Central & South America

A First Timer’s Guide To Costa Rica’s Stunning Santa Teresa

By Anna Franklyn

things to do santa teresa

Santa Teresa is perched on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and it’s undoubtedly one of our favourite places in all of Costa Rica. Full of surfers, yogis and salty-haired beach bums, it’s the kind of place you plan on going for two nights and end up staying two weeks thanks to the warm water, epic sunsets and chilled beach bars.

Here’s everything you need to know for your first time in Santa Teresa.

When To Go

Dry season is from December to April, and this is the busiest season, but we actually prefer Costa Rica in the rainy season—more affectionately known as the green season—which lasts from May to November. Yes, it’s humid and you might get a bit of rain, but the vegetation is far more beautiful, the beach far less crowded and the prices far less extortionate.

If you’re going to Santa Teresa to surf, you’ll be pleased to know there is decent swell all year round, but the best conditions are in June, July and August; another plus for the green season. 



Things To Do


Whether you’ve never surfed or you’re a borderline pro, there is a wave for you in Santa Teresa. Advanced surfers will want to check out Suck Rock, La Lora and Playa Santa Teresa, while novices should head to Playa Carmen and Playa Hermosa. No matter where you’re staying in Santa Teresa, your accommodation will be able to help you with board rentals, lessons and tips so have a chat with them when you arrive.

Saturday Organic Market  

If you happen to be in Santa Teresa on a Saturday, head to the organic market which kicks off at 3pm. You’ll be able to get your hands on fresh produce, coffee, local chocolate and tasty bites as well as crafts and jewellery—perfect if you need to take some presents home. There’s also live music and it’s right on the beach so even if you don’t need anything, head down and enjoy the vibes.


A lot of the boutique hotels and hostels have their own yoga studios, but if you’re staying somewhere sans yoga shala there are still plenty of options. Casa Zen hosts several yoga classes each day on their open-air deck which has jungle vibes aplenty.

You can just drop in or you can get yourself a class pass for anything from four to 16 classes depending on how zen you want to be by the end of your stay in Santa Teresa. It doesn’t hurt that it’s just a two-minute walk from the beach so you can go for a dip after class.

Montezuma Falls

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk down the road in Santa Teresa is the crazy amount of ATVs. That’s because nearly everyone who comes here rents one for at least a day to get to the beautiful Montezuma Falls. There are three waterfalls here and all are worth a look—just keep in mind that the paths can get washed out during rainy season so you’ll want to double-check before you rent your ATV.

If you get there and can’t do the falls, you can always hit the Butterfly Brewing Company for some crafties or check out Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

Where To Stay

Ventura Santa Teresa

Offering a range of room types, a shady pool for cooling off on sweltering Santa Teresa days, and a breezy-laid-back vibe, Ventura Santa Teresa is a one-stop-shop close to the centre of town. This accommodation is just 300 metres from the gorgeous Carmen Beach, and has your Costa Rica essentials: air-con, and wi-fi. Rooms range from standard double rooms, to full studios with balconies overlooking the pool—check them out here.

While you're at it, make sure you check out Santa Teresa's best restaurants and bars, then take a looks at Costa Rica's most beautiful spots

Image Credit: Carlos Manich, Jared Rice, Ventura Santa Teresa

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