Malpais Beach - Costa Rica

There are many potholes in the mains street of Malpais Beach.
There are many potholes in the mains street of Malpais Beach.

Malpais Beach has made a transition from a fishing village to a popular holiday destination, especially amongst surfers.

This village on the Nicoya Peninsula is still located in the province Puntarenas and not Guanacaste. The easiest way from San Jose to Malpais Beach leads through Puntarenas, from there take the ferry to Paquera and from there to Malpais Beach.

There is a direct bus connection that follows that route exactly.

Surfing the beach break of Malpais Beach...
Palm trees shade this tropical beach.
Palm trees shade this tropical beach.

The surf spot in Malpais Beach is called Mar Azul and is at its best when the waves break out in Santa Teresa Beach. The main road runs through Malpais Beach and Santa Teresa Beach and both villages are connected through the village of El Carmen. Depending on the surfing conditions one can switch easily from one beach to the other.

The best time for surfers is between December and April. From April through August surfing conditions are usually good in the morning and in the afternoon.

The Nature Reserve Cabo Blanco is located south of Malpais. The reserve was founded in 1963 by the Swedish immigrant Olof Wessberg, it is the oldest reserve of its kind in Costa Rica.

Malpais Beach on the map

Malpais Beach on the map

Facts about Malpais Beach, Costa Rica

  • Malpais Beach is located in the province of Puntarenas.

Driving times and distances

  • Distance from San Jose to Malpais Beach: 137.9 kilometers respectively 85.5 miles.
  • Travel time from San Jose to Malpais Beach: 4.53 hours.
  • Distance from Liberia to Malpais Beach: 212.8 kilometers respectively 132.2 miles.
  • Travel time from Liberia to Malpais Beach: 5.00 hours.

When it was founded 1 morgen of land (4047 qm) was sold for $10.

The name stems from the rock island 1.6 kilometers of the coast. Nesting seabirds have covered the island completely with white dung. The English meaning of Cabo Blanco is white cape.



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