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Santa Teresa and Malpais

Starting out as little fishing villages, Santa Teresa and Malpais are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world according to Forbes and known internationally for its great surfing. Although Malpais means “bad land” in Spanish, it is definitely anything but that. The name stuck from the days when agriculture still ruled in the area. The summers would dry up the rivers making it hard to grow crops, but nowadays, surfing is king and locals and travelers alike flock to Malpais for its white sand beaches and year round moderate water temperatures and amazing waves.

Situated at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa has a distinct funky and friendly flavor with many people coming for surf, but then falling in love and staying. These newcomers add to the chill atmosphere of the town by fusing international flair with local traditions. Walk along the street and you will meet people from Argentina, Israel, Spain, and anywhere you could think of. From a wide range of restaurants, to music, to art, there is bound to be something to match your taste of travel and budget. There are surfboards, ATVs, and many other activities available. Surfboard rentals start at just $5! There is always something interesting going on from all different type of music concerts, fire dancing, craft fairs, fashion shows, or acrobatic spectacles.

Surfing is definitely the main attraction here with the main beach being Playa El Carmen. It offers some nice lefts and slightly longer rights as well a good set of sand bars. El Carmen is definitely popular with long-boarders, but short-boarders can always be found as well pulling all different sorts of tricks. With less powerful beach breaks and rip tides, El Carmen is the perfect play or beginners as waves tend to become faster and heavier as you head north towards Santa Teresa where beaches are definitely less crowded.

Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa are closest to Latitude 10. Since Playa Santa Teresa is bigger and more hallow than El Carmen, it provides a wide range of breaks and swells. The surf is best at low tide when waves are faster. Playa Hermosa, literally translation as “beautiful beach” in Spanish, is not just a popular surf beach, but it is also popular with kite surfers while being the less crowded option.

How to Get Here

Located just minutes from Latitude 10 by bicycle (which we provide!), Santa Teresa is an easy ride away and a great way to spend a relaxing day exploring the quirky little town and experience all different kinds of culinary delights and enjoying some eclectic shopping.