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Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula

The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information

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Santa Teresa Costa Rica

Santa Teresa is a booming travel destination in Costa Rica, attracting beach lovers and surfers to its broad, white-sand beaches with world-class surf.

Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Santa Teresa Costa Rica

Since the jungle hugs the shore, you find lots of shady hideaways on the beach. Fortunately there aren't yet high-rise buildings in Santa Teresa so that views of the coast are undisturbed until the wooded hills of Mal Pais and Cabo Blanco.

Not long ago, Santa Teresa was a small village that has now become a lively town. Many who had only planned a surf vacation in Costa Rica fell in love with Santa Teresa and decided to stay.
The influx of newcomers from all parts of the world has spawned a large number and variety of restaurants and bars, along with hotels and vacation rentals to match every taste and budget.

Santa Teresa Playa Carmen
Surf Shack on Playa Carmen

For their main clientele Santa Teresa offers surfer-oriented hotels, surf camps, plus numerous surf schools and shops who cater to all ages and levels of surf experience. The breaks of Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa are also excellent for beginners learning to surf. See: » Surf in Santa Teresa and Mal Pais

However, you don't have to be a surfer to enjoy a vacation here. Mal Pais and Santa Teresa rank among the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica and on a walk to the north or south of Santa Teresa you can explore miles of picture-perfect coastline.

Pristine beaches
The white-sand beach of Playa Santa Teresa

To visit more remote beaches and villages you can rent a bicycle or an ATV in Santa Teresa. See » Beaches North of Santa Teresa
Tour options from Santa Teresa include the picturesque village of Montezuma with its waterfalls, or Costa Rica's oldest nature reserve Cabo Blanco.

Other activities offered in Santa Teresa and Mal Pais are tours by boat around the tip of the peninsula, fishing, snorkeling, kite surfing, SUP, horseback riding, or a canopy tour on the edge of the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. A very popular sport is yoga, which is offered in several hotels in Santa Teresa, some of them also specializing in yoga vacations and surf retreats.

Sunset in Santa Teresa
Sunset gathering on the beach

When it comes time for Santa Teresa's spectacular sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, everyone seems to gather at the beach to enjoy the cool breezes, while watching the surfers and making plans for the evening.

Surf Santa Teresa
Surf at sunset

Santa Teresa offers plenty of nightlife, especially during high season and even more so over the Christmas holidays. Drop in to the unique atmosphere of a "Baile" in the dancehall of "La Lora", or hit Santa Teresa's other nightspots on the beach where international DJ's spin electronic dance music. Very popular in Santa Teresa are the reggae nights, music that is so perfectly in tune with the tropical lifestyle.

Attention: Like in other popular tourist spots in Costa Rica you have to take care of thieves in Santa Teresa » Safety Precautions.