Category Archives: Travel

Acapulco Travel Guide

Mexico › Acapulco
Updated: Febraury 28, 2022

See Also

It’s hard not to love Acapulco, the grande dame of Mexican beach resorts. Set on the Pacific coast, the city lies on one of the loveliest bays in Mexico, along curves of sand backed by white tower blocks and the jungle-smothered hills of the Sierras beyond. Acapulco is best known for its wonderful beaches, watersports, and vibrant dining and nightclub scene.

Acapulco high rise hotels

Acapulco Bay at sunset, with its long line of high rise hotels that line the beach.

Frequently Asked Questions about Acapulco

Where is Acapulco?

Acapulco is a city in Mexico, a resort, and port on the Pacific Ocean located in the state of Guerrero. Acapulco lies about 380 km south of Mexico City, and 1050 km southeast of Puerto Vallarta. Non-stop flights to Acapulco take 1 hour 15 minutes from Mexico City, 1 hour 50 minutes from Monterrey, and 3 hours 30 minutes from Tijuana.

How big is Acapulco?

Acapulco has a greater metro population of just over one million. The main city and busiest resort area stretch some 12km east to west around Acapulco Bay, curved like a giant seashell. Pristine beaches and smaller resorts fan out either side of the bay, from Pie de la Cuesta in the north to Playa Diamante to the south.

San Diego fort in Acapulco

The 18th century star-shaped San Diego Fort along the Acapulco coast.

What is the history of Acapulco?

Acapulco has a long pre-Hispanic history, though little is known about the people who lived here before the Spanish (they are thought to have belonged to the Yope civilization of Tehuacalco). The conquistadors quickly established outposts here and had constructed a simple road between the port and Mexico City by 1531 (the official foundation date of the city is 1550). Acapulco flourished thereafter as a Spanish trading port, especially benefiting from the Manila Galleons that shipped precious Asian cargo across the Pacific from the Philippines – the last galleons sailed in 1815. Acapulco remained an important port once Mexico had gained independence, but its new role as holiday destination received a boost in the 1920s after a visit from Britain’s Prince of Wales. By the 1950s, Acapulco had become Mexico’s most fashionable international resort. Though it’s lost some of its glamour in recent years, the city remains a favorite weekend and holiday destination, especially for Mexico City inhabitants.

How do I get to Acapulco?

Flying to Acapulco usually means changing planes in Mexico City; seasonal (winter) non-stop flights operate from Dallas, Houston, and Montréal, but the airport otherwise serves domestic routes only.

Within Mexico, first-class long-distance buses are an economical and comfortable alternative to flying – buses to Acapulco from Mexico City (4–5 hours) operate hourly.

What are the options for Acapulco airport transportation?

Acapulco’s General Juan N. Álvarez International Airport lies along the coast, 23km southeast of the city. As always, ignore the timeshare sales staff and their offers of free rides on arrival, and make for the official transport kiosk. There are essentially just two options: a cheap shared “colectivo” shuttle bus that will drive to the Zócalo (main square) in the old center (and will drop off on route), and relatively expensive (but safe) taxis, controlled by the airport union. Taxi prices are set according to a zone system, with rates to most hotels ranging from 400 to 600 pesos. Taking the colectivo will cost 100 to 120 pesos, but can take much longer. It’s worth checking in advance at the hotel, as they should also be able to arrange an airport pick-up.

Can I use Uber in Acapulco?

Uber currently does not operate in Acapulco. This may change in the future, but for now, regular taxis are the only option. Local taxi cartels have aggressively fought to keep Uber and other ride-sharing apps out of the city.

Can I drive to Acapulco?

It’s possible to drive to Acapulco, but not recommended. Driving down from the US border is relatively straightforward, but the journey is relatively long and passes through some of the country’s drug hotspots – driving at night is definitely a bad idea. A Mexican “Temporary Importation of Vehicle Permit” is needed. Acapulco is about 825 miles (1327 km) from Brownsville in Texas (at least 18 hours non-stop), almost 1600 miles (2575 km) from Nogales (Arizona), and almost 2000 miles (3219 km) from San Diego.

Do I need a car in Acapulco?

A car is not needed in Acapulco. Driving in the city can be a nightmare (it’s often very congested, signage is poor and road layout is confusing), and it’s relatively easy and cheap to get around by bus or taxi. It can be useful to have a vehicle to explore the coastline beyond the city – to Barra Vieja and Pie de la Cuesta for example – but these are also well-served by public buses. Driving rental cars is not a great idea as these are sometimes targeted by thieves, and getting into even a minor road accident can result in protracted encounters with non-English speaking police.

