Santa Teresa, the trendy beach town located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This area is known for its incredible beaches, lush rainforest and friendly locals. Santa Teresa has become a popular destination for tourists in recent years, and there are plenty of things to do in this beautiful town. In this travel guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about Santa Teresa, Costa Rica!
Don’t forget to check out The Ultimate Costa Rica Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Santa Teresa is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The closest town to Santa Teresa is Montezuma, which is about a 45-minute drive away. Santa Teresa is made up of several beaches, including,
- Playa Santa Teresa: This is the largest and most popular beach in Santa Teresa. It is a great spot for swimming, surfing and sunbathing.
- Playa Hermosa: This beach is located just east of Santa Teresa beach and is a great spot to surf and relax. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Santa Teresa beach, this is the place to come.
- Playa Carmen: This is a smaller and more secluded beach that is perfect for those looking for a more relaxing experience. And if you visit on the right day, you may even see the turtles make their voyage out to sea.
Santa Teresa may be a small town in Costa Rica, but there is plenty to do here!
How To Get To Santa Teresa In Costa Rica
The best way to get to Santa Teresa from other areas in Costa Rica, is by car. You can easily drive from the nearby towns of San Jose and La Fortuna in about four hours.
If you’re coming from San Jose, take the Pan-American Highway north to Puntarenas. From there, take the ferry to Paquera and then drive west on the Costanera Sur highway.
From La Fortuna, take the road north to Tilaran and then west to Santa Teresa.
By Public Or Shuttle Bus
You can also take a public bus or shuttle from either San Jose or La Fortuna, and the journey takes about six hours. From the nearby town of Montezuma, you can take a local bus that runs several times a day. Or you can opt for a shuttle that will provide you with roundtrip transfers to Montezuma. You can book your private and shuttle transfers here.
The closest airport to Santa Teresa is in Tambor, which is about a 45-minute drive away. There are daily flights from both San Jose and Liberia airports. And you can easily book your private airport shuttle here.
How To Get Around Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Buses, Bikes, ATVs & Taxis
Being a small town means that getting around Santa Teresa is easy. And the best way to get around Santa Teresa is by foot or bike. You can rent bikes from many of the hotels and hostels in town so you won’t have to worry about finding a bike rental. You can also rent your bike here for $50 for a week or $10 per day.
If you have sore legs after a long day of exploring, taxis are plentiful and can be hailed down anywhere.
There is also a local bus that runs from Santa Teresa to the nearby town of Montezuma. The journey takes about 30 minutes, so you can easily visit the neighbouring towns too.
If you’re looking for more of an adventure, you can even rent an ATV. As wacky as it may sound, this is actually how the locals choose to get around. So you won’t have to worry about feeling out of place.
10 Best Things To Do In Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
1. Go Beach Hopping In Santa Teresa
Being a beach town, one of the best things to do in Santa Teresa is to go beach hopping. Santa Teresa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. With its white sand beaches, turquoise waters and lush jungle surroundings, Santa Teresa is a beach lover’s paradise.
Some of the best beaches in Santa Teresa include Playa Hermosa, Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa. All of which are within walking distance of each other.
2. Explore Santa Teresa Village
Santa Teresa Village is the perfect place to explore on foot. With its winding dirt roads and lush jungle surroundings, Santa Teresa Village feels like a step back in time. The village is home to a number of small shops, cafes and restaurants.
One of the best things to do in Santa Teresa Village is to visit one of the many cafés for breakfast or lunch. Santa Teresa is renowned for its fresh, healthy and delicious food, so you absolutely must try the local cuisine.
3. Go Surfing In Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is world renowned for its surfing. The coastline here offers some of the best waves in Costa Rica, and indeed, the world. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, Santa Teresa has something to offer everyone.
There are plenty of surf schools dotted along the beach where you can learn the ropes or perfect your technique. And there are also plenty of challenging waves for the more experienced surfers out there. Be sure to book your surfing lessons here.
4. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities in Santa Teresa. There are many beautiful trails to explore, and horses are available for rent at a number of stables in town.
