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3 days in santa teresa costa rica3 Days in Santa Teresa Costa Rica
3 Days in Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is a paradise that promises sandy beaches, surfing and epic sunsets. Due to the sometimes challenging commute to get there, it has remained fairly secluded and untouched. However, this hidden gem isn’t so hidden anymore, so get there while you can before it really explodes!!

This comprehensive guide on how to spend 3 days in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica will give you all the information you need to plan an epic getaway to this magical oasis.

Hotel Tropiko Latina Santa Teresa Costa Rica

How to Spend 3 Days in Santa Teresa Costa Rica – Day 1

Let’s get right into it and explore this Pura Vida surf town. The town in Santa Teresa is called Mal Pais, a short walk from Santa Teresa Beach. It is very small, so you shouldn’t have any trouble walking it end to end in the morning to get acquainted. Explore the surf shops, boutique restaurants and pick up a few maps of the area!

Bakery Mal Pais for Breakfast

Stop in for breakfast at this cult classic, the Bakery. Amazing coffee, freshly baked pastries, hearty breakfasts, or smoothies to go. You’ll find a lot of locals and digital nomads hanging out here all day. Air conditioning and free wifi FTW! There is also a gorgeous courtyard patio to sit and enjoy your meals outside.

Time for the beach!

Santa Teresa Beach Costa Rica Girl in Hammock

Chances are you are in Santa Teresa for some downtime. Beaches, surfing, yoga, good food. Those are all the staples this Pura Vida town prides itself on. Head to Santa Teresa beach and relax! A fun spot to hang out is at Banana Beach, a hotel restaurant/bar on the water serving up beer, cocktails and beachy lunch items.

Afternoon Surf

If you’re in Santa Teresa, you kind of can’t leave without going surfing! I had never been surfing before, and I found it to be the perfect place to learn. There are so many trained instructors in the area, the waves are small and the water is very warm. A few great companies offering surfing lessons in Santa Teresa are:

Dinner in Santa Teresa

For something casual and delicious, head to Burger Rancho

For something a little fancier, visit Shambala in Hotel Tropiko Latino (amazing margaritas!! If you are catching the sunset on the beach, go up to the restaurant behind the pool and order one! Thank me later!)

If you want to continue the evening, there is almost always something going on at Banana Beach!

READ NEXT: Best Restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

How to Spend 3 Days in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica – Day 2 – ATV to Montezuma

ATV to Montezuma

As you’ll notice upon arrival, everyone rides an ATV to get around town. The roads are better described as dirt paths, so you’ll also see people rocking bandanas and goggles. I’d highly recommend packing a couple bandanas with you!

Head to one of the ATV rental shops in town. We rented one from a company a few doors down from the Bakery restaurant. You’ll notice a lot of shops and businesses don’t necessarily have names lol. I guess that is part of the charm of this small beach town.

Montezuma Waterfall

Once you have been given the run down on how to ride the ATV, grab a map and make your way to the famous waterfalls in Montezuma. Explore there and then stay for lunch at one of the many restaurants. Soda tipica las palmeras is very popular!

On the way back, stop by secret beach or any beaches along the road, grab a coconut from Pipa’s Papas, and make your way back into town to watch the sunset.

Check out this blog post for all the details on how to recreate the most epic day trip from Santa Teresa to Montezuma. This day was absolutely unreal so I highly recommend checking it out. In fact, this is one of my most popular blog posts to date.

Dinner at Habaneros for Sunset

Margaritas Santa Teresa

Head to this mexican restaurant right on the beach to watch the sun go down, margarita in hand. Is there anything better?! Maybe if Leonardo Dicaprio joined..shirtless.

How to Spend 3 Days in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica – Day 3

Beach Yoga at Hotel Tropiko Latino

Santa Teresa Beach Yoga Hotel Tropiko Latina

Hotel Tropiko Latino is not only a stunning hotel, but their beach yoga is out of this world. Classes are $14 US, but the view and quality of yoga is worth it. Grab a smoothie onsite to the left of the yoga studio (if you’re facing the ocean) and lay in a hammock for a while.

Take your ATV on another adventure to some of the most famous hot spots in Santa Teresa including:

Mar Azul Tide Pools

These tide pools are a fun spot to check out, just make sure you check the tide beforehand! It should be low tide so you can see them, but not tooo low so that they don’t exist haha. When in doubt, ask a local and they will be able to recommend the perfect time to go for that time of year!

Mar Azul Tide Pools Costa Rica

Cabuya Island (Isla de Cabuya)

This is an island you can walk to at low tide. Apart from a cemetery and a few snorkle and fishing spots, there is not a ton to see. Make sure it is low tide for a few hours so you have time to walk back, otherwise you be swimmin’ with your belongings above your head. Wear running shoes as there are a lot of rocks. People are kind of disappointed by the island, but it’s worth a visit if you have the time! Google it to see if it’s something you want to do!

Playa Hermosa

Another great beach to check out for a change of scenery!

Alternative: If you’ve had enough ATVing, take another surf lesson or enjoy another afternoon at the beach!

Head to Vista De Olas pool for sunset

Sunset at Vista De Olas Santa Teresa Costa Rica

An infinity pool set in a cliffside overlooking the ocean?! Yes please! Get there early so you can spend a good amount of time there before the sun goes down. There is a minimum spend to go to the pool if you aren’t staying at the hotel onsite, but that only amounts to about 2 cocktails so I think you will be okay ;).

Dinner at Koji

Definitely a must visit in Santa Teresa for some of the freshest sushi you’ll ever consume! Read all about what we ordered, what A-list celebrity couple we ran into there (still freaking out over it), and about the best restaurants in Santa Teresa here.

And there you have it! How to spend 3 days in Santa Teresa, one of my favourite places I’ve ever travelled to! Heading that way? Ask me any questions you may have!!

More on Santa Teresa: How to get to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Best Restaurants in Santa Teresa

ATV trip from Santa Teresa to Montezuma

The comments +

  1. H says:

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that Restaurant Tapas el Rey Patricio has been closed for about two years.

    • kaylee price says:

      Ahh thank you SO much for taking the time to share that! Must have closed pretty soon after we left. Just updated the post. Thanks again!

  2. Hi Kaylee — thanks so much for sharing these tips!

    I, quite randomly, decided to drink my morning coffee outside here in my small town in Iceland (since it’s about 15 degrees and still out) and search on Pinterest “Santa Teresa Costa Rica”, in short, your blog popped up. I really enjoyed reading your summary on ST and found myself visulizing myself there. I am going first time ever in January ‘24 for about a month (a dream of mine for some time now). Anyway, thank you for the article, I really appreciate it 🌟

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