Although generally all not good for swimming, the coastal scenery is picturesque, with small coves, promontories and jagged rocks bashed by the surf. A favorite pastime is bathing in the many tide pools at mid tide and Playa Suecos or Secret Beach is idyllic for snorkeling and swimming! A particular draw for eco tourists is the neighboring Cabo Blanco National Park. The lushly forested hills of the nature reserve provide the scenic backdrop of views from the beaches.
Cabo Blanco is an important refuge for nature and animals which are threatened by the booming development in many parts of the Santa Teresa area. Entering Cabo Blanco is however not allowed from the Malpais side, the park entrance is in Cabuya, a 7 km drive away. Malpais hosts the only port in the area.
The harbor additionally is a take off point for many aquatic activities like kayaking, SUP paddling or boat tours. The number of boats has increased in recent years but in high season many fishermen prefer to do boat tours with tourist instead of going fishing.
For many years the Southern Nicoya Peninsula was off the beaten tourist track because it was difficult to get there. Roads were bad and there were fewer ferries available than today to cross the Gulf of Nicoya. Surfers and adventurous backpackers were the first travelers to discover the beaches with its great surf spots. Once they saw what was on tap, they were hooked; many, in fact, never left and stayed around to open businesses.
The tools and services that we offer will help you to plan — and later enjoy — a fun and memorable trip to Costa Rica. Our friendly staff can help you book tours, reserve hotels and arrange transportation. They will answer any questions you may have and can be reached by both phone and email. Several playas lay to both the north and south and offer visitors a fine place to kick back and relax. Most are mellow, lack large crowds, and have white or grey sand stretches. Perhaps best of all, they border a section of the Pacific that boasts incredible surfing, snorkeling and swimming.
Did you drive from Samara down?
We will be renting a car as well and just wondered if it would easier to break the trip we have a kiddo up by staying in Samara for a few days and then head to Mal Pais? Or is Samara way out of the way? Hi Liz, Breaking up the trip with a stop in Samara is a great idea.
Just be sure to take the highway and go through Nicoya instead of going the coastal route through Nosara, etc. Have a great trip!
Mal País, Costa Rica
It looks like there are some options from San Jose, crossing on the ferry in Puntarenas. Hope this helps and have a great trip! Your tips and posts have been so helpful! About how long from Tamarindo, would you say? I am going to come to Costa Rica for a month this June. Is there another lesser known Playa Hermosa close to Mal Pais?
To answer your question, yes, there is a Playa Hermosa near Mal Pais. There are actually at least four Playa Hermosas in Costa Rica, which makes things really confusing. The one near Mal Pais is about a min. Have a great trip back! I just came across your wonderful page! I am a flight attendant and flying stand-by to San Jose hopefully arriving this Sunday morning!
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My plan is to rent a car and drive to Mal Pais that Sunday we get in at 9AM so have all day to drive. Do we need to take the Ferry and does it hold the vehicle?
Is that a good idea and should we get a 4-wheel drive? We want to raft the Pecuare River then head to Arneal. Then back to San Jose to fly home. Does that sound like the right order? Thank you! Hi Michelle, You can drive around the peninsula to get from San Jose to Mal Pais, but the ferry in Puntarenas is a lot faster so we would do that. Take a look at our directions above for which route to take.
Malpaís, North Puntarenas
Looking for beachfront preferably; budget is flexible. Hi Lina, There are lots of good choices. Here are some ideas for places close to the beach: 1 Oasis Mal Pais : Nicely appointed bungalows with a kitchenette and outdoor porch.
Close to the main area of town near Playa Carmen and the beach, but in a quiet location. Well-manicured pool area. Loft style with kitchenette. You could rent bikes or a quad to get around. Only a few so small, intimate property. Right on Hermosa Beach. Set back a little from the main road and close to the beach.
Mal Pais Costa Rica Travel Guide. Surf Info, Tours and Hotels in Malpais
Good location near the main area of town. Hey guys, My wife and I are traveling to Santa Teresa for a wedding in a couple of weeks.
It looks like the preferred route from Santa Cruz is route 21 down to Naranjo and then on to Paquera the other side of where the ferry lands. From that point it looks like it may get a little confusing…any additional info would be much appreciated!
Malpaís, Puntarenas Norte
Basically, in Paquera, you take a right at the stop sign so that you go towards the Mega Super, in order to stay on Love your site! I am wanting to go from Malpais to Costa Ballena. I have been traveling around Costa Rica for awhile now. What do you suggest in terms of how to get there. And, how long would the travel time be depending on route and mode of transportation? Hi Pat, The easiest is to take the ferry from Paquera to Puntarenas and then drive the rest of the way. My cousin and I will be in Mal Pais the end of January and I am pleased to see one of the hotels you recommended is where we are staying Oasis.
Wondering which would be the best options: Rent an ATV, bike, walk or taxi? Also wonder how much time we should plan for getting there and back? Looks like the hotel is not far from Playa Carmen. Really enjoying all the information you have provided. Thank you. They are both too far from Playa Carmen to walk probably. You could bike ride there too but the road gets pretty dusty so getting there quicker might be best. Hotel Oasis is right near the main intersection in Santa Teresa so you will be able to walk to a lot of different restaurants and to Playa Santa Teresa no problem.
Hope you and your cousin have a great time!
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