Horseback riding on Santa Teresa Beach Costa Rica
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica has many fun tours and activities to do.

Article by Shannon Farley

Thinking to come to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica on vacation? You’ve probably heard the destination is famous for its beaches, surfing and yoga. But what else is there to do in Santa Teresa? Plenty.

Here are a few ideas for tours and activities in Santa Teresa to fill your vacation with fun.

Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve Costa Rica
See wildlife and beautiful forest on a hiking tour of Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

Hiking in Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve

The beautiful Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve has a special place in Costa Rican history. It was the first nature conservation area created in the country, in 1963. Located at the very tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, between the villages of Cabuya and Mal Pais, Cabo Blanco is also an important seabird sanctuary.

Two trails for hiking – a loop that takes about two hours, and a long trail of 5.5 hours – meander through dry tropical forest and humid tropical forest. The reserve is rich in nature. There are approximately 150 species of trees, 240 kinds of birds and a wide variety of other animals like white-tailed deer, anteaters, howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys, coatis, armadillos, fox and coyotes. Cabo Blanco is open Wednesday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Canopy tour in Mal Pais Costa Rica
Fly high through the trees on the Mal Pais Canopy Tour.

Canopy Zip Line Tour

Next to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, the Mal Pais Canopy Tour is one of the most thrilling things to do in Santa Teresa. You’ll fly along steel cable zip lines through the forest, along a creek and across a canyon between 11 platforms. There are great views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline. The tour is open daily between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; no experience is required.

hacienda ario
Hacienda Ario offers horseback riding tours daily across their impressive 4,700-acre ranch in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Photo by chaiuno.

Horseback riding

See the other side of Santa Teresa – one of rolling green hills and pastoral landscapes – on a horseback riding tour through Ario Ranch. The family owned and operated ranch protects 4,700 acres of coastal foothills, rivers and beaches, including an important turtle nesting habitat and the Caletas-Ario National Wildlife Refuge. The tour is suitable for both first-timers and experienced riders, ages 10 and older.

Fishing Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Go fishing in Santa Teresa and catch dinner!


Santa Teresa offers many different fishing tours – spear fishing, inshore trolling or casting, or open water fishing. You can go from a half day to a full day. Tours include all fishing equipment, and generally also provide snacks and beverages.

Stand up paddleboarding Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Take stand up paddleboarding lessons at Pranamar Villas in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Enjoy the ocean and coastline views from the perspective of a stand-up paddleboard. Tour leaders teach the skills you need while on the beach. Then you’ll take to the water, paddling along the coast. It’s a fun tour out on the sea in the fresh air.

Montezuma waterfalls Costa Rica
Montezuma waterfalls are a fun day trip from Santa Teresa.

Montezuma Waterfalls

Visiting the waterfalls in the nearby beach village of Montezuma is a fun day trip from Santa Teresa; it’s a 40-minute drive. Three cascades along the Montezuma River are the most well known. The lowest tier is also the tallest at 79 feet (24 m) and has a large pool at the bottom where you can swim. You can take a guided tour to the area or go on your own. Montezuma is also known for its bohemian, artsy community and locally made handicrafts you can buy.