10 Things to Do in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica That Aren’t Surfing
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is mainly known for one thing: surfing. But what if you’re not into surfing? Should you still visit? Will you be bored? While I’ve taken a couple surfing lessons in the past, and I thought I’d take another while in Costa Rica, it turns out I just wasn’t in the mood to spend a day getting bruised and inhaling salt water so I skipped the main attraction. So if you don’t surf should you still consider visiting this off the beaten path town on the Nicoya Peninsula? Sure! There’s still plenty of cool things to do in Santa Teresa that aren’t surfing.
If you’re not in Santa Teresa to surf, you’re probably there for yoga. There are a number of yoga retreat centers and a handful of places where you can do drop in classes. I enjoyed the sunrise and sunset yoga classes on the beach offered through Selina.
If you’re looking for a unique yoga experience, try aerial yoga, also known as anti-gravity yoga. It’s a mixture of yoga, pilates, and some dance while being suspended in a cloth hammock. It’s a really great way to get some inversions in if you can’t do a full headstand. Again, you can do this through Selina.
Zip Line/Canopy Tour
If you didn’t do a zip line in Costa Rica, were you really even there? Like just about every town in the country, Santa Teresa has it’s own zip line option. However, Canopy Mal Pais has something the others don’t… a surfboard zip line. ;)
Selina also offers a beginner’s class in aerial silks in case you want to live out your dream to run away and join the circus. You’ll learn some basic acrobatic skills while using a long piece of fabric to hold you up in the air.
Stand up paddleboarding has been gaining popularity in years and as a result there are no shortage of places in Santa Teresa to rent a paddleboard, take a lesson, or go on a tour. You can paddle out in the ocean or even do some river paddling for a calm, wave-free experience. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even learn to ride waves on your paddle board. Blue Surf Sanctuary offers a wide range of different SUP tours and lessons.
Costa Rica is choc-a-bloc full of waterfalls and, lucky you, some of the best are near Santa Teresa. The most famous set is the Montezuma waterfalls. The best way to see them is to pack a lunch, rent an ATV, and take yourself on an adventure.
Snorkeling day trip to Tortuga Island
One of the best things I did in Santa Teresa was to book a day trip to go snorkeling at Isla Tortuga. Your day trip includes transportation from Santa Teresa to Montezuma where you’ll hop on a speed boat headed to Isla Tortuga. You’ll snorkel at two different spots and then enjoy beach time on the island with a full lunch. Pretty stellar way to spend a day. I did my trip with Cocozuma Tours.
From Playa Santa Teresa to Mal Pais there are miles of beach to walk. I absolutely love just strolling along the shoreline, dipping my toes in the sand and surf, and letting my mind wander as stress rolls away. If you want a relaxed activity in Santa Teresa, take yourself for a beach walk.
You could watch the sunset in Santa Teresa sitting on the beach or you could watch it from horseback as you amble along the shore towards Malpas. I just love doing horseback tours when I travel to new places and this was one of the best I’ve done. I did a sunset ride with Ollie’s Adventures.
Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve
Another great day trip out of Santa Teresa is the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. This was Costa Rica’s first national park and remains a jewel of the Nicoya Peninsula. The park is open Wednesday-Sunday and for $10 you can explore two hiking trails. If you move quietly you just may spot coatis, monkeys, anteaters, and maybe even a wild cat.