If you decide to do anything here besides sunbathe on the beach and play in the waves, your options include nature hikes, horseback riding, ATV tours, scuba diving, and snorkeling, which most hotels can help arrange. Surfing is a major draw, with miles of beach breaks and a few points to boot. If you want to rent a board or take a lesson, try Costa Rica Surf & SUP ((tel) 2640-0328; www.costaricasurfandsup.com), Surfing Costa Rica Pura Vida ((tel) 8333-7825; www.surfingcostaricapuravida.com), or Del Soul Surf School ((tel) 8878-0880; www.surfvacationcostarica.com).
If you’ve gotten beat up by the waves, or are sore from paddling out, you’ll find several excellent spas in town. The best and most extensive (and expensive) is at the Florblanca Resort. But you might also check in with the Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat, located on the beach, at the northern end of Santa Teresa.
For zipline adventures, head to Canopy del Pacífico ((tel) 2640-0360; www.canopymalpais.com; $50), which is toward the southern end of Malpaís and just slightly inland. A 2-hour tour over the nearly 2km (1.2 miles) of cables touches down on 11 platforms, features two rappels, and offers good views of both the forest and the ocean below. Round-trip transportation from an area hotel is $10 per person.
For fishing, wildlife viewing and bird-watching, there’s the highly recommend Sapoa Adventures ★★ ((tel) 8996-9000; www.sapoaadventures.com).