Are you planning an amazing Costa Rica itinerary for 10 days in Santa Teresa? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Santa Teresa is a stunning beach town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and offers something for everyone. From surfing and yoga to hikes and waterfalls, there are so many activities to enjoy in this vibrant part of the country.
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We’ve put together the perfect Costa Rica itinerary for 10 days in Santa Teresa that will help you make the most out of your trip. Pack your bags and let’s go explore!
Everyone tells you how amazing Costa Rica is, without telling you where to go, or what to see, or only provides you with a few of the most popular sites without showing you what this country is really about.
This 7-day Costa Rica itinerary will cover all of the main attractions and must-see places in Costa Rica but also include a few lesser-known gems in Santa Teresa.
To help you plan your time in Costa Rica, I have included a map, and recommendations on the best time to visit Santa Teresa, how to get there, how long to stay, and where to stay in Santa Teresa.
10-Day Costa Rica Itinerary & Overview
The best way to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer is to visit multiple times because you can’t see this beautiful country in just 10 days.
Whether you are spending your time relaxing on a beach or hiking through a rainforest, your trip will be an unforgettable experience.
Day 1: Arrive in San Jose
Arrive in San Jose! Drive to your Costa Rica hotel in San Jose. Have a quick bite to eat, then get some rest. You’ll be busy tomorrow making your way on to Santa Teresa.
If you decide to do a little sightseeing in San Jose the Central Market should be the first stop if you want to delve more into Costa Rica’s culture.
You can also find souvenir shops, clothing shops, and locals selling handmade pottery and jewelry.
Next, you should check out Morazan Park especially if you are on sensory overload and in need of a quiet place to walk around or just relax without all of the noise.
Upon arrival, you can’t miss the pair of golden wings that are immediately at the entrance. They are clever and inviting ideas that are great for a photo.
The park itself is a little dated but the area is nice and it could be fun to sit and watch the skaters perform tricks on the local bandstand.
If you love museums head over to the National Museum of Costa Rica. Visitors will learn about the history of Costa Rica which is really quite fascinating.
If history is your thing, check out the Jade Museum. The building looks like a piece of jade and is home to a collection of pre-Columbian jade artifacts.
Where to stay in San Jose
The majority of travelers don’t stay long in the city. Rather, they use it as a jumping point or travel directly to their next destination.
For those travelers interested in the culture and happenings around the capital city or for those staying overnight following a late flight, San Jose Costa Rica hotels vary widely by style, budget, and interest.
You only need one day in San Jose so don’t put too much thought, time, or money into where to stay.
Here are my top picks for where to stay in San Jose.
Where to Eat in San Jose
While Costa Rican food isn’t widely known outside of the country, it’s simple, wholesome, and definitely worth a try.
Costa Rican cuisine contains various combinations of meat, rice, beans, plantain, salads, vegetables, cheese, and corn tortillas.
1. Park Café
For an exceptionally well-crafted evening, make sure to seek out the Park Café. This gastronomic restaurant, located by the large Sabana Park, provides only the best and will not sacrifice quality for a larger influx of guests; so much so that you will need to make reservations here in advance.
Whether sitting inside, surrounded by antiques, or in the elegant garden outside, the Park Café provides an intimate environment to enjoy an evening with close companions.
2. Café de Los Deseos
With a setting that feels almost more like an art gallery than a restaurant, Café de Los Deseos whisks you away to a funky evening that is, in a word, hip.
With dishes inspired by cultures all over the world, it really will fulfill your deseos (wishes). They offer a variety of coffee drinks and alcoholic beverages including craft beer and sangria.
3. Restaurante Grano de Oro
The fine-dining restaurant Grano de Oro, located in the boutique hotel of the same name, serves gourmet cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Featuring both European and Costa Rican dishes, the restaurant offers a variety of flavors as well as an extensive wine list.
It’s no surprise the restaurant has gained such an outstanding reputation with alluring dishes such as the ‘a foie gras crème brûlée with caramelized pears.
4. Andiamo La
This Italian restaurant located in the neighborhood of Santa Ana is not to be missed while visiting San José. Enjoy traditional Italian dishes such as gourmet pizzas, ravioli, panna cotta, antipasti, calamari, and gnocchi that will make you feel like you’re in Italy.
The welcoming ambiance and attentive staff make for a relaxed experience, even attracting famous clientele such as actor Chris Hemsworth.
Day 2: Arrive in Santa Teresa
Welcome to Costa Rica! If you’re arriving in Santa Teresa, you’ll be welcomed by its stunning white sand beaches and vibrant surf culture.
Spend the day exploring all that the area has to offer – relax on the beach, take a surf lesson, or explore some of the local shops and restaurants.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of things to do in Costa Rica, such as zip lining through the jungle, horseback riding on the beach, and even a turtle nesting tour.