How do I get around Acapulco without a vehicle?

It’s easy to explore the old town of Acapulco on foot, but to go any further, taxis or buses are needed. Hundreds of buses zip up and down the “Costera”, the main road that runs along Acapulco Bay, and on to Playa Caleta; note that traffic is often very congested, and it can take an hour to travel the length of the bay. Most buses should be less than 10 pesos.

Taxis are also plentiful in Acapulco; it’s important to fix the price before getting in. Most taxis operate on a zone system; hotels should have the current rates. All trips within the center, for example, should cost the same; trips into the next “zone” will be more. “Colectivo” taxis that can share passengers offer the cheapest rates (from just 25 pesos), but trips in private taxis start at around 100 pesos.

Acapulco fishermen fresh catch

Fishermen selling their fresh catch directly from their boats along the beach.

When is the best time to go to Acapulco?

May and June are the best time to go to Acapulco to avoid the worst of the crowds. The best weather (and the busiest season) runs from late November through to the end of April (when it’s warm and dry), but many Mexican families also spend their vacations here in July and August, despite it being hurricane season. It’s best to avoid Christmas and Easter when the beaches will be packed, and the Fall, when it’s still usually humid and rainy.

What are the main resort areas in Acapulco?

Acapulco is a big city. The main focus is Acapulco Bay – most hotels line the “Costera” all the way from the Old Town on the west side of the bay to the mountains on the east side (“Las Brisas” or Punta Bruja) – though segments have different names, the whole bay is lined with one continuous strip of fabulous beach.

The bulging peninsula at the west end of the bay (just south of the Old Town) is known as Las Playas, home to the famous cliff-divers (at “La Quebrada”) and smaller beaches such as Playa Caletilla and Playa Caleta. To the north lies the more rustic beach town of Pie de la Cuesta; to the south beyond Las Brisas lies the smaller bay of Puerto Marqués and the posher resorts of Punta Diamante and Playa Diamante. Finally, beyond here (some 30km from central Acapulco) lies the sleepy beach town of Barra Vieja.

What are the best beaches in Acapulco?

The main beach along Acapulco Bay is hard to beat – there are plenty of activities, food, and drink, but also lots of space for quieter lounging. For a party atmosphere head to the cramped but entertaining Playas Caleta and Caletilla, which are always buzzing with Mexican families and blaring music – sit at a shady beachside table and order cheap drinks from the bars behind. From here it’s a short water taxi ride to Isla La Roqueta, a mostly undeveloped island where there’s another clean, sandy beach great for swimming. Playa Puerto Marqués is generally calmer and better for families, without the big hotels.

For far fewer people and wilder beaches, head for Pie de la Cuesta, where horse rides along the sand are available, or just rent a deckchair and enjoy sensational sunsets. To the south, Playa de Barra Vieja is similarly undeveloped and wild.

Where should I stay in Acapulco?

First timers to Acapulco should aim for anywhere along the main bay (the “Zona Dorada” along the Costera). There are hotels in all price ranges here. There are some good options in Las Playas but it’s a little cut off from the main action here, and beach options are limited. The bigger, more expensive resorts of Diamante are excellent, but are really outside the city proper – Pie de la Cuesta and Barra Vieja are even further away and staying here offers a totally different experience, only worthwhile for those seeking peace and quiet with just one or two day-trips into the city.

What are the best things to do in Acapulco?

As always, the best things to do in Acapulco are connected with the beaches; swimming, sunbathing, and various watersports. Other pleasures include dining, drinking, and clubbing – Acapulco’s nightlife is famously wild. The best of Acapulco’s party boats – offering sunset and moonlight cruises around the bay – is Aca Rey.

Acapulco cliff divers

Absolutely amazing, the famous cliff divers of Acapulco.

The one must-see in Acapulco is the celebrated cliff divers (clavadistas), who plunge 35 meters (115 ft) from the rocks of La Quebrada into the frothing waters below. It’s especially dramatic at night when the site is floodlit (dives usually take place at 1pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, and 10:30pm). Get there early to get the best view, or pay for a couple of drinks in the lobby bar at El Mirador Acapulco hotel, which is ideally located for watching the divers.

