Wildlife in Sayulita

A visitors guide to Wildlife in Sayulita

Wildlife in Sayulita is simply amazing. We hope that just glancing over the pictures in this article is enough to entice you to explore the wild side of Sayulita.! Jump in!

There is certainly a lot of wildlife in Sayulita and many organised activities throughout the year to help you encounter the wide variety of mammals, 400 bird species, reptiles, white-tailed deer, jaguar, pumas, wild boars, ocelots, jaguarundi, coati mundi, skunks, badgers, coyotes, margays, rabbits, armadillos and iguanas.

In the wider areas of Jalisco and Nayarit, the Sierra Madre Occidental is an important habitat that provides shelter to a wide variety of tropical and temperate flora and fauna. Plentiful sunshine and summer rains nurture the vegetation of the Sayulita region. 

The flora is varied and over 300 species of orchids can be found there. There are also a large variety of trees like Cedar, Walnut and Primavera whose wood is used for the manufacture of furniture and the Punta Sayulita Treehouses.


Wildlife in Sayulita – Tropical Birds

Sayulita and the surrounding areas are a paradise for bird lovers, with more than 400 species of migratory birds and seabirds, such as Tropical Kingbird, Amazon Parrots and the Blue-footed Booby Bird. We must also mention an impressive number of colourful butterflies.

More than 300 species have been found along the coast and in the mountains around Sayulita.  Migration accounts for the great variety during the winter months compared to summer. 

Just by looking up anywhere near the beach in Sayulita you´ll see gulls and sea-shore birds, while fresh water birds are often spotted at the mouth of the town river and nearby streams. Humming birds, wood-peckers, flycatchers, doves, hawks and sparrows are also common. Walking with jungle and forest tours will take you to different habitats and offer better opportunities for bird spotting. 

The Yellow-winged Cacique

A native to Mexico, this beautiful yellow-winged Cacique are plentiful and gather near the edge of the jungle in small colonies all around the state of Nayarit. 

The Black-Throated Magpie Jay

This beautiful bird has a long tail and noisy chirp. It boasts a large blue body and black throat, a white chest and a long blue tail with white tips. The Magpie Jay tends to make its nest in a thorny tree at heights of 100 feet, protecting from from other predators during the long nesting season from November to July.

The Blue-footed Booby

The Blue Footed Booby is a tropical seabird that lives on the west coast of Mexico. The fantastic looking bird has bright blue feet and is about the size of a goose. Blue Footed Boobies are very tame birds, lacking the fear instinct of other birds. They have a somewhat clumsy movement on land which explains the name Booby adapted from the Spanish word “bobo” which means “stupid”

For Bird Watching Tours we recommend Sayulita Bird Watching Tours (also for Eco tours and walking tours)

Wildlife in Sayulita – Animals

Encounters with animals are unusual, you will need to make an effort to encounter them but foxes, raccoons, armadillos, opossums, and wild cats can sometimes be seen.

The Armadillo

The Nine-banded Armadillo is about the size of a cat, has strong armour, and loves to eat insects. Looking similar to an anteater, the armadillo´s shell protects it from predator attacks. Armadillos dig many burrows and dig for their food. They are considered important to local ecosystems as many other wildlife species benefit from their unused burrows.

The Badger
Badgers are nocturnal, solitary animals with wide bodies. Their front legs are have long claws which are excellent at digging. The badger burrows deep in hillsides and they spend most of the daytime asleep underground. Badgers feed on fruits, roots, beech nuts, eggs, young birds, small quadrupeds, frogs, snails, worms, and insects.



The Coati Mundi

The Coati Mundi is a relative of the raccoon family. They are generally reddish brown in colour, with a long brown or black ringed tail and an extreamely long and thin nose. Coatis spend their nights in trees and ascend at dusk, usually traveling through the jungles in search of food. Coati Mundi eat fruits, young birds, eggs, lizards and insects.

The White-Tailed Deer

The White-Tailed Deer is a long-legged, fast-moving mammal that is found over most of North and Central America and northern parts of South America. Deer live on mostly plants such as leaves, grass and acorns. 

Wildlife in Sayulita

Wildlife in Sayulita – Wild Cats


The jaguar has a compact body, a broad head and powerful jaws and yet is one of the most elegant and mysterious wild cat. With only an estimated 15,000 jaguars remaining in the wild, some continue to survive in Mexico. Their habitat are thick forests and swamps and are the largest cat in the Americas


The Margay, also known as the Long Tailed Spotted Cat, can grow up two 25-27 inches with long legs and long tail. The cats markings are similar to the ocelot and is a smaller relative to the tiger cat



Wildlife in Sayulita – Small Vertebrates

Land-crabs, spiders, geckos, iguanas and other assorted lizards can be found in most places. Geckos are often welcome indoors as they eat flying insects like mosquitos and flies. The jungle and forests have snakes and scorpions . Land-crabs are harmless and abundant and often quite photogenic.!

Wildlife in Sayulita

Wildlife in Sayulita – Reptiles




Green Iguanas

Iguanas tend to prefer branches close to or overhanging water so if they are threatened they can jump to the ground or dive into the water to escape danger. They like to eat fruit and vegetables and even some flowers. When fully grown they can reach lengths of 6 feet, from head to tail, and weigh as much as 30 pounds.

Spiny-Tailed Iguana

Spiny-tailed iguanas are found in in the wild in Mexico and Central America. The can usually be found near the lower branches of large trees and along borders of forests where they hunt for insects, spiders, rodents, fruits and leaves.

Mexican Beaded Lizard
Originating in Mexico and Guatemala the Mexican Beaded Lizard is large and has venom glands in their lower jaws. 


Wildlife in Sayulita – Whales and Turtles

During winter the Humpback whales use the protective waters of Bahia de Banderas to raise their calves. We recommend hiring a boat from Sayulita as encounter this amazing creature is an experience not to be missed.

Wildlife in Sayulita

In Sayulita the Olive Ridley turtle comes ashore to lay its eggs from June through to October. The hatchlings start to appear in September right through to December. Each year residents volunteer to take care of Sayulita’s north beach and later release the baby turtles throughout the hatching season. Since only 1 in every 1,000 hatchlings survive, these endeavours increase the chances of baby turtles reaching adulthood and later returning to the same beach.

In Sayulita turtles can be seen in the sea while snorkeling, kayaking and surfing.

Wildlife in Sayulita

Finally, please take a look at the Wildlife in Sayulita Photo Album Video. We look forward to sharing these incredible experiences with you.