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 frames the beach of Santa Teresa and an absence of high-rise buildings maintains the pristine image of the coastline with its long sweep of white sand beach washed by the pacific surf and backed by jungle covered hills.

Santa Teresa Village
Street view of Santa Teresa

Behind the beach forest lies Santa Teresa's main drag which runs parallel to the coast on a potholed and dusty dirt road. In the past few 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 multicultural residents have created a panoply of new restaurants, venues, 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 many people surfing is the main pursuit and visitors often receive their first surf lessons in Santa Teresa. In addition to challenging waves fit for experts there are also the easy-going breaks of Playa Carmen for novice surfers. Many hotels offer surf instruction 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 tidal pools or find a nice place under a palm tree for loafing and reading a book. See » The Beaches of Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa Beach
Playa Santa Teresa

Venturing a bit farther inland or into the countryside adventure seekers can take a horseback tour, 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. Other tour options include SUP, stand up paddle board, kayaking along the coast of Mal Pais, or ziplining through the treetops next to the Cabo Blanco reserve on the Mal Pais Canopy Tour. And of course yoga practice is ubiquitous and 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, the entire town seems to gather at the beach to enjoy the cool breezes, watch the surfers, and make plans for the evening. Santa Teresa offers plenty of nightlife, especially during high season, from December to March, with extreme partying over the Christmas/New Year holidays. Enjoy a "Baile" in the local dancehall, "La Lora Amarilla" which often features a live Costa Rican band and dance Salsa and Cumbia, or hit Santa Teresa's other nightspots with international DJs spinning electronic dance music.

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