Things to Do in Malpais, Costa Rica

Malpais is more tranquil and underdeveloped than Santa Teresa. This seaside town is a surfer’s paradise, with its rocky coves, tempting swells, and endless hours of surfing. Although neighboring towns have become increasingly commercialized in recent years, Malpais has managed to maintain its tranquil ambiance.

Relax on the beach

Mal Pais is Santa Teresa’s quiet next-door neighbor. Therefore, it is a tranquil place to spend the day bathing in the sun and soaking in the scenic beauty. The beach is mostly rocky, but there are sandy sections and plenty of trees for shade.


Away from the water, you may participate in activities such as canopy tours, quad biking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities to trek and explore the area.

Explore under the sea

In addition, tourists delight in activities like fishing, scuba diving, kite surfing, and snorkeling. You’ll find fish if you go scuba diving or snorkeling in the waters south of Malpais, where you can explore the world underwater. 

Visit the Cabo Blanco National Park

The Cabo Blanco nature reserve is the first nature reserve in Costa Rica. Hiking through Cabo Blanco’s dense tropical forest is an exciting and difficult adventure. You can hike for the day, knowing that you’ll reach a beautiful beach in the end. Those who travel to the southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula should not miss seeing this park.

Things to Do in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

An alternative to the hustle and bustle of modern life, Santa Teresa is worth the effort to find. Many hotels have Wi-Fi, but you may discover that the slow rhythm of local life, rather than technology, significantly impacts your stay’s enjoyment.

Yoga & Wellness

Guests of several luxury hotels can take advantage of free daily classes during their stay. Some of them include daily classes suitable for both beginners and seasoned yogis. Other places provide a comprehensive wellness program, from Ayurvedic spa treatments to healthy meals to special yoga classes.


You can’t go to Santa Teresa and not be influenced by the surf culture there. Surfers often travel to the Malpais area, and Santa Teresa is one of the most popular spots for practicing this renowned sport.


You can find fishing trips available from Santa Teresa every day. Some places offer a unique artisan fishing experience, exposing visitors to local fishermen’s way of life while allowing them to catch sailfish, marlin, tuna, roosterfish, and more.

Curu Wildlife Refuge

In Curu’s coastal forest, you can go on a hike to see Capuchin and Howler monkeys, as well as giant Guanacaste trees and other unique plants.

Visit the tide pools

Because of the strong currents and waves, many visitors to Santa Teresa prefer to cool off in the area’s tide pools. Several rocky areas fill with water at low tide, creating little pools. There’s also a large swimming pool, deep enough for snorkeling or swimming.

Learn more about our Costa Rica adventure connections, or how we call it, Adventure Shuttles.
Costa Rica River Pool
Malpais - Santa Teresa
Malpais - Santa Teresa
Malpais - Santa Teresa

Malpais & Santa Teresa Weather

This area has weather that is typical of the country as a whole. The dry season typically runs from December through April. And then, from May to November, there is the rainy season.


Most people consider the best time to visit Malpais between December and March because these are the driest months of the year.

Santa Teresa

This area has a year-round swimming season. In Playa Santa Teresa, the average yearly water temperature is 83 degrees Fahrenheit, varying from 82 degrees in the winter to 85 degrees in the spring, 84 degrees in the summer, and 82 degrees in the fall.

Want Help Planning a Trip to Malpais Beach or Santa Teresa Beach?

Are you looking to plan the ultimate beach getaway to Malpais or Santa Teresa? Look no further! As a seasoned travel expert, I can help you create the trip of a lifetime.

We’re here to help with every aspect of your vacation, from finding the ideal lodgings to organizing exciting excursions and activities. We will work with you to discover the best accommodation to suit your interests and budget, whether a luxury resort, a cozy villa or an eco-friendly option.

So why wait? Let’s start planning your dream beach getaway to Malpais or Santa Teresa today! Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, we are here to help make your trip unforgettable.

Get in touch today to learn more!


1. What airport is near Malpais, Costa Rica?

The nearest airport to Malpais is Tambor. It is a small airstrip for local flights, located 45 minutes from this beautiful beach. You can also fly to this airport to reach Santa Teresa.

2. How far is Malpais from Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?

Malpais is just four miles from Santa Teresa. Please note that Malpais is the most common name for the stretch of beach that extends from the northernmost Playa Santa Teresa to the southernmost Playa Carmen, where the small town of Malpais is located.


3. What's The Difference Between Santa Teresa and Mal País Costa Rica?

It is easy to tell the two areas apart due to their distinct differences. It is almost as if there is an invisible line between the two communities: to the south, there are not many people seen on the rocky shore of Malpais, while to the north, people flock to the sandy beaches and waves of Santa Teresa.

4. Is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, a party town?

Santa Teresa is not widely regarded as a town known for its nightlife and great beach parties, but there are several bars and even one club in the city. In addition, the town is known for its weekly jungle party.

5. What is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, known for?

Although Santa Teresa is well-known for its surfing, the area’s often-turbulent waves and strong rip currents can make swimming in the region more difficult. In addition to surfing and sunbathing, Santa Teresa’s beaches are the primary location for socializing, particularly during the evening.

6. Can you swim at Santa Teresa Beach, Costa Rica?

Sure, you can go for a swim at Santa Teresa Beach, but the waves can be very rough. Other than swimming, Santa Teresa also offers fantastic opportunities for surfing and relaxing in the sun.

For more details, please get in touch with us at Find My Costa Rica