturday market

There is a central plaza where most of the action takes place. The nicer, more touristy restaurants/shops line up around the plaza, but as you venture further in radius, there are more local vibes. One big change this time was that Joe and I wandered out from central downtown and experienced more of local Sayulita.

Downtown plaza of Sayulita
Colorful plaza in Sayulita

It feels like the cat is out of the bag as Sayulita is definitely getting more populated – since our last visit 1.5 years ago, the streets are so much more crowded…and it’s technically low-season! But we still love it as it’s not so much filling up with the “Cancun crowd”, but more with local Mexicans traveling from other towns, so there’s still an authentic feel.

Streets of Sayulita

I love the colorful murals lining the town; the artwork on the building walls is just beautiful. Sometimes you have to go into the smaller alleyways to see them.

Colorful art on building in Sayulita
Colorful art mural in Sayulita

One thing that took some adjusting was physically being thrown into a whole new biome. It is technically wet season right now, so everything is lush and green (although it hasn’t rained too much to stop our plans). I just love the local plants and touches of green all around town. It is also SUPER hot and humid! It took some adjusting as my body rarely feels over 65 degrees over the year, but I’ve grown to love the steamy climate where I can spend all day in a dress and flip flops.

Local plants in pots in Mexico

Like in any village, there are animals hanging around like it’s their home. Chickens chilling on the streets, iguanas on your roof, and ants scavenging for crumbs in your kitchen.

Rooster on streets of Mexico

One of the most fantastic parts of our trip is the villa we rented for the month. When we found this Airbnb, Joe and I immediately said out loud that this was the one. It is nestled on the edge of town and it’s a 10-minute walk to the Sayulita’s center, which is perfect because we see more of the town.

We have the entire top floor of a house that is honestly bigger than our apartments in San Francisco. It has a classic Mexican feel with the tiled kitchen and decor, but is also has modern amenities like AC (thank god), perfect for staying comfortable while working from home. There is construction going on next door, but we don’t even care as our minds naturally drown it out coming from the big city.

Top floor of airbnb in Mexico

Also we have a private rooftop, how dope!

Rooftop in villa in Sayulita

View from our roof. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rooftop view in Sayulita

Our backyard has a short hiking path to a lush garden area. Joe and I couldn’t be happier marveling at the native tropical plants.

Garden pathway

We’ve spent a lot of time on the main beach in Sayulita. It does get crowded with restaurants vying for customers and vendors approaching you to sell their things…but the beach is still pretty nice and there is a scenic feel as the beach is surrounded by the green hilltops.

Sayulita beach

A beach day for me and Joe typically consists of lots of movement. We’re not really the lay around type of people, so we’re constantly swimming in the water, body surfing, taking walks, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beach selfie
Couple on beach in Mexico
Couple kissing on cheek
Posing on beach in Sayulita

And of course, THE SURFING! My #1 reason for coming to Mexico in the first place. It is truly surf-heaven here. I feel like I’ve progressed a lot since being here as I’ve been practicing almost every day. One big accomplishment: I upgraded from a soft foam board to a hard fiberglass board, which has been one of my personal goals for a while now. To me, a hard board is a milestone in feeling like a more legit surfer (although soft boards are a lot of fun and certainly have their place, even for professional surfers!). The fiberglass board is a bit tougher with balance, but I like that it’s faster and more nimble with turns and maneuvering. Overall my confidence has really soared, which is the most important!

The surf vibe here is a little less open/friendly than other beaches I’ve been to – there are always locals in the water, competing for waves and giving the tourists looks especially when they sniff out a beginner. Nevertheless, I can’t give up this amazing opportunity to practice in this warm water paradise, so I try to get out at least an hour a day.

Posing with surf boards

I got my hair done! I met a lady on the beach who was braiding hair and I thought why not. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hair braided with beads

A lot of people drive around town with golf carts since it’s a pedestrian town and not many people own cars. A few days into our trip, Joe and I caved and decided to rent our own golf cart for the rest of the trip. The heat was getting to us, and even a 10-minute walk to the plaza felt like a pain! The golf cart has really expanded our horizons as we can cover so much more of town and discover things that are off-the-beaten-path. Our Airbnb host (who is absolutely wonderful and well into his 70s) poked fun at how we can’t handle walking; my spoiled San Francisco self will gladly take that snub. ๐Ÿ™‚

Driving golf cart in Sayulita

I do drive with both my feet, and yes I know that is strange! It’s just how I learned and I never corrected it. Fun fact – my whole family drives this way since we all learned from my dad. ๐Ÿ˜›

Driving golf cart in Sayulita

After two weeks in Mexico, I’m happy to report I am not at all sick of Mexican food. We’ve had so many yummy meals, sometimes going to the familiar restaurants in the plaza but often times venturing out to the more local holes-in-the-wall. I think a big reason we’re not sick of the food is because the ingredients are so fresh here and I realized Mexican food is actually pretty healthy (especially compared to the greasy Tex-Mex food in the U.S.).

Eating at local restaurant in Sayulita
Tacos in local restaurant in Sayulita

Oh my god, the FRUIT here is INCREDIBLE! There’s a local produce store where we buy fresh mangos, peaches, pineapples, and more. We cannot stop eating it!

Fresh fruit in Mexico

It brings me so much joy to share our adventures with you all, and I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of our life here in Mexico. Until next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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