When you think of visiting Costa Rica, Santa Teresa isn’t the first place that’ll come to your mind. From Jaco and Quepos to Tortuguero and Monteverde – Costa Rica is studded with a plethora of picture-perfect travel destinations.
But if you’re someone who prefers to tread off the beaten track, a visit to Santa Teresa is highly recommended. What started as a quaint farming and fishing hamlet in the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula has now evolved into an idyllic Pacific beach town.
In recent years, Santa Teresa has come into the spotlight as one of the most sought-after beach destinations in Costa Rica. It is one of the crowning jewels of the Puntarenas province. Whether you’re someone who is looking for a quiet escapade or a fun-filled holiday, Santa Teresa is just the place you should visit.
With its numerous stunning beaches and yoga retreat centers, the picturesque village also provides the ideal setting for a solo trip as well. It’s safe for tourists and offers plenty of activities to keep you busy throughout your holiday.
Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to plan things ahead whenever you’re embarking on a solo trip. In this blog, we’ve outlined all the essential information you need to enjoy an unforgettable vacation in Santa Teresa. Let’s take a look
When Should You Visit Santa Teresa?
Being endowed with Costa Rica’s signature tropical climate, Santa Teresa is a year-round destination. The best time to visit Santa Teresa would depend on what you’re expecting from your holiday.
The months between December and April bring the best weather and therefore, attract the most tourists. The mornings are warm and windy, with the temperature dropping a few degrees post-sunset. This is the ideal time for cherishing the sun-kissed white sand beaches.
If you plan to visit during the peak tourist season, expect the tiny hamlet to be slightly crowded and chaotic. Also, accommodation and airfare can be fairly expensive. It’s a good idea to plan your itinerary and make reservations in advance.
Surfing season in Santa Teresa starts in March and continues all the way to November. If you’re an enthusiastic surfer and want the beaches all to yourself, plan your visit during the off-season (between May and November). Be prepared, it can get fairly humid and rainy though.
How to Reach Santa Teresa?
Now that you’ve figured out when you’d like to visit Santa Teresa, you must be eager to know how to get there. The nearest airport to Santa Teresa is situated roughly 12 miles away in the town of Tambor. A short half-hour flight from the capital city of San Jose will bring you to Tambor.
Flights between San Jose and Tambor are operated by Sansa Airlines and Nature Air. Once you reach Tambor, you’ll need to travel by shuttle, cab, or private car to reach Santa Teresa. The drive takes roughly 35 to 45 minutes and takes you through the scenic landscapes of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Alternatively, you can directly travel by bus or shared shuttle from the airport in San Jose to Santa Teresa. The journey takes more than 5 hours and lets you witness the gorgeous beauty of the Gulf of Nicoya. If you’re traveling by shuttle, you can even enjoy an hour-long ferry ride across the gulf.
The limited expanse of Santa Teresa means exploring the hamlet is a cakewalk. While you’ll get plenty of car and bike rental options, opt to stroll down the streets and beaches whenever you can. ATVs are also fairly popular here but aren’t suitable for solo travelers.
Where to Stay in Santa Teresa?
When it comes to accommodation options, Santa Teresa will delight you with its impressive assortment of luxury resorts and boutique hotels. Choose a property that’s located closer to the beach and offers clear views of the ocean. You can even stay at one of the yoga retreat centers, such as Pranamar Villas.
If you want to avoid the mainstream accommodations, you’ll also find plenty of offbeat hostels. For instance, the Selina Santa Teresa Accommodation is a great choice for travelers looking to take a timeout from the cacophony of city life. It is just the place you should select to embrace Costa Rica’s quintessential pura vida spirit.
Best Things to Do in Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is one of those places where you can make countless memories even if you laze around on the beach every day. While Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa are more popular, you should make it a point to visit the less crowded Playa Hermosa. While you’re there, don’t forget to brush up on your surfing skills.
Every beach is lined with dainty cafes, restaurants, and bars offering some of the most lip-smacking delicacies. Don’t forget to visit The Bakery, Nami Sushi, and Kook’s Smokehouse. The beaches are also lined with numerous locally-owned shops selling souvenirs and knick-knacks.
Santa Teresa also serves as the ideal base for exploring nearby attractions, such as the Montezuma Waterfall and Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. Or you can take a short ferry to the nearby Isla Tortuga and enjoy snorkeling in the cool blue waters.
If you’re looking for some spiritual rejuvenation, you could also consider joining a yoga class or retreat. Ask the locals for recommendations on upcoming cultural events and wellness retreats.
Have you ever enjoyed a vacation in Santa Teresa? Share your experience in the comments section below. Photo credit by Unsplash.