Whether you’ll be arriving at the Puerto Vallarta airport or want to take a day trip to Sayulita, here’s the good news: Taking the Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita bus is (mostly) a breeze.
The bus ride is direct and easy, aside from getting to the Sayulita bus stop in PV, which feels out of the way if you’re coming from downtown.
I took the bus four times during my one-month visit to this region, so I’ll share my top tips on how to get from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita by bus.
Where to Catch the Bus from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita
Let’s start with the hardest part—finding the Sayulita bus stop in Puerto Vallarta.
Unfortunately, the buses to Sayulita don’t pass through downtown PV. So, that means you can’t take a bus from the Zona Romantica or Malecon to Sayulita’s hippy surfer town.
Instead, you need to catch a bus from the Highway 200 Walmart (not the Marco Plaza Vallarta Walmart).
The Highway 200 Walmart sits across from the cruise port, near Galerías Vallarta.
From there, wait for a Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita bus. You’ll want to look for a white and green bus with the bus company “Compostela” written on the side.
Here’s an example of what the bus looks like:
Just be careful because not all white and green Compostela buses go to Sayulita. The bus will have “Sayulita” written on the front, and they also often shout “Sayulita” when it arrives.
There are a few things to know when waiting for the Sayulita bus at Walmart:
- The bus stops on Highway 200, so you don’t need to enter the Walmart parking lot
- There are three bus stands in front of Walmart
- You’ll need to wait at the far bus stop closest to the Walmart side (away from Sam’s Club)
If you’re confused about where to go upon your arrival, an employee managing the bus stop will be able to help. You can also say “Sayulita” to pretty much anyone waiting for a bus and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Travel Tip: If you’ll be staying in Sayulita, make a stop at Walmart before getting on the bus. There are only tiendas in Sayulita (small convenience stores) so you won’t have access to the variety of groceries that Walmart offers.
Taking a Bus to the Walmart Bus Stop
Uber operates in Puerto Vallarta (more on this soon). However, if you can’t snag a ride or want to save money, taking a bus to the Walmart Sayulita stop is easy.
To do so, head to Highway 200. Keep in mind that Highway 200 splits into two separate roads in downtown Puerto Vallarta with a block or more of side streets dividing them, as each lane is one way.
So, you’ll need to wait for a bus on the Highway 200 that’s furthest from the water. That’ll take you in the direction of Nuevo Vallarta.
Some of the buses say “Walmart,” others don’t. Therefore, you can say “Walmart” to the bus driver, and they’ll let you know whether or not you should get on.
The bus costs 10 pesos and the ride takes 15 – 20 minutes from the tourist center.
It can be hard to tell when you’re approaching the Walmart/Sam’s Club area since a massive parking lot sets these buildings far back from the road. So, I recommend keeping an eye out for the cruise port on the opposite side. When you see it, you’ll know you’ve arrived at the Sayulita bus stop.
Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita Bus Schedule
One of the best parts about taking the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita is that you shouldn’t ever have to wait more than 20 minutes for a ride. Below is the PV to Sayulita bus schedule:
|Starting Time||Ending Time||Frequency|
|5:30 am - 6:00 am||10:00 pm - 10:45 pm||15 - 20 minutes|
The time the bus starts and ends running depends on the day you travel; the buses start earlier and run later on weekdays, with weekends having reduced hours.
How Long Is the Bus Ride from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita?
The drive from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita takes between 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1.5 hours by bus.
It can feel like a painful journey leaving Puerto Vallarta, given that there’s so much traffic. Your driver may also make unreasonably long stops to wait for more people, chat with their friends, etc.
However, once you pass through Bucerías, you should be in the clear.
Traffic gives way to an open, curving highway through forested land. The only downside is that this highway only has one lane on each side. So, if there’s an accident or construction, things can really back up.
Travel Tip: The drinking water in Puerto Vallarta is often potable, so fill up your water bottle before heading to Sayulita.
Bus Ticket Prices
As of March 2022, the bus ticket from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita costs 55 pesos.
You’ll pay the driver directly, and there’s no option to purchase a round-trip ticket if you’ll be returning to PV on the same day. However, availability is rarely an issue given how frequently the buses run. They also pack people in the aisles for standing “seats.”
The good news is that the Walmart bus stop in Puerto Vallarta is the first main stop on the way to Sayulita. So, you should be able to grab a seat.
Either side of the bus is equally fine to sit on, as you’ll only get a couple of lackluster glimpses of the ocean in Bucerías.
It’s best to expect next-to-no amenities on the bus from PV to Sayulita.
The seats are small, hard, and offer little legroom.
If you get lucky enough to hop on a newer bus, you’ll get to enjoy air conditioning. Otherwise, you can expect an old, rickety Mercedes-Benz that looks nothing like the fancy vehicle that just popped into your mind.
