Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula

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


Santa Teresa Costa Rica

Santa Teresa is a booming travel destination in Costa Rica which attracts especially surfers and the younger crowds to its scenic beaches and great surf.

Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Santa Teresa Costa Rica

A broad strip of forest lines the beach of Santa Teresa and as there are no high-rise buildings the coastline still looks pristine, backed by jungle covered hills and with a long sweep of white sand washed by the pacific surf.

Santa Teresa Village
Street view of Santa Teresa

Behind the beach forest Santa Teresa's main drag runs parallel to the coast on a potholed and dusty dirt road. The last years the village has seen a huge spike in devolopment and constructions now spread up the hills inland from the coast. Many tourists who had just been on a surf vacation in Costa Rica got hooked and made Santa Teresa their new home. The cross-cultural residents created a multitude of new restaurants and hotels in Santa Teresa, with lodging options ranging from low-key surf hostels to some of the most luxurious hotels in Costa Rica.

Surfers in Santa Teresa
Trail to the surf in Santa Teresa

For most people surfing is the main pursuit and many visitors receive their first surf lessons in Santa Teresa. Apart from challenging waves for the experts there are also the easy-going breaks of Playa Carmen for novice surfers. Many hotels offer surf instructions and surf camps in Santa Teresa. See: » Surf in Santa Teresa and Mal Pais

There is however still more to do than surfing. Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Carmen rank among the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica and you can make long hikes along the picturesque coastline, bathe in tide pools or find a nice place under a palm tree for loafing and reading your book. See » The Beaches of Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa Beach
Playa Santa Teresa

For venturing a bit farther along the shoreline or into the countryside you can make a tour on horseback, or rent an ATV to check out nearby attractions like the waterfalls in Montezuma. Nature lovers should not miss a visit of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica's oldest Nature Reserve.
Many activities are available in the neighboring community of Mal Pais where you can embark from the small fishing port on a tour by boat around Cabo Blanco for snorkeling, fishing or watching whales, manta rays and sea turtles. Another tour option is SUP paddling along the coast of Mal Pais, or zip through the treetops next to the Cabo Blanco reserve on the Mal Pais Canopy Tour. And of course you can always do yoga, which is offered by several hotels in Santa Teresa.
More » Activities in Mal Pais and Santa Teresa

Sunset on Playa Carmen
Sunset on Playa Carmen Santa Teresa

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. Santa Teresa offers plenty of nightlife, especially during high season, from January to March, and even more so over the Christmas holidays. A "Baile" in the local dancehall "La Lora" often features a life Costa Rican band where you can dance Salsa and Cumbia. Or hit Santa Teresa's other nightspots with international DJ's spinning electronic dance music.

» Santa Teresa Part II   » The Beaches of Santa Teresa from Playa Carmen to Playa Hermosa