The Southern Nicoya region distinguishes itself with a cosmopolitan ambiance, especially evident in Malpais, Santa Teresa, and Montezuma. These areas attract a diverse mix of people from around the globe, including Argentina, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Canada, France, Sweden, Israel, and the United States of America.

Malpais and Santa Teresa offer an array of activities, further expanded when considering nearby Montezuma and Tambor. From surfing and snorkeling to horseback riding and canopy tours, the options are extensive.

Visitors can explore national parks like Cabo Blanco and Curu, indulge in sailing and fishing excursions, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere by dancing, hiking, or bird watching.

Spending 2-3 weeks in the area allows for a different activity every day, with many options being free, such as watching beach sunsets or exploring river valleys. All rivers are open to the public, offering opportunities to discover hidden waterfalls or swimming holes off the beaten path.


Montezuma, nestled on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, beckons travelers with its idyllic charm and natural splendor. Its picturesque coastal setting, framed by lush tropical rainforests and pristine beaches, creates a captivating backdrop for exploration and relaxation. Nature thrives in Montezuma, where dense forests provide a sanctuary for diverse wildlife, including howler monkeys, iguanas, and exotic bird species. Nearby, the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve offers an opportunity for adventure, with hiking trails leading to secluded beaches and panoramic ocean views, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the region’s breathtaking landscapes.

Montezuma is blessed with an abundance of rivers that meander through its verdant landscape, contributing to its year-round greenery. These rivers not only sustain diverse ecosystems but also offer opportunities for outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking. A highlight of Montezuma is its iconic Montezuma Waterfall, a majestic cascade surrounded by lush vegetation. This natural wonder captivates visitors with its pristine beauty and serene ambiance, providing a refreshing retreat from the tropical heat.

Whether exploring tranquil rivers or marveling at the waterfall’s splendor, Montezuma’s verdant landscapes offer a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts seeking solace amidst Costa Rica’s southern coast.

The dining options in Montezuma are equally captivating, from traditional “sodas” to the renowned restaurant Playa de Los Artistas providing exceptional culinary experiences amidst the tranquil atmosphere of the beachfront setting.

Sustainability is deeply ingrained in Montezuma’s community, reflected in its commitment to environmental conservation. Through initiatives like recycling programs, beach cleanups, and reforestation efforts, locals and businesses work together to protect the town’s natural treasures for future generations. This dedication to responsible tourism embodies Montezuma’s ethos of harmony with nature, ensuring that its captivating beauty remains preserved and cherished by all who visit.

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Mal País & Santa Teresa

Malpais and Santa Teresa in Costa Rica are famous for their breathtaking beauty and exceptional surfing opportunities. Despite receiving electricity only about 30 years ago, ongoing development has introduced modern conveniences while maintaining the area’s remote jungle atmosphere.

The region boasts a diverse culinary scene, with a multitude of excellent restaurants serving traditional Costa Rican dishes and innovative creations by talented international chefs representing various cuisines such as Italian, Japanese, Israeli, French, Indian, and Thai.

Malpais and Santa Teresa are particularly popular among surfers due to the abundance of excellent surf spots, including the world-class “Suck Rock” in northern Santa Teresa. Visitors can easily find skilled surf instructors, board rental services, and surf schools to help them learn and improve their skills.

Embark from the iconic Playa Carmen, alive with the vibrant rhythm of surfers carving through waves like silhouettes against the sunset. Continue your journey to Santa Teresa Norte/Brunellas, where a treasure trove of captivating beaches beckons. Explore various beach accesses, each revealing its own natural wonders and breathtaking views.

Venture even further north to the hidden gem of Playa Hermosa, a haven for both beginner and intermediate surfers. Here, discover a distinctive point break at its northernmost tip, where thrilling waves provide the perfect canvas to sharpen your skills amidst the tranquil coastal scenery.

At south the fisher town of Malpais, seek out Playa Mar Azul for an easy-to-find sandy break, ideal for surfing around high tide. Then, explore the secluded beauty of Sunset Reef and Swedish Beach, offering thrilling left breaks and tranquil coves perfect for snorkeling adventures. Each beach offers its own unique charm and adventure, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio offers a luxurious escape with its blend of nature and refinement. The national park, renowned for its biodiversity, boasts beautiful beaches and hiking trails. Luxury accommodations and high-end dining options cater to discerning travelers, while adventure activities like zip-lining and parasailing add excitement to the experience.

Manuel Antonio’s pristine beaches, bordered by lush forests, offer an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and immersing oneself in the natural beauty of the region. Playa Espadilla, the main beach, is easily accessible and provides a perfect spot for relaxation and enjoyment. Meanwhile, Playa Manuel Antonio, nestled within the national park, is celebrated as one of the most picturesque beaches in Costa Rica, enchanting visitors with its serene ambiance and breathtaking vistas.

In addition to its natural splendor, Manuel Antonio is renowned for its luxury accommodations and upscale dining experiences, catering to the preferences of discerning travelers. A variety of upscale hotels and resorts dot the landscape, offering amenities such as infinity pools, spa services, and gourmet restaurants.

Popular among honeymooners, families, and those seeking a refined retreat, Manuel Antonio provides an unparalleled setting to indulge in the finer aspects of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and hospitality.

Near Manuel Antonio, the Pez Vela Marina caters to sportfishing enthusiasts and luxury yachts, offering top-notch services and hosting international fishing tournaments.

While Manuel Antonio may lack the cultural diversity of the Southern Nicoya region, it provides a range of cultural experiences, including local cuisine and community engagement opportunities.

In summary, Manuel Antonio offers a luxurious retreat juxtaposed with natural beauty, contrasting with the rustic charm and cultural diversity of the Southern Nicoya region. Together, these areas epitomize Costa Rica’s diverse offerings, inviting visitors to immerse in distinct and captivating experiences that celebrate the country’s abundant beauty and charm.

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