Mal Pais Costa Rica

Mal Pais is a quiet and laid-back fishing village that is located at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The town itself runs along a 5km stretch of dirt road, which is lined with large patches of unspoiled jungle and beautiful beaches. The beaches of Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa border on Mal Pais to the north while its southern border butts up against Cabo Blanco Natural Park. Just a 15-minute drive from the Blue Surf Sanctuary hotel, Mal Pais is an incredible area of Costa Rica that is just waiting to be explored.

The Mal Pais area is famous for its incredible beauty and fascinating scenery. The beaches here are a combination of mesmerizing white sand and scattered volcanic rock outcroppings including rocky coves. Lush green jungle lines the shore and is often visited by much of the area’s native wildlife including a myriad of monkeys, birds and insects.

There is little development in Mal Pais, which has allowed this area to retain much of its pure, untouched charm and nature. However, there are plenty of fun activities to choose from. Canopy Mal Pais is located here and with them, you can go zipping from platform to platform through the incredible jungle canopy. You can also go horseback riding in Mal Pais or rent a Stand-Up Paddle
Board for the day. One of my favourite things to do while I am in Mal Pais is to visit the magical and quaint Mal Pais fishermen port. Located at the very end of the road in Mal Pais, the fishermen’s port is where you can hire a fishing boat to take you on a tour of the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. On this tour, you may get a chance to see dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays and even migrating whales. The fishermen port is also a great place to start a fishing tour or, if you are not interesting in trying to catch your own fish, there is always plenty of fresh fish around here that you can buy for your dinner later that night.

Be sure to also check out one of Costa Rica’s most scenic beaches, which is just around the corner from the fishermen’s port. This magnificent beach is called Playa Cuevas or “the secret beach” and it is a wonderful place for a dip, a snorkel or a late afternoon picnic.

There aren’t any shops in the area but there are a few great restaurants here. Mary’s Restaurant is one of oldest restaurants in the area while Los Caracoles is another tasty local restaurant that specializes in seafood. Ritmo Tropical is another great restaurant that serves mouth-watering thin-crust pizzas and other Italian specials.

Fairly recently, Forbes Magazine voted the beaches of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa as “One of the ten most beautiful in the world” and I can see why. Next time that you come and stay with us at the Blue Surf Sanctuary, be sure to take a drive down to Mal Pais to check it out. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Recent Traveler's Reviews

A True Sanctuary

We are perfect for first time surfers! Our surf instructors will start you off with the very basics of learning about surfing and surfing safety. We will make sure you have a healthy respect for the ocean. You will soon understand why surfing becomes a life style as you enjoy an experience of a lifetime.

by Bearpaw , May 2020

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Perfect Surf Getaway

“Had the best time at the Blue Surf Sanctuary. Lovely part of town, with the sea and amazing food options nearby. Couldn’t fault it really….”

by max g , feb 2020


228 reviews

#9 of 29 hotels in Santa Teresa

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Blue Surf Sanctuary is a boutique surf hotel located near world famous surf spots at Mal Pais and Santa Teresa Costa Rica. We have 4 wonderfully equipped Bungalows and a beautiful open air kitchen located a very short walk from the beach. Our front desk is open and staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our surf resort not only offers Costa Rica surf vacation packages, we also offer the ultimate beach retreat with local spa services, massage, and yoga! Let us build your perfect surf trip.

Many of our guests come to Costa Rica for the awesome surf. Santa Teresa / Mal Pais has become a world famous surf location. Not only is the surf great, the beach is consistently voted tops in all of Central and South America. It really is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You will love the vibe. We can help you build the perfect Costa Rica surf vacation!

Santa Teresa and Mal Pais are located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica on the Nicoya Peninsula. The two small surf towns share a 6km stretch of beach and road. There are many restaurants, surf shops, and groceries. We are located near one of the best surf breaks in the country, Suck Rock.

Do you want an active Costa Rica vacation or retreat? Improve your surfing with our surf instructors, Relax, Yoga, repeat daily! Awesome surf and yoga in paradise is a great way to spend your Costa Rica vacation. Restore your balance in paradise. Experience nature and find yourself in beautiful Costa Rica. Your inner Pura Vida is waiting for you!