Living in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico

Last updated: 08 April 2021 / Reporting by Craig Steiner, Rachel Wright, and Shirley Banks

At Sayulita Insider, we aim to bring you the latest happenings in Sayulita. Please note that while Sayulita is currently open for tourism, this town is not heavily implementing COVID precautions. Travel at your own risk and be responsible! For real-time updates and questions about Sayulita, send us a message on Instagram, @sayulitainsider.

In 2021, the US State Department recorded 1.5 million Americans are currently living in Mexico. Although we do not have the exact statistics of foreigners living in Sayulita, we’ve seen how many travelers and digital nomads have relocated to this small town on the Pacific Coast. We’re not like Tulum or Playa del Carmen yet, and we don’t really want to be in that level but if you plan to move here, here are the things that you need to know.


What’s it like to live in Sayulita?

We’ve seen a lot of people come and go. The first thing that you need to know when you decide to move to Sayulita: it’s not for everyone. The lifestyle here is enticing for many but it really depends on how you manage work and play. Here are some of the basic information on the lifestyle here and some tips on how to cope.

Culture in Sayulita

This small town has been popular as a wellness destination in Mexico because of its great waves for surfing amazing community of health enthusiasts. We have a small-knit community so expect to get to know everybody from the first month you are living in Sayulita. Lifestyle is very slow (like many Mexican beach towns) so don’t expect people to be on time – everyone moves at their own pace. With that, keep in mind that transacting business here is also very slow.

What are the types of expats that live in Sayulita?

The good news is, Sayulita is for every type of expat. It surely is a community for everyone. Many families move here with their children as Sayulita is very family-friendly. Even outside the expat community, you will see how many kids are on the streets all the time as it is a certified safe environment for children. Solo travelers and groups of friends are the most common expats here. In 2021, we’ve seen a significant increase in the digital nomad community despite the challenges of good Internet connection. Every small town in Mexico has a different vibe but so far, in all of the destinations we know, Sayulita is the one that has a room for every type of traveler. As for nationalities, we can’t really say the exact numbers as we have many people here from all over the world – Mexicans, Latinos, Europeans, Canadians, Americans – everyone is here but expect more Canadians and Americans living in Sayulita.

Connecting with fellow expats in Sayulita

As we are a very close-knit community, connecting with fellow expats is the least of your worries. We understand that whenever you move to a new country, it can get very lonely, especially if you don’t have an expat community to rely on. If you’re a family, your children will always have friend here as we have an International school in Sayulita. For young professionals and digital nomads who like to socialize, we have a vibrant nightlife – go to the plaza by yourself and we guarantee that you’ll click with like-minded individuals in an instant. Simply sit at a bar alone and you will find yourself chatting with many expats within the hour. Join Sayulita People on Facebook, the main expat and local group in Sayulita for questions. It’s a mix of Spanish and English posts but there are more Mexicans in this group. It’s not that easy to join and it will take a while to be approved. Let us know if you need help!

Pros and cons of living in Sayulita

This is very personal and subjective. As we said, living in Sayulita is not for everyone but here are some of the pros and cons that we can share at a glance. It’s up to you how you label them.

✅ Very safe
✅ Fast internet
✅ Lots of fun stuff to do
✅ Warm all year round
✅ Good air quality on average
✅ Slightly crowded compared to Tulum or Playa del Carmen
✅ Very easy to make friends
✅ Roads are pretty safe
✅ Democratic
✅ People can speak basic English
✅ Safe for women
✅ Family-friendly
✅ Very friendly to LGBTQ+

❌ More expensive than other Mexican small towns
❌ Slow internet
❌ Too hot in the summer
❌ Very sweaty and humid in the summer
❌ Hard to do business
❌ There is only one hospital

Cost of living in Sayulita

Sayulita is more expensive than other Mexican towns or cities. Let’s do a little comparison with its neighbor, Puerto Vallarta. A basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in Sayulita costs $9 USD while in PV, you can have this for $6 USD. Since there are no supermarkets in Sayulita, expats tend to do a trip to PV to do their grocery shopping. To highlight that better, below is the comparison with Puerto Vallarta (food costs only).

Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district
$9 USD
$7 USD
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast
$6 USD
$3 USD
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk
$1.74 USD
$1 USD
2 eggs, large
$2.24 USD
$1.50 USD
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes
$1 USD
00 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese
$4 USD
$2.84 USD
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples
$2.50 USD
$1.69 USD
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket
$1.24 USD
$0.95 USD
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality

We only want to show you the food costs in this section so you can have an idea of your monthly budget. You can go to read our full article about the cost of living in Sayulita (in detail) here.