Tuning out in Costa Rica: Santa Teresa

Along the main drag of Santa Teresa.

During my last trip to Costa Rica, three girlfriends and I took a little getaway. It’s about time I introduce you to Santa Teresa! The hippy-dippy little beach town is stretched out along one long main road on the Nicoya Peninsula, near Mal Pais, south of Nosara and Playa Guiones, my favorite surf/beach area. We stayed in a rental home outside of town, which some might find isolating but was just the escape we were looking for. Aside from a comical Halloween crab invasion every evening at sundown, the empty jungle beaches were the idyllic slice of Costa Rican paradise I have come to love about the coasts of Costa Rica.

When I drive to the middle of nowhere to flip the “off” switch, I don’t take as many photos as on a more attack-on-the senses-type trip. But I do get to feel my heart rate slow down as I take in scenes like this.

Santa Teresa


Here, I am too lazy to even stand up and just snap a photo of my view:

Santa Teresa


I can’t say enough how much I love how the thick jungle slices off into beach.

Santa Teresa


In Santa Teresa, there are a lot of expats, which can be common in Costa Rican surf towns. This can be both good and bad, depending on your preferences of travel. When I lived in Coco, we traded books in English like they were gold. So I couldn’t help but snap a photo of this sign, which almost made me tear up for joy!

Santa Teresa


Back at our house, the landlord’s dog, Ronni, kept us company. He was so sweet and loved hanging out with us. There are so many dogs in Costa Rica! After living there, I brought home two rescues myself, Jax and Chase. Who knew my first two pets would be two scrappy street dogs from Central America?

Travel is full of surprises!

Santa Teresa

We drove to Santa Teresa from Coco (more than five hours!) on Costa Rica’s famous dirt roads in Andreea’s 1993 diesel car, named Cayenne, whose adventures she details on her awesome blog, The Sasu Post.

My favorite local hot spots in Santa Teresa:

Basta Pasta: Along the main drag, Basta Pasta serves daily specials and heavy pours of wine. Kelsey and I had the best dinner here, fresh calamari and delicious pasta. One of the best meals I’ve had in Costa Rica!

Habaneros: Outdoor dining right on the beach, Habaneros boasts live music, margaritas and simple, fresh Mexican food.

Barefoot Gourmet: Charming organic market for local food shopping.

Burger Rancho: Favorite local hot spot famous for its fresh juices, tuna ceviche and yes, burgers.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. All suggestions noted!

  2. You are going to have a blast!

  3. This sounds like an awesome spot to get away from it all. And of course, I want to go give Ronni a hug. Such a cutie!

  4. He totally kept tabs on us — and was such a dufus!

  5. Looks like paradise! I don’t know how you ever left!!!

  6. Me either. 🙁

  7. Mmmm. This sounds absolutely wonderful!!

  8. It’s like a little slice of heaven – beach, wine, pasta, cute dogs!!

  9. I still can’t believe that–YET AGAIN–we were in the same country within a week of each other. This needs to stop!

  10. This place looks so perfect for switching off, will definitely have to put it on my list of destinations when in Central America.

  11. Oh, you’d love that whole area! Let me know if you go.

  12. Gotta love spots like this, especially if you know them well.

  13. That surfboard says “Book Exchange” – I’m sold!

  14. My favorite kind of beach town!

  15. Looks and sounds divine! The jungle looks lush and the food sounds delicious.

  16. I can totally see relaxing here- Nicaragua and Costa Rica are so high on our list of places to visit. Every time I see more pictures I am reminded why!

  17. Haha.. traded books like they are gold. I didn’t even think about that. I guess that’s why so many people prefer the Kindle. I want to go here NOW!

  18. Oh I loved CR when I was there. What a fabulous country. This post makes me want to go back!

  19. Definitely a great place to tune out, although would you believe I don’t like the beach? Yeah, I’m from Florida….

  20. Flipping the off switch sounds divine right about now– so burned out I can’t stand it. I’ve never been there, but Santa Teresa sounds like a lovely place in which to do it.

  21. Wow this place is pure paradise, you’re right the jungle just on the beach is amazing!

  22. Santa Teresa is a small beach town that has the perfect mix of adventure and relax we all want to find when going on vacations. Great highlights! Thanks for sharing.

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