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14 BEST Restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

14 BEST Restaurants in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

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Santa Teresa is a small town located on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in the northern part of Costa Rica. It’s a remote area with plenty to see and do. In recent years, Santa Teresa has become the perfect location for a holiday getaway as you get to enjoy the lush mountains, exotic flora and fauna, and the white sandy beaches along the Pacific Ocean.

On top of all of that, Santa Teresa has become a foodie destination. There are tons of restaurants in Santa Teresa spread out across the beach shores and the mainland. 

The town has numerous eateries, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat in Santa Teresa. There are literally restaurants on every corner, and you’ll find everything from delicious sodas (local restaurants) to fine dining options.

The only problem is that with so many restaurants it’ll make deciding where to eat somewhat challenging.

Luckily, we’ve spent plenty of time in Santa Teresa and eaten at many different restaurants. Based on our personal experience (and recommendations from friends who live there) we’ve compiled this blog of the absolute best restaurants in Santa Teresa. We’ve broken it down by budget and cuisine style so you’ll definitely find a restaurant (or two) that’s perfect for what you’re looking for.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Our personal favorite restaurant in Santa Teresa is La Cevicheria, a fresh seafood spot. We love the Mexichino Ceviche with red snapper and octopus with fried plantains. The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the octopus texture is impeccable too!

The BEST Restaurants in Santa Teresa

1. Satori Terrace Sushi Bar – Best sushi 

Sushi at Satori Terrace Sushi Bar in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: Satori Terrace Sushi Bar
A tapas meal at Satori Terrace Sushi Bar Santa Teresa
Photo credit: Satori Terrace Sushi Bar
  • Location: Near the Soccer Field in Santa Teresa
  • Price range: $12 USD on average for one sushi roll, combo deals are available
  • Come here for: Sushi, Seafood, Asian cuisines
  • Takes reservations: Yes

Located on the roadside in the center of town, Satori Terrace is hard to miss thanks to the buzzing vibe complete with live music (guitar and violin.) The restaurant offers the best sushi in Santa Teresa! It’s beautiful in all ways; the food, the drinks, the ambiance, the live music, everything about this place is incredible.  

All dishes are freshly made. You have to experience their Sushi to grasp what I am talking about. 

Try some of their tasty dishes like the shrimp tempura, tuna rolls, fresh rainbow rolls, and so much more. The last time we visited, we opted for the Sushi combos – 24 pieces for 2, which included some eccentric rainbow rolls (sautéed shrimp, cucumbers, avocado, topped with tuna and salmon) – the sushi melts in your mouth! 

We contemplated another round of 24 but figured we’d have no space for dessert, and I wanted some… so we had a banana flambé which had more than enough tasty cashews, peanuts, and ice cream.

Overall come here for fresh seafood and sushi, soothing music in the company of an equally great host, who’s also the manager, and the friendly waiting staff. We had so much fun!

Satori Terrace Sushi Bar is open daily from 11 am to 11 pm and you can view their menu here.

2. Restaurante Al Chile Viola – Best Italian

A group of meals at Al Chile Viola in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: Al Chile Viola
A pasta dish at Al Chile Viola in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: Al Chile Viola
  • Location: Near Supermarket La Hacienda in Santa Teresa
  • Price range: $16 to 25 USD
  • Come here for: Italian, Seafood, Mediterranean
  • Takes reservations: Yes

It’s hard to imagine that you can find an international chef in a remote town, that is, Santa Teresa. However, if you love Italian food as much as I do, you should visit Restaurante Al Chile Viola and see chef Emiliano. He is a classically trained chef with a high level of cuisine experience, perfectly merging creative food and gourmet food to bring out the best Italian cuisines.

Come here for incredible Italian dishes; I am talking about beef carpaccio, grilled octopus with roasted pumpkin, Caprese salad, and wood-fired pizza. If you’re one to try the wild side of things, have a go at the bull’s balls ravioli and let us know how it was!

Try the tuna tartare, it’s so fresh and a perfect starter to share. For the main course, try the duck, it’s so tender, well-seasoned, and tasty that it just rolls in your mouth. If you love pasta, they’re all delicious!

They also serve highly-rated pizzas and they are considered one of their highlights. However, I can’t go past more unique dishes when eating at such a highly rated restaurant.

