Mal Pais is a quiet and laid-back fishing village that is located at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The town itself runs along a 5km stretch of dirt road, which is lined with large patches of unspoiled jungle and beautiful beaches. The beaches of Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa border on Mal Pais to the north while its southern border butts up against Cabo Blanco Natural Park. Just a 15-minute drive from the Blue Surf Sanctuary hotel, Mal Pais is an incredible area of Costa Rica that is just waiting to be explored.
The Mal Pais area is famous for its incredible beauty and fascinating scenery. The beaches here are a combination of mesmerizing white sand and scattered volcanic rock outcroppings including rocky coves. Lush green jungle lines the shore and is often visited by much of the area’s native wildlife including a myriad of monkeys, birds and insects.
There is little development in Mal Pais, which has allowed this area to retain much of its pure, untouched charm and nature. There are plenty of fun activities to choose from in Mal Pais. Canopy Mal Pais is located here and with them, you can go zipping from platform to platform through the incredible jungle canopy. You can also go horseback riding in Mal Pais or rent a Stand-Up Paddle
Board for the day. One of my favourite things to do while I am in Mal Pais is to visit the magical and quaint Mal Pais fishermen port. Located at the very end of the road in Mal Pais, the fishermen’s port is where you can hire a fishing boat to take you on a tour of the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. On this tour, you may get a chance to see dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays and even migrating whales. The fishermen port is also a great place to start a fishing tour or, if you are not interesting in trying to catch your own fish, there is always plenty of fresh fish around here that you can buy for your dinner later that night.
Be sure to also check out one of Costa Rica’s most scenic beaches, which is just around the corner from the fishermen’s port. This magnificent beach is called Playa Cuevas or “the secret beach” and it is a wonderful place for a dip, a snorkel or a late afternoon picnic.
There aren’t any shops in Mal Pais but there are a few great restaurants here. Mary’s Restaurant is one of oldest restaurants in the area while Los Caracoles is another tasty local restaurant in Mal Pais that specializes in seafood. Ritmo Tropical is another great restaurant in Mal Pais that serves mouth-watering thin-crust pizzas and other Italian specials.
Fairly recently, Forbes Magazine voted the beaches of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa as “One of the ten most beautiful in the world” and I can see why. Next time that you come and stay with us at the Blue Surf Sanctuary, be sure to take a drive down to Mal Pais to check it out. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.