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sayulita covid

What it’s like to travel to Sayulita during COVID [Sep 2020 update]

Sent via instagram: Cristine (Flushing, MI)

Thank you for your informative website about Sayulita. I have never seen such a genuine resource. What is Sayulita COVID like? I understand you guys can give a better insight. My family wants to move there by November and we really want to know what is COVID like in Sayulita. Thank you!

Thinking of traveling to Sayulita but not sure what to expect during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Situated in the heart of Nayarit, the colorful pueblo magico of Sayulita usually comes alive with movement and activity during the fall and winter months. A popular destination for holidays like Day of the Dead, and a sunny paradise during the winter months, Sayulita would normally be heading into its busiest season. But what should tourists expect given Covid 19 restrictions?

Is Sayulita on lockdown?

As public hesitancy about traveling to Sayulita increases, Sayulita governors and locals are eager to communicate safety facts regarding traveling to Sayulita during these COVID-restricted times. Travel Weekly sites the Travel Health Notice in informing visitors that Mexico is one of the countries least affected by Covid 19. Sayulita is among the places that fall into the lowest-risk category, making travel here a great option! While Sayulita is taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus, it is still very much a hub of activity.

sayulita covid

Sayulita COVID travel update

Since March 21, travelers can’t drive to Mexico from the US, and governments of both countries extend their agreement to close the land border to nonessential travel until September 21. However, there are no restrictions on flying into Mexico. Commercial flights are operating to and from Mexico. In the airport, expect to have your temperature taken and respect social distancing.

American nationals can enter Mexico without a problem. You will only be stopped when you’re showing symptoms like high fever, cough, or flu. Other than that, I have not seen anything very extreme when it comes to checking people coming in Mexico. The only important change was I needed to be in the airport way earlier than the usual. The security and health checks can take long so make sure you allot extra time before your departure. I almost missed a flight because I didn’t plan ahead. Airports are different because of COVID so keep that in mind. 

If you are used to being in the airport an hour before (for domestic flights), add another hour and a half just to make sure. 

What to expect upon arrival in Sayulita

Upon arriving at Sayulita, you will notice everything is much more relaxed. Although you will see the occasional mask wearer, most people are out socializing and soaking up the sun just like in preCovid times. Also, the air, the ocean, and the streets are at an all time cleanliness level due to the drop in tourism. Restaurants and grocery stores are limited to 50 percent capacity, however, you will notice very few lines since tourism has dropped as well.
sayulita covid

Are there any restrictions for travelers entering Sayulita during COVID?

None at all. You are not even required to test negative on a Covid test in order to enter the country or the state. You will be required to fill out a quick health form in the airport and checking temperature is a common safety procedure so make sure you are not running a fever when you travel!

Do I need a (COVID) travel insurance to enter Sayulita?

No, it is not required. Not even if you enter Mexico City International Airport from another country.
sayulita covid
To arrive to Sayulita, you need to land in Puerto Vallarta International Airport

Are masks required in Sayulita?

Rarely. While out and about, enjoying the ocean breeze, taking a walk on the beach, having a drink at a bar, or hanging out in the town square, you will not be required to wear a mask. The odd small business as well as some grocery stores will ask you to put a mask on in order to enter so have your mask handy just in case, but you can look forward to days on end of breathing clean, sea breeze, unobstructed by a mask.

Are hotels open in Sayulita?

From June 8, 2020, hotels have been allowed to reopen their doors with some sanitary restrictions and reduced capacity. As of this month, hotels can operate with up to 50% of their rooms full.

There is a lot of availability in Sayulita hotels and hostels at the moment and they are eager to fill their rooms so finding a place to stay shouldn’t be difficult.

Airbnb is also a good bet, prices are down and availability is up, just make sure you check the cancelation policy before you book. Hotels are abiding by the reduced capacity regulation and will require you to wear a mask and gel your hands upon entry to the lobby.

Are restaurants open in Sayulita?

Although restaurants are not opening at full capacity, almost all of Sayulita’s restaurants are open and food is one of the town’s main attractions. Typically, you will not have to wear a mask to enter a restaurant in Sayulita and, since most of the restaurants are outdoor or partially outdoor, they have easily transitioned to the new regulations by spacing out their tables a little. Options include beachside, fine dining, casual, Italian, Mexican, cafés, Chinese, seafood, sushi, coffee, Mediterranean, organic, Indian, sandwiches, desserts, bakeries, and more!
sayulita covid

Are Sayulita beaches open?

Yes! Sayulita has one main beach that is currently open and, although it is slightly less crowded than usual, it is very active nonetheless. It is a family-friendly environment, a perfect place to learn to surf, and lined with restaurants and bars. There are also several beaches close by such as Palito Verde, Punta Negra, La Lancha, and Playa Burros that are all within 20 minutes driving from Sayulita and are much less crowded.