There’s not much to see in the Old Town (“Centro Histórico”), though the Museo Histórico de Acapulco does a good job of charting the history of the city, especially the cross-Pacific trade with Asia. Art fans should visit La Casa de los Vientos (aka “Exekatlkalli” or “House of the Winds”), Diego Rivera’s last home – it’s where he lived with former model and partner, Dolores Olmedo Patiño, in the late 1950s. Stunning murals cover the outside walls, comprised of seashells and colored tiles. The house is now a cultural center, and usually open for tours and exhibitions.

What are the restaurants like in Acapulco?

Restaurants in Acapulco are extremely varied, ranging from classic Mexican street food to some of the best seafood and gourmet restaurants in the country. The cheapest eats can be found in the area around the Zócalo, while there’s a lot more variety along the bayfront. For no-frills seafood, our favorite is local chain El Amigo Miguel (+52 744 486 2868). For something special, book a table at Restaurante Bellavista, inside Hotel Las Brisas, which offers mind-blowing views of the city as well as high-quality contemporary Mexican food. Further up the hill is Spanish restaurant Sirocco, the place to try local specialty Pescado a la Talla (whole, charred-grilled red snapper), and Zibu, the acclaimed Mex-Thai fusion restaurant from Eduardo Palazuelos.

How is the nightlife in Acapulco?

Acapulco is a big party town. Most clubs have one or two nights with an “open bar”, a set price is paid to drink without limits. Clubs often change location (or at least names), but Palladium, high up on the slopes above the bay, is a local institution (the views alone are incredible). The other place to be is Baby ’O Acapulco down on the bayfront, which attracts the local upwardly mobile set. For live Mexican music, Latino rhythms, and Latin American-style dancing (salsa, merengue), it’s tough to beat Mojito, further along the Costera. Clubs rarely get going till well after midnight.

What currency is used in Acapulco?

The Mexican peso (often prefixed with a “$” sign) is the currency of Mexico and Acapulco – most places will not accept US dollars. Most major shops and restaurants in Acapulco accept credit cards, but it is a good idea to have some peso cash on hand for bus trips and small purchases like bottled water and snacks. ATMs are easy to find in Acapulco, all along the bay. Banks (particularly Banamex) and casas de cambio (slightly poorer rates) are numerous along the Costera. The worst exchange rates can be found at the airport – use the ATM if possible.

Is Acapulco expensive?

Acapulco certainly contains luxury hotels, exclusive beach clubs, designer shops, and pricey bars and restaurants, but it’s easy to visit Acapulco on a modest budget. This is primarily because of the sheer number of hotels on the waterfront – shop around to get bargain rates. There are plenty of cheap taco shops and Mexican diners along the bay also. All beaches are open to the public and free to visit, and buses are very cheap.

Is Acapulco safe?

It’s safe for tourists. Acapulco is a big city, and does suffer from crime – take the usual precautions, especially at night (get hotels and restaurants to order taxis), and keep valuables in room safes. Theft of personal items from beaches does happen – never leave anything unattended.

Mexico’s drug wars have also taken their toll on the city and the surrounding areas, but despite the headlines drug gangs rarely, if ever, target tourists, and the main, well-policed tourist areas of Acapulco are usually safe and violence-free.

Read More

The Best Hotels near Cancun Airport

Mexico › Hotels near Cancun Airport
Updated: February 28, 2022

See Also

The 4 Best Cancun Airport Hotels

Luxury hotel close to Cancun International Airport.

The closest beach hotel to the Cancun airport is Nizuc Resort & Spa.

1. Nizuc Resort & Spa – Luxury

Award-winning luxury resort on a pristine stretch of beach south of the Hotel Zone (13 km) and a 10-minute drive (11 km) to Cancun International Airport, with 6 restaurants, 3 bars, several pools, full-service spa, fitness center with classes, kids club, and lush gardens. Rooms range from standard suites with balconies to sprawling villas with private infinity pools, outdoor showers, and butler service, and daily activities include live music and snorkeling.
Hotel phone: +52 998 891 5700
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Nizuc Resort & Spa

2. Westin Resort & Spa – Luxury

Upscale beachfront resort at the southern end of the Hotel Zone (12 km) and a 10-minute drive (11 km) to Cancun International Airport, with 4 outdoor pools, 3 restaurants, a swim-up bar, a full-service spa, a fitness center, a kids club, daily activities, and free parking. Guest rooms feature lagoon or ocean views, some rooms have balconies, and accommodation options range from standard rooms to 2-bed/2-bath villas.
Hotel phone: +52 998 848 7400
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Westin Resort & Spa

