My husband, our friend, Vickie, and I spent five wonderful days in Sayulita prior to traveling to PV for seven days. I was concerned after reading so many negative comments on the Sayulita forum but have to say that we saw NO issues that would stop us from going back. All we saw were wonderfully happy people enjoying the food, the beach, and the wonderful vibe of the city. We ate out every meal - some of our favorites were Don Pedro's, Union Pub, Trattoria Tuscana, The Break, El Espresso, and Blue Corn Mama. We all enjoyed relaxing massages at Nirvana and had lots of cold beers at Coco Beach Club with our toes in the sand. We drank bottled water and took the normal precautions we do whenever we travel. I wholeheartedly recommend Sayulita as a super place in which to unwind.
We took the rather long walk over the bridge leaving the airport and caught a cab to the town -- it was quite a bit less expensive going back from Sayulita TO Puerto Vallarta. We rented a two-bedroom casita through VRBO that was about a five-minute walk from town....the only noise we heard was our two-legged rooster/alarm clock every morning. The first day, he actually got a bit confused and started crowing at 3 AM....NOT what we needed, but not anything we couldn't cope with -- we were on VACATION! The place was on Bugambilia at the foot of the hill so that we didn't have to climb nearly as far after a day of walking and/or relaxing. We didn't really get into the water much more than to wet our feet, but there were lots of surfers and parents with little kids helping them in and out of the surf. We had a great time.