Things to Do in Santa Teresa

Things to do in Santa Teresa

The up-and-coming community of Santa Teresa is known for its excellent surf and pristine sunsets, but there's more to the area than that. Let's explore some of the things you can do while staying in Santa Teresa as part of your Costa Rican vacation.


Santa Teresa is one of the surf communities in Costa Rica with endless beaches, waves for all abilities, and a laid back vibe where the pura vida is real. 
It's the reason why the area has become so popular in recent years and continues to attract local and foreign tourists, many who end up staying long term or even forever. You might feel like doing the same… Santa Teresa is that kind of place!
Surf lessons in Santa Teresa are easy to find - there are plenty of surf shops and board rental places all over town.


Maybe surfing isn't your thing, but you want to get in the water and explore underneath the waves instead on top of them.
If you're staying in Santa Teresa, you'll love a day trip over to Isla Tortuga, around an hour or so away by boat. The boat ride is part of the fun, taking you down the coast, around the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula at Cabo Blanco, and up the other side to Isla Tortuga in the Gulf of Nicoya. The view are simply stunning. 
Once on the island there's an amazing white sand beach and snorkeling galore over coral reefs. It's also possible to scuba dive here.


The waterfalls of Montezuma are legendary in these parts and well worth a hike. It's quite hard going through the jungle and along the river, especially during rainy season, but it's a well-trodden, well-visited route, so not impossible by any means. If you're hiking from Montezuma itself, it's about 45 minutes. 
When you get to the bottom of the first waterfall, there's a great swimming hole, where many people hang out all day. But you can head up to the top of that one for more waterfalls above. It's well worth the extra effort.  
Make sure you have quality shoes that you don't mind getting wet, as it can get pretty slippery on the rocks. 
Elsewhere around Santa Teresa, there's also the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve that protects the tip of the peninsula. Although not a national park, this reserve is the first protected part of Costa Rica, since the 1950s. Hike through the jungle to find yourself on Playa Cabo Blanco, a perfect beach where monkeys come to play.

Yoga and Wellness

Where there's a vibrant expat surf community, there's often a focus on yoga and wellness centers, and Santa Teresa is no exception. You'll find plenty of studios around, with many hotels including yoga in their nightly rates. 
Yoga retreats are also a thing in Santa Teresa, designed for everyone. Some retreats might cater for older women, for example, while others may be for the younger crowd.


Fishing is also a popular pastime in Santa Teresa, both inshore and offshore. You can catch sailfish, marlin, tuna, rooster fish, and more. Kayak fishing is particularly awesome here, especially with a guide who knows all the right spots. 

FAQs about things to do in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica


Is Santa Teresa worth visiting?

We love Santa Teresa. The beaches, the pura vida vibe, and the incredible sunsets are incredible. It takes some effort to get to this remote part of Costa Rica, but once you get here, you know it's all worth it.  

Is Santa Teresa a party town?

Santa Teresa isn't considered a major party town like Jaco or Tamarindo, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants around and it can get rocking during the high season. 

How many days do you need in Santa Teresa?

It depends on how long you have and what you want to do. We'd recommend an absolute minimum of three days, but think you should have more, as it's a remote place. But then, of course, you might not want to leave! 

Can you drink the water in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?

We recommend you drink bottled or filtered water while in Santa Teresa. You should be fine if you wash your fruit or brush your teeth with the water, though. 
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