How to get to Malpais and Santa Teresa

Ferry Tambor, Puntarenas

Malpais and Santa Teresa are the two beaches on the west coast of Cabo Blanco with their isolation – and perhaps attraction – enhanced by their remoteness. The road that cuts across the peninsula tip from Cobano, the town before Montezuma, is usually in not nice condition. But that seems to suit everyone just fine. Combined with the fact that Malpais means “bad country”, you´ve got tourists staying away in droves. Malpais is a bucket term of the used to refer to a string of neighboring beaches running from south to north, and including Malpais, Playa Carmen, Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Manzanillo. In this area today, you´ll find a mix of beach hotels and resorts, restaurants, shops, and luxury private houses settled up in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean as well as miles of nearly deserted beach, and easy access to some nice jungle and the nearby Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

Getting Here

  • By plane. The nearest airport is Tambor (TMU Airport) a domestic airstrip for small 12 seater airplanes. Sansa offers a 25 minutes daily flight from SJO Airport.
  • Getting here from San Jose. The fastest ways is taking the 27 highway towards to Puntarenas City, the 5th province in importance in Costa Rica and is main Ferry Tambor dock that cross the Nicoya Peninsula. Ferry departure times are:

From Puntarenas

  • 7:00AM
  • 10:00AM
  • 12:30PM
  • 03:00PM
  • 06:00pm

Ferry Tambor, Puntarenas

Shared Shuttles. Before Covid this service was working really good for 1 or 2 people in a budget travel from SJO Airport straight to your place in Malpais or Santa Teresa. Now days, due to Covid19 we are experiencing a lack of clients to make it happen regularly. It may happens it may not. Please check before booking,

Private Shuttles. It works 24/7 and has no restrictions at all. We offer two different options of private transportation from SJO Airport or San Jose downtown:

  1. Our driver will pick you up at the SJO Airport or at the destination you choose and we will take you to the boarding point in the city of Puntarenas to take the Ferry. On the other side, in Paquera Village, another driver will be waiting for you to continue to your final destination.
  2. If you prefer not to change drivers, we can go with you all the way to Santa Teresa, Malpaís, Montezuma or another destination, the driver and the Van will cross the Gulf of Nicoya on the Ferry with you. Book it here

Enjoy the landscape specially when is the sunset