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swimlong
October 29th, 2005, 12:57 AM
My family and I are going to Sayulita (45 minute drive north of Puerta Vuerta) for Xmas. We have a house rented on "the beach" - pictures look wonderful and pristine... but we all know photoshop does wonders... So my question is:

Does anyone know anything about this area - surf conditions, creepy sea creatures, great swimming areas, etc.? Should we wear rash guards/booties/etc? Are there any open water clubs/masters groups in the area? Any info will be greatly appreciated!

BillS
October 31st, 2005, 12:40 PM
I've been there quite a few times to surf. It is as beautiful as the pictures, and it's cool watching the fishermen launch from the beach through the surf zone every morning.

Sayulita is a little bay between two rocky headlands with a very distinct point break in the middle, right in front of the town. The beach to the left of the point as you look at it (I can't recall north/south etc. right now) is flat with a sandy bottom which is great for swimming, especially when the surf is small. It can get a little tough there when the swell is big and the waves close out across the bay. The right side of the point has a steeper beach and a little more violent shore break, but you are outside of the waves sooner. The point is rocky, but you don't need booties. The side areas are quite sandy. The break is usually a pretty mellow longboard right (although the local kids rip it to pieces on shortboards), but when the swell picks up you can go left on the right side of the point.

Water quality varies from pretty good to poor, depending on the swell size and how recently it rained. This time of year can bring monsoon like rains that flush a bunch of mud, debris, and . . . well, stuff into the bay, turning it a chocolate color. Most locals stay out of the water for a few days after one of those events.

We quit going to Sayulita because we ended up surfing on the other side of the peninsula between Nuevo Vallarta and Punta de Mita all the time. Mostly we were escaping the crowds, but the water quality is far better on the Banderas Bay side. We stayed on the Banderas side last year about this time, and I did quite a bit of swimming in the mornings before surfing.

A surfing buddy got stung by a stingray once down there. He was messing around with his kid on a boogie board in waist deep water. Shuffle your feet in the sand going out. I'm sure there are all kinds of other nasty and carnivorous creatures out there, but I'm usually in the water pretty much the whole time I'm there and have never had any problems. I saw about a 12 foot shark, a Mako, I think, in a fisherman's launch one time when we were buying fish, but I never saw one in the water.

Rash guards are a good idea for sun protection. Even this time of year it's pretty intense.

I don't know anything about organized swimming down there, but I'd be willing to bet there's something in PV.

Have a good trip. Try Cafe Laura if it's still there. They used to set up tables in the street at night, and the food was good.

swimlong
November 2nd, 2005, 11:27 AM
great info - thanks!

seltzer
November 2nd, 2005, 02:32 PM
How is the body surfing in Banderas Bay? Is the surf easily reachable from the beach or do you need a boat?

Thanks

BillS
November 2nd, 2005, 05:37 PM
It probably depends on where you are in the bay. I stayed at a place called Palladium that has a break called Burros right out in front of it. The surf break wasn't suitable for body surfing, but there were some little waves that hit the hotel's beach that would probably work. If you're not staying at Palladium, you can hike in from the road.

We used to surf at a spot called La Lancha (for an old boat washed up on the beach) that is directly across the road from what is now the 4 Seasons. It would probably be a good body surf beach, but I don't think you can hike in any more.

Most of the breaks I've surfed are very close to the beach. No need for a boat if you can access the beach.

Beach access in Mexico is an odd thing. One day we were at La Lancha when the army showed up and refused to allow us to hike back out to the road. We had to bushwhack a couple miles down the beach with our boards and packs, over headlands and through dense jungle to Punta de Mita, then send one guy on the bus back to get the car. Quite the adventure.

There are plenty of boat captains who will pick you up at your hotel and take you to inaccessible beaches for a reasonable fee. Ask at any surf shop down there.

Here's a link with some information: http://www.surf-mexico.com/states/Nayarit/surfing/index.php (http://)

geochuck
November 2nd, 2005, 05:46 PM
Sayulita a great place here is info on places below Porto V.... I go to Melaque and Boca de Iguana for 5 to 6 months.
http://www.tomzap.com/barra.html
http://www.costalegre.ca/