As for Emiliano, he only uses high-quality ingredients, some local and others imported from Italy. We’re not sure how he gets them to this remote surf town (the post in Costa Rica can be slow), but we are thankful he does. Every dish feels homely, plentiful, and provokes your senses to the core.

Chef Emiliano and his wife Luz provide a spectacular foodie experience. They’re warm and friendly. The service was terrific, and the atmosphere delightful as always. In my opinion, this is the BEST restaurant in Santa Teresa, (although, I am always biased towards Italian food!)

Al Chile Viola is open every day from 6 pm to 10 pm except Sundays.

Related Read: Love Italian food? Then you’ll want to check out the best restaurants in Tamarindo.

3. La Cevicheria – Best fresh seafood  

La Cevicheria ceviche in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: La Cevicheria
Seared tuna at La Cevicheria in Santa Teresa
Photo credit: La Cevicheria
  • Location: Central Santa Teresa
  • Price range: Around $18 USD for a large cerviche serving
  • Come here for: Latin, Seafood and Ceviche, Central American cuisines
  • Takes reservations: yes

La Cevicheria is a simple seafood restaurant located on the main road – with modest furniture and minimal décor. The owner is friendly and helpful and makes some heavenly Ceviche. If you’re unsure which Ceviche to pick from the menu, you can have a custom-made one based on what you like. How about that!

Try the Mexichino Ceviche with red snapper and octopus with fried plantains. The flavors were perfectly balanced, and the octopus texture was impeccable too. It’s also at the top of the menu so you know it’s one of their favorites!

We also had the mixed tropical combined with the fried shrimp and Patacones dipped in a wicked sauce. It truly exceeded our expectations! The fish was fresh and the flavor was explosive. We got sizeable portions for the price too, so come hungry.

Another thing that we loved about this restaurant was how they carefully selected environmentally-friendly bottled drinks to sell, being that they’re so close to the ocean.

Overall, we had a perfect time at La Cevicheria. We loved the fresh seafood and the warm, gracious service. 

La Cevicheria is open from 5 pm to 10 pm except for Sundays when they close. You can view their menu here.

4. The Bakery – Best breakfast

A egg croissant at The Bakery in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: The Bakery
A healthy salad at The Bakery in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: The Bakery
  • Location: Near Franks, Playa Carmen in Santa Teresa
  • Price range: Around $14.50 USD for breakfast
  • Come here for: French American fusion
  • Takes reservations: yes

Hidden to the south of Santa Teresa is this busy, bustling cafe serving pastries as well as fresh coffee, fresh juices, tea lattes, brunch meals, and gluten-free sandwiches.

If you’re visiting Playa Carmen, The Bakery is worth your time. The morning hours are a bit crowded, so you may want to visit from mid-morning to noon. Come here for comfort, sweetness, or a tasty meal. And yes, they brew good coffee too.

The Bakery is known for its freshly baked bread, cakes, soft cheesy croissants, pastries, coffee, and healthy drinks. All are made with love and as fresh as they can get.

We love the yummy London Fog, chocolate croissants, and tropical fruit fusion smoothies. They have a unique selection of Middle East/European food choices too, from shakshuka shawarmas to the eggstravaganza with salmon, avocado toast, and croissants with tasty eggs.

The vegan options include spaghetti, avocado toast with mushroom, veggie sandwiches, and so much more. The gluten-free specials include radish, bagels, Panini with grilled chicken, and grilled eggplant. All of their meals look and taste Insta-worthy!

There’s plenty of outdoor seating with a splendid view of the horizon. Overall, The Bakery is a lovely spot with great food and drinks, and we loved it! Without a doubt, it’s the best breakfast restaurant in Santa Teresa!

The Bakery is open from 7 am to 10 pm every day and you can view their menu here.

5. Sunset Lounge (Vista del Olas) – Best view 

The pool at Vista de Olas and the Sunset Lounge
How good is that view?! Photo credit: Vista de Olas
  • Location: Hotel Vista de Olas in the foothills of Santa Teresa
  • Price range: $30 USD
  • Come here for: International cuisines
  • Takes reservations: Yes

Sunset Lounge is a magnificent spot with breathtaking ambiance, interior décor, and a splendid view of the surrounding landscapes and sunsets. In addition, the restaurant boasts of “capturing the essence of Costa Rica’s abundance,” with organic grown veggies, herbs, and fruits from their farm.

