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Ecotourism, Surfing, Sunshine, and Business Expansion: Exploring Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Bromigos y Chicas, sit back and relax my friend... I want to tell ya about a magical place called Santa Teresa..... which of course means a Whale's Va.... No no that's San Diego, my bad.

A little Anchorman Humor to start off the day... :) I had the privilege of visiting Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, to prepare for our business's expansion. This trip was filled with much-needed relaxation. Growing a small business is no simple task. It requires constant attention divided between logistics, networking, marketing, website management, social media, and search engine optimization. That's just what I do... Rebecca does just as much. When I'm too dumb to figure out the website, she takes over. She handles the books, tax, and bookkeeping with our accountant. She's also our "in-house" counsel . Wait for it... See what I did...#dadjoke. because she lives in our house... Thank you thank you!

On top of that, we're parents to three kids—two of whom play sports, while the other is a two-year-old who I am pretty sure is a total crazy person, on a mission to hurt himself. Needless to say, we're really busy. We need to grow the business to justify bringing on staff and partners to help the day-to-day operations, allowing us to focus on business growth. This trip was a significant step in that direction. SCORE!!!!

Santa Teresa opened my eyes to the power of the Pacific Ocean. The waves were enormous and constant. It's a beach where advanced surfers challenge themselves. Being a beginner, I was way too scared to attempt surfing in Santa Teresa. I tried at Playa Hermosa (there are two in Costa Rica, I live in the one in Guanacaste... This is the one in the Puntarenas Province.) While Playa Hermosa was less intense and intimidating than Santa Teresa, it was still advanced for me. I barely made it past the break. I'm so dumb, I was trying to surf on my son's short board, thinking I could handle it because I've done the longboard a few times.

How foolish of me! I quickly realized that surfing is not as easy as I delusionally thought when facing waves from the open ocean. My surfing experience has been limited to the beginner-friendly waves of Tamarindo. Despite my reckless nature, competitiveness, and delusional overconfidence in my abilities... My desire to not die won that day. I felt humbled by the power of those waves. I knew it would be dangerous to try. It would also be dangerous for me to fight Mike Tyson. I only half crazy.... Not full crazy.

To prove to myself that I wasn't a poser, I stopped in Tamarindo on my way home to surf. From now on, when someone asks if I surf, I'll say, "I participate and enjoy it, but I'm not a surfer"

Similar to when someone asks if I speak Spanish, my response will be "Como un bebe." I can communicate enough to get by, but I still have a long way to go. I sound like a baby and not cool/charismatic/confident and definitely not smart. I need to push myself harder though. Valeria and Daniel (you will meet them in a minute) kindly spoke English with me whenever we had conversations (they both speak multiple languages impressively). Learning Spanish is one of the main objectives of why we moved to Costa Rica, and I need to step up my game. I'm embarrassed I'm not further along. We moved here to challenge ourselves and we will get there for sure.

Let's get back to Santa Teresa. Rebecca and I are fortunate to have an amazing attorney named Valeria Gonzalez (she is the chef who is responsible for the amazing Red Snapper below) from Terra Law (law firm) in Playas Del Coco. She represents our family personally and in business. Even luckier, she is also our friend. Valeria and her boyfriend, Daniel Tristan, frequently visit Santa Teresa to stay at Daniel's family's incredible beach front home in the center of ST called Punta Dorada. I could speak endlessly on the beauty, value, and exclusive location of this place. Here are the cliff notes or for the Corporate Folks, here is the first slide: the backyard is a huge woodsy lot leading to the white-sand beach and the mighty Pacific Ocean. Unlike the protected and calm cove where I currently live, Santa Teresa's ocean offers a different experience as described above when I talk about how much of a trash surfer I am. The place is a perfect blend of Luxury and Nature, perfect for Eco Tourists coming to disconnect for a spell.

Daniel's has 4 rules for the house, and #4 is "Don't Drown." He kindly said it in English since I'm not sure I would have known the Spanish word for drown (now I do... Because I looked it up, it's "ahogar"). He also described the power and currents that exist, emphasizing the importance of caution. I could keep raving about the place, but it's better if I just share the its instagram with you. Check it out HERE and message us if you are ever interested in renting. You will have to visit to find out the other 3 rules. Okay okay... #1 was keep an eye out for their little adorable Chihuahua named "Pepe" and if you see him off the leash go grab him. And... If we are being honest, I can't remember the other 2 rules lol. They were less important than not dying and keeping the dog safe. I'll remember them eventually.

