Travelers that frequent Costa Rica know that the country has a lot to offer. Many vacationers come to Costa Rica to see the national parks, the exotic beaches, and to indulge in the “Pura Vida” lifestyle. As a result of the influx of tourists, some towns that were once great destinations have lost their original appeal. On the other hand, towns like Santa Teresa on the Southern Nicoya Peninsula, have found a way to evolve with the growth while maintaining its small town charm.
The communities around Santa Teresa and Mal Pais have managed to avoid the “dreaded high-rise hotels” and corporate franchises that plague other Costa Rican beach towns. Perhaps that is why Santa Teresa was ranked by Trip Advisor and Forbes Magazine as one of the best beaches in the world.
Santa Teresa attracts couples, honeymooners and families alike to its pristine beaches and protected forests. In a 2012 travel article in Forbes Magazine, Melanie Haiken points out that A-listers have also been using Santa Teresa as a holiday hideaway.
“…once bargain value for eco-travelers and surfers, are one of the newest hotspots for serenity-seeking celebs. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tied the knot with supermodel Gisele Bündchen at Florblanca Resort in Santa Teresa…” ~ Forbes Magazine
It is no secret to the locals who live and work in the area that Mel Gibson, Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus, and a handful of other celebrities have been coming to Santa Teresa to take advantage of Costa Rica’s private getaway for years.
In a recent article about Costa Rica’s Top 10 Beaches, Mark Rogers from USA Today explains why Santa Teresa is one of Costa Rica’s best beaches:
“Once a sleepy fishing village, Santa Teresa has grown into a town that welcomes tourists while still keeping things low key, and where the dreaded high-rise is kept at bay. Beach activities abound, with options for surfing, stand up paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Santa Teresa makes it easy to enjoy the beach, with plenty of nearby eateries, hotels, beach bars, shops and surf schools. Watching the sunset is a communal activity and a great time to mingle with the locals.” ~ USA TODAY
Places to Stay in Santa Teresa
When it comes to finding a place to stay in Santa Teresa travelers have a variety of options to choose from. There are a couple of wonderful eco-friendly hotels, but most of the guests that frequent the area prefer to stay in one of the many private vacation rentals. Each private home has its own unique style and charm, ranging from small studio style apartments to large beachfront compounds with up to 17 bedrooms. You can be certain that there is something for everyone, no matter how large the party.
Most of the amazing private rental homes in Santa Teresa are tucked away in the jungle. With your choice of beach front or ocean views, Santa Teresa has some of the most amazing vacation rentals that Costa Rica has to offer.
Places to Eat in Santa Teresa
It is hard to say what exactly makes Santa Teresa so special, but the dining has to be on the top of everyone’s list. As Lonely Planet points out,
“The hills are dotted with stylish boutique sleeps and sneaky good kitchens run by the occasional runaway, top-shelf chefs.”~Lonely Planet
A number of chefs have made Santa Teresa their permanent home offering up cuisine from around the world. You can get your breakfast at a French bakery, lunch at a Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant and dinner from a world renowned Sushi chef. With local farm to table venues and private chefs, Santa Teresa’s eclectic mix of cuisine attracts foodies from around the world.
Things to do in Santa Teresa
There are so many different activities to do around Santa Teresa that you might not be able to get to all of them in just one trip. The waves alone are enough to keep a surfer busy all day. If you enjoy Yoga, there is a yoga class starting just about every hour somewhere in town. Travelers can choose between a shala on the beach, in a private garden, or up on the hill with a panoramic ocean view.
In between riding waves and relaxing the body and mind, travelers can visit a local waterfall, go on a zip line tour, go fishing, stand Up paddle boarding, scuba diving, horseback riding, hiking, shopping, take a Spanish class, a cooking class, a gardening class and on and on and on. The list is so extensive that there is just too much to mention in this article alone.
“Surf’s always up in the Costa Rican beach town of Santa Teresa. Bright sun and gleaming sands make the perfect backdrop to hang ten in the crystal-clear waters, and fishing, snorkeling and kite-surfing are popular among vacationers. Yoga and spa services are a must for the ultimate relaxation, and, at night, catch a glorious sunset on the same beach where earlier you caught a wave” ~ tripadvisor.com
As more vacationers find their way down to this quiet little costal town, time will tell if it will be able to hold on to its low key charm. With environmental protection laws and community support, Santa Teresa just might remain Costa Rica’s best kept secret for years to come.
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