Santa Teresa, known on the international scene as the hip place to be. It’s a booming new travel destination in Costa Rica with a vibrant, hip and thriving surfer scene that attracts beach aficionados from around the globe, especially surfers, who come to ride the area’s world-class waves. Of course, you don’t need to be a surfer to enjoy the tropical wonders that can match any budget.
- Old growth jungle stretches right onto the shore where you can find many shady nooks to rest from the brilliant sun and if you are on the mountain, there are no high-rise buildings to obstruct your view from the steep hills overlooking Santa Teresa.
Many people all over the world have traveled to this magical place, and many decided never to leave; hence, the local Costa Rican style has a unique international taste reflected in the music and art, bakeries, and a wide variety of restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals along with all the necessary amenities such as doctors with 24/7 emergency service, banks with ATM, car and ATV rentals, cafes and fast wireless internet.
If you are just learning to surf, the breaks of Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa are a perfect first surfing experience. Of course, when a swell comes in, you can easily find waves that are double overhead and more. In any case, surfs up year around for all levels of experience.
Water sports include taking a boat tour, going fishing, snorkeling, and surfing. You can also rent a bicycle or ATV and explore the pristine beaches that extend from both ends of Santa Teresa, make an appointment at one of various health retreats and get a massage or a facial after a yoga or Pilates class.
Horseback riding, or taking a jungle canopy tour in Malpais at the very edge of the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve is an unforgettable experience as you get in touch with the lush green nature around you.
As the afternoon comes to an end, everyone heads to the sprawling beach to watch the sunset and make plans for the evening. There is plenty of nightlife, especially during high season, every night there is something to do. Whether you dance to live music until you drop at La Lora Discoteque or hit Santa Teresa’s beachfront nightspots where DJ’s spin an array of electronic or regaee music that takes you way into the early morning, you will have the vacation of a lifetime. Check out everything you need right here.
From a population of a few hundred, the Santa Teresa-Mal Pais area has grown to a surf-bohemian magnet of 2,000-3,000 full time residents. Some “A “ list personalities, like Mel Gibson ,Leonardo Dicaprio and Gisele Bündchen have purchased lots and built homes there; fortunately, the location is still largely pristine and not turned into a high-end tourist mecca.
The entire location is collectively known to locals as “Mal Pais” or “bad country.” The origin for this nickname is not the unpaved conditions of the roads but due to the rivers and streams going dry during the summer months making this a “bad country” for the farmers and ranchers who still live and work in the region.
Two of the surf camps – Chica Surf Adventures and Pura Vida Adventures – are for women only; certainly a unique aspect to the traditional surfing lifestyle that expats can immerse themselves in.
Electricity did not become available in this end of the Nicoya Peninsula until the mid-1990s. The first street light wasn’t installed until 1993 and telephone service didn’t become truly accessible until the late 1990s.