Welcome to the first installment of Sayulita Dreaming – a new feature on the SDW Blog where I will let you in on the best kept secrets of our sweet little seaside village (and beyond). This post is all about honeymoon spots that will take your breath away, right in our own backyard (plus or minus a few hours). Starting with Puerto Vallarta and beyond, I’ll share some favorite getaways that would be perfect for post-wedding bliss, as well as general romance, relaxation, and recreation. Next installment will focus on Riviera Nayarit (including some secret Sayulita hideaways) and Northward.
Villa Azalea Inn & Organic Farm, Puerto Vallarta
This gem of an Inn is located just south of Vallarta on the hwy 200 (at km 185), about 10 minutes from the Botanical Gardens, which makes it a quick 2 hour trip from Sayulita. Proprieter Dulce Arguero and her son Santiago have crafted the perfect getaway, balancing and idyllic natural setting with luxury hotel accommodations. The 3 greenhouses of the organic farm – along with abundant fruit trees bearing lychee, mango, lime, orange and more – provide a rich harvest for the kitchen, where Dulce and Josa prepare your home-cooked meals 3 times a day. Before meals, Santiago or Dulce walk you out to the greenhouses to collect the finishing touches – fresh herbs for your cocktail, lemongrass and turmeric for your after-dinner tea, or a handful of lychees for dessert.
Nestled in the Sierra Madres south of Puerto Vallarta and Boca de Tomatlan, Villa Azalea is a refreshing contrast to beach life. The Inn sits on a lush property edged by a crystal clear mountain stream, where you can take your lunch with your toes in the water, or wile away the afternoon strolling upstream, dipping in the swimming holes, and traversing the many rock waterfalls. Two swimming pools will keep you refreshed, along with the handsomely stocked honor bar and delicious fresh-made cocktails. Gourmet cooking classes are also offered in the outdoor garden kitchen.
I visited Villa Azalea on a solo retreat this past June and fell head over heels – I was so pampered by Dulce, Santiago, Josa & Chuy. The food was delicious, the room was well appointed with the coziest bed to rival any 5-star hotel, and I didn’t have to worry about a thing. I will definitely be back to this lovely oasis!!
Playas Paraiso, Costa Careyes
If you are willing to travel a little further south (about 4 hours south from Sayulita), Playas Paraiso will reward you with it’s secluded beaches and homespun hospitality. Rent a car and explore the pristine beauty of Jalisco’s Costalegre and Costa Careyes – in a few short hours you will be worlds away from the crowds and tourism of Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta. Just north of Careyes proper, this hidden cove has just 4 beachfront bungalows and a newly constructed luxury 3 bedroom villa with private pool. Juan Ernesto and his staff Karina & Noe took wonderful care of us – all meals (Mexican home cooking) are provided, as well as delicious aguas frescas (fresh fruit waters) and healthy snacks, with an option for inclusive alcoholic beverages as well.
The sandy beach is perfect for lounging or swimming, and the clear waters and rocky shores on the edge of the cove make for great snorkeling. Or grab a few kayaks or paddle boards and row out to the rock islands located just out to sea, where you can beach your craft and explore the underwater world. Enjoy the view from the infinity pool or hike along jungle trails in between naps in the hammock under the big palapa. Rooms are spacious and comfy, with separate sitting rooms and air conditioning.
El Cielito Cabañas, Villa del Mar, Cabo Corrientes
El Cielito (“Little Heaven”) Cabañas are perched on a bluff overlooking the bay of Villa del Mar and Mayto, about an hour south of Puerto Vallarta (3-3.5 hours from Sayulita). The pristine beach stretches south along the coast without interruption from hotels or resorts, just turtles, pelicans, herons, crabs, and so on. The surf is intense – this is not a swimming beach – but you can launch a kayak and paddle up the estuary for some serene bird watching when you aren’t taking in the expansive view from the infinity pool.
Cabins are simple – a little rustic but comfortable. The on-site restaurant serves basic coastal Mexican fare. We loved the pulpo (octopus) and of course the fresh made margaritas. The staff is wonderful and extremely accommodating. We stayed here for our tenth anniversary, along with our 2 kids, and had a lovely time. Penny, the on-site Manager, helped to arrange for childcare, massages, and a romantic dinner on the beach, complete with bonfire, tent, and flowers. We feasted on coconut shrimp, carrot soup, and fresh guacamole.
This is a great option for a quick getaway that doesn’t take much drive time but still gets you out of the hustle and bustle and into the tranquility of Jalisco’s secluded beaches. Recently featured by Mexico Desconocido as one of Mexico’s best secluded beaches.
Hacienda San Angel, Puerto Vallarta Centro
Located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, the former home of Richard Burton is now a luxury boutique hotel with opulently romantic rooms and courtyards embodying the best of Mexican architecture and craftsmanship. A worthy splurge if you can swing it, Hacienda San Angel will not disappoint.
Explore the best that Puerto Vallarta has to offer, with endless options for fine (and excellent casual) dining at your doorstep or a quick taxi away. Spend a few nights here before heading south to one of the spots above.
These are just a few of the boundless options that Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco’s Costalegre have to offer. Extend your stay after your wedding and soak up the sun and each other in another perfect paradise – or stay in a Sayulita hideaway! I’ll have some top picks posted for you soon.
P.S. Like what you read and want more Sayulita Dreaming? Inspire me! Comment and tell me what insider tips you are dying to know.