Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula Travel Guide

Malpais and Santa Teresa

Once frequented mostly by die-hard surfers in search of some of the country's largest waves and by naturalists en route to the nearby Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Preserve, this area is now a 10-km (6-mile) stretch of hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers strung along a mostly dirt road that is choking with dust in the dry season and awash in mud the rest of the year. The lovely beaches and consistent

surf are still the main draw here, along with new health-oriented spas, organic restaurants, and yoga classes that are attracting a very international, young crowd, from Europe, Australia, and North America.

Coming from Cóbano, the bumpy dirt road hits an intersection, known locally as El Cruce, marked by a cluster of shopping centers, banks, restaurants, and hotel signs. To the left is the partially paved route to relatively tranquil Malpaís, and to the right is the road to Santa Teresa, which has a few paved sections but is mostly a rutted, narrow, busy dirt road. Playa Carmen, straight ahead, is the area's best place for surfing, though swimmers will want to be careful of rip currents. Malpaís and Santa Teresa are so close that locals disagree on where one begins and the other ends. You could travel up the road parallel to the ocean that connects them and not realize you've moved from one town to the other.

Read More

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trip Finder
Store
Guidebooks

Fodor's San Diego

View Details
Travel Phrases

Learn Spanish Phrases before or while you're on the go!

Download Now
X

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.