Mal Pais

Mal Pais Costa Rica

Mal Pais is a small fisherman hamlet on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. From its southern border at the Cabo Blanco National Park it extends around 4 km until the neighboring village of Santa Teresa.

While Santa Teresa has become a busy surfer village with lots of action, Mal Pais has retained its laid-back vibe. The coastline of Mal Pais is rather rocky which keeps the crowds away. The views however are scenic and undisturbed by construction.

Mal Pais Costa Rica
Sunset on the Beach of Mal Pais

Mal Pais is the right place for people who love tranquility and nature. Besides surfing Mal Pais offers many other activities and tours.

Star Mountain is located 2 km uphill from the village of Mal Pais, on the road to Cabuya. That same road also leads to Montezuma with its famous waterfalls and to the entrance of the Cabo Blanco National Park.

Please note that for driving the Mal Pais – Cabuya road you need a 4WD vehicle.

Star Mountain Activities:

Horseback Riding

Our guided horse tours are great for experienced as well as for unexperienced riders. From the horse back you see the nature of Costa Rica from a different angle. You pass through quiet countryside, down to the beach and back through the jungle to Star Mountain. More: Horse Tours at Star Mountain

Bird Watching

Our 225-acre private reserve offers some of the best bird watching opportunities on the southern Nicoya Peninsula. Rare species are seen as well, as the birds on our property are undisturbed. If desired an experienced bird guide can be arranged.


Practice your poses or meditate in our yoga shala, surrounded by jungle and with no other sounds than the chirping of birds and nature around you. Please note that we don’t offer regular yoga classes at Star Mountain. We only offer the installations so you can do your own yoga.


Guests at Star Mountain can hike on over 3 km of nature trail through our private eco reserve. With our abundant water sources, the trees stay green year round and attract many animals. Another great hike is down to the beach on the public road through the jungle. In Mal Pais you can explore scenic beaches to both directions.


Acitivities Map Mal Pais

Activities nearby:

Cabo Blanco National Park

The entrance to Cabo Blanco is in Cabuya, 7 km from Star Mountain. Costa Rica’s first National Park was established in 1963. The main trail leads you to a white sand bay in front of the Cabo Blanco Island. The reserve is closed for visitors on Monday and Tuesday.

Canopy Tour in Mal Pais

Tours are at 9 am and 2 pm and only with reservation. Canopy ride more than 1 kilometer cables, 9 platforms. Rappel descending from gigantic trees.

Canopy Montezuma Waterfalls

Tours are at 9 am, 11 am or 3 pm and only with reservation. The 11- platform ride is over 1,200 meters long over the Montezuma forest and waterfalls.


Stand-up paddle combines a full body workout with nature contemplation. SUP tours start in the fishing port in Mal Pais and skirt the National Park of Cabo Blanco. From your board you can often see sea turtles, manta rays and other fish.

Santa Teresa Surf


Our hotel is only 4 miles from the famous Playa Carmen surfing beaches of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. Along miles of scenic coastline you find several reef and beach breaks. Surf information, lessons and board rentals can be arranged from Star Mountain.


Tide pools and rocky reefs offer the opportunity for snorkeling and admiring the aquatic life underwater. Ask at our reception for the best snorkeling spots in Cabuya and Mal Pais. At Star Mountain we have snorkeling gears for kids, adults should bring their own equipment.

Boat and Fishing Tours

Fish for tuna, snapper, mahi mahi and many others, near the Cabo Blanco island, with one of the local fishermen. If you do not fish, you can scout for turtles, dolphins, manta rays, whales, and sea birds. The sunrise and sunset are both magical from the water.

Montezuma Water Falls

Montezuma is only a 30-min drive away from Star Mountain. The colorful little town is known for its scenic beaches, but above all for the picturesque waterfalls. The waterfalls have formed pools in the jungle where you can swim.

Tortuga Islands

A full day tour by boat from Montezuma brings you to the picture perfect tropical islands of Islas Tortuga. Here you can snorkel or do Scuba Diving in crystal-clear water.

Butterfly Farm

At the Cabo Blanco Butterfly Farm, only 2 km from Star Mountain, you can see the amazing morphing from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly. The famous blue Morpho and the giant Owl Butterfly can be seen among others. Not only for children this 2-hours tour is a great learning experience.