Santa Teresa, North Puntarenas

Sitting on the western edge of the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is a tiny beach village that draws in a lot of surfers and beach bodies.

In the last several years, this laid-back town has blossomed into a booming travel destination.

Despite its size, Santa Teresa has been hailed as world-class surfing spot in Costa Rica - with gorgeous white sandy beaches and swells that put a smile on surfers' faces year-round.


With consistent off-shore winds, Santa Teresa boasts swells that have been known to attract surfers from all over the globe.

Even with its amazing surf the waters here are not localized, welcoming surfers of any level. Bringing in the Pacific waters, waves range from moderate to strong.

Although surfing conditions are top-notch through the year, the best time to visit Santa Teresa beach is from May to December, which is the tropical rainy season called the "green season." During this time, the waves are at their peak and there are many barrels to be ridden.

Notably, it is important to point out the green season presents big waves which can be dangerous for beginners.


Besides surfing, Santa Teresa packs a variety of things to do.

Many visitors enjoy horseback riding, hiking and canopy tours.

This village couldn't be better for spending some R and R with the family on its cozy beaches.

However, if you're looking for adventure, be sure to take a day trip to Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, 5 kilometers away.

As the country's first protected area, this park encompasses 1,270 hectares of mixed forest filled with 150 species of birds, including brown pelicans, laughing gulls, ospreys and brown boobies.

In fact, this tip of the peninsula is an important seabird sanctuary. Rest assured, there are forest trails and stunning ocean views awaiting your visit.

To explore more tucked-away beaches and villages, you can rent a bicycle or an ATV in town.

Less than 3 kilometers away is Mal Pais, another hotspot for surfing.

If you should want a change in surf, this small coastal community is perfect for beginners to expert surfers.

Family-friendly activities such as sports fishing, scuba diving and kite surfing can also be found here.


The welcoming of newcomers has spurred an array of restaurants and bars - not to mention hotels and vacation rentals for all budgets.

For good eats, Santa Teresa has everything from sushi to beachside international cuisines to beef burger gems. Meandering in town center, you'll be sure to find something for even the pickiest of palates.

How to Get to Santa Teresa

The fastest way to arrive in Santa Teresa is by catching a ferry from Paquera. The boat ride lasts about 65 minutes, curving around the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Another option is taking a domestic flight from the Juan Santa Maria International Airport near San Jose to the Tambor Domestic Airport, which is a 25-minute flight.

From here, you can find a bus or taxi that will head southwest approximately 35 kilometers.

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