Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: The Complete Traveller’s Guide

Santa Teresa Costa Rica's Coastal Paradise

Santa Teresa in Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places to explore, so you must add it to your bucket list. It is known for its beaches, and if you love aqua adventure sports, I am sure you will enjoy your trip.

Also, there are various other places to explore and things to do here, so continue reading this travel guide to know more about Santa Teresa, one of Costa Rica’s popular destinations.

What is The Best Time To Visit Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?

The best time to go to Santa Teresa is from December to April, as this is the dry season. You can experience more tourists here at this time, leading to high prices on everything.

Where is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, And How To Get There?

Santa Teresa is located on the west coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. There are many ways to reach this fantastic place. Still, there are 2 spots from where you can reach Santa Teresa early.

They are San Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), which is in San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica. The other place where it is near is Liberia, a northwest region in Costa Rica.

Santa Teresa
Image Credit – Digital Travel Couple

How To Get To Santa Teresa Costa Rica From San Jose or SJO Airport?

There are various ways to reach Santa Teresa, such as by Ferry, Car, Bus, Shuttle & Flying.

Driving and Ferry

After landing at the SJO Airport, you will have to rent a car, drive to Puntarenas for around 2 hours, and then catch a ferry to reach Paquera. It takes approximately 1 hour to reach Santa Teresa from Paquera, but the onboarding process may take around 1.5 hours.

Driving Your Car

You can take your car to the Santa Teresa trip if you prefer to go by roadway. It takes around 6 hours from San Jose International Airport to reach Santa Teresa. But, instead of taking a ferry, you will have to choose Route 1, Route 18, and Route 21 to reach there.


You can take a direct bus from San Jose to Santa Teresa, which arrives at 6.30 AM the morning. The bus ride takes around 6 hours. It stops at a few locations such as Paquera, Tambor, Cobana, Montezuma, and finally Santa Teresa.


You can take a private shuttle from San Jose to Santa Teresa, which costs around $65 for an adult, including the Interbus charges.


If you want to go via plane, you can take a flight from San Jose to Tambor, which is at a distance of 30 minutes. However, Tambor is the nearest airport to Santa Teresa. Once you reach there, you need to rent a cab and drive for around 40 mins to reach the destination.

How To Get To Santa Teresa, Costa Rica From Liberia (Guanacaste)?

There are only a few ways from Liberia to reach Santa Teresa.


You can take the best route from Northern Guanacaste to Santa Teresa via Santa Cruz, Nicoya, and then the Nicoya Peninsula. Ensure that you stay on Route 21, which is a paved road around the coast while driving. Also, if you are taking the help of Google Maps, be aware that you don’t take any shortcuts suggested by Google as the routes might be via crossing rivers and horrible roads. Stay on the main highway to reach the destination safely.


The bus from Guanacaste takes various stops such as Liberia, Puntarenas, Paquera, and Cobana. The final stop would be Santa Teresa. So, make sure you leave the house a bit early and reach on time to catch the buses. 


You can even book a shuttle from Guanacaste to reach Santa Teresa, which costs approx $52 for an adult. If you are going with your family, you can book a private shuttle that costs around $280 for 8 people for a one-way route. 

Where To Stay in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica? 

After a long journey, you might need some rest. So, here are some of the best hotels that you can check and book of them in advance for your trip.

Santa Teresa Hotel
Image Credit – Tripadvisor

Eco Chic Hotel Canaima Chill House 

This is one of the best and cheapest hotels in Costa Rica. If you are a nature lover, then you would enjoy your stay here. The rooms here are very luxurious, built with bamboo, and have all the lavish amenities. They have 4 cozy suites, a swimming pool, and a Jacuzzi, which will be the most needed thing to relax after a long journey. 

Zula Inn Aparthotel 

This place contains 9 lavish bungalows, and all have a view of tropical gardens and pools. This hotel is within 2 mins’ walking distance from Playa Santa Teresa beach and has beautiful white sand and surfing waves. It is located in a quiet location, so you can have peace of mind and relax. Zula In contains all the luxurious amenities to make your stay comfortable.

Manala Hotel

It is one of the coziest hotels, which is 100 m from the amazing surf beach. It is surrounded by tropical green areas and plants and gives you an incredible feeling during your stay. It provides all the lavish amenities to its guests, including laundry service. It has luxurious and spacious rooms beautifully decorated, keeping coziness in mind.

Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas

It is a small private villa having four lavish suites, an apartment, and a rooftop penthouse on the third floor. It has a beautiful 360 view of the ocean, waves, and surfers. The rooms contain all the amenities that are required during the stay. You can view the beautiful sunset and sunrise from this hotel, along with hearing different melodious sounds of exotic birds.

Casa Cecilia

This is one of the most romantic hotels in Santa Teresa. Rooms here have all the amenities like a refrigerator, Kitchen, Air conditioner, WiFi, and much more. In addition, they provide complimentary breakfast to all the guests, which is an added advantage and saves your pennies. They also offer free parking, so you don’t have to worry about the parking charges you have to pay at the end of your trip.

Things To Do in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

There are various places to explore and exciting things to do in Santa Teresa. 

ATV Experience

If you want to explore this beautiful place, then you can hire an ATV, which costs around $50-$70 for a day. With this, you can explore as many places as you want and even take it on a beach to watch the entire coast.


If you love surfing, then you can either carry your board or rent a surfboard from the shops near the beach. The waves here are very high, giving a unique and memorable experience. But also be aware of the currents and rips in this water as they can be dangerous. 

Santa Teresa Golf Course

Santa Teresa Golf Course is one of the best places to play golf. Even if you are a beginner, they provide you with lessons and explain everything a golfer needs to understand to fine-tune his skills.

