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Rent a Car Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

One of Costa Rica’s newest hotspots is the stunning beachfront community of Santa Teresa. In fact, what’s commonly referred to as Santa Teresa is actually a string of closely connected coastal towns. They include Mal Pais, Playa Carmen, Playa Santa Teresa, and Playa Hermosa.

The Santa Teresa region is located on the southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Costa Rica’s northernmost Pacific Coast peninsula. It is a young and vibrant surfer’s Mecca, yoga destination, and party town.

Until recently, its remote beachfront villages and epic surf swells were a well guarded secret. One made more compelling for their remote location and challenging access over rugged unpaved roads.

Santa Teresa car rental

Post-COVID Santa Teresa has experienced an unprecedented real estate and development boom. The string of once slow and charming surfer towns evolved into a thriving tourist destination practically overnight. 

Million dollar homes and glitzy restaurants replaced some of the smaller residences and eateries.Aadditions that have increased Santa Teresa’s international draw substantially.

In recent years the Nicoya Peninsula was also recognized as home to one of the world’s five Blue Zones. A Blue Zone is “a concept of lifestyle and the environment that produces longevity,” according to Dan Buettner of National Geographic. The healthy living, positive relationships, and a sense of purpose in Nicoya’s residents have resulted in their exceptionally long life spans.

Combine Santa Teresa’s charm with its Blue Zone attributes, and not even the rugged terrain can keep visitors at bay. 

Santa Teresa Beach

Car rentals in Santa Teresa – Renta de autos en Santa Teresa

True, it’s possible to rent a car in or around Santa Teresa. But it’s not very practical. Getting to this remote piece of paradise is inarguably easier in a car rented at one of the country’s international airports.

At Adobe Rent a Car, we have 14 full-service offices strategically positioned around the country. Whether you’re flying into the Liberia or San Jose international airports, there’s an Adobe office just down the road. 

We provide free shuttle service to and from the airport to the Adobe office for all of our clients. Let the Adobe agent know the date, flight number, and your arrival time and an Adobe shuttle bus will be waiting for you when you arrive. 

Car rental Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Most people rent a vehicle before arriving at Santa Teresa beach because of its remote location. It’s also unlikely you’ll find a car rental at Malpais as the town is small and offers mostly boutique hotels, vacation rentals, and small restaurants.

Some visitors prefer to take an in-country flight to Santa Teresa. We can arrange to deliver your vehicle from our office in Puntarenas to the Tambor Airport near Santa Teresa. Your Adobe car will be waiting for you when you touch the ground. This service incurs an additional fee. 

Make sure to arrange for your vehicle to be dropped off with the Adobe agent when you make your reservation.  Contact one of our bilingual agents at: or toll-free from the U.S. and Canada at +1(855) 861-1250 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time.

adobe rent a car

Getting there by car

You can get to Santa Teresa from both of Costa Rica’s international Airports. If you fly into San Jose, you will need to take the Naviera Tambor Ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya from Puntarenas to Paquera. The trip takes approximately six hours, including the scenic 1.5 hour ferry crossing. 

From the Liberia International Airport, the drive is approximately five hours down the Nicoya Peninsula to the town of Cobano, then west to Santa Teresa. 

Road conditions are relatively smooth until you reach the last descent into Santa Teresa. Although most thoroughfares are paved, you will find some steep inclines, potholes, and segments of unpaved roads once you are near the coast. 

Getting around Mal País and Santa Teresa

We recommend renting a 4WD vehicle when you visit Santa Teresa. Many attractions worth visiting in the area may require the added traction, power, and clearance of a 4×4.  

Renting an ATV is a popular means of short distance transport in Santa Teresa and Malpais. Not only is it a fun way to experience the tropical countryside, parking and getting from one place to another may be easier if the town is crowded. 

How much does it cost to rent a car in Santa Teresa?

Are you looking for the best prices in Costa Rica? The cost of renting a car in Costa Rica depends on a few factors. The most significant are the type of vehicle you choose and the time of year you visit.

Renting during the green season is your best bet. The green season is also known as the rainy season and it runs from April through December. A car rental in Santa Teresa-Mal Pais is significantly cheaper during these months. 

Compact sedans and economy cars are the cheapest models to choose from. However, they tend to be unfit for the area’s rough roads.

Recommended vehicles for Mal País and Santa Teresa

At Adobe, we want our customers to be safe and comfortable during their travels. We recommend driving a 4×4 vehicle in Santa Teresa. The Suzuki Jimny is a smart and affordable choice for couples or individual travelers.

We recommend any of our powerful compact, intermediate, full-size, or premium SUV rental cars for larger groups. Just email us at  for assistance choosing the right option. We’ll help you find the best car to fit you and your group’s needs. 

Things to do in Santa Teresa and beach Mal País, Costa Rica

Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, and Playa Hermosa are arguably some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beach towns with unbeatable ocean views. Because of the area’s geography and the long stretch of coastline, there’s a huge variety of adventures to be had.

Beginners and novice surfers have several surf lessons providers to choose from. And many hotels offer yoga and surf school packages for their clients. 

Horseback riding is also a great way to see wildlife and the dramatic coastal scenery. Monkeys, iguanas, sloths, coati, and dozens of bird species are usually seen during tours.  

A boat trip to nearby Tortuga Island is also highly recommended. The tour includes snorkeling, swimming along a white sand beach, and a small wildlife preserve. Whales, sea turtles, manta rays, and dolphins are often spotted during the boat ride.

Many ATV tours include visiting the Reserva Absoluta Cabo Blanco (Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve) and the Montezuma waterfall. The reserve is one of Costa Rica’s first protected areas. 

The waterfall located in the quaint beachfront town of Montezuma is a national favorite. Three falls drop from steep cliffs forming pools where visitors can swim and enjoy the epic scenery.

Don’t miss visiting the spectacular coastal towns of Santa Teresa on your next trip to Costa Rica. 

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