Monday, April 30, 2012

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

What can I say about Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?  It was a dream come true, a beautiful town in a beautiful country.  The lush greenery was welcome after the dryness of Nicaragua. It took us a very long day of travel to get there from Nicaragua and we got to town when it was dark but we were absolutely thrilled when we woke up in the morning. The beaches are perfect, the food amazing and vibe is just what we wanted.  I could live there for sure.  We chose Santa Teresa after countless hours poring over different locations in the Costa Rica.  Originally my parents were going to join us on this portion of the trip so we wanted a place with surf where they could also snorkel (which Mal Pais offers). When they had to cancel we decided to stick with the location as everything we heard about it was great.  It did not disappoint.

We rented a little 2 bedroom house on the property of a hotel called Luz De Vida.  The location was amazing and we were all very happy we went with a simpler place on the beach rather than a nicer place up the hill. If you want more detail about the house you can read my review on TripAdvisor here. Luz De Vida is technically located on Playa Carmen but there is no discerning line between Mal Pais, Playa Carmen and Santa Teresa.  It all runs together on a dirt road lined with markets, restaurants, hostels and houses.  One thing I heard about Santa Teresa before we came was that it has become very developed in recent years.  In hearing that I expected it to be more developed than it was.  Things are still nicely spread out and there's still plenty of empty oceanfront property.  It did not feel crowded or congested in any way.  Granted we were there at the tail end of their high season and things seemed pretty sleepy so it could be different when it's busier.

Villa S on the Luz De Vida property

path to the beach

The beach, looking south

Country road

Beach hammock

We spent a lot of our time in Santa Teresa beach exploring, bronzing, reading books and stuffing our faces with the delicious food they have there (more about that in another post).   Husband-face was able to surf right out front of the house which was perfect. The beach is clean and pristine, no trash in sight. This area is very isolated and there's only about 5-6 miles of road along the coast, then it just ends. However there is plenty to do between the waterfalls of Montezuma, Cabo Blanco Nature Preserve and miles of beach.  Santa Teresa is definitely an outdoor and beach lovers paradise.  I would recommend a rental car here so you can go exploring on your own, and 4WD is also recommended.  The roads you take to get there are pretty rough, I can't imagine what they're like in the wet season.

My fave beach shot of the trip-north of town, Playa Hermosa I believe

Life is better at the beach

My favorite things about Santa Teresa:
-The food was AMAZING.  We did not expect that, more details on the restaurants we ate at to come.
-The dogs, there were stray dogs everywhere and they were all the sweetest most mellow dogs.  They are also all obviously well fed and taken care of by the locals.  There were quite a few veterinarians in town. Any place that shows a love and kindness for animals I am a fan of.
-The halloween (I call them this because they're purple and orange) crabs that are everywhere.  Some people may find them annoying but I thought they were cute and funny. However they migrate across the road at night and in the morning the road is littered with squished crabs...
-The Momma and 2 kittens living on the roof of our house.  The more adventurous of the kittens kept falling off the roof or getting stuck in trees.
-Imperial is pretty good for a local beer, much better (less malty) than Nicaragua's Toña.

Halloween crab!  Heeeyyy, heeyyy

Costa kitten

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