Depending on the driver, you might also get to rock to some tunes as you bounce along the potholed road to Sayulita.
Taking the Bus from the Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita
If you’re flying into the PV airport and will be heading straight to Sayulita, taking the Puerto Vallarta airport bus to Sayulita is far easier than catching this same bus from downtown PV.
When you exit the Puerto Vallarta airport, you’ll be facing Highway 200. So, follow the airport sidewalk that wraps around towards the highway. When you get to the end of the outdoor area of the airport closest to the road, look to your left and you’ll see a staircase leading to a pedestrian bridge.
Then, put your muscles to the test by picking up your luggage and walking up and over this bridge.
When you arrive on the other side, you’ll be at the stop for the buses to Sayulita.
These buses have already stopped at Walmart, so they operate on the same bus schedule. However, they’re often more crowded at this point, so you might have to stand.
Distance from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita
Traveling from the Puerto Vallarta airport to Sayulita is advantageous because it saves you time compared to traveling from downtown PV. The bus ride takes around 1 hour, 10 minutes.
That’s because the Puerto Vallarta airport sits in the northern part of PV, on the edge of Nuevo Vallarta. Although the difference is minimal distance-wise, it cuts down on the amount of traffic you have to pass through.
Arriving at the Sayulita Bus Station
Once you get on your Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita bus, the next step is knowing when to get off. Luckily, it’s easy to know where the Sayulita bus stop is because it goes to the bus terminal.
In fact, the Sayulita bus terminal is the one and only stop that the bus makes in Sayulita.
Furthermore, the bus from Puerto Vallarta doesn’t make stops at other bus terminals along the way (just streetside stops). So, missing the Sayulita stop is literally impossible unless you fall asleep.
Some buses from Sayulita to Puerto Vallarta continue on to more northern destinations. Therefore, although Sayulita is a major stop where many people get off the bus, it doesn’t mean everyone will vacate it.
As if it couldn’t get better, arriving in downtown Sayulita from the bus terminal will take you under five minutes on foot.
All you have to do when you exit the terminal is turn left and follow the sidewalk. You’ll pass by Organi-K (I highly recommend their veggie Buddha Bowl), followed by a small bridge. Depending on the time of year you travel, the river may or may not have water.
Once you reach the other side of the bridge, you’ll be in the downtown tourist center of Sayulita.
If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet and a boutique hostel appeals to you, I recommend Selina Sayulita. I still dream about Selina’s 5-star bathroom (it sounds silly, I know).
Why Ubering from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita is a Bad Idea
You might be wondering about taking an Uber or taxi from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita, and many people choose this option. It could save you time from not making a gazillion stops in Bucerías, and you’ll get direct service to your Sayulita door—a huge benefit if your accommodation is on a hill.
However, while taxis are abundant in Puerto Vallarta, Ubers are limited.
So, taking an Uber from the Puerto Vallarta airport or elsewhere in PV can cause you to spend a lot of wasted time waiting for an available taxi. Furthermore, Uber often charges higher rates in PV because of how high the demand is.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. On the contrary, I’ve taken Ubers within Puerto Vallarta before.
But if you plan on Ubering from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita, it could end up taking you longer—and it’ll be way more expensive—than just walking across the pedestrian bridge and hopping on a bus.
…And Why It’s a Good Idea
There are times when taking a taxi or Uber from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita is a good idea. Namely, if you have a lot of luggage.
The buses from PV to Sayulita don’t offer under-the-bus storage. Instead, you’ll have to squeeze any luggage you’re carrying at the front of the bus or on your lap.
Here’s an example of what the storage area on one of these buses looks like:
And here’s the scary part if you have a lot of suitcases—this photo shows above-average storage space.
As mentioned earlier, taking a taxi or Uber to Sayulita is also helpful if you’ll be staying high up in Sayulita’s hills and don’t want to drag your suitcases up dusty or muddy dirt roads.
Alternatively, you could take a bus to the Sayulita terminal and then catch a taxi there for the short and more economical ride to your accommodation.
Are You Ready to Take the Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita Bus?
Taking the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita isn’t the most convenient situation, given that you’ll have to travel from downtown PV to arrive at the bus stop. However, once you’re on the bus, knowing where to get off and how to walk into downtown Sayulita is easy.
If you still have questions about taking the bus from PV to Sayulita, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.
Psst! Are you still trying to decide between these two destinations? If so, check out my post on Sayulita vs. Puerto Vallarta to learn about 14 ways they differ. I’ve also written a guide on Sayulita vs Puerto Escondido, if you’re considering a different Pacific beach town.
Laura has been wandering the globe for over a decade. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.