Santa Teresa is what surf and hippie dreams are made of. It’s built up enough that you can explore a cornucopia of restaurants, bars and little nooks to hang out in, but it’s kept raw enough that the focal point is still the wild and free ocean, and during dry season, you’ll get nice and dirty from the dusty, unkept, main road. It’s relaxed enough that people from all around the world come to stay for a cheap hostel stay, but magical enough that influential and wealthy people like Giselle and Brady have a vacation home in the area.
My parents have built a home in a far less touristy area about an hour away, and although the roads to get to Santa Teresa are pretty rugged, we always make sure to spend a day or two during every Costa Rican visit.
Here’s a list of a few of my favourite gems in this dreamy beach oasis!
Nantipa Beach Resort. As of the writing of this blog, it’s only been open for two months. It’s a boutique hotel set on a stunning piece of the beach, with trendy light-coloured villas and a really fantastic open air restaurant set next to the beach. Good for overnight stays and/or lunch or dinner. My new favourite place in Santa Teresa for sure.
Tipsy. A small, super charming, super Euro and cozy bar serving all sorts of great wines and bubblies. We bought a bottle of champagne to take home and it was the perfect dry glass of champagne.
Rancho Burger. An open air burger joint, with lots of options. Good for a quick bite to eat. I liked my fish tacos and my dad’s Asian burger, but I LOVED my daughters kids burger. It was the perfect thickness and super salty and tasty. We balanced out our burgers with some fresh pineapple juices, which I thought was a good move. I actually recommend ordering pineapple juice wherever you go in Costa Rica because it’s such an easy quick way to get those nutrients, and you just know it’s fresh!
Salty Dogs Crew. A small menswear shop in one of the new little developments on the main strip. Awesome selection of Californian shirts, hats, shorts.
Glida. Gelato in the same complex as Salty Dogs Crew. Lots of good flavours, cute tiny spot. This complex (white new building) also has two clean public washrooms in the middle of it.
Couleurs Café. More off the beaten path than the mentioned above. On one of the side roads near Hermosa Beach (the nicest beach in the area). They serve legit lattés, smoothies and breakfast foods. It’s got a reggae slash french feel, so is just generally pretty cool to hang out at.
Lastly, here are a few gems my good friend Susan McElhinney shared with me. She went with her husband and baby recently as well. It’s the spot to be!:
Koji’s. Legit sushi restaurant owned by a legit Japanese chef (Koji).
Habaneros. Super vibey Sunday Funday party starting at sunset. This family travels a lot and they said it was the coolest beach party they’d been a part of.
The Bakery. Insta handle @thebakery_santateresa. Delicious coffee, pastries and food – on par with the OG of pastries, Paris.