3. Courtyard Cancun Airport – Moderate

Classic hotel located 4 km from Cancun International Airport and a short drive from golf courses and beaches. In addition to free airport shuttle service and free parking, the hotel features an outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, restaurant, lobby bar, business center, and coffee maker and refrigerators in every guest room.
Hotel phone: +52 998 287 2200
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Courtyard Cancun Airport

4. City Plus Aeropuerto Riviera – Budget

Modern and affordable hotel offering free breakfast, free parking, an outdoor pool, a gym, and a spacious lobby, with desks, microwaves, refrigerators, and coffee makers in every guest room. Located a short drive from Cancun International Airport (8 km), Xoximilco theme park (10 km), and several golf courses. The hotel also provides free airport shuttle service. A good choice if you’re going to or from Tulum or Playa Del Carmen.
Hotel phone: 800 248 9003
Hotel websiteCheck prices for City Plus Aeropuerto Riviera

Read More

Cancun Cheap Hotels

Mexico › Cancun Budget Hotels
Updated: February 28, 2022

See Also

The Best Budget Hotels in Cancun

Good affordable hotel on Cancun Beach.

Located right on the beach, the Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites is great value for money.

1. Sina Suites – Budget

Quiet and affordable hotel with lagoon views adjacent to the Pok ta Pok Golf Course and a short bus ride (2 km) to the beach. Amenities include an outdoor pool, private marina, rooftop sundeck, restaurant, and free parking, and some suites have 2 bedrooms, kitchenettes or full kitchens, and balconies.
Hotel phone: +52 998 883 1018
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Sina Suites

2. Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites – Budget

Family-friendly resort with direct beach access, 2 restaurants, an outdoor pool and kiddie pool, a gym, self-service laundry, and free parking. Standard rooms feature patios and coffee makers, suites feature full kitchens and up to 3 bedrooms, and the restaurants and nightlife of the Hotel Zone are just a kilometer away.
Hotel phone: +52 998 891 5427
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites

3. Condominios Brisas / Suites Brisas – Budget

1 and 2-bedroom suites with full kitchens set just steps from the beach. Property amenities include 2 outdoor pools, a convenience store, and free on-site parking. The El Rey Archaeological Zone is just a kilometer away.
Hotel phone: +52 998 229 2455
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Condominios Brisas / Suites Brisas

4. Aloft – Budget

Located at the Cancun International Convention Center, this hip and good value hotel features an outdoor pool, fitness center, full-service spa, restaurant, bar, 24-hour sundry shop, and free parking just a short 200m from the beach. Each modern room has a minibar and coffee maker, and numerous restaurants and nightclubs are within a 5-minute walk.
Hotel phone: +52 998 848 9900
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Aloft

5. Oasis Palm (All Inclusive) – Moderate

Beachfront all-inclusive resort, about 20 minutes (21 km) by car from the airport, catering to families with a kids club, an outdoor pool with a waterslide, a playground, game rooms, a plethora of dining options, and complimentary non-motorized watersports. Rooms include up to 2 bedrooms, some with ocean views, and other on-site amenities include tennis courts, a spa, and a fitness center.
Hotel phone: +52 800 016 2747
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Oasis Palm

6. Flamingo Resort – Moderate

Beachfront resort with 2 outdoor pools, playground, adults-only hot tub, gym, and several restaurants located a kilometer from the La Isla shopping center. Choose from room-only or all-inclusive plans, and some rooms feature sea views, bunk beds, whirlpool tubs, or private infinity pools.
Hotel phone: +52 998 848 8870
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Flamingo Resort

7. Grand Park Royal – Moderate

All-inclusive resort, slightly upscale but good-value, located in the Hotel Zone on a private beach with 2 outdoor pools, a variety of restaurants and bars, and a fitness center and spa available for a fee. All rooms have sea or garden views and balconies, some with private pools, and all-day entertainment includes pool games and nightly live music.
Hotel phone: +52 998 848 7800
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Grand Park Royal

El Centro Hotels (City Center)

Hostel Ka’Beh – Budget

Downtown Cancun hostel offering free breakfast, free dinner, free beverages, and free daily activities and beach excursions in addition to a shared kitchen, hammocks, and both private rooms and mixed dorm rooms. Located near restaurants, shops, and nightlife, the hostel is a kilometer from Mercado 28 and 9 km from Tortugas Beach.
Hotel phone: +52 998 892 7902
Hotel websiteCheck prices Hostel Ka’Beh

