Getting to Santa Teresa by car
The best way to get to Santa Teresa is by car. Coming from San Jose the fastest way to get to Santa Teresa is with the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera. From San Jose to Puntarenas is a 2 hour drive via the highway. The ferry crossing over the Gulf of Nicoya takes about 1.5 hours and then the last part from Paquera to Santa Teresa is about 1 hour. Once you get closer to Santa Teresa the road becomes dirt, but nothing too exciting.
If you are coming from Tamarindo, you can follow the paved road via the east coast which takes about 3,5 – 4 hours to get to Santa Teresa. But if you’re in for an off road adventure and you have a 4×4, then route 162 is a lot of fun. You’ll have to cross a few rivers here, so don’t go in rainy season or after heavy spontaneous rainfall. The rivers might be too deep to cross.
The ferry schedule from Puntarenas to Paquera is as following.
Puntarenas – Paquera: 7 AM, 10 AM, 12:30 PM, 3 PM and 6 PM.
Paquera – Puntarenas: 6 AM, 10 AM, 12:30 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM.
You can purchase tickets via this website. The site is in Spanish but you can easily translate, or ask someone of your accommodation to help you. You can also purchase the ferry ticket on site. But keep in mind that in high season they sell out quickly. So make sure to arrive at least one hour before departure. The ticket office is across the street from the ferry dock with a large blue sign that says “Boleteria”.
Getting to Santa Teresa by airplane
Tambor is the closest airport to Santa Teresa. You can take a 30 minute domestic flight from San Jose, but then it is another 40 minute drive to Santa Teresa.
Getting to Santa Teresa by public transport
A budget option to get to Santa Teresa is by bus. From San Jose there is a direct bus going to Santa Teresa that leaves Ave 7, Calle 10 Terminal 7-10 every day at 6.30 AM and 3 PM. A ticket costs around 8000 colones per person and the total trip takes about 6 hours. The ferry ticket is included and the other stops of the bus are in Paquera, Tambor, Cobano and Montezuma, with Santa Teresa as final destination.
Shuttle services are also available to Santa Teresa. From San Jose a shared shuttle costs around $65 USD per adult with Interbus.
Best time to visit Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Santa Teresa is located in the Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and has year round great temperatures. However there are two months that can be best avoided. The heavy rain months are September and October when it is sometimes difficult to get around because of rivers that are too high to cross. Many hotels and other tourist businesses are also closed during that time. During the high-season months from January to April, sunshine is guaranteed and accommodations are sold our quickly.
How to get around in Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is not a big, it is basically just a dirt road with accommodations and cafes along it. The area from Mal Pais to Playa Hermosa stretches over 12 kilometres but the centre of Santa Teresa is mostly from Earth Cafe until Cafe Social. You can easily get around by foot, but the road in Santa Teresa is unpaved so there is a lot of dust. And if you want to visit some of the places outside of Santa Teresa, it is fun to do this on an ATV or of course with a rental car. There are plenty of companies renting ATV’s and the Alamo office is located near Playa Carmen.
Best places to eat in Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Santa Teresa is an upcoming foodie paradise with plenty of healthy options. Wether you’re vegan or you love a good burger or steak, there are great options along the street of Santa Teresa. Below some of our favourite places to eat in Santa Teresa. Eat Street was definitely our go to for dinner with great choices and cosy vibes.
- Ani’s Bowls and Salads
- Cafe Social
- Eat Street
- Earth cafe
- The Bakery
- The Roastery coffee