Travel Guide to Santa Teresa - Costa Rica
Santa Teresa has become a very popular place in the last couple of years, and now we can totally see why. We visited this beautiful beach in April and here’s everything you need to know about it.
HOW TO GET THERE
From San Jose: take the 27 highway all the way to the Puntarenas ferry port. Once there, get your car in line and buy the ferry tickets to Tambor across the street (tickets per adult are around USD$ 1.50 and US$20 for a standard vehicle). The ferry runs all day long, if you want to check out the schedule visit their website: here. Once on the other side just follow waze or google maps to Santa Teresa, is less than a 2-hour ride, the last 10 kilometers or so are unpaved, so drive carefully. if your are on a budget You can also make the trip on a bus, you can check the stations and schedules here. Other cool way to get there is flying to Tambor via Nature Air, but you would have to pay a shuttle to Santa Teresa from the airport.
WHERE TO STAY
Santa Teresa offers a decent variety of lodging, for any taste and budget. We found lots of hostels, regular hotels, Airbnbs and high-end hotels. Since it was our first time in the area we chose to stay in town close to the beach in Otro Lado Lodge. This hotel offers 3 different types of lodging, they have regular rooms, villas and a big villa for 6 people. We decided to stay in a villa, these have two floors, on the first floor you can find 2 sofas, a full bathroom and a small equipped kitchen, on the second floor you can find a comfy queen size bed and another full bathroom. The villa also offers a small dining area outside, a balcony on the second floor, and an amazing hammock.
WHERE TO EAT
This is a small town, but there’s lots of choices when it comes to food. Here’s 4 great choices for all tastes and budgets:
Restaurant Playa Carmen: this was the only restaurant we could eat at that had an ocean view, this restaurant offers a wide variety of food, you can find pizza, pasta, seafood, sandwich, salads and much more. The place is very clean and the atmosphere is great. The prices are a bit expensive, for a big pizza (which we only ate half) and a couple of drinks (cokes) we paid around $40.
Chicken Joe’s Rotisserie: This was our favorite place! It’s a small shack on the main road, they offer fish tacos, Peruvian rotisserie chicken, chicken tacos and so much more. The food is amazing, we found this place in our last night here, but If we would of find this place sooner, we would have probably eaten here every day. The prices were great, around $20 for two people.
Pop Art Resto: exploring a little bit far from town we found this awesome restaurant in the same street that leads to Hermosa Beach. This place was super trendy, they have a wide variety of food in their menu, the prices are on the medium range around $30 for two people. Here we enjoyed some really tasty mini burgers and a delicious fried calamari.
The Bakery: this little cute and trendy place is always packed! It seems like a locals and tourists favorite. They offer a lot of choices from tasty sandwiches, to breakfast and even dinner dishes. They also have a really yummy variety of pastries and coffee, prices are also medium range, about $30 for two people.
There are also many sodas (restaurants that offer Costa Rican food), that are a little bit cheaper. another great option is to buy groceries from the local supermarket and make a couple of meals in your hotel.
PLACES TO VISIT
We visited 3 incredible beaches in the area:
Santa Teresa Beach: we were only a block away from this beautiful beach, so we took advantage and got up early and we got to enjoy the beach bright and early. Although the day was cloudy, we really enjoyed it, mostly because there was almost no one there, just a couple of surfers and a few people doing yoga in the sand. Later that same day we went back for the sunset and it was packed,
Los Suecos Beach: this place was incredible, they called it the secret beach because it’s a little bit secluded and not many people know about it. The beach is very small and the sand is made of small crushed seashells, it has the most beautiful turquoise water, and in low tide you can see lots of little fish.
Hermosa Beach: our favorite beach in the area! We stumble upon this beach because we like to drive and just see where the road takes us. This is the perfect spot, not too many people, miles of sand and beautiful palm trees. We visited 3 times, and we just fell in love. We totally recommend visiting and enjoying a full day here.
10 TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND
There are a couple of supermarkets in the area where you can buy groceries
Don’t forget to bring your sunblock and a camera
Bring cash, most restaurants don’t take credit cards
There are two banks in the area with ATMs
You can rent ATV's (quad bike) to get around
There are a couple of places where you can rent a surf board or pay for lessons
We found the area very safe, but remember to always keep an eye on your belongings
Be careful in the ocean, there are some massive waves
Keep in mind that all the roads are unpaved
There are a couple of Pharmacies in case you need medicines
Our first trip to Santa Teresa was very quick but in just a few short days we fell in love. The vibe of the town was super friendly and laid back, we felt we were in a totally different country. We hope we have inspired you to visit Santa Teresa and immerse yourself in a beautiful and tranquil town that offers a lot of amazing experiences. Please let us know what you think in the comments below and if you already visited this place let us know what was your favorite thing.
Natalia and Hernando
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