The cuisines include the delish tuna tartar with avocado and pineapple, fresh Ceviche, and a range of seasoned meats – beef loins, chicken, and pork.

They also offer a lunch and bar menu including healthy fresh salads, smoothies, burgers and fries, as well as local dishes like traditional rice with shrimp or chicken.

Try the fantastic cocktails served at the bar carefully prepped with fresh fruits locally brewed beer, or pick from a wide-ranging list of international wine options.

Everything about The Sunset Lounge is pure bliss. Excellent customer service, pleasant atmosphere, and fantastic food. However, be sure to come for the view and maybe even a day in their infinity pool! This place isn’t just about the food but the view as well! Personally, I recommend visiting just before sunset to watch the sky light up over the ocean while you sip a cocktail.

Sunset Lounge is open for breakfast from 7:30 am to 10 am, for lunch from 12 pm to 3 pm, and lunch from 6 pm to 10 pm.

6. El Tercer Ojo – Best Caribbean and soul food

A meal at El Tercer Ojo, Santa Teresa
How good does that look? Photo credit: El Tercer Ojo
  • Location: Next to Hotel Rustico, Santa Teresa
  • Price range: $10 to $13 USD for a main
  • Come here for: seafood, local cuisine, Caribbean cuisine
  • Takes reservations: Yes

This food joint is your best bet for mind-blowing Caribbean flavors and fresh cocktails! El Tercer Ojo has a carefully selected menu for each day. I’m talking about fresh corn tortillas with well-seasoned fish, the fantastic Caribbean bowl, and shredded beef tacos – so delish!

We reserved a table for four and visited this gem of a restaurant with friends. We all scrolled through the menu in a matter of minutes. We all had different dietary expectations, and they did not disappoint. I had one of the first dishes on the menu (as always), I had to try their Ceviche in coconut milk, it was so delicious I can’t quite explain it. You’ve got to try this, it trumps regular ceviche.  

Okay, moving on, my fiancé picked a Caribbean bowl, and our friends got a combination of shredded beef tacos, the confrijo, and a bowl of chicken nuggets with tropical mixed veggies, with fried plantains. All looked amazing and came with plenty of thumbs up!

Our main dishes were so good we opted for some beautifully crafted cocktails instead of dessert. 

Overall, El Tercer Ojo is a relaxing and trendy spot perfect for all occasions, whether a quiet late-night with your beau or a chatty experience with family or friends, over tasty margaritas. They often have live music so be sure to check their Facebook page before if that sounds like your ideal night.

El Tercer Ojo is open every day from 12 pm to 11 pm Monday to Saturday and from 5 pm to 11 pm on Sunday and you can view their menu here.

7. The Somos Cafe – Best Brunch 

Somos Cafe 
Photo credit: Somos Cafe 
  • Location: Calle Cabana in Santa Teresa
  • Price range: $10 to $20 USD for a main
  • Come here for: Healthy brunch in a fun atmosphere
  • Takes reservations: no

The Somos Cafe is my favorite brunch place in Santa Teresa. The open-air dining, delicious food, and friendly staff make the atmosphere feel like brunch should be – fun!

The Somos Cafe is famous for its static silver trailer converted into a kitchen and modern bar. Legend has it that it traveled worldwide and finally parked at this strategic point. 

I come to Somos for a lively meal with friends that includes fresh food with locally sourced produce, meats, and fish. They also have a variety of homemade pastries, bread, and desserts inspired by the Northern Hemisphere, focusing on fresh and healing dishes, compiled by three chefs.

Sample out their line of fresh beverages ranging from juices, sodas, and syrups, all locally made with organic herbs, fruits, and roots to replenish your energy after a long adventurous morning at the beach or from long treks in the reserves. 

Try the Vietnamese coconut coffee and the freshly squeezed sweet orange juice – it’s so good! They also have a selection of craft beer from the region and delicious wine! We had the famous breakfast burrito, Pico, and pineapple salsa- it was delicious! Of course, You need to pair it with a coffee or juice!

The atmosphere is comfortable with good music and a stunning ambiance. The food was fresh and delicious.  

