It’s 7:30am and we are heading to Puntarenas to catch the 75 minutes ferry ride to Tambor.
Santa Teresa, a beach that is visited by Hollywood artists year long, is our final destination. Oh yeah! it’s so pleasant to arrive only 15min before the ferry departure time as opposed to weekends or holidays when you must arrive at least an hour before departure.
11:30am we arrived at our destination: Hotel Playa Cielo in Santa Teresa. I wanted to visit this hotel for quite a while but it was always booked. Playa Cielo has only four well equipped villas with a little kitchenette and a nice terrace. One of the Villas has two bedrooms and a separate seating area with kitchenette and a sofa bed, here you can live for ever! They also have a wonderful restaurant and a swimming pool right on the beach. This is my other type of favourite hotels, where I don’t mind the simplicity along with little imperfections; it’s not the Four Seasons and I’m not expecting it to be a 5 star hotel, but the service is very personalised. Etty, Adele and Sol greet us with a smile and make us feel at home…. Which we did right away.
By 12:30pm we are sitting at Habanero, the hotel’s Mexican restaurant that offers great seafood, tacos and a nice food variety. Habanero is right on the beach with the waves splashing only 10 meters from our table. From the daily specials we chose the whole grilled Red Snapper which came sizzling on a cast iron plate along with different salads and sauces. A cold Costa Rican beer goes perfectly well with our meal. My husband and one of my daughters are sitting next to me, and so I wonder…. Should I ever need to go back to San Jose? This is paradise. No wonder why Matt Damon just spent over a month in Santa Teresa.
It’s 2pm and we are so full after that amazing meal that we take a walk on Santa Teresa endless beach, where few people, dogs and some horses pass by. The ocean is a bit rough for me, so a little splashing fulfils my desire for the ocean.
By 4pm I gladly see a black cloud and some rain coming, so I head to my room’s terrace where a strong black Costa Rican coffee keeps me company while I write.
7pm is dinner time. Never expected I would have a such wonderful culinary experience! Looking for a place to dine we choose by chance Koji’s, a Japanese restaurant that deserves all the accolades. If “Mr. Michelin” came to Santa Teresa, Koji’s would capture all the possible stars! Superbly fresh seafood prepared by chef/owner Koji, a tall good looking Japanese who runs his kitchen like a pro. The service is casual perfect as is the restaurant setting: wooden tables with recycled bottles as candle holders, 2 large boards serve as menus and a group of international girls work efficiently as waiters. Everything was so good, if you could smell the pictures… maybe one day, you’ll be at awe. Don’t even think about skipping this restaurant if you are in Santa Teresa. After this great meal we headed back to our hotel for a good night sleep and of course felt obliged to come back the next evening… it was just as good!
Second day in Santa Teresa:
A fresh fruit plate was delivered to our room’s terrace. This was followed by breakfast at The Bakery, yummy!!!
Across the street from The Bakery we rented an ATV ($70/day at Toyota Rent a Car) and went around town, beaches and the mountain. The ride is bumpy but fun.The views are amazing.
12pm. time to have lunch again, we simply copied lunch from the day before at Habanero since it was exceptional, great combination of food right on the beach. A long walk on the beach, an amazing sunset with surfers enjoying the big waves and no rain…As good as life can get.
By 8pm we are getting ready to head back to Koji’s again, sorry for not giving you more options, but ones you discover places like this, there’s no need to look for anything better cause you probably won’t find it! I promise to check the other highly rated restaurant alternatives and share them with you during my next trip in a few weeks.
Saturday was a morning for another long walk on the beach, a quick swim in the ocean and heading back to San Jose.
I leave paradise behind, knowing that I’ll be back soon. Santa Teresa is definitely one of my favourite destinations in Costa Rica. Make sure to add it to your next travel plan.
Hotel Playa Cielo
Tel: (506) 2640-1105 / (506) 8889-6900
My Restaurants Ratings:
Habanero at Playa Cielo Hotel:
Great food and perfect location.
Cost : $$ ($20-$30)
Koji’s Japanesse Restaurant:
Best Japanese Food
Cost : $$$ ($30-$50 pp)
Great for breakfast and lunch.
Cost: $-$$ ($10-$20pp)