I already miss Costa Rica and you will too whenever you decide to pay this beautiful country a visit. I have a special bond with it because its the neighboring country to Nicaragua (where I am from!). So I felt like I was home and I didn’t shy away from the poverty I came across or all the green forest I saw while driving the highways.

This trip was unpredictable. I guess I should have expected this when visiting a country with so much rain forest. The rain made every adventure unplanned, and though I had this incredible itinerary, I had to get creative with my time in Costa Rica because of it.

The only thing that was certain was that I was visiting Santa Teresa in the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s a long way from San Jose and not a lot of tourists visit this hidden gem at first, but it’s definitely one I wanted to experience visiting CR for the first time. The Nicoya Peninsula offers a plethora of things to do like zip lining, hiking to waterfalls, and surfing (which, I know you’ll be super into!)

It takes a whole day to get Santa Teresa, so we landed in Costa Rica and stayed in San Jose for the night to depart in the morning. The experience was nothing less of a cultural-shock and I did hit a few road blocks along the way, but I think with my help and this little guide, you’ll get your way around it much better than I did.


I loved staying in Hotel Presidente, I won’t even let you consider any other hotel. It’s so beautiful inside and out and it’s centrally located to EVERYTHING. The hotel’s decor is like a greenhouse and the rooftop is perfect! As you can see from the photos, it’s a place to grab brunch or dance the night away at night during their open-bar hours. I mean, truly loved staying here and cannot wait until I visit again.


If you’re staying in San Jose and plan to “drive” to Santa Teresa, there’s really only one fast route. My suggestion is to look into Priceline for car rentals, they show all the agencies renting vehicles in the city by lowest price. You will want to leave San Jose no later than 9 am, if you plan to catch the ferry early (for schedules here). You will have to drive from San Jose to Puntarenas, which will take you close to 2 hours to get there. This is where the ferry station is located where you, your friends, and the vehicle will be transported to the Nicoya Peninsula in a ferry/boat. The prices may vary, so be sure to ask them how much it is in Colones (their currency!). You will be at sea for maybe another hour and you’ll arrive at another ferry location in the Nicoya Peninsula. Once you arrive, be sure to place the location to your Airbnb/Hotel/Villa onto your GPS for guide. The roads are extremely bumpy and muddy (so be careful!).


Where to stay in Santa Teresa:

  • I definitely recommend Pranamar as far as villas go (you can do yoga!)
  • Definitely Airbnb.
  • has the best deals for Costa Rica if you do decide to go hotel.
  • Truly, anywhere is beautiful, but be sure to stay close to the beach. I was only 2 walking minutes away from the beach. So perrrrfect!

Where to eat in Santa Teresa:

  • Nami is honestly the best SUSHI I’ve ever had my entire life. I still miss it + they also have one of the best frozen Piña Coladas ever.
  • Habanero is a really delicious Mexican restaurant facing the ocean.
  • The Bakery has really good coffee.
  • El Falcon was amazing! Highly recommend having their tuna!
  • Bali Beach Cafe has the best breakfast in all of Santa Teresa (a little overpriced, but soooo worth it!)
  • Cafe Social is the cutest cafe ever! To enter, you must take off your shoes.
  • Roca Mar has bonfires every Sunday!

What to do in Santa Teresa:

  • Be sure to surf, I mean c’mon…
  • ATV riding is very popular so be sure to rent one (they average $50-$60 every 24 hours)
  • Canopy Tours Zip-lining was one of the best experiences of my life (you can watch it here)
  • Hike Montezuma Waterfalls (There’s a little old men that served as the best tour guide. The current is quick, so be sure to bring the proper shoes for this or you may slip into the rocks!)
  • Visit National Forest Cabo Blanco (be sure to google entrance before visiting, I got lost on my way here! The entrance is towards Montezuma!!)
  • Just enjoy the beach… there’s truly nothing like the pacific ocean and watching the sun set.
  • YOGA at Pranamar (or anywhere really)… there’s a lot of places to this, but it’s extremely popular in the area.


  • The drivers are crazy!
  • In San Jose there are NO streets signs, so be sure to download Waze or Google Maps for navigation, Apple maps does not work… at all!
  • Definitely rent a 4 x 4 due to rocky roads and be sure to check the tires!
  • Change your monies at the airport!
  • Late flights are the best for departures. Due to CRAZY traffic it’s important you give yourself at least 4-5 hours to make it on time to the airport. (UNREAL!)


  • October – December rainy season
  • January to March Dry Season (best time to visit according to the locals!)
  • April – August Random showers

Costa Rica was an absolute blessing and cannot wait to go back again! Have you ever been and where did you go?

Remember to #CHASINGCARPEDIEM if you use this travel guide on all your socials.

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