Grand City Hotel – Budget

Modern hotel with an outdoor pool, a cafe, and free parking, and located steps to restaurants and supermarkets, 1 km from Mercado 28, and an 8 km from Tortugas Beach. Rooms have microwaves, coffee makers, and refrigerators, and can sleep up to 4 guests.
Hotel phone: +52 800 000 6229
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Grand City Hotel

Ibis Centro – Budget

Within walking distance to restaurants, casinos, and the shops and entertainment of the Plaza Las Americas mall (800m), this modern hotel has a breakfast buffet available for a fee, on-site parking, a restaurant, and a bar. Every room has a desk, some rooms feature lagoon views, and Tortugas Beach is 9 km from the hotel.
Hotel phone: +52 998 272 8500
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Ibis Centro

Ambiance Suites – Budget

Contemporary hotel with an outdoor pool and free parking, located 500m from the shops and entertainment at Plaza Las Americas and 8 km from Tortugas Beach. Every room has a desk, refrigerator, microwave, and modern bathroom; suites have full kitchens and a living and dining area, and hotel amenities include a gym and a restaurant.
Hotel phone: +52 800 911 4020
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Ambiance Suites

Adhara Hacienda – Budget

Situated between numerous shops and city parks, this hotel is on the edge of Downtown Cancun and Puerto Cancun, a quick drive to the Puerto Cancun Golf Course (2 km) and Tortugas Beach (9 km). Hotel amenities include a free beach shuttle, outdoor pool, restaurant, fitness center, and free parking, and rooms feature desks and ironing facilities.
Hotel phone: +52 998 881 6500
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Adhara Hacienda

Eco-hotel El Rey del Caribe – Moderate

Environmentally-friendly budget hotel featuring a garden, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub with restaurants, parks, and a supermarket on the surrounding blocks. In addition to free breakfast and free parking, all rooms have kitchenettes and courtyard views, and Tortugas Beach is 8 km away.
Hotel phone: +52 998 884 2028
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Eco-hotel El Rey del Caribe

Read More

Mazatlán Family Hotels

MexicoMazatlán › Kid-Friendly Hotels
Updated: February 28, 2022

See Also

The 5 Best Hotels for Families in Mazatlán, Mexico

1. Royal Villas Resort

Family-friendly beach resort in Mazatlán.
Awesome location right on the beach and close to many restaurants. Large kid-friendly pool. One and two-bedroom suites (with kitchen) comfortably sleep families of 4 to 6.
Hotel phone: +52 669 916 6161
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Royal Villas Resort

2. Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

Kid-friendly pool at Mazatlán resort.
Luxurious suites, 3 pools (one is an adults-only pool), and beautiful grounds. Junior Suites are great for family of 4. Luxury Suites for families of 5 or 6.
Hotel phone: +52 669 989 0525
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

3. The Inn at Mazatlán

Large pool for families at Mazatlán resort.
Suites (with separate bedroom, living room, kitchenette, and two bathrooms) sleep families of 6. Great pool area and beach location.
Hotel phone: +52 669 913 5500
Hotel websiteCheck prices for The Inn at Mazatlán

4. Gaviana Resort

Large family suite in Mazatlán.
Attractive two-bedroom suties sleep families of 6 or 7. Nice pool and great location.
Hotel phone: +52 800 716 9700
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Gaviana Resort

5. El Cid El Moro Beach

All inclusive resort for families in Mazatlán.
A typical mid-range all-inclusive resort. Kids tend to love it and there’s always lots to do (games, water slides, jumping cliffs). The pools and location are great. The food is, uhm, eatable (but lots of restaurants within an easy walk).
Hotel phone: (888) 217-1183
Hotel websiteCheck prices for El Cid El Moro Beach

Read More

Isla Mujeres Family Hotels

Mexico › Kid-Friendly Hotels on Isla Mujeres
Updated: February 28, 2022

See Also

The 3 Best Hotels for Families on Isla Mujeres

1. Casa de los Sueños (luxury)

Water slides at Isla Mujeres hotel.
All-suite, family hotel with amazing kid-friendly amenities, including a zip line, an infinity pool, and a pint-sized water park with another pool. The hotel’s suites sit on a little hill overlooking the ocean, most with private balconies or patios, some with Jacuzzis, and all with daily breakfast included. The water park offers a two-tiered pool with a swim-up bar, slides that end in the ocean, a rock-climbing wall, and a private pier. Kayaks, snorkel gear, and paddleboards are available.
Hotel phone: +52 998 888 0370
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Casa de los Sueños

