10 Things to do in Santa Teresa

This splendid destination in the Nicoya Peninsula offers residents and visitors a myriad of opportunities to embrace a life of wellness and fulfillment.

Santa Teresa’s immediate appeal can be grasped just by moving through its dirt roads, pristine tropical jungle, and splendid empty beaches. Its rise to fame is heavily indebted to its place in collective memory as a setting where to escape, both from the mundane toil of modern life and the excess of more crowded tourist locations. It’s no surprise then, that the area’s important growth as a destination has built off its eclectic natural surroundings and unparalleled bohemian vibes. 

Most who come to Santa Teresa are seeking solace through wellness, in some kind of way, and thankfully, this vibrant beach town has plenty to offer them. Here are some of our favorite things to do in one of the Nicoya Peninsula’s definitive locations. 

Yoga & Wellness

Santa Teresa’s fame as part of the Nicoya Blue Zone has brought an important volume of people seeking to latch onto some of that special way of life that brings longevity. For many, that includes the noble discipline of yoga, which can be experienced in a truly immersive setting, where the fresh Pacific breezes and soft sands stimulate your senses and bring you closer to Mother Earth. You’ll find no shortage of yoga options in Santa Teresa, that’s for sure. 


Another essential pillar of Santa Teresa as a destination is its healthy surfer community. Neighboring Mal Pais is regarded as one of the world’s most beloved surfing spots, and many of the adjacent beaches offer secluded areas and amazing breaks ready to test all experience levels. No matter if you’re taking your first steps as a wave rider, or if you’re seeking to break into the competitive scene, Playa Carmen, La Lora, Playa Hermosa, Mal Pais and Santa Teresa will definitely provide you with plenty to explore. 


There are both in-shore and off-shore fishing trips available from Santa Teresa, depending on how much time you want to spend and how impressive you want your catch to be. In this part of the country, the fishing experience offered is deeply linked to the artisan fishing tradition, where visitors can enjoy the guidance of local fishermen while trying to snag marlin, tuna, sailfish and many other aquatic breeds. 


The azure, calm waters around Isla Tortuga are just a 45 minute boat trip away from Santa Teresa, and present some of the most stunning environs for those looking to observe the colorful and diverse ocean fauna, and (literally) submerge themselves in this enthralling setting. 


Given Santa Teresa’s inherent relationship with wellness, it’s no surprise that many spa offerings are available. There, you can experience everything from pilates and other fitness-focused activities, to holistic natural therapies and cleansing treatments. 


Part of Santa Teresa’s distinguishing characteristics is its oasis-like feel. As soon as you arrive, you’ll notice the pristine and lush natural surroundings, which provide a scenic environment where to take morning strolls, and the ideal panorama for a golden hour beach hike, as the sun sets and the whole ocean is blessed with a pinkish hue. 

Horseback Riding 

If you want an even more cinematic way of taking in the local scenery, you can do so while winding through coastal trails on top of one of the magnificent horses available to ride. Embrace the uncharted territory, and live an unforgettable experience! 

Wildlife Excursions

In addition to its amazing scenery and laid-back lifestyle, Santa Teresa is also an impressive destination in terms of biodiversity. You can visit the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve and see up to 240 bird species, in what’s essentially one of the country’s best seabird sanctuaries, or go to the Curu Wildlife Refuge and spot the iconic Capuchin and Howler monkeys swinging across the immersive jungle trails. 

Waterfall Sighting

El Chorro Waterfall

Santa Teresa has two wonderful waterfalls in close proximity, both meriting a visit. There’s Montezuma Waterfall, where you can hike alongside a water stream until reaching the massive and picturesque water cascade, and the El Chorro Waterfall, a more private endeavor where you can do a beach hike before arriving at this unique seaside waterfall. 


Santa Teresa’s culinary scene is in line with the beach town’s overall focus on wellness. There’s hardly a better spot in the country where to find healthy and eco-minded options than Santa Teresa, where natural smoothies are made of fresh tropical fruit, sushi comes from the morning catch of the same day, and locally grown vegetables are abundant in every meal. Additionally, Santa Teresa’s international community also permeates the restaurant offerings, meaning you can easily have Mediterranean, Italian, Asian, Fusion, Gourmet and Costa Rican in different meals!

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