Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Santa Teresa is an excellent place to do just that so be prepared to kickback and unwind. Santa Teresa is billed as a surfer's paradise, and the surf is indeed exceptional. it provides consistent and outstanding swells year round. The sleepy beach hamlet of Malpais is Santa Teresa's quiet neighbor located 4 miles (6.5 km) north of Cabo Blanco National Park, Malpais sits at the southwestern cusp of the Nicoya Peninsula, opposite Montezuma.

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais
Nicoya Peninsula
Santa Teresa - Mal Pais
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, Central America


Guided Tours

Boat Tours


ATV Tours

Horseback Riding

Zip Lines


Bird Watching

Surf Lessons

& More

Average Rating
928 Reviews

Don't let the roads or the looks deceive you. This place is magic. It is what all surf/beach towns should strive to imitate. The beachfront restaurants cant be beaten. Eat at Banna Beach, Habanero, and Rancho Itauna. The staff is excellent and its all great local food. Get adventurous and try new stuff. Get chile guaro or guaro sour wherever you can. It's the unofficial drink and its great. Rent an ATV for the day and drive up and down the coast. Go up to hermosa beach and all the down to mal pais. Rockamar and Playa Carmen are also must visit spots. "

The booming surf village of Santa Teresa provides a great opportunity for visitors to enjoy international cuisine, daily yoga classes, year round surf and a generally cool vibe. There are excellent place to enjoy the incredible natural surroundings in relative peace. Reflecting this relaxed attitude, the village of Santa Teresa and nearby Malpais offers relatively few services with regard to tours. However, Canopy Tours are available, and one can also take Horseback rides along the beach.

The beaches of Santa Teresa are soft, sandy and with a consistent surf break while Malpais alternates between long stretches of sand and large patches of rock. A green jungle with its mischievous monkeys lines the shore. For the most part, beaches in Malpais have been spared of development. Development has largely taken place in areas to the north, around the Beaches of Santa Teresa.

The nearby Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve can make an excellent day trip from Santa Teresa and Malpais. Check with locals before heading to the Reserve. Usually a visit requires entering the town of Montezuma. There is a road closer to Malpais, but unfortunately, it is often in disrepair.

The hamlet of Santa Teresa and Malpais is accessible by road via Highway 160, or you can take the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera or Naranjo Beach, and ride a bus or drive the rest of the way. Flights to the nearby town of Tambor are also available via San Jose and Liberia.

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Santa Teresa - Mal PaisSanta Teresa - Mal Pais928