The Somos Cafe is open from 7:30 am to 2 pm for brunch, 2 pm to 5:30 pm for lunch, and 5:30 pm to midnight for dinner.

Related Read: Check out the best restaurants in Nosara for my favorite brunch place in all of Costa Rica.

8. Eat Street – Best choices

Satay bowl at Eat Street in Santa Teresa
The bowls are so flavorful!
  • Location: in front of Costa Riki Apartments, Santa Teresa 
  • Price range: $5 to $20 USD per dish
  • Come here for: A quick meal with plenty of cuisine choices
  • Takes reservations: no

Eat Street is located strategically near surf rental shops in the center of town – perfect for a post-surf meal! It’s the best place to relax or hang out with friends especially if everyone has different dietary requirements.

Eat Street is one of the few locations with a great selection of international and local food. Uniquely set up under a large roof with open spaces on each side, Eat Street is a food truck-style venue with 6 eateries in shipping containers. This means your group can choose to eat from whichever truck they want and you can all still sit together!

The smaller containers sell pastries and beverages like smoothie bowls and cocktails. The bigger containers have all kinds of lovely meals such as poke bowls, burritos, tacos, and burgers. They also have plenty of vegan options. 

I love all the outdoor seating which is perfect for large or smaller groups. With well-spaced-out tables, you can make yourself a large group table or enjoy a more intimate dining experience. Then, everyone can go order their own food before it’s delivered to your table.

Come here for brunch/ lunch with delicacies like monkey bowls, teriyaki and burrito bowls, French toast, but my favorite was the fish tacos. They serve delicious chilled iced coffees during the day and cold beer and cocktails at night.

Everything was super fresh and delicious. It’s a pricey place considering the “food-court” style, but the food quality is worth it.

Eat Street is open from 7 am to 11 pm every day and you can view their menu here.

9. Manzu Restaurant – Best romantic beachside restaurant 

Manzu Restaurant Santa Teresa Table on the sand
Photo credit: Manzu
A steak at Manzu Restaurant, Santa Teresa
Photo credit: Manzu
  • Location: On Santa Teresa Beach
  • Price range: $30 to $40 USD
  • Come here for: A beachside meal
  • Takes reservations: yes

Manzu Restaurant is a gorgeous beachside restaurant in Santa Teresa. You first see the stunning view sprawled across the expansive beach horizon. You can place your orders from the lounging hammocks on the beach or at a romantic table.

Daniel and the entire service team tirelessly helped us navigate the menu, looking for something exotic to try out. 

Chef Peter’s food is impressive. The balanced, fresh dishes on the menu and the harmonizing flavors were so good that we struggled to pick a favorite dish. 

We ended up going with the steak and pappardelle pesto. both were amazing and perfect for a romantic candle-lit dinner on the beach.

For drinks, try the crazy colada and the spicy dragon fruit cocktail – so yummy! We couldn’t get enough of these! The food, the service, the live music, and the atmosphere we experienced at this spot were incredible!

Manzu Restaurant is open from 7 am to 10 pm every day and you can view their menu here.

Hot Tip: Book a table during sunset to enjoy one the views of the ocean and sky!

10. Koji’s Restaurant – Best Japanese 

Koji's Restaurant Sushi
Photo credit: Koji’s Restaurant
  • Location: Carmen Beach area of Santa Teresa
  • Price range: Around $18 USD for a Sushi Roll
  • Come here for: Japanese cuisine
  • Takes reservations: yes

Koji’s is a gem for Japanese food in Santa Teresa. Forget all the other Japanese cuisine you’ve had and come to Koji’s Restaurant. 

The simplicity of it all baffles me. From the delicately folded spring rolls to the variety of tasty sushi rolls, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

Everything is super fresh. Try the snapper Carpaccio, Hermosa roll, shrimp rolls in rice paper, tuna sashimi with scrumptious cashew cilantro dip, or the grilled octopus. Oh, and don’t forget the authentic miso soup!

Every dish we tasted was impeccable. The service was super friendly, courteous, and helpful, especially with the menu and all of the unique choices. They customize their sushi rolls to your likeability, plus the variety of it all makes your dining experience worthwhile. 

