A Creative's Guide to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Best cafes with Wifi, places for yoga, and places to go out in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
As a travel photographer and blogger who is constantly bopping from one destination to the next, my trip to Costa Rica was a welcome change-up from my typical travel routine. For the first time in a long time, this trip would be done slow—and solo. I knew for these reasons that Outsite was the perfect place to call home base in Santa Teresa, with its “home away from home” vibe and built in community of other Outsiters who are working on the road.
This intuition was confirmed from the moment I rolled up to Outsite’s beautiful Playa location. The decor has a tropical modern and slightly boho vibe that I love, and there was a pool smack dab in the middle of the property. Yes, please. Did I mention the beach is literally a three minute stroll from Outsite’s driveway? I was already in heaven.
Immediately upon arriving at the property, I met a fellow Outsiter who was headed out for a sunset surf session and recommended his favorite delivery sushi spot in the area @Romanssushi, which sounded ideal for my first dinner in. This place takes orders through Whatsapp and brings gourmet sushi straight to your door! Definitely not what I expected being in a beach town in Costa Rica.
As I quickly learned during my stay, location is everything in Santa Teresa—unless of course you’re renting an ATV or car while you’re there. I was doing everything on foot for the week, so being located at Outsite Playa was immensely helpful (it’s the best part of the beach in my opinion).
Here are a few local favorites and tips you need to know about before staying at Outsite Playa in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica:
What to Know Before Visiting Santa Teresa
Getting Around - If you’re staying at Playa, a lot of Santa Teresa can be explored on foot. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops steps away to keep you busy, and the beach is just across the street. However, an ATV rental can be helpful for day trips or longer jaunts down to the other side of town.
If you’re looking for a great local driver in Santa Teresa, I found Danny and his team to be super punctual and friendly. You can reach out to them via Whatsapp +506 6063 4531.
Events and Activities - Instagram is the best place to go for happenings and events around town. Whether you’re interested in a sound healing, cacao ceremony, surf competition or jungle party, usually all these are updated faster on the ‘gram than they are on any local business’ website. Definitely check out @nautilussantateresa, @bananabeach1, and @zunya for latest goings on.
Your Outsite community group and leader are great resources for things going on around town as well, and for organizing group activities. With all the new friends I met during my stay at Outsite, I had no shortage of things to partake in, whether it was going to group sunset drinks or waterfall excursions on the weekends.
What to Pack - Santa Teresa is casual with a capital C, and trust me, if you’re packing heels or fancy dresses they’ll likely collect dust in your suitcase. Laidback beach attire reigns supreme here, so fill your luggage with your camera, work gear, swimsuits, tees and shorts, and maybe a relaxed dress outfit or two and you’ll be set.
Best Cafes with Wifi for coworking in Santa Teresa
Ani’s Bowls - For fresh acai bowls and iced lattes each morning, this was my absolute go-to and it’s mere steps from Outsite. Even better, it’s right next to the beach path, so you can bake it into your morning routine before hitting the sand or surf.
Somos - Great for breakfast and into the evening, Somos is an eclectic spot with yummy, healthy food options and some delicious naughty ones as well (their banana bread is killer). Bring your laptop here and enjoy cozying up on one of their couches for a while.
Zwart - This artsy cafe is part gallery and part restaurant and offers plenty of seating and great wifi to guests.
Best places for yoga and meditation in Santa Teresa
Nautilus - Take a left out of Outsite and another left down the dirt road past Eat Street and you’ll arrive at Nautilus, a hidden gem with a treehouse yoga studio looking into the jungle. Pro tip: Ask about their class packs if you’re doing a longer stay as they’re a much better deal.
Zunya - With the ultimate zen spiritual vibes, Zunya is a conscious ecosystem (calling it a hotel would really be a misnomer), that regularly hosts unique events like ecstatic dance, art classes, live music and more. Check their instagram for the latest event schedule.
Believe Surf & Yoga - The sister property to Nautilus, Believe is another great place to center yourself on the mat through their wonderful programming of classes including everything from yogilates and breathwork to yin.
Where to eat in Santa Teresa
Katana - Probably my favorite restaurant in Santa Teresa (and trust me, I tried many), Katana serves incredible Asian cuisine with its own unique signature style. If you’re a Thai food fan, definitely try the pad thai.
Somos - This spot is an all-in-one experience. Part hotel, surf shop and cafe, Somos even keeps the good vibes going into the evening for cocktails. I especially loved their lunch here, served in an outdoor patio setting featuring an adorable vintage airstream as the bar. Don’t miss their Breaky Tacos if you’re headed in for breakfast.
El Facon - Just down the road from Outsite, this is a great walkable dinner spot with higher-end dining, live music and great options for meat lovers.
The Bakery - While it’s on the opposite side of the beach from Outsite, this place is worth the trek for their epic cheesecake.
Chicken Joes - Affordable and fresh lunch spot serving up delicious Peruvian style ceviche and chicken. We did a group lunch here with the Outsite community and everyone agreed—Chicken Joes is a winner in Santa Teresa!
Where to Socialize
Banana Beach - Whether you’re looking for a sunset cocktail or a dance party under the stars, Banana Beach is a large venue that caters to a fun night out. This was definitely the most lively social scene I encountered while in Santa Teresa.
Rocamar - For chilled out sunset drinks, Rocamar is the perfect location set right on the beach on the north end of town. They also offer surfboard rentals here if you want to go for a sunset surf before hitting the bar.
Somos - Once again, I can’t leave Somos off this list as they’ve got a great evening vibe as well. And I must say, their fans on particularly hot Costa Rican nights are life changing. Make sure to get here early or book a reservation in advance on Thursday nights, which is the biggest night to go out in Santa Teresa!
Words by Michelle Halpern of Live Like it’s the Weekend