Day 1 – Dusty Roads of Santa Teresa

I must admit, I had some baked in perceptions of what to expect for our first trip to Costa Rica. Lush jungle, beautiful beaches, hot humid weather, etc. All the things you’d expect after reading about this tropical paradise. Unfortunately, our first impression didn’t quite match our expectations.

Picking a destination in a foreign country for vacation is always a bit challenging, especially if it is the first time you’ve been there. Brenda and I spent hours  surveying different websites and travel blogs before choosing Santa Teresa. Located in the southern Nicoya Peninsula, you will find this somewhat remote, laid back beach town, known for surfing and yoga retreats. No grand resorts or crowds of people, just a small beach village dashed with a handful of inns and requisite shops and restaurants. It sounded right up our alley, until we got there.

First impression; not good. It’s basically one long potholed dirt road. As well-known as Santa Teresa is for its surf, it’s equally known for possibly the worst road of any town in Costa Rica. Pot holes everywhere. Stretches of it almost impassable unless you have an SUV, which most people drive, creating a constant cloud of dirt during the dry season.

So that was our first impression. Our first activity was walking to our hotel from Mal Pais because our pseudo cab driver dropped us off at the wrong place. How hard is it to understand “Funky Monkey Lodge, por favor.” Needless to say, by the time we got to our lodging we were hot, sweaty, and rather filthy  from the dust. This wasn’t going as planned and Brenda certainly wasn’t impressed with my choice of destinations.

Dirty Feet Santa Teresa

Dirty Feet in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

As usual, we try and keep an open mind about new places. Our attitude is that it’s not right or wrong, it’s just different. When looking for lodging that might fit our personalities, we decided to stay at a place called the Funky Monkey Lodge.  Smaller accommodations with a couple of private cabanas and some shared spaces that act as a hostel, along with a wonderful outdoor bar/restaurant. The crew running the place is fantastic. The lodge is located approximately 100 yards off of the main road that runs through Santa Teresa and only a 5 minute walk to the beach. The restaurant prepares great food and the drinks are spot on. If you are ever thinking about heading to Santa Teresa we highly recommend it.funky-monkey-bar

We settled in quickly and decided to wander and see what our choice of Santa Teresa would bring us. First thing you do when in ST is head to the beach because that’s what it’s all about. There are various points of access to the beach, all about 100 yards off the main road through the brush. Walking down one of the paths and coming upon Playa Santa Teresa for the first time changed our attitude quickly.santa-teresa

The uncertainty we had about our decision to vacation here quickly evaporated. Majestic is actually an understatement when attempting to describe Playa Santa Teresa. The beach appears to go on for miles in both directions. There are large waves for surfing and great depth for walking at low tide. The Pacific looked beautiful. Emerald green water at a perfect temperature. It was so much more than we ever imagined.

This trip was part vacation, part exploration. We are trying to decide if we could call Costa Rica home for a few years. Playa Santa Teresa is where we spent hours walking up and down contemplating this question. Do we pull the plug on our current situation and go all-in on a move? It will take a few more trips to other locations and time to reflect before we are ready to answer that question, but this was a this was a good start. Hopefully this is the first of many posts about our experiences in Costa Rica.

Thanks for checking us out!

Scott and Brenda

3 replies
  1. Kimberly Marshall
    Kimberly Marshall says:

    I’m very interested in reading about your transition to Costa Rica! I’ve always wondered how to & when to do the same thing. Look forward to reading your blog and travel tips.


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