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.

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.

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

Guided Tours


Boat Tours

Horseback Riding


ATV Tours

Zip Lines


Sport Fishing

Surf Lessons

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Average Rating
990 Reviews

"Beautiful, quiet beach. The city road was difficult to navigate - long, narrow, dusty, full of potholes making drivers swerve and therefore making me nervous walking. It was a 45 minute walk to the only ATM for cash and almost no one took credit cards so I ran out of cash quickly. The very few restaurants with a beach-front eating area were hard to find and a long walk from the hotel. The roads in/out of Santa Teresa are very bad - my lower back has hurt ever since arriving there. I really wish I had brought some Dramamine as the swerving around potholes and roughness of the road for 30-45 minutes made me motion sick. If I came back to the area I would pick an alternate town. "

Santa Teresa - Mal PaisSanta Teresa - Mal Pais990