Welcome back to my regular monthly budget posts! This month, as you know, I lived in Sayulita, Mexico – a small yoga-and-surfing haven about 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. And, as you might have expected, it was delightfully affordable.
Here’s the breakdown of my budget from April 13 – May 12 (as usual, notes are below the table).
|Spacious studio apartment, 10+ mins to beach||9075.60||$750|
|Taxis + transport||100||$8.35|
|Dog food and supplies||581.43||$48.27|
|Coconut oil/sunglasses/other non-essential supplies||327||$27.28|
|Eating out, coffee, & drinking||3232||$269.75|
|Entertainment and sports||200||$16.70|
|ATM & exchange fees||239.54||$20|
Total Pesos: 15,687.46 / Total Dollars: $1,301.65
At the time of this writing, $1 US is equal to 11.98 pesos. (The figures above reflect this exchange rate.)
Also at the time of this writing, a one-way flight from Denver to Puerto Vallarta costs around $200, the bus from Puerto Vallarta costs about $2, and a taxi from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita (if you prefer) runs around 450 – 500 pesos (offer them 400 and insist and they’ll usually go down to 450, though they’ll start by saying 600) if you are willing to cross the pedestrian bridge over the highway beside the airport instead of nabbing a taxi directly outside the doors (those guys won’t negotiate).
As far as monthly rentals go, $750 is actually rather high for Sayulita and you can probably find lower-priced accomodation if you are willing to show up and find a place in person. I wanted to book ahead, so $750 it was. I only booked for one month, though, and so my second month will be only $450 (summer, already-in-town-and-able-to-haggle price).
Here is some more detailed pricing on common items I used: hiring a housecleaner costs about 50 pesos per hour (less than $5 per hour). Renting a single kayak for 1.5 hours is 100 pesos (less than $10). Sunglasses cost between 100 and 150 pesos (less than $15). A taxi to Playa Escondida from Sayulita is 80 pesos. And a visit to the vet to pick up monthly flea treatment, have Luna’s leg inspected (as it was red and welty), and get some prescription medicine for said leg (which turned out to be an easily treatable fungus that’s common in tropical climates) was 282 pesos (less than $25).
This month, I ate out much more than usual. That is one of the perks of Mexico (as compared to my usual haunts of Paris and Italy): eating out costs somewhere between $2 and $10 most of the time, so even if I ate out every day, I could still stay under my monthly budget.
As you are comparing my costs to your budget, keep in mind that, as usual, I’m working while I’m here. If you are on vacation, chances are you’ll spend a little more on things like stand-up paddle boarding lessons, yoga, etc. simply because you’ll have more free time.
For me, a lot of free time was spent either romping along the beach with Luna (free), going to friend’s houses (also free), sitting in my favorite coffee shop for hours on end (minimal cost), and just wandering around (free).
Finally, keep in mind that this budget does not include my time at Playa Escondida, the really lovely resort down the road. I flew in on April 10, spent three days at Playa Escondida and then moved into my studio in town on the 13th. This budget begins on the 13th.
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