Transportation to Sayulita includes bus, taxi or a ‘collectivo’ – usually a van that fits 6 or 7 people. I have travelled to Sayulita several times by myself and I always take the Compostela bus from the airport. But taxi’s are a good option too, especially if you have a large group and you can split the cost. When you head out of the PV airport you will be approached by about 50 taxi drivers (and time-share hawkers). If you plan to take the bus just say “no gracias”…again, and again…and again at the bus stop opposite the freeway.
Tip: If you hire a taxi from in front of the airport, a ride to Sayulita will cost about $50 U.S. If you cross the freeway and get a taxi in front of the bus stop it’s cheaper.
The bus is currently 25 pesos (about $2 U.S.). To get to the bus stop go left when you exit the airpot and cross the pedestrian bridge. the bus stop is pretty obvious (it’s in front of the taco stand where all of the people are waiting and the busses are stopping). You will want to keep your eye out for the green and white bus that say Compostela on the side (and Sayulita on the front). Busses to Sayulita arrive about every 15 minutes.
There is NO LONGER a time change between Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta (yay!)
Taking the bus is really easy. So easy in fact that you will laugh that you stressed about it at all. You are in Mexico now, relax. Have a beer while you are waiting for the bus (get a to-go cup so you can jump on the bus with it when it arrives unexpectedly).
Getting between Sayulita and Guadalajara can be time-consuming, but it's not challenging! The absolute easiest way to get between the two cities is with one of the direct busses that run once daily from Thursday to Monday (no service on Tuesdays or Wednesdays). The busses leave from Vallarta Plus's own bus depot in Tonala (not the main bus depot!) at 7:30 am and leave the Zapopan depot about forty minutes later, reservations are essential. For the return trip, they leave Sayulita at 2:00 pm, or earlier if everyone gets to the station before 2:00. In Sayulita, you catch that bus in front of the bookstore, which is on the opposite side of the bridge from the town square. Unfortunately, Vallarta Plus does not use its nicest busses on this route, and if you want to travel in comfort you should follow the next set of instructions. The trip takes about five hours, if we're being honest.
If you can't get your trip from Sayulita to Guadalajara to coincide with the direct service, your best bet is to catch a city bus at the corner by the bridge and the baseball field. This city bus costs $1 and will let you off in Bucerias (this takes about thirty minutes). From Bucerias you can catch one of the many busses heading back to Guadalajara. I like Vallarta Plus, but Pacifico runs frequently as well. Buy your ticket at their offices, on the opposite side of the highway from the beach, close to the church. The trip takes five hours and stops in Zapopan before heading to the Vallarta Plus station in Tonala (just south of the Guadalajara city centre). You can follow the same route to get from Guadalajara to Sayulita: either go to the Vallarta Plus station or the main Tonala station, find a bus heading for Puerto Vallarta, get off in Bucerias and then transfer to city bus. You actually have to back-track to get between Sayulita and Bucerias, so on your way into Sayulita you should take the city bus in the direction you just came from, and on your way into Bucerias (to get back to Guadalajara) you should take the bus away from Guadalajara.
No matter how you make the trip, expect a one-way ticket to cost approximately three hundred pesos ($30 US/CAD).