Exploring a Pueblo Mágico: San Pancho and Sayulita // Life in Puerto Vallarta Vlog

In today’s video Chris and I explore the beautiful town’s of San Pancho and Sayulita.

How did we get there?

Our first stop was in San Pancho. To head to San Pancho we caught a taxi from Vallarta to El Central Camionera, or the Central Bus Station. This is located just past the airport and it was a 200 peso cab ride.

Once at the bus station we went to the Pacifico Bus counter and bought two tickets to San Pancho. Each ticket cost 80 pesos per person, one way.

Busses leave to San Pancho every 30 minutes so no matter when you buy your tickets you shouldn’t have to wait to get on very long. In our case, we only had to wait about 10 minutes.

The bus was surprisingly nice! Much nicer than the busses in town at least. It was a nice charter bus with televisions, air-conditioning, and plenty of leg room.

The bus ride to San Pancho was about 1 hour and 20 minutes total, but it went by relatively fast.


Make sure to tell the driver that you need to get off in San Pancho. This will ensure that he will yell out “San Pancho” whenever you get to the stop. Otherwise you may end up in Tepic!

Once at the bus stop, you will need to carefully walk across the highway and walk straight down the main road for about half a mile before you hit the beach.

Thoughts on San Pancho

San Pancho is a small surfing town with a very quiet, tranquil feel to it. There are a few restaurants and shops lined along the main road that you walk down to get to the beach. Near the beach you will find 2-3 restaurants that have tables in the shade and with beach chairs and umbrellas out front of the restaurant.


Here are some quick bulleted thoughts on the town

  • If I wanted to escape the noise of a big city, San Pancho would be the place to go
  • It is a little small for Hillary or I to live there since we don’t have a car
  • As with Vallarta, the people there seemed very friendly
  • The beach was amazing
    • Much longer than most beaches in the bay
    • Very pretty water
    • Not very busy

Getting to Sayulita

Getting to Sayulita from San Pancho is as easy as hailing a cab off the main road in San Pancho.

We paid 150 pesos for the ride.

Thoughts on Sayulita

The town of Sayulita is considered a Pueblo Mágico. A Pueblo Mágico in Mexico is  a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events, day-to-day life – in other words, “magic” in its social and cultural manifestations, with great opportunities for tourism.[1]

What San Pancho lacked in punching power in the town itself, Sayulita more than made up for it. The streets of Sayulita are lined with beautiful flags, colorfully painted buildings, and all sorts of restaurants and shops.

If you are looking to do some souvenir shopping, Sayulita is a great place to do it! There are so many boutique shops with unique clothes, trinkets, and pieces of art.

In our opinion, the beach in Sayulita is not the destination. You don’t go to the Sayulita for the beach, you go for the art, food, culture, and color!


Quick bulleted thoughts on Sayulita:

  • Sayulita is one of the most unique places I have ever visited
  • Prices on souvenirs will be much higher in Sayulita
  • It is one of the most picturesque cities in the Bay or Banderas
  • Sayulita is a great surfing spot
  • Sayulita would be a great place to get away from a city as big as Vallarta, but still big enough to be close to plenty of restaurants and shops

How did we get home?

By the end of the day Chris and I were very tired so we wimped out and took a cab home instead of taking the Compastela bus. This option was quite a bit more expensive, but way more comfortable.

If you want to take the Compastela bus, they leave once an hour and it costs 45 pesos per person. We didn’t ride the bus, but in terms of quality it looked similar to the busses that run in Puerto Vallarta. Which isn’t too bad for a 10-20 minute ride around Vallarta, but a 70 minutes on that bus when we were exhausted didn’t sound fun at the time.

Instead we paid 750 pesos to take a taxi back to Vallarta. This was a very expensive ‘purchase” for us, but it was well worth it at the time. The taxi was a large van, it had very cold A/C, and the driver even let us choose music from his Spotify account!

You can catch the taxis right on the main square in town and you can catch the bus a little further out of the main square back towards the highway. I fact, you will see the bus stop on the way into town!

In all, we had a blast in both towns. They each have a very different vibe, which makes visiting both a must to on your next trip to Puerto Vallarta!

Keep it Kinetic,


Greg and Hillary

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