THE TROPICAL ADVENTURE Mexico’s hidden gem of Sayulita is a charming little beach town surrounded by the jungle, just 25 miles north of the more popular city Puerto Vallarta. Often referred to as “the crown jewel” of the region Riviera Nayarit, Sayulita is home to expats and locals alike, with a vacation reputation spreading rapidly. Try to visit sooner than later, while the community maintains its small town charm. The town center combines a variety of authentic Mexican food, international cuisine, trendy boutiques and unique souvenir shops. The cobblestone streets are loaded with colorful murals and brightly painted doors, providing enviable photoshoot backdrops. Just a few miles off the coast lies the Marietas Islands, a must-do day trip excursion. The small volcanic islands are world-famous for the “hidden beach,” only accessible by a forty-foot swim tunnel. But don’t worry, you won’t have to hold your breath, as there’s several feet of air between the surface and the cave wall (beware, claustrophobes!). Charter one of the many sailboat tours to reach the islands (some offering lunch and drinks, others focused on eco-sports cruise). If you want to escape the crowds, venture down to the isolated but beautiful Playa Carricitos. This secluded beach is less than hour hike from downtown Sayulita along a jungle trail that leads you directly to the essentially untouched and rugged beach. Be sure to pack water and snacks, as there are not any facilities nearby. Swim with caution; Carricitos waves are notoriously powerful, and there are no lifeguards!
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