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Dominical vs. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

Lincoln, NE USA
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11 posts
24 reviews
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Dominical vs. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

My husband and I (mid 50s and active) are planning a January visit. I was thinking of 3 nights near Arenal, 4 nights on the Pacific coast, with the last night near SanJose airport. We'll be renting a 4x4. I need some advice on where to spend our beach days. I've done research on the Domical and Santa Teresa/Mal Pais areas, and can't make up my mind on which area would be best. We don't like crowds - just need a few decent restaurant choices and nearby activities. We don't want to spend more that $150 a night for lodging.

Grecia, Costa Rica
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916 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Dominical vs. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

I would suggest the beaches and towns of Santa Teresa/Mal Pais, a very laid back vibe, some surf if you're into that, but the zone makes you want to linger and relax. Nice coastal breezes and a completely different part of Costa Rica.

I personally like the Manala Hotel in Santa Teresa tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g635538-d185273…

To me, this would be the perfect fill for your itinerary. As to your last nite in SJ, consider the Adventure Inn, with decent breakfast, infinity pool, and transfer to the airport http://www.adventure-inn.com/

I don't prefer Dominical (IMHO) more humid and the hotels are difficult to get to even with a 4x4, beaches can't compare.

Have fun planning your vacation.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,169 posts
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2. Re: Dominical vs. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

According to your itinerary i will choose Dominical...only 3.45 hours from SJO...very nice little town long beaches around...the views from some of the hotels are just incredible...yes you need a 4x4 but most of the places are no more than 5 minnutes by car uphill...also some not to expensive hotels in Dominical by the beach...you will not need a car at all..

Check Tikivillas in Uvita...lovely place...one of the BEST aorund...

Santa Tereza and MAl Pais...very nice area but not easy to get to ...you need a ferry ride or a long drive...In your case make a lot more sense to check Manuel Antonio and or Dominical and Uivta!

ROADADVISOR

Edited: 29 July 2012, 19:30
Lincoln, NE USA
Level Contributor
11 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: Dominical vs. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

Should I consider MA? I assumed that it was over touristy, so I haven't included it in our plans. Any other beach options to consider? Samara, etc?

Grecia, Costa Rica
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916 posts
15 reviews
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4. Re: Dominical vs. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

MA is a heavily tourist center and although the beaches are nice, it's not a chill place with quiet beach time. The ferry to the peninsula and eventually Santa Teresa is based in Puntarenas, and the trip is actually a lot of fun. Lots of photo ops, and it certainly doesn't take a long time. I would still stick with the ST and M/Pais area, but sure, Samara is another option.

5. Re: Dominical vs. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

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