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Culture and Vacation Etiquette Dos and Doníts in Sayulita, Mexico

Safety in Sayulita: Sayulita is a perfectly safe place for a family vacation.  However, as Sayulita grows, so does the risk of petty theft.  Thus, take the appropriate precautions as you would in most other vacation areas in the world:

  • Lock up your valuables (in a safe if available)
  • Do not leave cash/cameras/jewelry in plain view
  • Lock up your rental car (especially at night)

Tipping in Sayulita: In Sayulita (and all of Mexico) there is no better way to say “thank you” better than a little cash in the palm.  Most of Mexico’s personal service industry relies on tips to help make it from paycheck to paycheck.  A small tip from you can go a long way with a working father whose sole income supports his entire family.  A tip (and its amount) is always very subjective but here are a few general suggestions

(All prices are in Mexican pesos):

  • Airport baggage personnel:  $10-$20 per article of luggage
  • Taxi driver:  10-20% of fare
  • Waiters:  10-15% of tab (Remember, you must ask for your bill "la cuenta por favor" in Mexico)
  • Maids/cleaning staff:  $20 pesos per day per guest
  • Gas station attendants:  Any amount of loose change is appreciated.
  • Boat captains + help:  10-25% of the cost of the boat.  More if you caught lots of fish
  • Baggers at grocery stores:  Any amount of loose change is appreciated.

Patience: Life is slow and laid back in Mexico and especially coastal villages like Sayulita.  People take their time doing things and “mañana” is an expression that does not necessarily mean tomorrow, only “not today.”  When you arrive to Sayulita, please leave all of your hasty and grand expectations behind.  Enjoy the village and the peacefulness it offers to residents and visitors alike.  Unlike the USA or Canada, getting mad and/or raising your voice does not bring about positive results; it simply shows your lack of understanding of the foreign culture and will make people shy away from you.  No one will want to help you if you behave in such a manner.

Language: Though most Sayulita residents speak a little English, your vacation will be greatly enhanced if you practice a few Spanish words before arriving.  There are hundreds of websites offering free courses.  Please, thank you, how much, when, where, and I’m sorry are a few expressions that will really help you around the town.  Remember, no one in town is hard of hearing.  Repeating a phrase in English very loud only makes YOU look like the person who does not understand the conversation.