Just as Puerto Vallarta did decades ago, all growing towns have had to solve the problem of balancing a healthy nightlife with the community’s need for peace and a good night’s sleep. It is now Sayulita’s turn. Earlier in the month a coalition of community stakeholders came together to meet with State and Municipal officials to address this critical issue. While Mexico has clear rules governing live and amplified music coming from bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, the problem for our community has been a lack of enforcement. That is about to change.
Working with the Municipality of Valle de Barderas, the Nayarit Department of Alcohol, the Nayarit Department of Tourism, and various police agencies, Sayulita now has local inspectors most weekday evenings and always on weekends when the problem is greatest. They have the ability to force establishments to lower or turn off the music, to issue fines, and to close bars, all of which has happened over the last two weeks. However, the system will rely on community members making complaints when they are troubled by the noise. The authorities won’t know what is acceptable to the community unless they hear from local home and business owners.
Here’s what to do:
If the noise from any establishment is unacceptable:
Call the Policia Turistica Sayulita: 329.291.3890. The Tourism Police are coordinating with the municipal and state inspectors and have the authority to enforce compliance on noise levels in Sayulita. Tell them which establishment is too loud and kindly ask them to investigate.
The Policia Turisticia is led by Commadante Carlos, new to this position in Sayulita and eager to help on this issue. If you have any difficulty getting through on the phone (officers are often out on their beat) you can visit during the following day and ask to speak with him and explain which establishment is causing problems. They are located on the right hand side of the main road exiting town, just before the gym; right next to where the fire trucks are parked.
Follow-up:If your community is continually troubled by a particular establishment, you can make a petition and deliver to the Reglamentos Municipal and Alcoholes Estatal. Authorities in Mexico typically take petitions quite seriously.
What to Expect
There are very strict rules regulating live and amplified music in bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, which give the authorities a lot of leeway in controlling noise levels and hours of operation.
However, the authorities need to know what is acceptable to our community so that they can tailor their enforcement to community sentiment. This is why making a complaint is so important: they need this input from us. In our meeting with municipal and state authorities, we were told that in general these bars should not play their music at such a level as to constitute a public nuisance. By midnight, all establishments should significantly reduce their music levels for “ambient purposes only.” (In other words, the sound should not disturb you.) And all establishments are to close at 2 a.m.
We believe that a healthy nightlife is a good thing for Sayulita, and our bars and restaurants with music are important contributors to what makes Sayulita special. But everyone benefits from maintaining Sayulita’s reputation as a place where you can safely sleep at night.
And for those who live, work, and go to school here, it promises good night’s sleep for all