Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sayulita, Mexico {Part Two}: People, Places and Things.



I feel like the best way to talk about this trip is through the places we visited. So this is my guide to Sayulita, Mexico based on where we ate, slept and partied. Because yes, we partied.... duh, we were in MEXICO! I would go back in a heartbeat and recommend it to anyone wanting to have a small town, more personal experience in Mexico. This is not your Cancun Spring Break folks, in the best way possible. So here it goes....

STAY: 

After closely inspecting many, many options for housing-- from the grand to the not-so-grand, we landed somewhere in the middle. We knew we would be spending some major time here so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of space, and also, one of our more snobby requests-- we needed a pool. I think I clocked more hours in that pool than any other room in the house. It was a necessity. Our evenings were spent laughing, talking, dancing, drinking tequila and yes, even crying in, and by, this pool. Casa Sierra was very good to us and a great choice for our home. 


PLAY:

Chica Locca-- Snorkeling and Boat Tour to Marietas Island
Before going on this trip we all got together and agreed that if we put our money down for one big thing, it would be a day on a boat. Now, sitting back and thinking about my favorite days on this vacation, this is way up there. Where do I start? the waterslides, cave swimming, constant drink-in-my-hand, snorkeling, dance party, broke my bikini face first, dolphins, Ooooh, what a time it was! The staff might be the best part. Also, you are on a freaking boat. 

I was a little reluctant about the whole surfing thing I must say. Mainly because by the time we got around to doing it my body was weak and sore already (see:Beaches) and also because I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to the ocean (it's so BIG! and so many THINGS! live in it). BUT I actually really liked it and was sad that we did it so late in the game because I would have probably gone a second time. Our instructors were younger than us, 18 and 20 year old kids that played Bob Marley off their cell phones on the way to the beach and recited impeccable California English. I got up THREE times and Kelsey and I even rode a wave in together, which was very epically unplanned. Sayulita is known for it's surfing so basically you just gotta do it. 


Beaches: 
The main beach that opens up right in front of you, past the Plaza, and down the main road is not the best swimming beach. You will get hassled by people trying to sell you bracelets and other things (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). This is obviously the first beach we went to, the very first day, but we quickly learned that there are much better beaches just a short walk away that are much more beautiful and remote.

Playa de Los Muertos: The short walk to this beach is fascinating, because there is a huge, awesome cemetery on the way (ahem, hence the name) which of course makes for some really great photo ops! It is close (only about a 5 min walk) and has a lifeguard on duty at most times. Rob even did a little cliff jumping off some nearby rocks!

Playas Las Cuevas and Playa Malpasos: If you are in the adventure spirit and don't mind getting some major exercise, these beaches are worth a visit. We ventured out not sure what to expect while following some treasure map type directions across the river, through the jungle, past the cobblestone road. This one's a hike guys! You will most likely be the only people at the beach when you arrive, which gave me flashes of both 'The Beach' and 'LOST' as we were exploring-- very creepy, cool. The waves were huge the day we went, which made it ideal for boogie boarding and wave surfing and not so much swimming. I've got to say that the trek was worth it for me because it was a little rough, ya know? We came home with a few scratches and pains but most importantly, we had an adventure under our belts.


EAT:

This was our go-to lunch spot. We visited at least 4 times in the week and even brought home 5 bottles of their famous salsa. The shrimp burrito is the best burrito I've ever put in my mouth, and the salsa is obviously so good we had to sneak it through customs! We got to know the owner Antonio and his son and enjoyed chatting with them during our visits.

We ate here almost every day in one form or another, whether we were just grabbing a to-go cup of coffee, or getting a hardy breakfast to start our day. The Huevos Rancheros was my favorite of everything I tried. Real good coffee too!


We had one of the best meals of the trip here and it was Italian food. I know it sounds crazy-- Italian food in Mexico?, but they literally made the dough and cranked out the pasta right in front of us and the wood fire pizzas were incredible...not to mention the homemade mozzarella in our Caprese salad and the Tiramisu....oh man....I have seriously been thinking about this meal since we left. It was out of control good.

By far the best thing about this restaurant is it's location-- it sits, well pretty much, right on the beach. There were, no joke, two crabs crawling underneath our feet during dinner. We went here one night for our 'fancy' meal choice and it totally felt like a special occasion-- the lighting, the ambiance, not to mention, the fact that we were the only table the entire time. I ordered the Mahi Mahi and it was superb. 

Looking for a different breakfast option, we tried this place towards the end of our trip. I have to say I think I liked it better than ChocoBanana. Good smoothies, great coffee, tasty food. The downside-- it's hot! Be ready to sweat, a lot!

I loved the margs here. Sit upstairs, it's feels away from the crowded plaza and the view is pretty great. Food is good.

Street Food: 
After hours....around 9 or so, you will begin to see the street vendors come out of the woodworks. I was more interested in the dessert around this time and highly recommend getting your hands on some churros. The truck wasn't out every night but when he was he was situated right across the river towards the main plaza. A few of the people in our group ate at Tacos El Ivan and thought they were good and cheap. I'd just say try what you like, it'll most likely be delicious! 


RANDOM TIPS:

Shopping is something we did daily in little spurts. There are tons of cute places, but some really cater to the tourists, and are way overpriced. Shop around--a lot of stores sell similar things and the range in prices can be huge.

Try to break your big bills as much as possible. You will have a lot of trouble if you are carrying 200-500 peso bills on a regular basis, as most places refuse them. Make change with big purchases.

We took two different modes of airport transportation. When we landed in Puerto Vallarta, we opted for the cheaper/bumpier/longer option, the bus. It's about $2.50 to get to Sayulita which was awesome, but it takes over an hour and is very bumpy and hot. I personally liked it, because it gave us a chance to really take in Mexico right off the bat. On the way home though....we craved an easier ride and decided to arrange a cab to pick us up at our house in Sayulita and take us to the airport. That cost about $45 total, before tip-- split between four people, it ended up being worth the splurge for low stress and convenience sake. Both options are totally do-able...this is something we were very concerned about before getting there that ended up being very low stress in the end.

Make friends with the locals. They will enrich your experience.

1 comment:

  1. what a great trip with great friends! love all the pictures and spot on recommendations ;-)

    ReplyDelete