Okay, I just have to write about Sayulita again because, well… we’re here. And, there are so many funny and lovable things about this place that it just has to be done.
1. What Time is it, Sayulita?
One thing you must know when going to Sayulita is that you will most likely never really know what time it is. Due to many confusing time changes, and of course DST, some residents here have adopted the same time as Puerto Vallarta; however, some cling to the previous (Mountain) time zone, which is an hour behind PV. In any case, when you ask a local for the time, you can’t seem to get a straight answer. You can’t even trust the clocks, if you happen to stumble across one. My advice? Forget it and have another sip from your impossibly huge margarita.
2. Snorkeling in the Marietas
We did this on our first trip to Sayulita, and let’s just say the experience deserves its own blog post. For the moment, I’ll only mention that the journey came with its own brand of weirdness. If you’ve ever seen that movie “Captain Ron”, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
3. Blue-footed Boobys
We saw these rare birds on our Marietas sailing/snorkeling trip, as we were heading back to the boat after touring some caves. Seeing as the Galapagos Islands is the only other place where these creatures reside, we felt quite fortunate to experience this. I don’t have access to my own pics, but here’s the Booby in all its blue-footedness.
4. Food Service in the Sand
Along the main beach in Sayulita, you can get anything you want to eat without stepping foot anywhere. Just sit back on the beach and let the vendors come to you. You can get empanadas of all flavours (amazing), shrimp on a stick, macaroons (heavenly), sushi (hmmm), watermelon, oysters, coconut drinks, even cotton candy. As I write this, we just polished off a massive sugar doughnut that rivals the best bakeries back home for about $1. Trust me, you’ll never go hungry.
5. The Candyman
This one is my favourite. The first time we saw an old guy trundling along the beach pushing this enormous wheelbarrow filled to the brim with a colourful array of candy, we were charmed. Sugar-coated almonds, pecans, chocolate, spicy peanuts, pistachios, unidentified soft Mexican things – heck, even gummy bears were on display. It doesn’t hurt that the Candyman is generous with the samples. We didn’t see him at first this time around, and were afraid he maybe retired to Berlin or something. But then I spied a younger man at the wheel from a distance and almost jumped up to flag him down. Must be son of the original Candyman, come to save us from our confectionary crisis.
6. Store Hours
There are no regular store hours in Sayulita (or at least, we haven’t been able to crack the code of irregular regularity). This also goes for restaurants: some are open on Sunday; some don’t open until 4; some are closed during siesta; and, most are closed on Monday. Or, open – I give. Case in point this jewelery store which sells stuff that I absolutely covet. When we asked the clerk if the store was going to be open that evening, she enigmatically answered with, “It depends on the traffic.” Basically, I’ve learned (after much frustration) that when you see it open, that’s when you should shop, because you never know when you’ll get the opportunity again. Also, keep your eye on the traffic.
7. Restaurant Names
There’s this bar/restaurant we like to frequent that has a distinct Asian feel that reminds us of Bali. The funny thing about this place is not so much the atmosphere or food, or the great view of the ocean, but its name: Buddha Mar. Your first instinct is to call it Buddha Bar, and that’s basically what everyone does, including the locals. It’s definitely a much better roll on the tongue. I do love the play on words, though, with Mar being the Spanish word for sea. (By the way, there’s some sort of semi-secret algorithm about when this place opens as well. It apparently has something to do with whether the next-door Don Pedro’s restaurant is having Salsa Night. Might also have to do with whether Mars is in retrograde. If you know the formula, please pass it along.)
8. Unspoiled, Secluded Beaches
Sayulita is the place for these. You seriously can walk 1,000 meters along a pristine, expansive beach and be almost completely alone. Or, take a stroll through mountainous jungle and stumble upon a secluded cove with a soft, white-sand deserted beach (not just for the Yucatan!). You may even run into the tropical paradise of a governor or important dignitary perched on the top of a cliff. I’m not kidding.
9. That Real “Family Feel”
We recently stumbled upon a quirky little reso called Aaleyah’s Nachos & Wings, a real gem of a place just off the main square. This definitely deserves its own post. An outdoorish affair, with room for maybe 15 people, you could say this is a cozy place. Think: baked barbecue chicken wings the size of a squirrel and amazingly fresh fresa margaritas, all served by a precocious 11-year-old (whom the place is named after). Seriously, she provides some of the best service I’ve ever had, even compared to fancy places back in Canada. Apparently many people agree, as it’s currently rated the number one restaurant in Sayulita, and it’s only been open for three months.
This I don’t do, but will watch for hours. Much as I’ve entertained the thought, I’m not too keen on spending one day surfing (or being beaten to a pulp by the ocean more like) and then the rest of the vacation with a badly-bruised ribcage. Definitely some great wave action for those who know what they’re doing. Makes for cheap entertainment while you’re nursing that mojito at one of the many beach bars.
11. The Cake Lady
Located in the town’s main square, the Cake Lady is your answer to “What’s for Dessert?” after a superbly satisfying Mexican feast. For as little as $1.50, you can get a humongous slice of your choice of banana, chocolate, black forest, carrot, creme brulee… hungry yet? It is, simply put, divine.
Ridiculously beautiful, otherworldly sunsets are on offer almost every evening. Click picture to enlarge – need I say more?
13. And, of course, other unexpected delights like the Drunk Cowboy.