Costa Rica Beach

Playa Mal Pais

Mal Pais is a funky and quiet surfing village. The beach is known for its beauty and was voted a one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world by Forbes magazine. It lacks development which means less tourism, yet the white sand coves with rocky outcroppings, the jungle-covered hills teeming with mischievous monkeys and waterfalls are worth a visit. Mal Pais offers consistently good waves throughout the year, and since the waves are seldom crowded, it makes for a very relaxed surf experience. At low tide many crystal clear tide pools become exposed uncovering a spectacular underwater world.

Cabo Blanco

The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve which is located about ten kilometers from Mal Pais was Costa Rica’s first protected area. The preserve is 1200 acres of moist tropical forest, and 1700 acres of ocean. The name ‘White Cape’ is derived from the encrusted guano that covers the rocks. It is inhabited by large numbers of pelicans, sea gulls, ospreys and Costa Rica’s largest community of boobies, which makes it a very important seabird sanctuary. It also provides a refuge to a variety of land based animals such as monkeys, coatis, ocelots, margay cats and jaguarundis.

Getting to Playa Mal Pais

Mal Pais is located about 4 hours south of Tamarindo. Cars can be rented in San Jose (5.5 hrs) and Liberia (4.5 hr), four wheel drive is highly recommended. The closest national airport is Tambor Airport, serviced by Nature Air. Bus shuttles to Mal Pais can be arranged through Interbus. A daily boat taxi is available between Jaco and Montezuma, which is about 40 minutes driving from Mal Pais.

Playa Mal Pais Directory

mal pais hotel

Casa Chameleon

Unique adults only hotel retreat, private villas tucked away in a jungle landscape.

Visit Casa Chameleon Malpais Hotel.

playa mal pais hotel

Hotel Oasis

Family owned hotel steps away from the beach and surf, in lush surroundings.

Visit Hotel Oasis in Mal Pais.

playa mal pais restaurant

Product C

Fresh seafood, and fish market. Tacos, surfer bowls, popcorn shrimp.

Visit Malpais Product C Restaurant.

playa mal pais restaurant

The Papaya Lounge

Chic and funky restaurant perched on a hilltop with wide ocean views.

Visit The Papaya Lounge.

Playa Mal Pais Costa Rica

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