Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Nicoya Peninsula

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.

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.

Nearby Activities

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Santa Teresa Surf Lessons

Surf Lessons|2hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

5.0 / 5.0
Starting At$55
Santa Teresa Surf Lessons

Santa Teresa and Mal Pais waves are consistent year round and has become a mecca for surfers of all experience levels. The surf school "Del Soul" has been operating...

5.0 / 5.0
Tour Details

Montezuma Falls Quest

4-in-1 combo|6hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

5.0 / 5.0
Starting At$306
Montezuma Falls Quest

A visit to the funky town of Montezuma and its incredible waterfalls are a “must-do” for many travelers to Costa Rica. This combination tour includes a visit to the...

5.0 / 5.0
Tour Details

Coyote Kayak and ATV Adventure

2-in-1 combo|5hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

5.0 / 5.0
Starting At$233
Coyote Kayak and ATV Adventure

Explore both land and water on this half-day kayak and ATV tour. This is an excellent way to observe the changing landscape of the Nicoya Peninsula, as you move...

5.0 / 5.0
Tour Details

Curú Hike

Hiking|6hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

4.6 / 5.0
Starting At$119
Curú Hike

The Curú Wildlife Refuge is located along the southern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. This refuge is small but has abundant wildlife. As a tour participant, you...

4.6 / 5.0
Tour Details

Cabo Blanco National Park Hike

Hiking|5hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

4.6 / 5.0
Starting At$125
Cabo Blanco National Park Hike

The Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve was established in 1963 by a Swedish immigrant and was the first major conservation project in Costa Rica. The park is set along...

4.6 / 5.0
Tour Details

Inshore Fishing

Sport Fishing|4hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

3.8 / 5.0
Starting At$360
Inshore Fishing

Ever wanted to spearfish in the warm, crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean? Or troll a fishing line from the back of a comfortable boat? Well, here is your...

3.8 / 5.0
Tour Details

Tortuga Island Experience

Snorkeling|5hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

New Tour!
Starting At$825
Tortuga Island Experience

This full-day tour of Tortuga Island involves swimming, snorkeling, hiking and beach time. It’s a relaxed experience that is great for the whole family.

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Bird Watching Tour

2-in-1 combo|5hrs

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

New Tour!
Starting At$149
Bird Watching Tour

It’s no secret that the birding in Costa Rica is some of the best in the world. On this tour, you will search for, spot and identify a variety of birds, and you can...

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Nearby Lodging

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Manala Hotel

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Air Conditioning

Bar

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Jacuzzi

& More

4.8 / 5.0
From$150

Manala Hotel

Hotel Manala is located along the Nicoya Peninsula’s southwest coast near the Santa Teresa beach. This area is famed for its spectacular surfing, pleasant beaches and...

4.8 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Moana Lodge

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Air Conditioning

Bar

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Jacuzzi

& More

4.6 / 5.0
From$105

Moana Lodge

The Moana Lodge is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, in Mal Pais. To the south lies the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, and to the north is Santa Teresa, one of the top surf...

4.6 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Hotel Tropico Latino

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Air Conditioning

Jacuzzi

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.4 / 5.0
From$170

Hotel Tropico Latino

Hotel Trópico Latino has incredible grounds, which are landscaped to show off the tropical flora. It’s also a short distance from the white-sand beach of Playa Carmen.

4.4 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Casa Marbella

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Air Conditioning

Swimming Pool

& More

5.0 / 5.0
From$90

Casa Marbella

Casa Marbella is located along the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in the exhilarating town of Santa Teresa. The town is developing at a rapid rate, offering its...

5.0 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Griss Lodge

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Air Conditioning

Cable TV

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.8 / 5.0
From$136

Griss Lodge

The Griss Lodge is located in the exciting town of Santa Teresa on the southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula, near the Cabo Blanco National Park. An untouched jungle...

4.8 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Nautilus Hotel

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Air Conditioning

Cable TV

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.8 / 5.0
From$165

Nautilus Hotel

Hotel Nautilus is found in Santa Teresa, a leisurely beach town along the Nicoya Peninsula where visitors can enjoy surfing, scuba diving and more.

4.8 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Villas Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa - Mal Pais

Air Conditioning

Cable TV

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.7 / 5.0
From$200

Villas Santa Teresa

Villas Santa Teresa are set along the shores of Santa Teresa, a lovely beachside town that’s located upon the western coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. The villas are...

4.7 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Santa Teresa - Mal PaisSanta Teresa - Mal Pais