Whether you’re an experienced rider or a complete beginner, horseback riding is a great way to explore Santa Teresa’s natural beauty. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and insect repellent, as the sun can be quite strong in Costa Rica.
5. Laze In an Infinity Pool With Great Sunset Views
One of the best things to do in Santa Teresa is to relax in an infinity pool with great sunset views. Santa Teresa is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets in Costa Rica. And what better way to enjoy them than from the comfort of your own private infinity pool?
There are a number of hotels and villas in Santa Teresa that offer stunning infinity pools with great sunset views. So whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Santa Teresa is the perfect place to be.
Just be sure to book your accommodation in advance, as Santa Teresa is a popular destination and accommodations can fill up pretty quickly.
The Selva Resort offers ocean view luxury villas and can be easily prebooked here.
6. Take A Yoga Or Pilates Class
Santa Teresa is a great place to take a yoga or Pilates class. With its stunning beaches and lush jungle surroundings, Santa Teresa is the perfect place to find inner peace and relaxation.
There are a number of yoga and Pilates studios in Santa Teresa, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. Just be sure to bring your own mat, as most studios don’t provide them.
7. Mal Pais Tide Pools
The Mal Pais tide pools are a must-see for any visitors to Santa Teresa. They are a unique natural phenomenon that can be found on the Santa Teresa coastline. The tide pools are formed when the tide goes out and the water recedes, leaving behind pools of water that are perfect for swimming in.
The Mal Pais tide pools are a great place to cool off on a hot day, and they’re also a lot of fun for kids to play in. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, as the tide can come back in very quickly.
8. Tortuga Island Snorkel Day Trip
A Tortuga Island snorkel day trip from Santa Teresa is a great way to see some of Costa Rica’s amazing marine life. The island is located just off the coast of Santa Teresa, and it’s home to a variety of fish, turtles and other marine life.
The best way to explore the island is by taking a snorkelling tour. These tours typically last for about four hours, and they include all the necessary equipment.
9. Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve
Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve is a must-visit for any nature lovers visiting Santa Teresa. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, birds and butterflies.
There are also a number of hiking trails through the reserve, so you can explore it at your own pace. If you want to learn more about the reserve and its wildlife, there are a number of ranger-led tours available.
Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve is the perfect place to spend a day if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Santa Teresa and explore Costa Rica’s natural beauty.
10. Day Trip to Montezuma
Montezuma is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful waterfalls, beaches, and jungle trekking opportunities. There are many tour companies that offer day trips from Santa Teresa to Montezuma. These day trips typically include transportation, entrance fees, and a guide.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous day trip, you can also sign up for jungle trekking or zip-lining tours. These tours will take you deeper into the jungle and give you a chance to see some of Costa Rica’s wildlife up close.
No matter what kind of day trip you’re looking for, Montezuma is a great destination to explore from Santa Teresa.
Popular Activities In Costa Rica
Restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Halal Restaurants: For the Muslim travellers visiting Santa Teresa, it is important to note that there aren’t any Halal restaurants in Santa Teresa. But you will find restaurants selling Halal friendly vegetarian and seafood options. And the range of restaurants below all serves either Muslim friendly vegetarian or seafood options.
El Corazón – Vegetarian
El Corazón is a vegetarian restaurant that meat eaters can also enjoy. Some of the most popular dishes to try are the melt in the mouth croquettes, the deviled eggs and of course the mushroom bao. For aubergine fans, I hear that the aubergine platter comes highly recommended.
The Somos Cafe – Healthy & Affordable Food
If you’re looking for good food with an equally great vibe, then Somos Café is the place to come. The Somos Café is a great place to enjoy healthy and affordable food. The menu offers avocado toasts, acai bowls, tacos, fish burgers and even dosas.
Zula Restaurant – Israeli
Zula is an Israeli restaurant located in Santa Teresa. The restaurant serves a variety of Israeli and middle eastern dishes such as falafel, hummus, and shakshuka.
Earth Cafe – Vegan Friendly
As the name suggests, the Earth Cafe is one that brings you fresh ingredients to your plate. Did I mean that they are vegan friendly? Here you can expect vegan chocolate cheesecake, acai bowls, smoothies, gelato and avocado toasts to name a few.
