Santa Teresa is a small beach town in Costa Rica that is famous for its stunning coastline, world-class surf breaks, amazing kitchens and vibrant international community. The town is located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, and it has a pura vida vibe that promotes wellness and relaxation.

While Santa Teresa Center is the main street parallel to the ocean, there are several distinct areas that make up the Santa Teresa region. 

Each area has its own unique character and appeal, and it is important to consider the pros and cons of each when thinking of buying a house in the region.

Korneel Glorieux, Nativu Advisor

Santa Teresa ‘Center’ consists of Playa Carmen and North Santa Teresa. On the same strip moving south you will find Mal Pais and moving north you will find Playa Hermosa and Manzanillo. In the hills behind this strip there are different areas known as Las Delicias, San Isidro and Santiago Hills. On the other side of the peninsula are Cabuya and Montezuma. 

This is your guide trough Santa Teresa and its surroundings!

Different areas in Santa Teresa: A guide for newbies

North Santa Teresa

This area is the most developed part of Santa Teresa. It stretches from the town center to the northern end of the beach and is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, shops, and accommodations. If you are a fervent surfer, you might want to consider this area as the beach in this area is known for its excellent surf breaks and attracts surfers from around the world. At the same time while still being in Santa Teresa and close to everything, North Santa Teresa is adjacent to Hermosa Beach, another great surf spot. 

Playa Hermosa

They don’t call it Hermosa for nothing; located just south of Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa is a quieter and more secluded beach. It is popular among those looking for a more relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. Here the beach offers both: amazing natural pools during low tide creating the ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing as well as world class surf for all levels of surf.
Also a plus is the proximity to Hermosa Valley School, a private MEP school for ages kindergarten to highschool. 


Malpaís is a small fishing village located just south of Santa Teresa. It is known for its rugged coastline, picturesque coves, and natural beauty. The village has a laid-back and rustic feel and is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy a more authentic Costa Rican experience.

Las Brisas de San Isidro and Las Delicias

Mentioned as 1 as both areas offer the same advantage: a cooler micro climate and residential living. In the middle between Santa Teresa and Montezuma, this region is developing as a residential area where locals and all-time locals are building their homes away from the more bustling center. Another reason to select this area is its proximity to Futuro Verde school, an IB accredited private school for kids in kindergarten to high school.


Cabuya is a small town located about 15 minutes south.  It is known for its lush jungle and proximity to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. The town itself is quiet and peaceful, with a few shops and restaurants. Cabuya is an excellent place to stay for those who want to be close to nature and enjoy hiking and wildlife spotting.


Montezuma is a bohemian town located about 30 minutes north of Santa Teresa, on the other side of the peninsula. The town has a town center, beautiful community and is nestled in a lush jungle and is home to several waterfalls and natural pools. Although the sun does not set in the ocean, the ocean views are spectacular. 

Santiago Hills

Santiago Hills is a neighboring community located in the hills behind north Santa Teresa. Incredible ocean views and jungle views replace walking to the beach with a short drive. Santiago hills bring a secluded and peaceful atmosphere offering tranquil retreat from the more bustling town of Santa Teresa. With high-end homes, the community is a great option for those looking for a more exclusive experience.


Located at the beach, Manzanillo offers beach life in a smaller, quieter and more of the grid community, but still only a 25 min drive to Santa Teresa. 

We hope that our Santa Teresa guide has provided you with valuable insights and knowledge to make the most of your trip to this mesmerizing coastline. May your journey be filled with unforgettable experiences and adventures. If you are ready to invest, do not hesitate to contact our advisors.