How to Get to Santa Teresa Beach

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About Us  

We are Santa Teresa Vacations Your Local Advisor and more than that, we would like to be your friends for your next trip to Santa Teresa Beach. We are also recognized as the # 1 Transportation company in Santa Teresa according to Tripadvisor's excellent reviews. Its for this reason that we offer different ways of get to Santa Teresa and all the pros and cons, so you can analyze them and reserve the one that best suits your needs. At the same time we are at your disposal to answer any questions you may have either through a whatsapp message, calling us or send an email in the inquiry option right under each mode of transport.


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Costa Rica offers a lot of awesome scenery that you should not miss during your visit. One of the top favorites is the Santa Teresa Beach in the Mal Pais area, it is a thriving beach village sitting on the western side of the Nicoya Peninsula. This once laid-back town surprisingly blossomed into a promising travel destination but still keeping its pristine and peaceful ambiance. At present, its gorgeous white sandy beach is labeled as a world-class surfing spot.  

The beach is about 93 miles ( 150 km ) away from San Jose Airport ( Juan Santa Maria International Airport ) and 137 miles ( 221 km ) from Liberia Airport ( Daniel Oduber International Airport ). The good thing is that despite the off beaten path, there are several transportation options available to you. These include private transport, shared transport, domestic flight, charter flight, taxiboat, helicopter and public transport. But first, you have to consider factors such as your budget, routes, and length of stay. This way you can choose one or a combination of transportation options that fit you and your group.  

Most Popular Transportation Options:

#1 Private Transport : cost effective and flexible. 

#2 Domestic Flight to Tambor / Taxi to Santa Teresa : time saving and convenient

#3 Charter Flights: you are the boss! Fly when you are ready

Below is a detailed description of the diferent travel modes ( Ground, Air and Water ). Remember, each mode varies in comfort, flexibility and budget.


Private Transport

Guests travelling to Santa Teresa often underestimate the driving conditions distances and time.To save yourself from the hassle, we recommend taking private transport. Private transport not only offers the greatest flexibility with your travel schedule, but it is also safer and more convenient. You can schedule it as you wish and the driver will pick you up from the airport, a private home, hotel or any other location. Likewise, it gives you more opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the trip by stoping to take photographs, eat lunch or dinner or simply stretching out for nap. Private transport vehicles are well mantained and air-conditioned passenger vans with professional drivers.  


Shared Transport

Shared transportation or a shuttle service is an air-conditioned mini bus that travels from the most popular towns with multiple departure times throughout the day. However, shuttle service is not like public transport. It is subject to availability and a prior reservation is required. Often, it provides the ease of a door-to-door pickup and drop off. However, there are instances when the hotel is not within the central hotel area and you will be advised to take a taxi.

Taxi Boat

Santa Teresa/Malpais taxi boats are a popular mode of transport . The boat will depart Jaco and arrive in Montezuma, where a shuttle will be waiting to drive you to Santa Teresa/Malpais. The boat ride is typically about 1 hour. It is a beautiful ride, where you can see whales and dolphins especially in the months of August, September, October and November and other sea life as well as the gorgeous coast line and islands. The boat can hold around 15 people. The taxi boat runs trips daily between Jaco and Montezuma. We can help you to arrange a shuttle or a taxi from the airport or Manuel Antonio to Jaco to ensure a smooth trip.  

Rental Car

There are several rental car companies with offices in Santa Teresa. It is advisable to rent a car once you are in town in order to avoid the stressful drive from the Aiport. If you are arriving at San Jose Airport you will need to take the ferry and unless you have a prior reservation you risk the line being full and having to wait for the next ferry. If you arrive at Liberia Airport and want to rent a car it is better to wait untill you're in Santa Teresa. Currently you have to consider that there is a 30 km ( 18 miles ) section of gravel road that is under construction and sometimes there are road closures.

Public Transport

If you are on a restricted budget, your best option is to take public transport. There is a bus that operates twice daily but remember that they make frequent stops to pick up and drop off passengers. Hence, be ready for a slow and quite exhausting trip.

 When coming from San Jose Airport take a taxi to the bridge of Villa Bonita in Alajuela, the bus stops around 6:30 am and 2:30 pm. On your return journey, the bus drops you off right in front of the SJO airport at around 12:30 am and 8:30 pm. If the direct bus schedules do not suit you, you can also take the regular bus from San José to Puntarenas. Which departs every 40 min from the bus terminal at Avd 12, Calle 16. Once in Puntarenas, take a taxi to the ferry terminal then the ferry to Paquera. From Paquera continue by bus to Cobano, once there you have to switch to the bus for Santa Teresa. The last ferry from Puntarenas is at 8:30 pm BUT the last bus from Paquera is at 6:30 pm.

Information provided by : Nicoya Peninsula


Domestic Flight ( Fly to Tambor / Taxi to Santa Teresa )

Taking domestic flights can be a very convenient option depending on your route. Travel between destinations through ground transport can last up to 5 hours. Meanwhile, a domestic flight only takes 25 minutes to Tambor Airport, which is definitely a time-saver. There are 4 main domestic flight providers in Costa Rica who operate daily flights to Tambor Airport. Three of them are situated in the Alajuela province and fly from Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) and one in Pavas in San Jose Metropolitan area ( Aeropuerto Tobias Bolanos ). All of them have strict reservation, cancellation, and luggage restriction policies that are important to understand prior to booking. This option is ideal if you have a short stay in Santa Teresa, the travel time is much shorter compared to ground transportation. 25 minute flight from San Jose Airport to Tambor Airport + 50 minutes from Tambor Airport to Santa Teresa Beach approximately.

Charter Flights -Aircraft  

Cesna 206

  • Operates from Juan Santa Maria International Airport ( SJO )
  • Operates from Pavas International Airport ( SYQ ) 
  • Operates from Liberia International Airport ( LIR ) 

Piper Seneca

  • Operates from Juan Santa Maria International Airport ( SJO )
  • Operates from Pavas International Airport ( SYQ ) 
  • Operates from Liberia International Airport ( LIR ) 

Charter Flights - Helicopter

Dreaming about a luxury getaway to Santa Teresa Beach? Well, we couldn't think of anything more luxurious than by flying in a helicopter. This is certainly the best choice for those who want to travel in style and with no budget limits. VIP Charter Flights are available all year round but with exceptions during severely bad weather. The helicopter will fly your group to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa . You can reserve for a group of 4 to 6, with prices ranging from $1000 to a few thousand dollars.  

Cesna Grand Caravan

  • Operates from Juan Santa Maria International Airport ( SJO )
  • Operates from Pavas International Airport ( SYQ ) 
  • Operates from Liberia International Airport ( LIR )