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Santa Teresa v. Nosara

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posts: 50
reviews: 1
Santa Teresa v. Nosara

I have visited Nosara a few times over the years. Am now considering ST/Mal Pais for a change of scenery. Was hoping to get comments about perceived differences between Nosara and ST. This is definately a surf trip, so surfing is priority #1. With that...

1) how crowded are the surf breaks in ST?

2) how consistent is ST v. Nosara? do both places pick up the same swells? (the coast lines appear to face the exact same direction)

3) how about board rentals in ST?

4) town vibe / # of visitors ?

Have you been to both places? and do you have a favorite?

Thanks in advance.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,918
1. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara

I´m not a surfer...but I like Santa Tereza a lot better than Nosara...


Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,518
reviews: 15
2. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara

I am also not a surfer, but I do like Nosara as well as Mal Pais/Santa Teresa.

The surf 'crowds' depend on the time of year and your level of skill.

The town 'vibe' is quite different from Nosara because Mal Pais/Santa Teresa is much more spread out along the beach. You can find peace and quiet or a crowd....many choices!

My advice to you is to visit here and see for yourself. Everyone has their preferences and to attempt to describe something to someone with a different view is difficult. You are the qualified person to determine your own perspective, likes and dislikes. Change it up and check it out!

posts: 50
reviews: 1
3. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara

Just to confirm... you LIKE Nosara as well as MP/ST?

I know what you mean by 'come and see for yourself'. But car rentals in CR are pricey and the roads (in Guanacaste) are terrible. I've done my time driving up and down the coast there. (Not that i'm getting old or anything)

Was trying to get a feel for ST in an attempt to determine if i can skip renting a car on this trip. What would be optimum would be to rent a car in MP/ST and leave it in Nosara. But i dont see a Budget rental car place in Nosara.

Thanks for the replies.

posts: 508
reviews: 1
4. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara

I like them both but I think I would give the edge to Nosara. There is a Budget office in Samara and there use to be one in Nosara also. If you did decide to make the drive, there are some nice beaches in between.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,518
reviews: 15
5. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara


Correct, I like both places....

If you don't like the roads in Guanacaste, then you will hate the roads on the south end of the Nicoya Peninsula! If you wait until after the New Year, the roads on the south end (around here...MP/ST), will usually be graded and nice and you will be able to take the coast road down and ford the rivers, making the trip a pleasant and positive experience. There are many nice surfing beaches along the way (Coyote area).

You can also take a shuttle....leave the driving to someone else. You can find a reasonable place to stay right on the surfing beach of your choice so you likely won't need a vehicle to get around if surfing is your main interest. If you are planning to explore, then you will need wheels...be it a quad, bicycle or car....

Montezuma, Costa...
posts: 538
reviews: 8
6. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara

I've been to both, but again not a big surfer. I learned to surf in Nosara & it was great - lots of room, but I am a real novice.

I hear from the advanced guys that Sta Teresa/Malpais is the surf Mecca, and it certainly does not look any more crowded.

If you've been to Nosara a few times, why not try out Sta T? I don' think you'll be disappointed in the surf.

The town is very spread out - much like Nosara is, but in Sta T/Malpais it is all stretched along the beach road, rather than away from the beach like Nosara is

Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
posts: 1,797
reviews: 4
7. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara

I agree with Yeller....and I live in Nosara! Have lived here for 6 years. But why not try something else? I'm not a surfer but my husband has been surfing for over 30 years, that's why we moved here. I don't think you'll be dissappointed with the surf in Santa Teresa and I think the surf might be less crowded...hard to say these days as it's been awhile since he's been there.....

We don't have Budget here but many others.....

In Santa Teresa you may not need a car, as there are so many places on the main drag which runs along the beach. As you know here in Nosara, things are pretty spread out, so a car is better. I like Tropical Latino in Santa Teresa. You can walk to many places, so no need for a car!

The only other thing I can add is that Santa Teresa is much more of a backpacker, hippee vibe. It's a lot of fun and I go a couple times a year just for a chance of pace!

8. Re: Santa Teresa v. Nosara

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