2. Ixchel Beach Hotel (midrange)

Beach resort in Isla Mujeres.
The 2-bedroom suites sleep families of 4, 5, or 6. Two nice pools (one hot, one cold) are right on the beach. Shops and restaurants are a 2 minute walk away. The beach in front of the hotel (Playa Norte) is calm and shallow and probably the most kid-friendly beach in Mexico.
Hotel phone: +52 998 999 2010
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Ixchel Beach Hotel

3. Nautibeach Beach Front Condos (midrange)

Hotel with pool in Isla Mujeres.Hotel phone: +52 998 877 0606
Large suites with kitchens. Great beach front pool and restaurant. Shops and restaurants are a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Nautibeach

Read More

Where to Stay in Sayulita

MexicoPuerto Vallarta › Sayulita Hotels
Updated: February 27, 2022

Best place to stay in Sayulita.

Sayulita – Best Places to Stay

  • Best Luxury Hotels in Sayulita: Amor Boutique Hotel (most luxurious) • Hotel Villas Sayulita (best for families) • Siete Lunas (best romantic hotel in Sayulita)
  • The best neighborhoods in Sayulita for travelers are Downtown (main beach, restaurants, and nightlife), South End (in between two beaches, jungle locale), and North End (quiet, relaxing vibe in a residential neighborhood). Note: If you’re looking at Sayulita on a map, the “South End” is actually to the west on the far side of Calle Marlin, where Calle Caracol turns into Calle Pescadores. The “North End” is to the east, just after crossing the little Sayulita River.
  • Sayulita has been a popular destination since it was “discovered” by surfers after the highway came through. Affectionately known as the “hippie town,” its Bohemian vibe and great year-round surf attract laid-back travelers and an eclectic mix of expats and local surfheads. Travelers won’t find ultra-refined, luxury resorts here; in fact, all hotels here are boutique stays. Instead, this is the spot for fuss-free, casual travel.
  • Getting around: The preferred mode of travel in Downtown is on foot or by golf cart. All restaurants, hotels, and the beach are fewer than 10 minutes walking from Downtown. It is not necessary to rent a car, no matter where you stay in the village. Even walking to the farthest point in the North End all the way to the far South End only takes 20 minutes. However, some of the more secluded hotels, such as Siete Lunas, are up hills. Travelers staying in these hotels or travelers with mobility issues should consider renting a golf cart. Not only are they fun to ride, but they are easier than cars for navigating around pedestrian traffic and much easier to park on the busy downtown streets.
  • Renting a car is not necessary for getting around in Sayulita, but it makes it easier to explore neighboring towns and areas. Rules of the road here are similar to the U.S. Highways are well-maintained, and streets are all well-mapped (if not well-marked) and easy to follow via GPS. Two things that are different are topes and left turns. Topes (pronounced TOH-pays) are speed bumps, but there are no regulations on their heights, steepness, or visibility; some are nearly impossible to see until it’s too late! Drive slowly in downtown and keep an eye out for these. Standard left turns are usually OK in downtown but not on highways. To make a left, drivers will often need to use a retorno, which is a U-turn overpass. To use a retorno, drive past the road you want to make a left onto, get into the far right lane to take the retorno exit, make the left onto the overpass, and finally merge with traffic going the opposite direction. You can then make a right at the desired street or destination.
  • Pay in pesos whenever possible. Many hotels, restaurants, and tour operators accept payment in U.S. dollars. However, travelers will almost always overpay if using dollars, as the exchange rate for tourists favors the peso.

The 6 Best Hotels in Sayulita

1. Amor Boutique Hotel – Downtown

Amor Boutique Hotel in South End, Sayulita
This upscale boutique hotel is the closest you’ll find to a luxury resort in Sayulita. Each suite was built to accommodate the natural surroundings, so all are a little different. Its most popular is their Villa Arboles, a three-bedroom, private pool suite, built around two large trees, growing up out of the floor and through the palapa roof. Most suites are one- to three-bedrooms (the largest villa has seven) with full kitchens or kitchenettes. The hotel is built into the side of a hill in the South End, overlooking the cove and main beach with a pool and restaurant shared with its sister property Villa Amor. Many of the suites are on higher floors with stunning views but no elevator. Request a ground room floor, if mobility is limited.
Hotel phone: +52 329 291 3000
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Amor Boutique Hotel

