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Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

2 posts
1 review
Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

There seems to be a lot of confusion on walking between Sayulita and San Pancho. I did the hike the other day, so thought I'd write up something more specific for future use.

Note: This description follows the jungle trail, and does not involve any fence hopping, trespassing, or other mischief. From all the information I gathered, both online and locally, trying to make the walk via the beach is very unlikely. The jungle trail DOES NOT come close to the beach on the San Pancho end. If you want to try bush whacking through the jungle to get around the private property blocking beach access, I'm sure it will provide many hours of harmless entertainment, but is unlikely to get you to your destination.

General Information:

- This trail is not visible from Google Maps satellite view. The obvious "trail" you see is the power lines, and are very over-grown.

- Wear decent footwear. Flip-flops are a good way to twist an ankle as the trail is rough in places. Sports sandals would be the minimum if you're an experienced hiker. Proper shoes highly recommended.

- Distance was 5.2 km one way, from the north most point in Sayulita. Elevation gain/loss 160m. It took us 1:15 at a leisurely pace. It's another 15-20 minutes from centre of Sayulita.

- The trail is well defined, and would be difficult to get lost once you are on it.

- Bring at least a half-liter of water per person.

- The short distance walking on the highway is by far the scariest/most dangerous part.

- Leave yourself at least 3 hours of daylight. The Jungle is a dark place at night. Even with a flashlight, what was obvious in the day is not at night.


- At the Northern terminus of Av. Del Palmar, cross a chain gate onto a quad trail. Follow this, staying on the most obvious trail.

- At a fork with a big rock in the middle, keep left.

- Cross a cobblestone road.

- Keep left at the next fork and go downhill.

- Stay right on the main path when you cross under the power lines (obvious)

- You will end up down by the beach, where there are some abandoned ruins of buildings on the right.

- If you took an alternate route and ended up on the beach early, look for the building ruins. The trail is not accessible from the beach beyond this point.

- The trail head is obviously marked with a barbed wire fence, and signed permitting walking and bicycle, but not horses or OHV.

- Follow this trail for about 45 minutes.

- The trail will spit you out on a road, follow the sign indicating San Pancho to the right.

- You will end up on Highway 200, follow it north a short distance to the next road on the left.

- Follow this road downhill, it will cross a bridge, then bring you into San Pancho.


- Walk South down Calle El Salvador, cross a bridge going over the river/stream.

- You will end up on Calle Primavera. Walk up this road to the highway.

- Walk south down the highway for a short distance to the entrance to Haciendas San Pancho. This is the next road on the right. There will be a yellow gate with a guard house (likely occupied).

- Walk though the open gates immediately south of the guard house.

- Keep an eye for a sign on the right. There will be an arrow pointing towards where you just came from labled San Pancho. The other arrow will point up the road, labeled Private Property. From here, look for a trial on the left (south). A short distance in there will be a barbed wire fence used to block motorized traffic.

- Follow this trail for about 45 minutes. It will eventually bring you down to a beach with some ruins of old buildings.

- The trail will now be a quad track. Stay on the main, most obvious track. Don't worry too much about taking a wrong turn, you will either end up at the highway, the beach, or Sayulita.

- When you cross a cobblestone road leading to a private residence, you are almost there!

- You will end up at the very end of Av. Del Palmar, on the north end of Sayulita.

18 replies to this topic
Banff, Canada
Level Contributor
170 posts
8 reviews
11. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

Amazing you took the time to give a detailed explanation of the trail. Thank you for that!

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
2 posts
9 reviews
12. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

I'm not one to leave messages on this forum, but my friend and I recently attempted to do this hike and we got incredibly lost and ended up hiking 7 miles and never got to San Pancho. The trails aren't really well marked by any means, and there are so many ways that you can possibly turn and get on the wrong path it's actually incredible that no one else has reported any issues with this hike.

I *highly* recommend bringing lots of water and downloading some sort of hiking trail app so that you don't get lost. My friend and I are both 26, in good shape, and were very dehydrated and burnt by the end of this hike.

Not sure how we got so lost, but definitely wasn't a highlight of our trip ha.

1 post
13. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

An update from April 2018!

At the barbed wire gate past the ruins, the sign is gone. But it's still very clearly a gate with barbed wire you walk around.

You will wind up a hill on the 45 minute part of this hike (yes, it's a single track path, you're not lost) and suddenly (20 mins in or so) there are 3 paths (all new in the last few months it seems). It looks though people are making mountain bike trails. Stay to the left (and you will go down not up). This confused us but all turned out well!

Amazing instructions, thanks. It took us about 1.25 hours with a few scenic photo ops, not going particularly fast. The highway part is by far the freakiest part, and we even came across a jaguarundi! (Not a jaguar though....phew.)

Vernon, Canada
Level Contributor
1 post
30 reviews
14. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

Awesome info! Appreciate the detail

Cedar Crest, New...
Level Contributor
2 posts
16 reviews
15. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

Fabulous instructions and super easy to follow. A few additional recommendations based on just completing the Sayulita to San Pancho portion. There are two places near the beginning of the route where the trail hits a Y and at both places veer left (one is shortly after the graffitied shipping container and the second is shortly after the cobblestone road crossing). The trail from the beach is not marked, but is right after the second ruin. The fence is back in the jungle a bit so don’t expect the fence to be clearly visible. The trail is fairly visible from the second ruin.

Watch out for biting ants! Otherwise an awesome hike through the jungle.

16. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

We did this hike yesterday from Sayulita to San Pancho, Jeremy’s directions were very helpful but have two updates that might help.

1. We did not find any sign by the abandoned structures on the beach but we did take the trail right there back up into the jungle..

2, On that 45 miunute hike through the jungle, we made it about 30 minutes in and came to the top of a ridge that had a right turn uphill and a left turn downhill. We followed both a short distance and ultimately went left/down which took us out to the cobblestone road but it got a little tricky climbing over some fallen trees and around a lot of brush.


Bucerias, Mexico
Level Contributor
318 posts
186 reviews
17. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

Were you concerned about insects or other jungle critters on your hike?

Banff, Canada
Level Contributor
170 posts
8 reviews
18. Re: Hiking from Sayulita to San Pancho

Not many bugs in this area, and the trail follows the ocean fairly closely. Its a good walk.

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