As the glow of Tulum fades, the search for beach paradise is bringing visitors to the tiny settlements on the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The area is hardly undiscovered — Gisele Bunchen and Tom Brady own a vacation home here — but the dirt roads and lack of development provide a back-to-basics feel that appeals to those looking to get away from it all.
The beaches of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais first drew surfers to fishing hamlets on this beautiful coastline. The surfers still come, but now there’s an increase in upmarket accommodation, yoga retreats and raw vegan restaurants — all catering to Americans rushing here to detox, destress and declutter their lives.
The region takes determination to reach which has been beneficial in preventing the area becoming overwhelmed and overdeveloped by tourism. The journey here from either of the country’s international airports is five hours, and the last part of this is on dusty, unpaved roads with potholes. While plans are in place to pave the roads, tarmac is not in Santa Teresa’s immediate future and this may be how its charm will be preserved.
For exploring the beaches and nearby Cabo Blanco reserve, a full-sized or premium SUV is the best choice, especially in Green Season.
Discover accommodation and restaurant options in Santa Teresa @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/t-magazine/travel/santa-teresa-costa-rica-travel.html?_r=0