2. Hotel Villas – North End

Hotel Villas Sayulita in North End
An amazing family getaway! Villas Sayulita offers unique amenities kids will love, including a swimming pool, tree house, swing set, lots of animals to visit with (dogs, ducks, and chickens), and a BMX bike park with complimentary bikes and helmets. A wellness-focused hotel, they offer daily yoga, plus temazcal rituals, guided meditations, and lessons in permaculture. Each villa is different, but all have at least two beds, a full kitchen or kitchenette, and a private terrace. Their Smoothie Bar serves garden-fresh breakfast and brunch daily, with much of the produce grown onsite. Located on a quiet street in the North End, walking distance to Downtown and only 150 meters to the beach.
Hotel phone: +52 329 291 3063
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Hotel Villas

3. Siete Lunas – South End

Siete Lunas Hotel in South End, Sayulita
Ideal for romantic getaways, Siete Lunas’ rooms are perched on a lush, jungle hill overlooking Sayulita Beach, offering sweeping views of the ocean and village below. This secluded boutique stay offers seven rooms, all of which feature a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows that opens up fully to a private balcony. The intimate property boasts a sea-facing pool, cocktail bar, and breakfast included in the room rate. Located on a winding back road west of Los Muertos and Sayulita Beaches, about a fifteen-minute walk into downtown. A golf cart is highly recommended for guests staying here!
Hotel phone: +52 322 294 5111
Hotel website • Check prices for Siete Lunas

4. Villa Amor – South End

Villa Amor in South End, Sayulita
This boutique resort houses eclectic villas in a range of sizes from cozy studios to palatial five-bedroom units. All rooms boast a kitchenette and an outdoor shower, many with private plunge pools; personal chefs can be arranged. Décor is eclectic, featuring vintage Indian and Moroccan furnishings alongside modern Mexican comforts. Villa Amor shares its pool and restaurant with its sister property Amor Boutique Hotel. Overlooking Sayulita Beach, this stunning hotel is less than ten minutes on foot to downtown. Request a ground floor room for travelers with limited mobility, as the hotel has no elevator.
Hotel phone: +52 329 291 3010
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Villa Amor

5. Casablanca – North End

Casablanca Sayulita Hotel in North End
Casablanca is the only beachfront hotel in Sayulita. This sunny boutique hotel has a heated, free-form pool, plus a palapa roof terrace just the right size for a small party, with its own Jacuzzi and barbeque. All suites include a full kitchen and private balcony; 2 bedroom suites have bunk beds in the guest room. The spacious Main House sleeps up to 10 and includes its own oceanfront private pool. This amazing little property is right next door to the Sayulita Turtle Camp, where newly hatched sea turtles are released at sunset year round. Located in the North End, Casablanca is only five minutes away from several restaurants and bars.
Hotel phone: +52 329 298 8565
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Casablanca

6. Selina – Downtown/Main Beach

Selina Sayulita Hotel in Downtown/Main Beach
Boutique hotel with a courtyard pool, spacious rooms, and central location. Selena offers a wide variety of rooms and suites, with the largest being a three-bedroom apartment that sleeps up to seven and includes a full kitchen. This is the only downtown hotel with a pool; it’s very deep as it used to be used for scuba lessons. Hot coffee and a small breakfast buffet are served poolside every day. Located only one block from the beach (free boogieboards and beach gear rental onsite), two blocks from the town square and church, near all of Sayulita’s restaurants, nightlife, and street vendors.
Hotel phone: +52 329 291 3218
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Selina

Staying in Downtown/Main Beach Sayulita

Where to stay and eat in downtown Sayulita
Sayulita used to be a sleepy little surf village, but its popularity has grown in recent years. Now Downtown thrives with a range of excellent restaurants, bars with live music, and throngs of street vendors selling bright Huichol crafts all day and savory tacos as late as 3am. The Main Beach, Playa Sayulita, is equally busy, especially between 10am and sunset, when surfers and sunbathers flock to the oceanfront to catch Riviera Nayarit’s best waves and rays. Most people drive golf carts rather than cars here, as it’s easier to park smaller carts on the narrow streets. Stay in the Downtown/Main Beach area to be close to the action, the first to hit the waves and the last to leave the bars.