Santa Teresa is home to some pretty famous people, including Gisele Bündchen (world famous Super Model, also known for being married to GOAT Tom Brady for many years), Jack Dorsey (Founder and former CEO of Twitter, Current CEO of Block (SQ), Bitcoin Maximalist), Mel Gibson (from awesome movies like Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, Mad Max, and like a million shitty movies), and many others who own vacation homes there. During my visit, Kevin Hart (if you don't know who Kevin Hart is, I am not sure what to tell you bro... Ummm... He is very famous and in nearly every movie that is released weekly) was there, I spoke with and hung out with none of the above listed famous people. I was far too busy and get free to go meet up with them.

The town has an inclusive and welcoming community, but it is so beautiful and high end that it feels elite and exclusive. You feel like you are in an elite club. Everyone is super good looking, super chill and super in shape. We checked out a functional fitness class at Activo owned and led by a pretty cool dude named Ori. I was definitely the least good looking person in the class, surrounded by dreamboats and models.

It's a surfing and yoga-focused area with numerous restaurants... We had lunch at Shambala Beachfront Restaurant, it was lovely. I had a the fish tacos.... They were fire!

We had awesome apps and drinks at Kooks Smokehouse and Tavern (owner is from Philly, so his Cheese Steaks are legit.)

The atmosphere in Santa T is family-friendly, with a balance between paved and dirt roads lined with small grocery stores, restaurants, bars, hostels, and hotels. Costa Rica's growing tourism industry and the influx of expats in search of a Pura Vida lifestyle have made the country somewhat pricey. However, it's still less expensive than the US, Canada, and most Countries in Europe. Santa Teresa, given what I saw and its elite clientele, appeared to be one of the priciest areas. With that said, it is a community where you would entertain at home at your gorgeous villa more than relying on eating out every day. We cooked and hung out at our villa most evenings. Valeria and Daniel very much enjoy entertaining and cooking. Lucky for them, I enjoy attending parties, drinking and eating.

Here I am... So relaxed. It's a bad pic though.

Check out what Valeria and Daniel did with this fish below. When I met this fish at the Pescaderia , it was 1 hour out of the water. We followed its journey all the way to our bellies. The guy cutting up the fish was also like a ball busting Costa Rican comedian, and maybe a legendary diver and swimmer. His arms did not look like real human arms. They looked more like how Michael Phelp's has slight body anomalies that only help him with swimming. He had enormous forearms and huge hands. Daniel told stories how this bro moves through the water like Aquaman. I witnessed him make fun of me like we were at a Comedy Central Roast.... So if his swimming is anything like his ball busting, then I gotta see this guy in the water.

Think of Tamarindo's European, hipster, surfer chic vibe. I previously wrote about our experiences in my second blog here. Well... Santa Teresa has an even more "European" and "chic" version of that. It's like Tamarindo, minus the city and party vibe. I doubt Santa Teresa will reach Tamarindo's level of popularity and development anytime soon. It's less focused on partying and more on an active, healthy, and surf/yoga-centered lifestyle. Even the hostels cater to well-to-do hipsters, midlife crises havers, and adventurers on their vision quests. Didn't see any $25 hostels there... more like $200 hostels. But I am an idiot and know nothing.

For tourists, Santa Teresa is a bit difficult to access, requiring a long drive from the airport and/or ferry ride unless you arrive by helicopter, as many guests do. (I am not one of those guests). This adds to its elite status and allure and to me suggests overdevelopment unlikely.

The purpose of my trip was to explore the area for our business expansion, while also enjoying time with friends.

Mission accomplished! We'll be opening a distribution center in Santa Teresa in the next two weeks. Additionally, we're expanding to San Jose. Stay tuned for announcements on social media. Exciting things are happening for the business.

I feel lucky to have made this outstanding trip. In the future, I plan to spend more time in Santa Teresa, growing our presence in the area similar to the success we have had in other markets. On our next visit, my family will join me, and I can't wait to share with them the beauty and overall awesome vibe of Santa Teresa, Puntarenas, Costa Rica! Pura Vida!


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