Beads of sweat formed on my face the second I stepped out of the airport in Puerto Vallarta. It was 95 degrees and unbearably humid in Mexico, but my boyfriend and I were too excited to care. Our Airbnb host kindly set us up with a friend of hers – an English gentleman named Colin – to drive us through the jungle into Sayulita. The sleepy surfer town was smaller than I expected, nestled between lush green and bright blue water. Its charm was instantly undeniable. 🌴🌊
Our Airbnb was gorgeous. Sitting proudly atop Gringo Hill (yes, that’s the proper name), Casa Caracol consists of three casitas – each with an ocean view and access to a beautiful pool. We began our stay in the bottom unit, but due to some unexpected flooding during a surprise nighttime thunderstorm we ended up moving to the top unit to finish out our trip. We were the only people staying at Casa Caracol at the time so we felt like we had the whole property to ourselves!
So, speaking of being the only visitors at our Airbnb, and the intense heat, and the rain storms… my boyfriend and I decided to visit Sayulita during the off-season. Not by choice really, our vacation just fell during the end of August. Turns out, the city shuts down a bit from August-October due to extreme weather and lack of tourist cash flow. This ultimately worked in our favor. While a lot of restaurants and shops were closed, the ones that were open weren’t packed and we ended up receiving excellent service. That is most likely due to the fact that the locals are fairly kind – and also because we were clearly visiting with pesos to burn and a thirst for tequila.
Our apartment was a quick 5 minute walk to the city center and just a 10 minute walk to the beach. Once I saw the main beach in Sayulita I understood why it draws such huge crowds during the year. The water is warm, the surf is good, and the sand is full of shimmering gold flecks. There are roughly 4,000 people living in Sayulita, but during the peak-season (around December) the number of occupants in the city swells to roughly 40,000!
To wrap it up, we had the most relaxing vacation. We spent most days lounging on the beach eating Mexican fare and downing Pacificos. We went hiking, swam at the pool, and cooked meals at Casa Caracol – enjoying our ocean views at the top of Gringo Hill. We came across funny little land crabs, geckos, and a bunch of colorful butterflies. Because our cell phones were in airplane mode for the week we ended up reading a lot. My boyfriend read The Drifters for the third time. I went for the more macabre, reading a collection of short stories by Stephen King and Devil in the White City. We made friends, played cards, worked on our Spanish, and took time to appreciate the city’s laid back lifestyle.
Click here to see my favorite spots to eat and drink in Sayulita! 🍻🍴