Whether you choose to relax or explore, your first day in Santa Teresa will be unforgettable.
Day 2: Relax on the Beach
One of the best ways to spend your second day in Costa Rica is to relax on the beach. Santa Teresa is known for its beautiful white-sand beaches, and it’s the perfect place to lounge in the sunshine.
Whether you’re looking to take a dip in the ocean or just soak up some sun, the beach here is an ideal spot for relaxation. There are plenty of things to do in Costa Rica that involve the beach, so don’t forget to take advantage of them!
You can go snorkeling, rent a paddleboard, or even try your hand at surfing. No matter how you spend your time, a day spent relaxing on the beach will be sure to leave you feeling refreshed and recharged.
Day 3: Take a Surf Lesson
There’s no better way to get a taste of Costa Rica’s laid-back beach culture than by taking a surf lesson in Santa Teresa. With some of the best surfing spots in the country, this is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of qualified instructors who can help you make the most of your time in the water.
Plus, the warm waters and beautiful sunsets make it an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and a towel!
Day 4: Zip Lining Through the Jungle
One of the most thrilling and exhilarating Things to do in Costa Rica is ziplining through the jungle. The rainforest canopy provides a beautiful view of the treetops as you soar high above them.
Most zip-lining tours provide several different platforms, so you can get a variety of different views from different angles. You’ll also learn about the jungle and its inhabitants while you zip along.
This is a great way to experience the rainforest and it’s also an excellent way to get some exercise. Soar along with your friends, taking in the breathtaking views of the lush jungle below.
Don’t forget to bring your camera, as there will be plenty of amazing photo opportunities!
Day 5: Horseback Riding on the Beach
If you’re looking for a truly unique and beautiful way to experience Costa Rica, horseback riding along the beach is one of the best things to do.
The beaches of Santa Teresa are ideal for horseback riding due to their large stretches of soft, golden sand. It’s an incredible way to admire the area’s diverse scenery, from lush jungle foliage and towering cliffs to vibrant sunsets on the ocean.
Whether you’re an experienced rider or just a beginner, there’s a guided tour for everyone. Horseback rides can be as short as an hour or as long as an entire day.
Take a leisurely ride along the beach, explore the nearby forest trails, or even take a swim with your horse! Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.
Don’t forget to bring a camera – there are some amazing photo opportunities on horseback! For example, you may get the chance to ride under a canopy of palms or alongside a secluded cove.
You’ll come away with some beautiful memories to last a lifetime.
So if you’re looking for a unique way to explore Costa Rica, horseback riding on the beach is an excellent choice. All it takes is a little planning and you can have an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget!
Day 6: Hiking to a Waterfall
Head out on an exhilarating hike to a waterfall located in the nearby hills of Santa Teresa. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a guided tour to get the most out of your experience.
Along the way, you can learn about the flora and fauna of the region from your local guide. You’ll eventually reach a breathtaking waterfall where you can take in the beautiful scenery and even take a dip in the cool water.
Hiking to a waterfall is one of the most popular things to do in Costa Rica and should not be missed.
Day 7: ATV Tour of the Countryside
Head out for a thrilling day of exploration on an ATV tour of the Costa Rican countryside. Things to do in Costa Rica don’t get much better than this!
You’ll have the opportunity to drive your own ATV and explore hidden trails, rivers, and breathtaking views. You can even take a refreshing dip in a crystal-clear river!
With experienced guides and experienced staff, you’ll be able to navigate around any obstacles with ease.
Stop at some traditional rural towns to sample local delicacies and get a real taste of Costa Rican culture. After your exciting day of adventure, you’ll head back to Santa Teresa feeling like a true explorer.
Day 8: Snorkeling and Swimming with Dolphins
One of the best things to do in Costa Rica is go snorkeling and swim with dolphins! On this day, you will embark on an adventure through the beautiful waters of Santa Teresa.
You can expect to see a wide variety of marine life including manta rays, parrotfish, sea turtles, and of course, dolphins! After a full day of exploring the underwater world, you’ll return to shore feeling refreshed and energized.
The snorkeling and swimming experience is not to be missed when visiting Costa Rica. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, this is an experience that will stay with you for years to come.
So don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience and get ready for a day full of fun in the sun!
Day 9: Turtle Nesting Tour
If you’re looking for one of the most unique things to do in Costa Rica, a turtle nesting tour is it. During the nesting season, Costa Rica’s coastline is home to thousands of nesting female sea turtles.
A guided tour will take you to a nearby beach to observe the nesting process. You’ll also have the chance to help out with conservation efforts and learn more about this amazing species.
After your tour, you may even have the opportunity to assist a few of the baby turtles as they make their way to the ocean. Not only is it an incredible experience, but it’s also one of the best ways to get involved with local conservation efforts.