Best Hotel in Downtown/Main Beach

  • SelenaHotel phone: +52 329 291 3218

Best Restaurants in Downtown/Main Beach

  • Los Corazones • $$-$$$ • Fantastic restaurant for fresh Mexican seafood; upscale but unpretentious.
  • El Itacate • $ • An itacate is a burrito wrapped in fried cheese instead of a tortilla. Heaven sent!
  • Restaurant Yeikame • $ • Fantastic spot offering specializing in pre-Hispanic dishes alongside Mexican classics. Popular for their chile relleno and margaritas.

Staying in South Sayulita

Where to stay and eat in south Sayulita
The South End of Sayulita is in the western part of town near two beaches, the Main Beach and Los Muertos Beach. Los Muertos Beach is named for the elaborate cemetery just inland from it, a peaceful, colorful spot well worth a trip on its own. A small road runs from downtown along the edge of the beach and above cove, narrowing into a little path as it stretches further from town. This is a popular spot for walking or cycling. The hotels and residences in the area sit just above this trail, built on the jungle hillside overlooking the main beach and town and offering sweeping sea views. The South End is only a ten-minute walk to the heart of downtown, but because it is hilly, a golf cart is recommended for travelers staying here.

Best Hotels in the South End

Best Restaurant in or near the South End

  • Bichos • $ • Casual spot in a garden setting, known for their fish tacos.

Staying in North Sayulita

Where to stay and eat in north Sayulita
The North End sits just east of the little Sayulita River, which is more like a creek and dry in some seasons. This is a quiet, residential neighborhood just a short walk to the Main Beach and restaurants but without all the nighttime party noise. It’s more easily walkable than the South End, though its lack of hills means the views are less dramatic. This is a popular with families and for travelers visiting for yoga and meditation retreats. Because of its relaxed vibe, the Sayulita Turtle Camp has set up shop here. Open to the public, this sanctuary hatches and releases baby sea turtles at sunset all year round. Several restaurants and cafes are scattered throughout the area, but not as many bars as Downtown.

Best Hotels in the North End

Best Restaurant in the North End

  • North Side Café Sayulita • $ • Fantastic breakfast and brunch, known for their huevos rancheros and iced coffee made with a block of frozen espresso.

Read More

The Best Hotels in Mazatlán

MexicoMazatlán › Best Hotels
Updated: February 25, 2022

See Also

1. Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa (All Inclusive)

Best luxury resort in Mazatlán.
Luxurious beach resort with 3 pools (one is adults only) and beautiful grounds. Quiet location but there’s a free shuttle bus to the Golden Zone shops, bars, and restaurants.
Hotel phone: +52 669 989 0525
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

2. Hotel Playa Mazatlán (All Inclusive)

Best all inclusive resort on Mazatlán Beach.
Great location in the heart of the Golden Zone (bars, restaurants, and shopping). Beach area is fantastic – clean and good swimming. Several pools and a superb infinity hot tub. This area is definitely too loud and busy for some (fun and energetic for others).
Hotel phone: +52 800 716 9567
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Hotel Playa Mazatlán

3. Casa Lucila Boutique Hotel

Best hotel with view in Mazatlán Centro Historico.
Charming boutique hotel in Mazatlán’s Old Town. Only 8 rooms. Top floor infinity pool is small but has great views of the ocean and sunset. Located an easy walk from the trendy boutique shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants of the Historic Center.
Hotel phone: +52 669 982 1100
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Casa Lucila Boutique Hotel

4. Las 7 Maravillas (Adults Only)

Best boutique hotel in Mazatlán.
Seven rooms each with their own theme and furnishings. Close to the Malecon (the pedestrian boardwalk along the beach) and plenty of bars, restaurants, shops, and galleries. Staff is excellent and very helpful.
Hotel phone: +52 669 136 0646
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Las 7 Maravillas

5. Villa Serena Centro Historico

Best apartment with kitchen for rent in Mazatlán.
Family-owned hotel in the heart of the Historic Center. One and two-bedrooms suites have full kitchens and are great for groups or couples traveling together.
Hotel phone: +52 669 194 0806
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Villa Serena Centro Historico

6. Casa de Leyendas

Best hotel in Mazatlán Old Town.
Good value bed & breakfast in the Mazatlán Old Town. There’s a small pool and charming courtyard (where breakfast is served). Great location in the Historic District and close to the water.
Hotel phone: +52 669 981 6180
Hotel websiteCheck prices for Casa de Leyendas

Read More