Playa El Carmen

Mal País & Santa Teresa

Playa El Carmen, downhill from the main T-intersection coming into town, is a good beach break that can be surfed anytime. The beach is wide and sandy and curls into successive coves, so it makes good beachcombing and swimming terrain too.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mal País & Santa Teresa attractions

1. Playa Santa Teresa

1.24 MILES

Playa Santa Teresa is a long, stunning beach that's famous for its fast and powerful beach break. The waves are pretty consistent and can be surfed at…

2. Playa Hermosa

2.21 MILES

Somewhere north of town, Playa Santa Teresa ends and Playa Hermosa starts. This gorgeous beach deserves its hermosa (beautiful) moniker and then some. It…

3. Playa Manzanillo

3.67 MILES

About 8km north of the Playa El Carmen intersection (past Playa Hermosa), Playa Manzanillo is a combination of sand and rock that’s best surfed when the…

4. Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco

5.28 MILES

Costa Rica’s oldest protected wilderness area covers 12 sq km at the tip of the Península de Nicoya. The unique park is covered by evergreen forests,…

5. Montezuma Gardens

5.54 MILES

About 1.5km south of town, alongside the waterfall trail, you can tour this lush mariposario (butterfly garden) and nursery where the mysterious…

6. Montezuma Waterfalls

5.74 MILES

A 40-minute river hike leads to a waterfall with a delicious swimming hole. Further along, a second set of falls offers a good 12m leap into deep water…

7. Montezuma Bay

6.05 MILES

This pretty little beach is the centerpiece of Montezuma, as fishers, ferries and tourists come and go. Unfortunately, it's not really recommended for…

8. Church

6.12 MILES

This local landmark is on the north side of the soccer field.