Day 10: Departure
As the 10 days of your Costa Rican adventure draw to a close, it’s time to take in one last glimpse of Santa Teresa before heading home.
If you’re looking for a few last-minute things to do in Costa Rica, why not check out some of the local markets? These are great places to pick up souvenirs, or maybe even some fresh local fruits and vegetables for the trip back.
Once you’ve got your final mementos, it’s time to head to the airport and begin the journey home.
As you reflect on all the amazing experiences you had over the past 10 days, take solace in the knowledge that you’ll always be able to come back to the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica!
Additional Things to do in Costa Rica
If you have extra time on your hands and decide to skip one of the activities above I suggest exploring Montezuma.
Montezuma is located on the very southern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. This area of the country is more remote, making Montezuma a little difficult to get to and, therefore, not overly crowded.
The people who make the trek are typically a mix of backpackers, young families, and couples looking for a romantic getaway.
The draws of Montezuma are its many quiet beaches, thick forest, and wildlife like monkeys, butterflies, and birds.
One of the things that makes it unique is its almost bohemian feel. Though small, Montezuma is a vibrant community, made up of like-minded expats and locals.
Adding to this, Montezuma has an impressive selection of restaurants serving food from all around the world
Incredible Places to Stay Around Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
1. LATITUDE 10
Originally built as a private summer hang-out, Latitude 10° is the kind of place where you’ll trade stories with friends you’ve just met.
The Clubhouse Restaurant, Bar, and Pool are exclusive to you and only a handful of guests so overcrowding will not be an issue at Latitude 10 if tranquility is what you are in search of for your vacation to Santa Teresa.
When you want to ease into Santa Teresa’s local life, you can. Then come back and settle into your hammock by the ocean and enjoy a little relaxation in Costa Rica.
Click here if Latitude 10 is right for your Costa Rica Itinerary
2. FLORBLANCA RESORT
Florblanca is a luxury Costa Rica resort on the shores of the Pacific coast, Florblanca is an award-winning destination for every adventurous traveler.
Located on the pristine beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, in an unspoiled tropical jungle overlooking the world-famous surf of Playa Santa Teresa, Florblanca offers a vacation experience like no other.
At Florblanca, you will always enjoy fresh, healthy, and locally grown food prepared by our chefs at Nectar.
Stimulate your senses with surfing, hiking, horseback riding, or zip-line excursions, just to name a few of the many adventurous activities they make available to you.
Connect more deeply with the world around you with professionally guided sessions of Yoga or Pilates.
When you are ready to thoroughly indulge, try any of our relaxing and rejuvenating body treatments at the stunning Spa Bambu.
Click here if Florblanca Resort is right for your Costa Rica Itinerary
3. HOTEL TROPICO
Tropico Latino is an intimate beachfront hotel located in Santa Teresa, a breathtaking white sand beach on the Pacific Ocean of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula Blue Zone.
Situated on four acres of an unspoiled tropical beach, you will find beautiful swimming areas and also outcroppings of rock where natural tide pools form.
Their exquisitely-designed tropical bungalows, built with exotic hardwoods, are surrounded by abundant tropical gardens under an old forest canopy, giving you the feeling of landing in paradise.
Immerse yourself in the most pristine natural environment and experience the wildlife of Costa Rica right outside your window.
Howler monkeys, hummingbirds, iguanas, and bright flowering heliconias are just a few examples of what you will see.
Your stay would not be complete without a delightful dining experience. Our open-air beachfront restaurant combines a relaxed, yet classy atmosphere with nationally-renowned organic international cuisine.
Click here if Hotel Tropico is right for your Costa Rica Itinerary
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4. PRANAMAR VILLAS
Pranamar Villas is a gorgeous, intimate boutique hotel right on the water with luxury two-story villas built around a free-form saltwater pool and tropical gardens, and elaborate beachfront villas.
Picture Balinese architecture with bamboo, hardwoods, stone, water, and plenty of windows and doors to let in fresh sea breezes.
Getting here is an adventure in itself! The best way to get here is by flight through our local domestic airline Green Airways or by private charter.
This is a short 25-minute scenic flight that will get you from Juan Santamaria Airport to Tambor. From Tambor, you can either have a car rental company meet you or we can help you arrange a transfer to pick you up for the 50-minute drive to Pranamar.
You can also get here through the land. Keep in mind that any of the driving options from San José or Juan Santamaria airport takes a minimum of 5 hours and involves a ferry crossing.
Click here if Pranamar Villas is right for your Costa Rica Itinerary
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ADDITIONAL ARTICLES FOR EXPLORING COSTA RICA
If you’re traveling to Costa Rica I hope my 10 days Santa Teresa Costa Rica Itinerary is just what you need to navigate around Costa Rica.
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