Koji, the owner and chef, is a charming and fantastic person. Visit the restaurant at sunset to catch the beautiful view while avoiding a crowd since the place packs to capacity after 8 pm.

It’s a bit pricier than some alternatives, but it’s worth every cent. Koji is definitely one of the best fine-dining restaurants in Santa Teresa.

Koji’s Restaurant is currently open from 6 pm to 11 pm from Wednesday to Saturday and you can view their menu here.

11. Burger Rancho – Best Burger

A burger at Burger Rancho in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: Burger Rancho
Burger at Burger Rancho in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo crept: Burger Ranch
  • Location: Main Street in front of the Selina North hostel, Santa Teresa 
  • Price range: Around $15 USD for a burger
  • Come here for: Burgers
  • Takes reservations: yes

When you come to Burger Rancho, the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful atmosphere. The restaurant’s design is very ranch meets the beach, with simple furnishings. The theme blends so well with the high roof and everything is made from wood – it’s a lovely place to enjoy a meal.

As the name suggests, Burger Rancho is the best place to eat in Santa Teresa if you’re craving a juicy burger. If you love spicy food you have to try the Chili Monster! It comes with spicy meat as well as a stuffed jalapeno. Bailey is a sucker for blue cheese so she always gets the BB Queen which comes with a beef patty stuffed with blue cheese!

For sides, try the Yuca sticks for a more traditional option or just stick with what you know and get the onion rings.

All the food comes in large portions, so order cautiously just in case it is too much. The food was super tasty, especially the fries, cooked to perfection and served with fresh salad.

This is no doubt one of the best places to eat in Santa Teresa. Overall excellent service, plenty of burger options, and a good selection of (cheap) beer – you’ll be happy. We so enjoyed every bit of it!

Burger Rancho is open from 10 am to 10 pm every day and you can view their menu here.

Related Read: Visiting Santa Teresa and on a small budget? Check out the best free and cheap things to do in Santa Teresa!

12. Kapara – Best Falafel and Israeli food

Kapara hummus and pitas
Photo credit: Kapara
  • Location: Cabinas Playa Hostel in Santa Teresa
  • Price range: Around $12 USD for a main dish
  • Come here for: Israeli, Moroccan, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, 
  • Takes reservations: yes

Kapara is a cozy restaurant located in a beautiful garden next to a small pool – you may want to carry your swimsuit for an after-meal dip in the pool. It is a lovely little place hidden in a hostel on Main Street in Santa Teresa.

It’s warm, quiet, homely with simple décor- just like the Israeli owner, Sandra. She makes the tastiest couscous in Santa Teresa. It’s so good that locals love dining at Kapara too. Enjoy some of the yummiest sabich, couscous, and hummus. They have amazing schnitzel which we had plus two bowls of couscous soup and healthy drinks.  

The service was incredible, and we were treated with extreme kindness and professionalism. They all work so hard to keep guests well-fed and comfortable. 

Enjoy the best Middle East cuisine in a unique and fun atmosphere. Excellent food, the people, the place. A must-try.

Kapara Restaurant is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day except Sunday and you can view their menu here.

13. Las Piedras Parrilla – Best steak

A range of steak dishes at Las Piedras Parrilla in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Photo credit: Las Piedras Parrilla
  • Location: South Santa Teresa
  • Price range: Around $25 USD for a main
  • Come here for: Barbecue
  • Takes reservations: yes

Located in south Santa Teresa, this fantastic Argentinian restaurant combines local delicacies with Argentinian BBQ. Las Piedras Parrilla also serves other mains, including seafood, vegan dishes, a kiddies menu, creative desserts, and fresh cocktails. But the key highlight of the place is the open grill with steak, Argentinian style

Come here for large portions of meat grilled to perfection and made with passion. The staff is wonderfully fast and friendly, and you see the passion involved in their work. 

Try the yummy starter, empanadas stuffed with either beef, chicken, or cheese. They’re some of the best I’ve tried! You can choose from a mix of meats for your main course, including skirt steak, pork ribs, beef tenderloin, or tuna.

I can’t go past a churrasco, which is an Argentinian-style steak. It reminded me of traveling through Patagonia as a young backpacker! All of the meat was cooked on an open fire, giving a distinctive charcoal-grilled flavor. 

