Transportation to Sayulita
About 75% of our guests do NOT have vehicles, and take the taxi from airport. The 25% who rent cars tend to be people who want the flexibility to make day trips on the spur of the moment, as in town you walk to everything. If renting, arrange in advance from home, and the airport (code PVR if booking online) has Avis, Hertz, National, Budget, Alamo and a couple others. Only Avis and Hertz have pickup and dropoff at the terminal, the others are close by offsite locations.
Most people take taxis, and you do not have to arrange in advance, as there are always lots of good, safe taxis at the PV airport. When you exit customs into the body of the terminal, you will immediately be asked (probably by 4 or 5 different guys) if you need a taxi. It is perfectly okay to deal with them. They are not hustling you, it is their job to do this, since they speak English and many taxi drivers do not. So, you tell them you are going to Sayulita, and tell them how many people, then ask how much. You do NOT pay these guys, only pay the driver at the end of the trip (and put in a 10% – 15% tip, just as you would at home), but let these guys get you into the right taxi and they will let the driver know you are going to Sayulita. Remember to bring along the map of town, as airport taxi drivers do not know the individual houses nor even the complexes, but if you point to your complex (Los Delfines) on the map of town, he should have no problem. Even though town is rather small, no sense wasting ten minutes hunting around! Taxi for two should be about 400 to 450 pesos (US$35 to US$40), for four about 500 pesos, and then each additional person about another 50 pesos each. All the airport taxis are safe, and they have vans and suburbans for groups if needed.
Sayulita has a cash economy, yet we have no bank, not even an ATM, so you need to arrive with pesos. Use the ATMs at the PV airport, as ATMs give way better rates than the exchange booths. Instructions are in both English and Spanish, but remember when choosing the amount that $ is the symbol for pesos, the same symbol as our dollar sign, so if you want US$270 worth, ask for $3000, which is three thousand pesos. I’ve seen many times when people asked for $300 thinking they would get three hundred dollars worth, and they got that many pesos, worth only about US$27. Then they have to do it again, and the only bad thing is that your bank probably charges you a US$3 “out of system” withdrawal fee each time.
Last winter an exchange booth opened in Sayulita, right opposite the town plaza. The rates are worse than ATMs, but in a pinch it is nice to have. One restaurant (Don Pedro’s) takes credit cards, but that is about it. If you are running low you can always use the exchange booth, or go to either Bucerias (half way back to PV) or La Peñita (about 20 min drive north) which are larger towns, and each has a couple of ATMs. They are kind of fun to visit anyway, especially La Peñita, when you want to see more of the local area.
When returning to the airport at the end of your trip, you take one of our five dependable Sayulita taxi drivers. BE SURE TO ARRANGE at least a couple of days in advance with them, and there is a little house two blocks from us where they make the reservations. Tell them you are going to the airport, how many, what time you want to depart, and be sure to tell them Las Hamacas complex, Casa Alegria. They will be there a few minutes early! They have vans and suburbans, so they might double you up with someone else riding back as well. The taxi drivers will almost always take dollars on the return trip, or pesos, so if you have pesos to get rid of, use them, and if you’ve run out, they will take the dollar equivalent. It is always a good idea when making the reservation to ask the price! You can also make a reservation if you want to do one of the day trips, such as the estuary (remember my two strong pieces of advice if going there) or snorkeling.
Remember that Sayulita is on Mountain Time, but PV on Central, so leave an extra hour early at the end of your trip. For example, if your flight departs PV at 4pm, you probably want to get to the PV airport by about 2pm, but that is 1pm Sayulita time, so depart Sayulita by around noon or a quarter after.
Sayulita is 26 miles northwest of the PV airport. Airport taxis will be about 500 pesos (under $50) for a family of four or five, and large vans or suburbans are available for larger groups. The airport has a number of car rentals, including AVIS, Hertz, National, Alamo and Budget. Make your reservation before you come. If driving, when exiting the airport follow the signs to Compostela. Continue on the four lane highway #200 through Bucerias. Do NOT take the Punta de Mita exit, rather stay on #200 which then becomes two lanes. In about 10km you see the Sayulita sign, and turn left toward town.
After turning off the highway, you immediately see the Rodeo ring on your right. Veer right when the road splits (left goes toward Punta de Mita), continue for about 1km and as you enter town you see a health clinic labeled SALUD on your left, then you take the very first right (if you reach the bridge over the river, you have gone 2 blocks too far, so turn around), then take the second right again, which is the last street before the beach. All three complexes will be on your left starting in about a block, with first Las Gemelas, then Los Delfines, then Las Hamacas. Park in the lot at the back of Los Delfines, and look for Copa de Oro which is located to the left between the two pools.