Along with Santa Teresa, Mal Pais is known to be one of the world’s surfing Meccas. But this little charming village of Costa Rica isn’t all about the powerful breaks and the good lefts and rights. It is also abundant and rich in wildlife. Its point of attraction is the natural mix of rugged and refined structure and formation.
Located at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in the Puntarenas province, Mal Pais is quickly becoming more and more famous not just for surfing but all the other outdoor activities you can indulge in while you’re on vacation in this magnificent country.
An Ironic Name
Mal Pais is literally translated to “bad land”–quite an interesting irony considering this quaint paradise offers nothing less than an impressive landscape, welcoming locals and a promising stay.
Before there was tourism in this place, its name is largely influenced by agriculture back when the streams and rivers would usually dry up. But as of now, none of those hardly matter because tourists here are quickly growing in numbers.
Peace and Relaxation
A good thing about Mal Pais is that even if it’s in between the crowded places of Santa Teresa and Playa Carmen, it still remains to be a very peaceful and unspoiled place with fewer crowds. Santa Teresa is known as pretty much a commercialized beach packed with restaurants, bars, hotels and crowds. So if you want to just simply bask in the sun and take a relaxing swim in the warm waters, Mal Pais is the place to be.
A Unique Landscape
Mal Pais beaches, setting themselves apart from Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa, possess memorable natural beach designs, with many small coves, towering rocks, tide pools, etc. Peculiar volcanic formations, rocks and shells adorn the shores–perfect for landscape photography. Moreover, there are ancient jungle forests growing down the shore so it’s another spot for taking one-of-a-kind photographs.
History of Surfing in Mal Pais
Mal Pais wasn’t really known by foreigners until different communities of surfers worldwide began hearing about the consistently good waves breaking on the shore the year round. In fact, this area was known for fishing and agriculture. When the surfers started coming to Mal Pais, most of them stayed because they simply fell in love with what the waters could give them. Others even started their own businesses in the area and settled in with the locals. Santa Teresa surfing beaches have since become legendary.
Other Than Surfing
Over at the southern end of Mal Pais, there’s a small fishermen’s port where you can take a boat and be taken to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve:a protected area which is home to multitudes of living species, mostly aquatic. From here, you can explore more of what the reserve has to offer through horseback riding, canopy tours and hiking.
Bird-watching in Mal Pais is also popular because of the many migratory water birds found in the area. Other watersports such as snorkeling, kite surfing and scuba diving can also be enjoyed by adrenaline junkies.
A beautiful thing about Mal Pais is it has almost everything you want for a great coastal vacation and a peaceful, relaxing one at that. So if you’re out and ready to catch more than just the perfect waves and more things to do and sights to see in this region of Costa Rica, Mal Pais should be close to being number one in your list