Overall, the restaurant does excellent steaks, impeccably seasoned, and well-cooked. We also liked their range of beer and wines, and we tried some Argentinian wine to wash down all the meat we had consumed. 

The experience, the atmosphere, the ambiance, everything about this place was exotic. It’s easily one of the best restaurants in Santa Teresa especially if you’re a meat-lover!

Las Piedras Parrilla is open from 5 pm to 10 pm every day except Mondays and you can view their menu here.

14. Bajo El Arbol Tapas Bar – Best Tapas

Tapas at Bajo El Arbol Tapas Bar in Santa Teresa
Photo credit: Bajo El Arbol Tapas Bar
  • Location: South Santa Teresa
  • Price range: Aroiund $12 USD for tapas and $25 USD for a main
  • Come here for: Tapas in a romantic setting
  • Takes reservations: Yes

To get to Bajo El Arbol Tapas Bar, drive a little further out of the busy streets of Santa Teresa towards the North Malpais crossroad. This road with a beautifully lit pathway leads to the Tapas bar under a canopy of bright lights – just beautiful!

The restaurant sits in a scenic tropical garden. The owners, Mauro and Julio, have done an excellent job with the place and ensuring that you’re well-fed and pampered. You can choose any meal from a selection of tasty tapas from the daily menu hanging on the wall, written on a chalkboard.

The day’s special during our visit was a tapas menu served on large plates with plenty of fresh seafood caught that day, including grilled octopus and tuna-stuffed tomato in salsa verde with nuts!

We could see the chef carefully prepping each dish through the open plan kitchen. He meticulously worked like magic with the fish, veggies, and spices. Creatively slicing and dicing up his ingredients, and within thirty minutes, we had our food served on a large plate, nicely organized. 

The soft, juicy, tender meat just melted in our mouths. We had a crème dessert which was out of this world, so good! 

We’ll come back to this romantic gem.

Bajo El Arbol Tapas Bar is open from 6 pm to 11 pm every day except Sunday.

4 Must-Do Activities in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

A man surfs on a beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica on a beautiful sunny day
One of my friends caught a wave for the first time!

Go surfing: I think I speak for most when I say surfing is arguably the number one thing to do in Santa Teresa. Surfing put Santa Teresa on the map and turned a once small village into a tourist mecca. This specific lesson is top-rated in Santa Teresa and comes with go pro photos/ video, your board rental, and a rash guard UPF 20+. It also has 43 five-star reviews, which means you know you’ll get a good lesson.

Go fishing: The fishing off the coast of Santa Teresa is out of this world good! The ocean here is plentiful and the best part is, it’s cheap! In Santa Teresa, you can go on this inshore fishing charter for only $250 USD for up to 6 people. That means with a full crew; it’s just over $40 USD per person! 

Visit Montezuma Waterfall: Montezuma Waterfalls is one of the only waterfalls in Costa Rica without an entrance fee. This makes it super unique, not to mention it is such a beautiful place to explore. Montezuma Waterfall is actually three waterfalls, and you can swim in some of the nicest pools if you do a little hiking first. It’s a little confusing, so be sure to read our guide on the best things to do in Montezuma, which includes tons of info on finding the trail to the upper waterfalls.

Visit Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve: Reserva Natural Cabo Blanco is a very special place in Costa Rica. The nature reserve was created by Nicolas Wessberg (from Sweden) and Karen Mogensen (from Denmark) and was the first-ever protected area in Costa Rica – pretty cool, right?! Cabo Blanco is located a short drive or bus ride from Santa Teresa in the town of Cabuya. You can easily get there by public bus, or if you have an ATV, you can drive.

Where to Stay in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica 

woman swimming in a pool in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Lost Boyz Hideout Hostel is not your average hostel!

Choosing a place to stay is hard! Thankfully, that’s because there are so many great places to stay in Santa Teresa. In fact, if you book well enough in advance, you can stay at some epic hotels in gorgeous locations. However, leave it too late, and you’ll be lucky to find a hostel bed for less than $70 USD. The lesson is, book ahead! 

Lost Boys Hostel – $

For budget travelers, I love Lost Boys Hostel. They have reasonably cheap dorm rooms, but the hostel is fantastic! Huge pool (pictured above), an excellent restaurant (the pizza is fire!), kitchen, treehouse, and friendly atmosphere. On top of that, they host a ton of events and tours. The location is also central, so you’re not too far from anything. 

