Great beach for strolling, boogie boarding, hanging out. Lots of restaurants right on the beach and around town, shops, everything in walking distance. No chain restaurants or high rise hotels. Our big, beautiful house, rented through Avalos Realty, with tons of space for our two families of 4 adults and four children (ages 9 – 12), our own pool, and every little thing we needed (even beach umbrella) cost less than a typical hotel, even on a holiday week. Waking to the sounds of jungle birds each morning, and the shrimp truck were a delight. We had plenty to keep us all busy, and happy, including plenty of time for relaxation, without having to get in a car the entire week.
Favorite dinners: Don Pedro, especially smoked marlin salad and ahi tuna appetizer. Excellent service – they wrote the name of the birthday girl in chocolate on her dessert plate. Café Relleno/Sayulita Café with a stop next door at Robert’s for dessert. You need to check in nightly because there’s always something new and wonderful. Dinner at Rollie’s was good and reasonably priced. Mangia Fuoco for really authentic Italian food – two guys from Italy her really care about what they’re doing. Great brick over pizza, very fresh pasta, delicious meat dishes and salads. A bit pricey, but otherwise worth the visit. They graciously opened and served the wine we brought. On the other end of the spectrum, but equally enjoyable, were tacos purchased outside the grocery store downtown.
Favorite Lunch : Medusa’s, mostly because it was around the corner from our house and had free wireless for the computer junkies in our group. Yummy smoked marlin tacos, and best cerviche ever – bring your own beer, icy cold from the liquor store down the street from our casa. Another favorite lunch was grilled pollo from a roadside stand eaten on the beach.
We all enjoyed El Espresso for breakfast, though our favorite breakfasts were eaten in our casa with leftovers wrapped in corn tortillas bought still hot from any little grocery store – there’s a tortilla “factory” in town that delivers them fresh. We also enjoyed coffee and pastries from Panino, a little European style bakery a couple doors from the beach. Incredible bread, too.
Hot, fresh tamales, pastries, wheel barrow of nuts and candies, ice cream on the beach; Really good pizza slices at the storefront across from Don Pedro’s. One of the recurring highlights of the trip was the fruit stuffed pineapple drinks from Coco Frias on the beach. With or without rum – an amazing treat either way.
Not our favorites: Dinner at Afortunados - Lovely setting and guitar music, mixed reviews on food. Caiman – can’t recommend it. Even though the setting was nice and some people actually enjoyed their dinner, the 70 peso ravioli that came with three ravioli on a plate was not a hit and the kids had to order second meals – some which didn’t come until after everyone else was done eating.
Some fun adventures: the zip line tour – some of us did that while others wandered through the local shops.
An easy, fun excursion: we followed the road that hugs the coastline heading toward Punta de Mita up and over the cemetery to Playa de los Muertes, a pretty little beach with a little concession stand. The mango on a stick with chili and lime was only 10 pesos – so delicious. Seemed to be a local hang-out – not crowded.
Our best adventure, a hike to the north to the end of the beach, over some rocks at the end of the beach, up a steep trail, then were treated to a view of the next beach north of Sayulita. We found out there was an easier way to get there when followed some other people on our way back. There’s a great sea tunnel there you can walk through if you hit the tide right, or run fast. A very long, quiet beach with almost nobody there.
Still restaurants we haven’t tried, more places to explore. Can’t wait to go back. Soon.