Mal Pais

Mal Pais Costa Rica

The small beach community of Mal Pais sits next to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve on the Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The beaches of Mal Pais are of great scenic beauty with small coves, tide pools and lonesome streches of coastline. On its northern end, at Playa Carmen, Mal Pais joins the thriving surf town of Santa Teresa where you find some of the best surf beaches of Costa Rica, and the Mal Pais Surf Camp is only a short 100 m walk from the surf!
Mal Pais Costa Rica
Surf at Sunset in Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is just across the road intersection, around 300 m from the Mal Pais Surf Camp. In Santa Teresa you find banks, supermarkets, car and ATV rentals along with a multitude of bars, restaurants and surf shops. Santa Teresa has grown quickly in recent years and the buzzy lifestyle of the surf town is attractive for some, while others prefer the more tranquil and undisturbed surroundings of Mal Pais.

Activities in Mal Pais

Besides surfing Mal Pais offers a choice of other activities and attractions.
Mal Pais Fisher Port
Horse Riding along the Beach
Mal Pais Canopy
Activities in Mal Pais
From the fishing port of Mal Pais you can take boat tours and watch dolphins, sea turtles and whales. If you want you can also snorkel or dive from the boat. Tours also include Tortuga Island and other snorkeling spots. On a  fishing tour in Mal Pais you are almost guaranteed an excellent catch which can be red snapper, sea bass, grouper, snook and tuna. And in the evening you can prepare your fish in the kitchens and share cooking tips with our other guests!Across from the Mal Pais fishing port you can also go on a canopy tour to zip through the tree tops at the side of Cabo Blanco, or see the nature reserve and aquatic life from the water side paddling on a SUP board.Fun for kids and grownups alike is a relaxing and always beautiful hike along the scenic coast to find tide pools and small coves where you can swim. Or amble along the beaches and into the countryside on horseback.To explore the area on your own you can rent an ATV  to visit the waterfalls of Montezuma and other surf beaches in Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa. Nature lovers should not miss a visit to Cabo Blanco, which was the first national park created in Costa Rica.Our hotel will gladly arrange any of these tours and activities for you! » Request information

Activities Map of Mal Pais


Travel Information – How to get to Mal Pais

By Car Drive from the San Jose Airport to Puntarenas (approx. 2 hrs.) then board the car ferry to Paquera (approx. 70 mins.). » Ferry Schedules Once in Paquera approx. 1-1/2 hrs. to Mal Pais on a good to fair road with signs. In Playa Carmen /Santa Teresa turn left and continue for 200 m until the Surf Camp entrance.
By Air From San Jose you fly direct to Cobano or Tambor then take a taxi for the 20 to 40 minute ride to Mal Pais.Make your reservation prior to arrival in Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s national carrier is Sansa Airlines.
By Bus Adventurous & budget traveler can take the direct bus from San Jose to Mal Pais. Very reasonable but a bit of a hassle. The buses need 5.5 hours to Mal Pais and leave San Jose at 6 am and 2 pm. Board the ferry with your valuables and leave your luggage on the bus.
Leave the driving to us You can be picked up at your hotel in San José or Airport Juan Santamaria. The price for transportation is $50 per person, or $105 for transportation and 1 night in a hotel near the airport. » Contact us