Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

A remote surfing town that you'll fall in love with

The Santa Teresa Vibe

There is a really relaxed hippie/ surfer vibe in Santa Teresa. We love this area when we just want to escape it all and chill on some palm tree lined white sand beaches.

Santa Teresa is located on the Pacific Coast at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, which makes it a bit difficult to get to. The remote location definitely contributes to the relaxed feel of this part of the country.

Now on to the rest of the Santa Teresa guide!

Map Of Santa Teresa

Montezuma is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, the little hook of Costa Rica.

This area is not the easiest to access, but that seems to give it a lot of its charm.

Santa Teresa at a Glance

Nearest International Airport

Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia


Popular Things to Do

Take a day trip to Isla Tortuga, walk the miles of beaches, visit the Montezuma Waterfall


Best Way to Get Around

Rental car, walking in the downtown area


Best Time of Year to Visit

Dry season is from late December until mid-April


Best Hikes

The nearby Cabo Blanco Reserve


Getting to Santa Teresa

Flights to Costa Rica

Santa Teresa is great because it is easily accessible from the Liberia airport and the San Jose airport. 

More and more airlines are starting service to Liberia so check out the rates. It may be worth it for you.

If you haven’t booked your flight yet, we suggest using Skyscanner. We consistently find the best rates through their website.


Santa Teresa is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, in other words, it is a little hook off the coast of Costa Rica.

If you are traveling from the center of the country or the Southern Pacific coast, the easiest way to get here is by taking the ferry from Puntarenas. We have a full guide to the ferry for more info on that. 

Cheapest Way to Get to Santa Teresa

The cheapest way to get to Santa Teresa is by public bus (if coming from San Jose).

However, this will take seven hours and involves switching busses three times and going on the ferry. You can check out the bus schedule here.

Also, keep in mind that the bus leaves from downtown San Jose, not from the airport. 

And, the bus price does not include your ferry ticket. You will have to buy that separately at the ferry terminal.

Most Comfortable Way to Get Here

For the most comfort, we like to take a private shuttle. Our go-to shuttle company is Adobe Transfers. We have worked closely with Adobe for almost five years now and trust them completely. You can get a private transfer quote here.

Our Favorite Way to Get Here

We always suggest renting a car and driving to Santa Teresa on your own. The best way to do this (if coming from San Jose) is by going on the Puntarenas ferry to Paquera. In total this trip will take about five to six hours.

However, about two of those hours will be spent on the ferry/ getting off the ferry. So, in actuality, it is not too much driving.

Check out our ferry guide for more on that.

We like to rent a car because Santa Teresa is remote. If you plan on taking day trips you will likely want a car and there are not many car rental places in the Santa Teresa area.

You do not necessarily need a 4×4 for the drive, but an SUV with decent clearance is suggested because the roads near Santa Teresa are not paved. 

Pro Tip: Rent a car with our favorite Costa Rican rental car company and save 10% plus other great perks!

Fastest Way to Get to Santa Teresa

The fastest (but most expensive) way to get to Santa Teresa is by plane. From San Jose, it is possible to fly with a domestic airline to Tambor Airport. From Tambor, you can take a private shuttle or taxi 45 minutes to Santa Teresa.

Getting Around in Santa Teresa

Downtown Santa Teresa is very walkable. However, keep in mind that some hotels are on remote side roads and not necessarily on the main road where all restaurants and activities are. 

Another option is to rent an ATV for a few days to get around.

Book Your Transportation

Santa Teresa Weather

Like most of the country, the dry season here runs from mid-December until April or May.

From May until August you can expect some afternoon rainstorms, however, we once visited in early August and we didn’t have any rain during the four days we were there. You just never know!

From mid-August until December a lot of things close down because the weather can be really rainy.

We visited one year in late September and it rained every day but the next year we visited at the same time and had perfect weather. It’s impossible to predict.

email opt in

Grab a free copy of our Costa Rica guide

(with great Santa Teresa tips)

Santa Teresa Hotels

High-End Hotels

Hotel NantipaEnjoy luxurious modern rooms directly on the beach. There is a restaurant, bar, and pool on the property.

Vista del AlmaAn adults-only resort with amazing ocean views. All units have a kitchen, balcony, and some units have a private hot tub. There is also a nice pool for guests to use.

Mid-Range Hotels

Griss Lodge & VillasLocated just 200 meters from the beach this hotel is well manicured and has a beautiful pool.

Lua VillasLocated north of Santa Teresa, this is a great place to stay for relaxation away from the crowds but still within 300 meters of a nice beach. We love this property.

Fuego LodgeBungalow-style accommodation options. They also have apartments with multiple bedrooms if you are traveling with a group. All units have a small kitchen, so this is