Will I be able to rent a car in Sayulita during COVID?

The best option is to rent a car at the airport upon arriving to Puerto Vallarta. The car rental office is at the airport and you will see signs guiding you to it as soon as you get off the plane. There are also several other car rental offices in Puerto Vallarta that you can get to by taking a cab. These include Avis, City Car Rentals, and Mex. The average price for a four door car is $11 USD per day. You can also rent a golf cart in Sayulita at Roy’s Golf Carts, Rivera Golf Carts, Nava Golf Carts, or Sayulita Roly’s Golf Carts. The price is comparable to that of a car rental and the town is small enough to make this a fun and viable option.

Questions about your travel to Sayulita during COVID? I would like to add them to this post! Please leave it in the comment box below and I will update this article as soon as I can.

Cristina is a staff writer at Sayulita Insider. She is a Mexican American who is currently traveling in Mexico while pursuing her passion for writing and aerial silks. With a background in journalism, she loves finding new and exciting ways of telling the story behind the people and places she encounters. When she is not writing, she is training, teaching, and performing acrobatics and going on nature adventures with her dogs. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, she has rarely stayed put in one spot for more than a few years at a time and has gotten to explore many magical places in Mexico and the US over the last few years. Follow Cristina on Instagram: @aerialistcris


  1. Debra Chandler

    Thank you for the article Cristina. Does Mexico accept American travelers? My family and I have been meaning to leave the US but we do not know if Mexico is open to tourists. We looked at flights and it seems like everything is normal there. Thank you again for your tips about sayulita covid!

  2. Lourdes

    I don’t know how to feel about this. I love that we are being able to travel again but places that relaxed requirements as much as this one make me feel uneasy. I guess time will tell but for now, I wouldn’t visit a place with so little rules.

    It is so weird that I’m saying that because I used to hate restrictions like these. Weir times!

    1. Cristina Thomas

      Weird times indeed! The thing is, whether its because of the climate or some other reason, the virus hasn’t really spread here and there are fewer cases than almost anywhere in the world. They still take precausions but not as many as in other places where the virus is more prolific.

  3. Agnes

    Traveling in times of a pandemic is not easy and is associated with greater risk. But as a traveler, I cannot stay at home, and I have already made several short journeys during the pandemic. You had such a beautiful and fantastic trip! It’s good to know that Sayulita respects the safety rules and that it is such a beautiful place worth seeing. It is a fascinating guide. It’s good that you don’t have to wear masks on the beach and you can enjoy the fresh air. I would love to visit this place.

  4. Melissa

    This is some great information! There is so much uncertainty right now for those who are traveling and it can be nerve wrecking not knowing what to expect at the destination you are traveling to. Its great to see what restrictions Sayulita has and hasn’t put into place and I’m sure it would make it much easier to visit knowing this information.

  5. Ami Bhat

    A very well written update. You have not only given the information that we travelers need to get to Sayulita but also, the pros and cons of everything. Good to know that at least on the beaches your masks can be off. Also, very thoughtful to suggest carrying it around especially for the restaurants. Travel sure has changed but best to get used to the new normal

  6. Debra Schroeder

    Sayulita has been on our bucket list for awhile. So glad to see that it’s open for travel without restrictions. Excited to learn about the huge variety of cuisine. There are so many great deals in Mexico right now. We may just have to look into booking something sooner. Great tip about checking Airbnb.

  7. Jas

    It seems like Sayulita is a great vacation destination for those who aren’t too keen on having to quarantine for two weeks and spend a fortune on travel insurance. However, I don’t know how comfortable I am with how relaxed all of their rules/regulations are. That’s just me though and I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love to hear the news that they can now visit Sayulita!

    1. Cristina Thomas

      Yes, I understand your concern. Sayulita shut down when COVID 19 first hit, and have only started getting back to regular living now that it has become evident that COVID 19 has had little to no effect here and there are fewer cases here than almost anywhere else in the world.

  8. Raksha N

    Such a good update about traveling to Sayulita during these times. These times make me really anxious and travel is really far away at the moment. But articles like these give me hope and I would love to see the World getting back to where it was. But Australia has not opened its borders so it might be some time for us to get back.

  9. Yukti Agrawal

    First of all, I must say Sayulita is really wonderful place with so many colorful vibes. I was not knowing about it that it becomes preferred destination in fall and upcoming months. Good to know tourism is on here after Covid but we can reach by flights and not by drive. Thanks for all tips about where to wear mask and all and yes, nowadays I keep my mask always handy and ready.

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