Santa Teresa – a hip beach resort that’s a hit with visitors.

Jungle-fringed and rather remote, the beach town that’s Santa Teresa is located on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; a long way from the bright lights of the country’s cities and even its airports. Yet, this resort hideaway is an increasingly popular place, drawing people from all over the world and offering, as it does, not just beaches, jungle trails, and beach accommodations, but hip restaurants and even shared workspaces.

When you arrive in town, you quickly forget that cars aren’t the norm; the fact that all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are used by a lot of people owing to the idyllic, rustic terrain doesn’t just make sense but is wonderfully refreshing – as is the fact others happily get around by foot, bicycle or motorbike. It’s truly a liberated and liberating beach resort.

The brilliant beaches

Undoubtedly the big deal in Santa Teresa is its brilliant beaches. It’s not just about the surfing and sunbathing opportunities with them either because the town’s beaches serve as meeting and gathering places, especially as the sun drops and sets.

During the winter peak season, from five to around six in the evening, people tend to flood down and onto the beaches. Then, as groups gather and surfers take to the waves for the last breaks of the day, the beaches come alive with an irresistible night-time vibe.
So, Santa Teresa’s beaches you just can’t afford to miss are:

Playa Carmen – the town’s major ‘playa’, it offers a great beach break for surfers; most appealing, perhaps, for those with mid-level and high surfing experience

Playa Santa Teresa – lying a little way north of Playa Carmen, this beach boasts restaurants and shops, too; for access to its white sands, follow a small dirt road to be found across the way from El Facon Grill & Bar

Playa Hermosa – there may be several other beaches in Costa Rica that share its name, but this Playa Hermosa is truly great for surfing and, truth be told, feels a little more remote than others in the area (it’s located about 10-15 minutes north of the center of town) and, in addition to its ample surfing opportunities, it boasts peaceful palm trees, romantically sun-affected driftwood and a lot of serene space.

An eye-opening nature reserve

One of Costa Rica’s original conservation areas, this beautiful nature reserve’s highest priority is to protect land and marine zones (and, naturally, the species that live in them) from development. That means, then, it inevitably serves, too, as a wonderful site for visitors staying at Santa Teresa accommodation to discover and see up-close a diverse collection of wildlife, including many different kinds of monkeys and birds.

A section of the reserve actually backs into the southern end of the neighboring town that’s Mal País and, while you can visit one of the reserve’s beaches from here, you’ll have to drive across the peninsula to the town of Cabuya to access the reserve’s hiking trails (about an hour away by car from Santa Teresa). It definitely makes for a more-than-worthwhile day trip, though; if you don’t mind a challenging but ultimately satisfying hike.

So, what with its sustainable surf breaks, sensational-looking sunsets, delicious eats and snacks, and an awesome atmos that simply defines that Costa Rican ‘Pura Vida’ vibe, it’s hardly surprising that Santa Teresa is fast becoming a hugely popular destination with so many visitors to the country – and so many different kinds of visitors, at that; not just dedicated surfers who love catching those waves.





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