When my cousin decided to have her wedding in Sayulita, Mexico – I was beyond excited. I didn’t think twice about making the trip from Lebanon, even with a 3.5 month old baby. I flew from Beirut to Dubai, and then onwards to Los Angeles. It was a very long trip, but the baby was a champ (check out this article on how to survive a flight with an infant). The entire family met up in LA (all coming together from South Africa, Belgium, Holland and Lebanon), and we then flew from Tijuana to Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), but we crossed the border just south of San Diego at the Cross Border Express – it’s a pedestrian walkway for passengers to cross the border between USA and Mexico – very convenient since it’s considered a “local” flight.
There was a 45 minute airport transfer from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita, where the wedding was to be held.
A Little Piece of Untouched Paradise
The little town of Sayulita is beautiful; still quite “untouched” and not very commercial yet. There aren’t any tarred roads in the heart of the town, and roads are so narrow that most people drive around in golf carts or Quads.
The first thing you notice when you arrive is all the colours! They have multi-coloured elements everywhere, from the little plastic flags hanging from lamp posts (very festive), to the vendors selling typical Mexican pom-poms and hand-painted ceramics.
We stayed at Villa Amor – perched on top of a hill overlooking the bay of Sayulita – with some of the prettiest sunrises and sunsets I’ve ever seen. It’s a Boutique Hotel with about 20 rooms, as well as a fully-furnished 3 bedroom villa which was the backdrop for the wedding on the special night. As beautiful as the setting was though, there were so many stairs! The villa was right at the top, and if you wanted to go to reception or the pool, you had to go down almost 150 steps to get there. Going down was easy, but coming back up after a full day out was quite the mission.
There’s something to do for everyone: it’s a great surfing spot, there’s deep sea fishing, shopping and horseback riding on the beach and through the forest.
Unfortunately everything you hear about the water in Mexico and people getting sick is true. You cannot, by any means, drink the tap water. Almost 80% of the wedding guests got a stomach bug, and we found out that there was an outbreak of Norovirus just before we arrived. Luckily, no one was sick enough for hospitalisation, but it really sucks when you are in such a beautiful place but you can’t leave the bathroom for more than 5 minutes.
Besides that, we had a wonderful time and the wedding was gorgeous. It’s a beautiful location for a destination wedding and I’m already thinking of when we can go back.
For advice on planning a destination wedding, check out these tips.