The Sun Kissed Surfers of Santa Teresa | Gitte Meldgaard

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Santa Teresa a booming beach town on the Western side of the Nicoya Peninsula in the lush Costa Rican jungle. The endless untouched beaches of Santa Teresa and the breathtakingly beautiful sunsets is what first grabs your attention, and you think – WOW – this is paradise. Then you start to notice how insanely beautiful most of the people are that you see on the dusty, bumpy dirty road; then you start to wonder – WHY? What exactly are all these beautiful people doing here? AND most importantly, why are they so happy?   While the rest of the world is in the grips of hysteria and fear over COVID-19, and have forgotten how to smile or enjoy anything, here is a town full of smiley model-looking youth. Is it the surf, the jungle, the beach, the sex, the drugs, the waves, the sun, the food, or the fact that there is only one road that is often barely usable? Why? Why are these people so happy and once they get here why doesn’t anybody want to leave again? It seems that Half of Sweden’s Instagram influencers are staying in Santa Teresa showing almost zero interest in their Phones or returning home. When you hit the beach you can’t help but notice the stunning suntanned perfect-bodied model-looking girls spending time chilling while ignoring their previous addiction by refusing to post. What has made these young people suddenly show very little interest in self-promotion or growing their Instagram business?  What holds them in this beach town, in the middle of the jungle, so far away from civilianization that the streets have no names- these fashion taste-makers in a town with no place to buy makeup or high street clothing, no way of wearing anything but flip-flops and bikinis. Surely it should be a fashion-lover’s worst nightmare. What can make influencers stop the self-obsessions? Quit the selfies? Stop being self-absorbed? Is it the really slow Internet and no sight of a 5G tower? Or is it really about surfing, the reason most people come to Santa Teresa? Perhaps that may be part of it, but I for one don’t think it is the strongest reason- I think it may have something to do with a feeling of belonging to a small community, living surrounded by and immerged in Nature, a feeling of connectedness but yet a sense of freedom (almost no police presence). I believe that everyone has narcissistic tendencies and the more divided, isolated and fearful we become the more of these traits we display –I don’t think social media is the cause but merely an expression.  If you’re a narcissist, you’re looking for a positive reflection of yourself, the world is your mirror and you’re constantly looking for affirmation. For this reason, you may be creating your own life very heavily on social media. Could it be that the more disconnected we get from one another, the more traumatized we are and the more self-absorbed we become? Assuming my theory is right, what is the cure? And why are people putting down their phones in Santa Teresa? Could it be a feeling of love and connecting with each other, being immersed in nature, being present, no chemtrails, yoga, surfing, hiking and no 5G tower anywhere in sight? In other words, as Costa Ricans say, Pura Vida! What you can expect apart from Swedish influencers are white sandy beaches, consistently good surf conditions, surfers, laid-back backpackers, hippies, expats, nature lovers and world travelers.  Apart from surf motels there are also luxury accommodations, Airbnbs, pretty good restaurants, happening nightlife – the whole town goes nuts on a Thursday –  it is truly an experience to have everybody go to KIKA at around 11 to listen to the live band play cover songs and after they go next door to dance to Reggaeton at Lalora, from a girl who has partied in NY, PARIS, AND LONDON truly Lalora is WILD. The girls, the boys, the openly-consumed drugs, the overtly sexy Reggaeton dancing can lead to sensory overload. And don’t miss dancing on the sand under the palm trees to deep jungle house Sundays at Habanero’s.  When to go? The green season months are typically better for surfing, but there is a lot of rain, mosquitoes and muddy roads, things are really slow and the town feels deserted. The dry seasons months are prime beach weather and HOT, but also way more expensive and dusty  (if the road doesn’t have a coat of molasses on it). For experienced surfers, there are definitely world-class waves to be had at several different breaks in the area during swell season, which is May through December. If you don’t mind a little rain or dust, any month is a good month. Accommodations range from a bed in a hostel for $15 per night to luxury hotels for $600 per night. There is no shortage of choice. However, in peak season – December through April – make sure to book your accommodations early.  Santa Teresa hosts an impressive variety of dining options considering it is a little town in the jungle with no postal system, it still manages to cater for most tastes. Traditional sodas, a few pizza and burger joints, organic and vegetarian-friendly cafés, and some fine-dining choices, but be warned it is mostly pricey. There is so much to do while staying in Santa Teresa. There is action-packed adventure, Zen-like escapes complete with yoga, massages, and long sunset walks. Maybe the perfect Santa Teresa day is complete with action and relaxation. Whatever you are seeking likely you will be able to find it in Santa Teresa. **If you are looking to Surf** ------------------------------ Playa Santa Teresa: the waves here tend to be faster, hollower, and more powerful, great for experienced surfers. Playa Hermosa: gentler waves and perfect for beginners. **Nature reserves**  -------------------- Cabo Blanco is home to a large variety of birds, mammals, and other animals, among which are anteaters, white-tailed deer, capuchin monkeys, coyotes, and elusive wildcats. There are 150 different types of trees. Don’t miss this beautiful reserve when staying in the Santa Teresa area. And don’t be surprised if a car or motorbike offers you a lift. Go ahead and take it—it is common for the local Ticos to want to be helpful. **Yoga** -------- There is no shortage of yoga available in Santa Teresa, and the setting is ideal amongst the jungle monkeys, parrots and iguanas—unlike anything else.   While there are many different options, a perfect place for yoga is Pranamar villas It is sublime. The shala is a beautiful open-air space with the ocean is just steps away.  **Jungle Adventures**  ---------------------- Just a short fun ATV ride away is the entrance to the Montezuma Waterfalls You can hike to and then swim beneath a giant cascade of clean refreshing water.  * * * Since this article was written Santa Teresa has gone into quarantine but people are still smiling!