The Mal Pais/Santa Teresa area boasts some of the best quality and consistent waves in the world. Swells hit this area year-round and because of the quantity of waves, it is not unusual to find your own private peak.
… When you decide to visit, chances are that you will get fun, if not classic, surf. From point breaks to beach breaks, there is a wave suitable for every level of surfer. The most consistent breaks are found at Playa Carmen, located directly in front of Casa Marbella, and Playa Santa Teresa, a five-minute drive to the north. Carmen breaks best at higher tide and Santa Teresa breaks best at a lower tide. On most days, one of the two beaches will provide surf with glassy conditions and that does not include the nearby point breaks. This area is so unique because on any given day it is possible to log more quality surfing hours compared to any other place in Costa Rica.
Surf lessons available at Casa MarBella. Lessons include 1 1/2 hours of instruction time, board, leash, and rashguard. Variety of surfboards available for rent from $10-15 per day. Boogie boards-$5 to $7 per day.
$45 private lesson
$40 per person for 2 people
$35 per person for 3 or more
For those fishermen or those who would like to experience great fishing, a fishing tour in Mal Pais is worthwhile. Pelagic fish are often found close to shore, as the sea bottom drops within a few nautical miles to over 1,000 meters deep.
… The most common fish one can expect to catch are mahi-mahi, yellow-fin tuna, rooster fish, spanish mackerel, and rainbow runners. If you decide to bring your own equipment and want a break from trolling, the beaches offer many opportunities to catch other varieties of fish such as snook. Numerous rock outcroppings jut out from the beach that provide many nooks and crannies which are excellent for fishing. You will find world-class fishing at an economical price compared to many places around the world!
Enjoy the beaches and wildlife on the back of a horse. The tour guide will show you tracks, you would never discover alone.
Horseback riding in Santa Teresa can be an unforgettable experience. There are mainly two types of tours that most people opt for. One option is to be picked up and dropped off at Casa Marbella by your professional guide. The ride starts on back roads then to trails and ends up on the beach. Most people go for the sunset tour. The other option is to leave from Cabo Blanco Reserve in Mal Pais via Star Mountain Jungle Lodge. This tour takes you through the jungle and affords unique views. Then you will end the ride on the beach. Each tour is approximately 2 hours. The cost is $40 person.
Cabo Blanco Reserve
Cabo Blanco is a national park located just ten minutes from Casa Marbella. It protects an extremely important mix of evergreen and deciduous tropical forest and is the home to many rare and threatened wildlife species including the curassow, crested iguana, brocket deer, and jaguars. Other commonly seen species are white faced and howler monkeys, red squirrels, raccoons, kinkajous, and an abundance of birds. It is recommended that you hike the trails early in the morning to have the best chances of spotting the wildlife.
Curu Wildlife Refuge
Curu is another ecological gem offering excellent bird and wildlife watching opportunities. It has a good network of trails, sand beaches fringed by palm trees, rocky headlands, and tide pools. This park offers daily admission or visitors can stay the night in a cabin and wake up in the jungle.
Tortuga is a tiny tropical island in the Gulf of Nicoya. It offers extremely beautiful landscapes, abundant wildlife, and great snorkeling. If you can imagine Gilligan’s Island, you can imagine Isla Tortuga. Snorkeling tours to the island leave from Montezuma or the Curu Wildlife Refuge. Prices from Curu are around $30US per person and include all gear. If you leave from Montezuma, prices are about $55US per person including gear.
For those of you looking for an abundance of night life…Mal Pais probably wouldn’t be your first choice. However,there are three main bars in town that can and do get crowded on certain nights. Each place has a unique ambiance and great for people watching: Coco Loco is an open air bar located directly on the beach which offers a variety of music themes, such as Reggae night, Latin and techno night. This is usually a late night spot. A good bet for salsa and latin music is the Bar La Lora. Da Monkey is a sports bar located in the center of town and is known for their tasty bar food. They have big screen tv’s and will show most international sporting events as well as surf videos. The vibe here is mellow and the setting is great for people watching. Wherever you decide to go, be on the lookout for famous supermodels and celebrities who often appear for a wild night of dancing on tables and fresh music. Gweneth Paltrow, Leonardo DeCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Mel Gibson and Gisele Bundchen, among others, have all been spotted blowing off steam in the area.
SUP rentals and lessons
SUP (Stand Up Paddle boarding) has quickly gained popularity over the last few years. So much so that it has become the fastest growing sport in America. Whether you’re a first timer or seasoned vet, Freedom Riding SUP shop in Mal Pais (2640-0521) has what you need. They offer rentals ($35/board per day and a variety to choose from), lessons and tours ($50/pp). Weekly and group rates available. All levels welcome.
Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary
Rainsong takes in sick, injured, abandoned or abused wild animals. They practice rescue and release and have released dozens and dozens of rescued and recovered animals to date. They offer daily tours of the sanctuary and your donation helps keep this place up and running. A visitor can expect to see and maybe get to hold monkeys, anteaters, porcupines, kinkajou, skunks, native birds, raccoons and more. For more information check out their website at www.rainsongsanctuary.com
Guests can enjoy practicing yoga in a naturally pristine environment from our spacious open air deck. From this vantage point you can take in the immense blue of the Pacific Ocean and hear it’s waves as you are nestled in the green tree tops. A nice ocean breeze hits there almost daily, making for an even more enjoyable yoga experience.
Private classes are available. All lessons are taught by accredited yoga professionals. Classes last about an hour and rates are $40 for 1 or 2 people, $6 for each additional person.
There are also guest yoga mats available for those who wish to do self practice. In addition to Casa Marbella, there are numerous yoga classes available for every level in Santa Teresa as well as Pilates classes with mat or apparatus.
There are two different tour companies in our area that offer zip-lining. One is located in Mal Pais, 10 minutes from Casa Marbella. It is situated on a 65 acre ranch on the edge of the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. It offers one mile of cables between 9 platforms that are set high in gigantic trees. The longest zip-line is 500 meters. Visitors can expect to have thrilling views of the ocean and jungle from many different perspectives. Costs is $40/pp, with transport is an extra $5/pp.
The other company is located in the nearby town of Montezuma, which is about 30 minutes from Casa Marbella. It has 11 platforms, some of which pass over the famous Montezuma River. The views are spectactular and tourist get a chance to swim in the refreshing and world famous Montezuma waterfalls. Cost is $40/pp, with transport is an extra $20/pp. The tour takes about 2 hours to complete.
See Costa Rica’s natural beauty from it’s tropical sea. Sailing tours depart daily (Dec.-April) from the fisherman’s village in Mal Pais. Tour last 3 hours and includes beverages. The captain is a very experienced sailor from California and safety is always of the utmost importance. Cost is $45/pp.
Come and witness the life cycle of the butterfly from mating to metamorphosis. These gardens will delight you with spectacular specimens, including the famed Blue Morpho. Meander through the arboretum. Perhaps you will cross paths with a monkey, iguana or coati. Gardens are open daily from 8 am – 4 pm. Cost is $8/pp.
Renting an ATV (all terrain vehicle) is a great way to explore Santa Teresa as well as other nearby towns and beaches. The fact that they are easy to drive and maneuver on these narrow and dusty roads makes the ATV the most popular form of transportation in the area.
Rates: 250cc is $50 for 7 hours, $70 for 24 hours.
420cc is $60 for 7 hours, $80 for 24 hours. Price breaks offered for multiple day rentals.