Montezuma Fall

This waterfall is another attraction that most tourists enjoy. It is at a distance of 40 mins from Santa Teresa. There are 3 levels of the waterfall here, so you can spend your whole day here having fun in the water. You can also take an ATV to explore the beach towns and the waterfalls.

Relax On The Beach

Relaxing on the beach under the palm tree is one of the most beautiful experiences that one must have. You can carry your sunscreen and your favorite book along with you to spend some alone time. During low tide, kids can even make sandcastles and have fun.

Tortuga Island

This island is located in the Gulf of Nicoya and has beautiful white sand which one can enjoy walking on. The water here is crystal clear, so you would love to swim in it. Also, there are beach chairs available for rent. If you like adventures, you can rent snorkels and kayaks and even do banana boating rides.

Cabo Blanco

If you love hiking, then this spot is for you. It is Costa Rica’s first conservation area that protects both land and marine zones from development. Therefore you will see many wildlife creatures here. You will also get to hear the melodious sounds of the birds.

Fishing and Snorkeling

In Santa Teresa, there are various fishing trips available, so if you like fishing, you can join those trips. In addition, Nantipa offers a unique fishing experience to the guests to catch various fishes like tuna, sailfish, marlin, roosterfish, and many more. 

Yoga Class

If you are a fitness freak and don’t like to miss your yoga workout, then you can join yoga classes. Selina Santa Teresa South Hotel provides free yoga classes to all its guests. With yoga, you will feel fresh & enthusiastic the whole day.

Watch Sunset

Santa Teresa is one of the most beautiful spots to watch the sunset. It is a place where you can see the sky turn to pink, then orange, and then purple while the sun is setting. Don’t forget to take your sarong with you to sit and enjoy your drink.

Horse Riding

Horse riding is one of the popular things that you can do in Santa Teresa. Various companies have this service, check for the ones who take good care of their horses, and then you can enjoy your ride on the beach. Riding on the coast gives you a unique and memorable experience to view the coastal birds and mammals.

Restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

There are various restaurants that you can explore on your trip. You can try multiple cuisines, including a vegetarian/vegan or gluten-free diet. Here is the list of restaurants with their best-selling food items.

Santa Teresa Restaurant



  1. Las Piedras Parrilla: It is popular for its Argentine Barbecue Grill
  2. Eat Street: It is a food court where you can enjoy various foods like sandwiches, burgers, and bowls.
  3. Burger Ranchos: They have great tasty burgers.
  4. Zwart Art Cafe: If you are a vegan, visit this restaurant as they have many vegan options.
  5. Product C: They have delicious fish tacos and sandwiches
  6. Soda Pura Visa: It is a popular local restaurant in Costa Rica that provides this beautiful place’s typical local food.
  7. Zula: It is an Israeli restaurant famous for its hummus, falafel, and various wraps.
  8. Habaneros: It is a Mexican restaurant present on Santa Teresa beach and provides good drinks.
  9. Ranchos Itauna: It is famous for its barbecue on Thursdays, but it also contains other varieties of food items.
  10. The Bakery: They sell delicious bakery products, including pastries. You can try breakfast here once on your trip.
  11. Banana Beach: They provide various drinks on the beach. You can enjoy watching the sunset with these drinks.
  12. Somos Cafe: It is a fantastic restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and brunch. They serve delicious sandwiches, acai bowls, and other pastries.
  13. Red’s Cafe: It is one of the best places for having breakfast and lunch in Playa Hermosa.
  14. Drift Bar: If you are a vegetarian, then you must try their delicious vegan burger. They also serve tasty smoothies and bakery products.

What to Buy in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?

Shopping for your favorite things in Santa Teresa can be an amazing experience. Various boutique stores are selling multiple things that you would love. Here are some of the boutiques that you can explore for buying exciting things.

Camisado Vintage

If you like to style up funky, then you must try this boutique. Various funky clothes are available in different sizes, shapes, and colors. 

Van Parijs Gallery

If you are fond of watching artistic work, then you must visit this Van Parijs gallery, which is famous for its mixed media collage artwork. 

Briah Art Gallery

If you like to buy some artistic things, you would love to look for the beautiful things created by local artists. They also arrange a family-friendly class that helps you to showcase your creative side on your trip. 

Chakra Bikinis

They create handmade bikinis which are uniquely designed and inspired by yogic influences. If you want to buy bikinis that no one would have, you can check the single-family-owned business.

Jackalopes Surf Shop

In this shop, you will get to buy everything needed for surfing. They not only provide boards or surf lessons, but they also provide local jewelry and surfing clothes that are not available in any other stores.

How is The Weather in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?

The weather and the water in Santa Teresa are warm all over the year. The average temperature here is between 88-92°F. Here the dry season begins in December and lasts through April. The green season starts from May till November beginning. And during this season you can expect clear mornings and a little bit of rain in the afternoon.

How Do You Get Around Santa Teresa Costa Rica?

You can explore Santa Teresa with the help of public transport, car, and taxi.


Taxi boats are one of the most common means of transport here during the dry season. They may charge approximately 37,401 colons per person, including the land shuttle from Santa Teresa to various taxi boat departure points.

Public Transport

Buses are one of the most convenient and cheapest modes of transport to explore this beautiful place, but it takes around 2-3 hours to reach here. Therefore, the prices may vary depending on the location of who wants to get down. Also, you will have to take the ferry as per the location.


The most convenient way to explore Santa Teresa is to take an ATV, which helps explore the rocky and water terrain. You may be charged 80,000 colons by the ATV providers for this ATV. You can also rent other budget-friendly vehicles if you want to explore this beautiful place with your family.


Santa Teresa is one of the most beautiful places you must visit once in your life. There are many things to do there and many ways to explore this amazing spot. I hope this guide has helped you know much more in detail about Santa Teresa.

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