La Cevicheria – Seafood
For a full out seafood experience, La Cevicheria is the place to come too. When visiting here you’ll find poke bowls, ceviches and Caribbean stir fry.
Hotels In Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Best For: Solo travellers on a budget looking to be close to the waves.
Best For: A couple on a mid range budget looking to be on the beach front.
Book Your Hotel In Santa Teresa Here
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica Known For?
Santa Teresa is known for its beautiful beaches, surfing, and yoga retreats. If you want to enjoy the laid back Pura Vida vibe that the Costa Ricans are famed for, then Santa Teresa is the place for you.
It is also a popular destination for ecotourism and adventure activities such as zip-lining and hiking. And the town is also a great jumping off point for exploring the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve and Montezuma.
Is Santa Teresa A Party Town?
Santa Teresa is a party town only if you’re looking to party. There are plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained throughout the night. If you’re looking for a more low-key Muslim friendly evening, there are also plenty of restaurants and cafés to choose from.
Santa Teresa is the perfect place to let loose and have some fun should you wish!
What Is The Best Time To Visit Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?
Santa Teresa is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, which experiences some of the best weather in Costa Rica. The best time to visit Santa Teresa is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. This is also the busiest months in Santa Teresa, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, plan your trip for May or November.
Santa Teresa is an excellent surf destination, so if that’s what you’re looking for, make sure to time your trip around the waves. The best time to score some epic surf is from June to August.
If you’re looking to escape the cold winter months, then Santa Teresa Should be at the top of your list. It is a year-round destination, with temperatures averaging around 27°C so there’s never a bad time to visit.
The only time you might want to avoid Santa Teresa is during the rainy season, which runs from May to November. Santa Teresa experiences an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day, so you’ll still be able to enjoy plenty of beach time even during the rainy season.
Is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica Expensive?
Santa Teresa is not a cheap destination, but it’s also not overly expensive. You can expect to spend around $60 per day if you’re on a budget. This will cover your accommodation, food, and activities.
If you’re looking to splurge, you can easily spend $100 or more per day. Prices for activities and tours will vary, but you can expect to pay around $30 for a half-day tour. Santa Teresa is definitely worth the visit, no matter what your budget is.
And if all else fails, you’ll have plenty of beach space to enjoy for free!
Can You Swim At The Beaches In Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?
Santa Teresa is world-famous for its surfing, but are the beaches safe enough to swim at? The short answer is yes, you can swim at the beaches in Santa Teresa and they are generally safe. However, as with any beach, there are always some risks involved.
Santa Teresa has two main beaches – Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa. Both of these beaches are great for swimming and offer beautiful views. The water is clean and clear, and there are plenty of lifeguards on duty to keep an eye on things.
However, there are a few things to bear in mind when swimming at Santa Teresa’s beaches.
First of all, the surf can be quite strong at times and there are often strong rip currents. This means that it’s important to swim between the flags and to listen to the lifeguards’ instructions.
Secondly, there are plenty of rocks around the beaches, so it’s important to be careful when swimming. I highly recommend wearing water shoes to protect your feet.
In general, Santa Teresa’s beaches are safe for swimming and offer plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun. Just remember to take care when swimming and to listen to the lifeguards’ instructions.
How Many Days Do You Need In Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?
So, how many days do you need in Santa Teresa? That depends on what you want to do. If you just want to relax on the beach and do some surfing, then a few days will suffice. However, if you want to explore the town and its surroundings, then you will need a week or more.
Santa Teresa is a great place to unwind and enjoy the simple things in life. So make sure that you plan enough days to unwind, as you may find yourself never wanting to leave Santa Teresa.
What To Pack For Santa Teresa
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The Veiled Explorer’s Conclusion
And there we have it, your Ultimate Guide To Santa Teresa in Costa Rica. From what to do, where to stay and what to eat as well as answering some of the most frequently asked questions, this guide has it all. Now that you know what to expect, what are you looking forward to the most?
Leave me a comment down below to let me know.
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