Montezuma Vacation Rentals

Malpais and Santa Teresa Activities

Two local kids playing on Montezuma Beach Malpais and Santa Teresa have an amazing number of different things to do. When you include nearby Montezuma and Tambor, the list is extensive. It includes: surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, horseback riding, two canopy tours, two national parks (Cabo Blanco and Curu), sailing, fishing, dancing, hiking, bird watching, golf, ultralight flying, kite surfing, yoga, and much more.

If you stay here 2-3 weeks, you could do a different activity every day, but many of the best activities are free... simply enjoying the sunset on the beach, or exploring a river valley. All rivers are public property, so feel free to explore these waterways on your own. You may likely find a waterfall or swimming hole that nobody tells the tourists about.

If you want to see animals, it's difficult to plan, but you can improve your chances by walking in quiet areas very early in the morning, and near dusk. You can also go night hiking with a flashlight. Hold the flashlight at eye level and scan the trees for an animals eyes that will reflect back at you. If you're lucky, you'll find a kinkajou or a wooly tree opossum. Howler monkeys and iguanas are everywhere, so expect to see them without even trying.

The area has a lot of special events that don't happen on a schedule. There are private mountaintop parties, full moon parties, fashion shows, circus performances, and many other things like this. If you want to participate, make friends with the people who live here and you may get invited...

There are various beaches that you can explore in the Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula while on holidays. Most of the known beaches are listed below:
Playa Manzanillo
Manzanillo Beach of Costa Rica
This beach is still like Costa Rica in the old days... not yet Americanized like Santa Teresa and Malpais are. There are one or two shacky bars along the beach, and a hotel or two behind. One of the restaurants is famous in the area for it's cheap and excellent lobster dinner. The road passes right next to the beach, and at high tide, the beach disappears. A natural rock jetty prevents large waves from reaching the shore, making this a safe beach for families. Outside the rocky reef is Manzanillo's one good surf spot.

Once a year, Costa Rica's famous sand castle competition is held in Manzanillo, and everyone on the southern Nicoya Peninsula: Ticos, foreign residents, and tourists from all the nearby towns gather here for the party

Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa, just north of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Playa Hermosa is a spectacular beach that you are likely to find nearly deserted. To get to the beach, follow a road with amapola/hibiscus flowers on both sides, near the international school in the Playa Hermosa area. Or, there's another access farther down, but it's so rugged you'll barely make it with a 4WD car. Although it's illegal to drive on the beach, you may be disturbed by people flying past on motorcycles and quads.

At the far northern end of Playa Hermosa is a point break that breaks in an unsual way. It's a right-hander, and there's a channel where you can easily paddle out. The wave breaks twice... just as you're getting started, the wave will fall off, then it will build back up again. It's good practice for beginners. However, there are a bunch of rocks out there near the point where you catch the waves, so watch out for them.

This break works at both high and low tides. Generally it's fairly easy to stay away from them. The entire beach is also a great beach break. There are few if any hotels out here now, but most of the land behind the beach has been subdivided and sold off, and the hills behind the beach are rapidly being sold as well, so enjoy this peaceful spot now while you have it to yourself.

Suck Rock Point Break
There is a very popular point break at this part of Playa Santa Teresa. This break can get huge, as shown in the photo, taken a few years ago. For the ultimate surf vacation, rent a luxury house in front of suck rock via this website - Red Palm Villas.
La Lora Beach
A little bit south of Suck Rock is the beach access at the La Lora nightclub. This is a great furfing beach with consistent waves. Surf competitions are often held here.

Playa Santa Teresa / Brunella
Playa Santa Teresa Surf Beach, Costa Rica Playa Santa Teresa is the name given to a whole set of beautiful sandy beaches north of Playa Carmen. There are many road accesses, although some are footpaths only. Near the beach on some of these paths you can find some gigantic ancient Pochote trees. You can see two of the largest trees, which are 453 years old and called "Abuelo and Abuela" (Grandfather and Grandmother) by going down the beach access road at Brunella.

Playa Carmen
Playa Carmen Beach, Santa Teresa / Malpais, Costa Rica This legendary beach has a great beach break that extends for hundreds of yards, although there are a few choice spots. Around sunset, the surfers are lined up like ants on the waves during the busy season, but its magnificently beautiful. There is a pizza restaurant on the beach here, which serves cold drinks and beer as well. On Saturdays at 3pm, Honey's Organic Market sets up here, and the place is crowded with people buying their weekly veggies. To get here, just go straight at "the crossroads" by Frank's Place, where you will first drive down the hill from Cobano.

Playa Mar Azul
Mar Azul This is an easy spot to find in Malpais... just look for the Mar Azul signs. The beach is one of the few sandy spots on the Malpais (south) side of the crossroads, and a great break with an easy wave to catch that's out in front of the Mar Azul restaurant/cabinas. This wave should be surfed only around high tide, and it's better when the swell is big. Around the other side of a large rocky outcropping to the south is a beautiful sandy cove that you will most likely find nearly deserted.

Sunset Reef and the Swedish Beach
Cabo Blanco Cove - southernmost Malpais There are two great spots at the far end of the Malpais road. First is a great left break at Sunset Reef. Beyond that, at the very end of the road, is a small cove called the Swedish Beach. This is rocky and good for children and snorkelers.