Living La Pura Vida in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Two surfers on the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Perched near the southern tip of Costa Rica‘s ruggedly beautiful Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is one of Central America’s best-kept travel secrets. Born as a small coastal fishing village, Santa Teresa has evolved in recent years to become a tranquil, diverse destination for surfers, beach-goers and explorers alike. Sun-soaked golden beaches, brilliant blue waters, and tropical forests abound, providing a little something for nearly everyone. If you’re searching for a travel destination with all the natural beauty Central America has to offer without the typical tourist traps and swarms of visitors, check out why Santa Teresa should be at the top of your list.

The Pura Vida Lifestyle in Santa Teresa

Spend a bit of time in Costa Rica and you’re likely to come across the phrase “Pura Vida.” It’s often used as a greeting or farewell, as an expression of happiness and as a form of thanks, but it’s far more than that. Literally translated as “pure life,” Pura Vida has become a motto that represents the carefree, easygoing, optimistic spirit that defines the countrySitting on the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica drinking a beer and its people. Few places typify that spirit better than Santa Teresa, with its gorgeous scenery, friendly people and peaceful, unhurried atmosphere. Whether you seek a romantic destination with your significant other, a welcoming place for your family or a simple getaway as a solo traveler, you’re sure to get your fill of the pure life in Santa Teresa.

Hit the Waves

While there is plenty to do in Santa Teresa, the breaking waves that lie just offshore are undeniably its greatest attraction. The town is highly regarded across the globe for its consistently excellent surf conditions, and you’ll find breaks that provide a variety of conditions for everyone from the freshest surfing neophyte to the most seasoned professional.

Two surfers in Santa Teresa Costa Rica

While you’ll find great conditions year-round, consider traveling to Santa Teresa during the “green season” of May through December if you’re looking for some real wave-breaking action. If you’re seeking a true challenge, one of the most legendary surf breaks in Central America, Suck Rock, lies just off the beach in front of the scenic Red Palm Villas Resort.

Embark on an Adventure

Santa Teresa Costa Rica 5If you’re headed to Santa Teresa, you’d better remember to pack your sense of adventure.
With a rugged, remote location surrounded by pristine wilderness, you don’t need to go far to explore the great outdoors. You’ll find rough, bumpy roads and trails that are a blast to navigate on a rented ATV or off-road buggy, and a horseback ride through the surrounding forests is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Howler Monkey in the canapy in Santa Teresa Costa RicaIf you’d rather go at your own pace, there’s also no shortage of hiking trails – just don’t forget to bring your camera! For the more adventurous types, canopy tours offer the chance to experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica from the unique vantage points of zip lines, trams, and towering suspension bridges. The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve also lies just a short distance from Santa Teresa, featuring a host of stunning vistas as well as an opportunity to enjoy the diverse wildlife and virtually untouched tropical forests.

Hook the Big One

As a coastal fishing village, it should come as no surprise that the fishing in Santa Teresa is a major draw. Whether you’re a novice fisherman or an experienced angler, there’s a fishing tour just for you. Take a leisurely sunset cruise on a well-stocked fishing boat for some challenging deep sea fishing, or embark on a memorable adventure as you fish the rich coastal waters from a kayak.

people fishing in santa teresa costa rica

Experienced tour guides are always standing by to offer their experience, and the waters are always teeming with tuna, snapper, mackerel, marlin and more. If you’re lucky, you may even see a special appearance from the dolphins and sea turtles that sometimes lurk in the area!

Come for the Fun, Stay for the Food

Santa Teresa may be a remote village, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a tremendous culinary experience. Fueled by its sudden popularity as a travel destination, the village has recently seen an explosion in new restaurants, bars, and hotels that cater to virtually every palate and budget. From the upscale international fare and stunning views of Brisas del Mar to the American-influenced casual eats at the cozy Burger Rancho, you’ll never go hungry during your stay.

diners at burger rancho in santa teresa costa rica

Comforting bakeries, kid-friendly pizzerias, airy beach bars, salivating steak houses and more can all be found scattered in and around the village, reflecting the diversity and broad appeal of Santa Teresa and Costa Rica as a whole.

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Remember: the world is our playground, go play!

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