Sayulita, Nayarit MEXICO

Last summer we made an impromptu visit to the magical surf town of Sayulita, on the west coast of Mexico. I took a lot of pictures, met some lovely people, and ate a lot of tacos. Here's my little photo journal.

My husband is a lawyer at a big firm. He loves it, but he works a lot. His life is logged in points of an hour and family vacations are often postponed or dreamed up at a moments notice. So when we got to the end of the summer without a memorable adventure on the books, we decided to find someplace we could easily escape to without much planning or trouble.

The idea of Mexico came up and out of lack of knowledge (and maybe a bit of cartel fear), we booked flights to Puerto Vallarta to stay at an all inclusive. But a chance meeting with an old friend (and expert on the topic of Mexico) convinced us to ditch the big tourist scene and spend our time about an hour drive north thru the jungle in the little surf town of Sayulita. We booked a gorgeous villa (more on this in a bit), and got excited...until we discovered August is the rainy season on the west coast of Mexico. Seriously?.

This was starting to sound like more of an adventure than I originally planned for. 

VERY rough roads add to the authentic small town charm.

Color. Everywhere.

The weather was definitely spicy when we arrived in Puerto Vallarta! It was about 90-95ºF and 90% humidity. Bit of a shock for canadian-born girl. (Side-note - I also don't really like cold after living in California for 13 years - I'm what they call a wimp). 

We hired a driver at the airport to take us up the coast and what a gorgeous drive it was thru the jungle, listening to my silly husband try out his high school Spanish with our too-kind driver. Arriving at our villa was memorable as the streets filtered down to one-way (not sure which way though), and to a charming mix of mud and sharp rocks. Around us people young and old happily piled into tiny cars and the backs of trucks. Our boys were getting tired by this point and we were all relieved and excited when we arrived at Villa Amor. I could really go on about this resort - wonderful staff, gorgeous infinity pools, lush tropical gardens, oceanside dining, yoga classes, unique villas with outdoor kitchens and ocean views-- but you really need to see it to appreciate it. So I took pictures! - of course. A lot of pictures actually.

Street donuts bring all the kids over

Me at the door of our villa.

Locks used only for castles and villas in Mexico!

Villa Amor's lobby 

bikes for the short peddle into town

Villa Amor's pool-side oasis and spa entrance 


ordinary bathroom door

Twisty jungle stairs to hillside villas

one of my boys enjoying his virgin piña colada and Mexican mermaid in our outdoor kitchen

our morning view

The secret magic of the rainy season really started at sundown and I began to understand why people brave the humidity and visit during August. Every night - I mean EVERY night- there was a downpour, rumbling thunder and a spectacular electric show with lighting so frequent that it didn't look possible. It felt like the biggest rave light show of all time. 

nightly show

Besides relaxing at Villa Amor, we spent our week enjoying the two (within walking distance) sparkling beaches, shopping for colorful things in the local markets, eating loads of tropical fruit and street tacos (we're vegan and most people were happy to accommodate us!), drinking margaritas, looking for giant green iguanas, listening to local music and taking photos of the brilliant street art. I've heard there are many other things for tourists to do such as hikes, surf lessons (it is a famous surf town), and horseback rides but we were having too much fun just taking in this energetic and authentic town that we didn't bother this time.


my son finds cats everywhere


street art + bottle openers - everywhere

Iguana sanctuary - just this tree. But they pretty much hang on the roof of the restaurant next door

Giant green iguanas love the sunny rooftop of Tierra Viva Restaurant

Coconut Margarita at Tierra Viva

making vegan tacos for us!

so many cute street dogs

Me and my sweaty guys

I can see why this is where Mexican people go to vacation. This is how I dreamed Mexico would be. See you again soon, Sayulita. x