10 things to do in Santa Teresa
Experience a sense of ultimate freedom as you ride barefoot on a completely deserted beach near Santa Teresa city as you conquer the high rivers and through the grasslands where curious cows live.
We did a three-hour ride with Horizonte Horse experience. The tour took place in Playa Manzanillo, on a beach about a 20-30 minute drive from Santa Teresa. Unlike most riding tours, you are alone on this beach, with no tourists who could get in the way of a gallop.
The company is run by a girl named Michelle, who went from running horse racing in Europe to living at peace with horses in Santa Teresa. He made sure we both had horses that fit our height and were strong enough to carry us. He has a real passion and love for horses-it really is something else! You don’t need any riding experience to do this tour.
Riding is a popular thing to do in Santa Teresa, and therefore, it’s even more important that you choose a company that really looks after their horses. (Read more about responsible nature tourism here)
2. explore the village of Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa city is a 4-kilometer-long bohemian street with many wonderful restaurants, clothing stores, co-working venues, boutique hotels, ice cream cafes, yoga studios and eco shops. For us, it’s like the next Canggu in Bali.
Rent a bike from one of the many rental companies and conquer the dusty dirt roads. You soon find yourself buzzing around this place as many motorcycles and ATVs pass by on colorful surfboards attached to their vehicles.
We recommend renting a vehicle for your entire stay due to the prohibitively high prices of quad bikes, and the nearest gas station is 30 minutes from Santa Teresa. Today, more and more shops are starting to rent electric and ordinary bikes that are perfect! We rented ours at overflow rental (not best to be honest), but if you ask like that, there are many more.
As for the nature of Santa Teresa, because the focus is on the beach resort, it feels like nature has been forgotten here. Monkeys and iguanas can be spotted on many roads, but there are fewer animals in this area than before, which is a shame.
3. Surfing In Santa Teresa
If there’s anything to do in Santa Teresa, it’s surfing, because that’s what the city is for! Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, surfing in Santa Teresa is for everyone with plenty of surf spots nearby. This area is famous for several breaks and constant waves throughout the year.
In Playa Hermosa,you’ll find the best beginner’s waves, and here you’ll also find most of the lessons. It is soft sand without stones.
Between Mal Pais and Santa Teresa is Playa Carmen, with more sophisticated waves with stronger currents. Playa Santa Teresa also offers surfing opportunities for surfers of all levels.
4. Day Trip To Montezuma
Plan a day trip to Montezuma, a small bohemian coastal town about 30 minutes from Santa Teresa. Hike to Triple Montezuma waterfall, visit a beautiful and peaceful beach, and lunch in the city. Because of the dirt on the hilly road, you need a quad bike or non-4×4 car some distance from the ground to reach Montezuma.
5. explore Santa Teresa’s beaches
The beaches are something Santa Teresa has in abundance, each a little different. The sea temperature is absolutely perfect, but swimming in the water is difficult because the harder waves make surfing so great. At sunset, there are always friendly people selling drinks, coconuts or homemade snacks. Below are differences by Beach:
Playa Santa Teresa
The most popular beach in the city is Playa Santa Teresa. It is best to sunbathe because of the beautiful stretch of white sand at low tide. It is a long and wide beach with a jungle in the background. There are many coconut sellers here, so be sure to bring stainless steel straws to drink and scrape the coconut flesh from the inside.
Playa Hermosa means ‘beautiful beach’, and it’s obvious why! The wide, sandy, tropical beach is lined with palm trees and really feels like a paradise. It also teaches the most beginner surfing lessons and the area that is the most developed.
Hotels Near Manzanilla Beach
This is just outside Santa Teresa, but still worth a visit. The route along the coast to the beach is picturesque and much less crowded. This beach is located about 8 km north of Santa Teresa, and you need transportation to get here.
6. Sunset by the pool
For an epic sunset in the infinity pool, head to Vista de Olas, located in the hills of Mal Pais. The pool overlooks the valley, the city of Santa Teresa, Playa Carmen and everything beyond. It’s a fantastic thing to do in Santa Teresa, and we recommend visiting quite a bit before sunset! Vista de Olas is a hotel, but you are welcome to spend an evening here with minimum spending (about two drinks). Expect to make new friends as more travelers enjoy their time here.
7. The Beach Party
Don’t expect nightclubs or raves in Santa Teresa. Instead, there are quite a few good beach parties and campfires on the beach either after sunset or a little after in the evening. There are weekly events at La Lora Amarilla, Banana Beach and Rancho Itauna.
8. go to a yoga class
Look over the sea or jungle during a yoga class: there are several fantastic yoga studios in Santa Teresa that offer courses and retreats you can join. You can take courses at Selina South, Horizon and Believe.
9. Mal Pais Tidal Pools
Visit the impressive natural carved pools in Mal Pais. At low tide, pools of warm and cold water of all sizes appear on the rocks and are scattered over a wide area near the shore. Relax in one of the many natural pools overlooking Santa Teresa Bay. It’s good to know that the waves bring marine life to the rock pools at high tide, so there are plenty of fish, crabs and sea urchins inside (watch out for them!).
Go To Tidal Pools
Tidal pools are about a 15-minute bike ride between Santa Teresa and Mal Pais in Playa Mar Azul. Standing on the beach overlooking the water, follow the rocks on your left and you will find pools scattered throughout the area. Be sure to check if the tide is low; you can check that here.
10. Tortuga Island
If Santa Teresa isn’t tropical enough, take a day trip to Tortuga Island for white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. If you don’t like sitting around, you’ll be delighted by the island’s many trails and Wild Boars. It’s a popular thing to do in Santa Teresa and that’s why you’ll find boat trips to the island advertised throughout the city.
The best restaurants in Santa Teresa
Food lovers will be delighted to learn that Santa Teresa is foodie heaven. It has plenty of great breakfast spots with healthy bowls, incredible coffee and pastries. And for dinner you can choose from everything from excellent Italian food to delicious Asian fish dishes or typical Costa Rican dishes. Our favorite restaurants in Santa Teresa are:
Where to stay in Santa Teresa
There are many things to see and do in Santa Teresa and that’s why we recommend spending at least 3 nights here. Remember that it is a popular city and you should book well in advance. There are two main areas to stay in (5 km), namely Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa.