Mal Pais in Costa Rica | Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Mal Pais is a tropical beach town located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula in Puntarenas province of Costa Rica. The pretty little town was a fishing community and a farming village that slowly turned into a idyllic holiday hot spot over the years. Mal Pais has been ranked as one of the top most beautiful beach towns in the world by Forbes Magazine. Offering a wide range of sporty options and recreational activities in a midst of a sublime tropic setting, Mal Pais undeniably becomes a favorite destination among all sorts of vacationers. Wave riders love the surf spots, nature enthusiasts adore the wildlife, photographers desire to capture the panoramic views, and couples are delighted with a romantic vibe of the town while the families are happy with the town’s versatility. Mal Pais holds a promise of amazing adventures and happy memories.

Once you drop down from the mountains to the beach, everything to the south (the left side) is Malpais. Officially spelled Mal Pais, the words mean “bad country” but it really means “badlands” because of the difficulty of living there in the old days when there were no wells, and all the small streams would dry up. Despite the dry climate in Costa Rica’s summer, native Americans had lived in Malpais for thousands of years.

Things to do in Mal Pais

Admire the blue Pacific Ocean, hike the forested trails or simply leisure on the beach, here are some of the few activities you can enjoy mal pais 2during your visit in Mal Pais:

Surfing and Other Aquatic Sport Activities

Mal Pais boasts a number of popular surfs spots that lure thousands of surfers from all over the world every year. They are Mar Azul, Playa El Carmen, Punta Barrigona, Los Suecos and the Sunset Reef. The spots have different features and can be bested by surfers of all levels and skills. There are various surf camps located by the beach that offer surf lessons, gear and even accommodations and meal! Mal Pais is probably one of the best places to learn the art of wave riding. Besides surfing, vacationers can try out snorkeling and scuba diving in the crystal clear water of the ocean. Take a dive or snorkel and meet a plethora of various colorful marine creatures. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of whales and dolphins. Mal Pais is a wonderful platform to try sportfishing. Popular fish species are mahi mahi, dorado, rooster fish and tuna. Sailing and ocean kayaking are also recommended.

Wildlife and Nature

For a good dose of nature and flourishing wildlife, a visit to Cabo Blanco National Park is a must. It is a beautiful nature reserve found nearby Mal Pais. It offers hiking, swimming, snorkeling, bird watching, horseback riding, surfing and so much more! The park has numerous types of bird species that include parrots, toucans, Scarlet Macaws, kingfishers, pelicans, herons, pelicans and falcons. To find more birds, go down to the low lands of the peninsula and explore the rivers to catch sights of some colorful tropical birds. Animals that are commonly found in the reserve are sloths, white faced monkeys, squirrels, iguanas, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, spiky porcupines, white-nosed coatis, white-tailed deer, collared peccary, ocelots, jaguarondis, wild cougars, gray fox, anteaters, hog nosed skunks, raccoon, coyotes, pacas, armadillos and margays.

Luxurious Accommodations, Restaurants and Amazing Nightlife

Malpais isn’t as heavily developed as the Santa Teresa side, because of its lack of long stretches of white sand beaches. There are fewer hotels, although there are many luxury rental villas in the hills overlooking the area. Many wealthy foreigners have sized up the area and decided to buy in Malpais because its less busy. And the two areas are right next to each other so its only a short drive from a villa in Malpais to the restaurants in Santa Teresa.

Mal Pais is not just about nature and sports, it is a charming place with a wide range of affordable accommodations, restaurants and bars. Party lovers, people who want to socialize and have lots of fun will find the nightlife simply fabulous. Those of you who are on a quiet retreat will be happy to see a peaceful side of the town with deluxe hotels, resorts and bed & breakfast services. Whether you are on a honeymoon, a family holiday or a backpacking adventure, Mal Pais will be the highlight of your tropical holiday in Costa Rica.

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