The last time I was in Sayulita my friends asked me “what do you want to do for your final night” and without a second thought I said, “I want us to have a picnic bonfire on Carricitos”. Whilst I love the colourful, buzzing vibe of Sayulita’s main town, for my final night I wanted to spend it somewhere quiet with my friends, somewhere where we could have space to laugh, dance, swim, surf, and set the tone of the night. A place where I could go and do some yoga, maybe meditate and have some calm to reflect before heading back to London.
What is the best beach in Mexico?
Playa Carricitos is my favourite beach in the world. It’s isolated and wild and about a 40-minute walk from Sayulita’s main town through some jungle patches. Even though it is only a short walk, it tends to put most people off going there (as there are so many other beautiful beaches in Sayulita), so I knew that we would be guaranteed a private final night.
This is a beach where I take our Yantara Retreat guests for a night of Yin yoga followed by a bonfire because I know that it has a tranquil atmosphere, the perfect combination of ocean noises with the stillness of the isolation.
We walked over in the late afternoon, and some of the surfers brought their boards to catch the sunset waves. Everyone brought random food from the local markets and we lugged a cool box to keep the drinks refreshing as there are no shops or vendors on this beach.
We set up on the beach, gather sticks, logs, and dry leaves to get a bonfire going, laid out towels and blankets, and synced a phone to the speakers which we brought. The beach is surrounded by coconut and palm trees and pretty quickly my friend, James, was shimming up a tree to cut down fresh coconut to crack into.
There is no phone service on this beach so you always know that when you go to this beach you will be present to what is happening rather than being tempted by a pinging phone.
For the first two hours (6-8pm) we were swimming in the sea. The water here is clean and turquoise (as opposed to Sayulita’s main beach which can get a bit muddy after a storm). The sand is so soft on your feet and there are no annoying stones that could scratch you up when falling off a surfboard.
The water here can be rougher but that’s what I like. The waves often are big, perfect for diving into, and a bit rough and tumble. When we got tired of swimming we sat on the soft sand to watch the surfers, and I’m not alone in saying how peaceful it is to watch surfers catch waves and glide along.
The sun began to set, and I will debate anyone who says that there is a better beach to watch the sunset than Carricitos. The sky turned pink and then orange as the sun went down and we all sat in silence, mesmerized by its beauty. This is normally the moment when I would go in for a solo swim/ float, just to absorb the energy of this beach and sunset.
As predicted, we had the beach to ourselves – perfect, we could play our music as loudly as we wanted to without disturbing anyone, so of course dancing quickly began. The snacks were consumed and marshmallows were roasted on the bonfire.
When the sunset had completely set and the sky turned dark we lay down on the sand and looked up to the clear night sky to look at the stars. Because this beach is away from the main town and isolated from any buildings and roads there is no light pollution so there is ample opportunity for star gazing.
This is why I love Playa Carricitos, it serves everyone what they need. The surfers smile from ear to ear about having their whole wavy playground to themselves, those who want to meditate can go down to the water edge and find complete calm, body surfers can have fun rolling the waves, swimming can jump around and those who feel more comfortable on the sand can stretch out without the disturbance of anyone, and if you want to get rid of some of those tan lines there is no one to tell you otherwise. When you play music or whip out an instrument on the beach you won’t disturb other beachgoers. For me, it was the magical final night, where I was free from the distractions of my phone or the main town so that I could just be with my friends, chat and reflect and munch on the oreo smores that we made on the bonfire. This is why I pitch the argument that Playa Carricitos is the perfect beach and why we always take our guests here for their final night on a Yantara Retreat.