A one-night stay in a shared dorm begins at $20 USD. You can check availability and make reservations online here on Hostelworld.

Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas – $$

Those with a larger budget can find some really great hotels in Santa Teresa. If you don’t mind being up on a hill, Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas is such a gorgeous hotel because of the breathtaking views. They have a pool overlooking the ocean and offer yoga classes.

The rooms are also clean and comfortable – especially for the price! Rates begin at $77 USD per night. Check availability and book a room at Santa Teresa Surf Vista Villas here on Booking.comhere on, or here on Expedia.

Vista del Alma Boutique $$$

If you want to spoil yourself but still want to keep your nightly stay under $500 USD, check out Vista del Alma Boutique. It’s located in the mountains but still not far from the beach.

The property has pools, modern rooms, and spectacular views. Only eight villas are available, so you want to make sure you reserve one in advance. Check prices and book a stay at Vista del Alma Boutique on hereon here, or on Expedia here.

For a more detailed guide on all of the different areas you can stay and the best hotels, check out our blog about where to stay in Santa Teresa.

Getting Around Costa Rica

Bailey with our rental car near Rio Celeste Costa Rica
Our rental car!

How you choose to get around Costa Rica is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when planning your holiday here! How you do it depends on your budget, travel style, and comfort level. 

Renting a Car

Without a doubt, the number one way to explore Costa Rica is in a rental car. We book rental cars on the Discover Cars website as we have had good experiences with them in the past.

One of the things you need to watch for when renting a car in Costa Rica is the mandatory insurance that the government requires you to have. There are a lot of very cheap rentals that don’t include this mandatory insurance (TPL) in the original booking price, but there are also ones that do. To avoid additional surprise charges when you pick up your rental car, be sure to rent a car that includes the mandatory insurance when you book.

Thankfully, on Discover Cars it’s easy to tell apart the companies that include the mandatory insurance and those that don’t. The trick is you can’t pick any car on their website. In the picture below, you can see this rental car, with pick up in Jaco, includes the TPL. That means the mandatory insurance is included in the price. Any cover you get above that is extra.

Of course, I still suggest getting the full coverage offered by Discover Cars, which covers you even more.

You can browse cars on Discover Cars here.

TPL Cover Costa Rica
TPL Cover Costa Rica

Book Shuttles

If renting a car isn’t in your budget, you don’t feel comfortable driving in Costa Rica, or you just don’t like driving, shuttles are the next best option. There are hundreds of shuttle routes available all over the country, and they are very affordable.

Shuttles in Costa Rica are specifically for tourists and often include pick up and drop off at your selected hotels and airports. The drivers also speak some English, and the vehicles have air conditioning. You’ll also be guaranteed a seat when you book a shuttle (which isn’t the case with the public bus system.)

To get the best price, use the website Bookaway. They compare all the offers and prices of shuttle companies in Costa Rica so you get the best price! Honestly, we have saved so much money using Bookaway! 

You can search for shuttles online on Bookaway here.

Public Bus

Lastly, you can use the public bus system. On short journeys, such as from San Jose to La Fortuna or Uvita to Manuel Antonio, this system is great. However, the longer the journey the more hassle and time spent on a bus. It’s undoubtedly best to save the public bus in Costa Rica for short and straightforward trips!  

The public buses are definitely the cheapest way to get around Costa Rica, but they are not always very reliable and schedules often change without notice and delays are to be expected. The buses can also be very crowded and hot – so just be prepared!

It’s also good to speak some Spanish if you plan on riding the public bus since most drivers and ticket booth operators don’t speak English.

Pura Vida!

Daniel at Eat Street in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Thanks for reading!

As you can see from the list above, Santa Teresa is one of the best culinary destinations in Costa Rica. It’s filled with fantastic restaurants, top chefs, and fresh local ingredients. You certainly won’t have trouble finding good food in Santa Teresa!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope this guide has got your taste buds excited and helped you pick some great places to eat in Santa Teresa. If it has, be sure to browse around and check out more of our blogs such as:

Where to stay in Santa Teresa

Best restaurants in Samara

Best restaurants in San Jose