Mal Pais is a really small, but really cool place to visit. It is kind of a secret spot that only those in the surfing community really know about. Combine the lack of tourist information about there are with how hard it is to get there and you are blessed with a small town that is pretty unspoiled by modern development. Aside from the wealth of surf shops, everything here is pretty “local.” There are only a few places to eat, one club, and a handful of accommodations. There are however, plenty of things to do in the area, here are some of the most popular things to do.
Canopy and Zip Line Tours
One very popular activity for tourists while visiting Mal Pais is the canopy tours. Accompanied by an experienced tour guide, people can strap themselves into a safety harnesses and get ready for an absolutely thrilling adventure they will likely not forget. Climbing up the trees into the canopy to a platform in the tropical forest, a maze of zip lines awaits the thrill seeker. The individual will coast through the canopy of the forest, experiencing the ecosystem from a whole new point of view. Moving from platform to platform on top of the forest, the guides will educate the group on the diversity of plant and animal life in the area. A variety of local wildlife can be seen while on these tours including howler monkeys, coati, bats, iguanas, long-tailed manikins, coyotes, armadillo, opossum, marmot, parrots, birds and many more animals. There will be opportunities for people to take pictures and ask questions, all while taking in the amazing scenery of Costa Rica’s tropical forests with the occasional glimpse of the Pacific Ocean below in the distance. This is definitely one activity that should not be passed up while visiting Mal Pais. It combines thrill, adventure and nature into an exciting, action-packed afternoon.
Many people travel to Mal Pais, Costa Rica for the fishing alone. Often times, people’s entire vacations will revolve around fishing on the Pacific for an entire week. Whether someone is an avid fisherman, or just wants to try and experience the life for a day, there is a tour available. There are a variety of fishing tours and charters available in Mal Pais. Go with the experienced local fisherman to the best spots and reel in the fish all day long. They can adapt the trip to your preferences or needs. They can use live bait, dead bait or even lures and can arrange for deep water fishing as well as shallow and flats fishing voyages. There are a variety of fish to be caught including yellow fin tuna, amberjack, Wahoo, sailfish, marlin, rooster fish, lady fish and many more. Whatever the individual’s delight, the local fisherman can arrange for it.
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One of the most popular surfing destinations in Costa Rica is Mal Pais. With the town’s shores located between the Central Pacific area and Guanacaste, the surfers in the area greatly benefit from the big swells associated with the wet season and winds. Add to this the absence of large crowds that would otherwise clog the area, and it is a surfer’s paradise. There are several spots in Mal Pais to catch a wave including Playa Hermosa, El Carmen, Santa Teresa, Playa de Los Suecos and Punta Barrigona.
A great way to spend the afternoon exploring the jungles and beaches is by taking a half-day all terrain vehicle, or ATV, on a self-guided tour. The best part about these tours is that an individual can decide what they want to see and do at their own pace, without the worries of holding up a larger group. Self-guided tours also allow time for the riders to stop and enjoy the scenery as they feel necessary. Some riders will go through the jungle, spotting many different animals in their natural environment. Other people will choose to ride their ATV’s down to the beach for the afternoon and take a dip in the pristine waters of the Pacific ocean. There are always guided tours available for those who wish to experience an ATV that way. All terrain vehicles are exciting and can fulfill even the most adventurous tourists’ needs. The level of difficulty involved with riding these vehicles depends on the course of travel you choose.
Snorkeling and Diving
Many people travel to Mal Pais in order to get to Tortuga Island, one of the best diving spots in Costa Rica. This is a very famous diving spot, likely due to the fact that it is the only area in Central America with three sand banks. Only a half hour’s ride from the mainland, some of the most beautiful diving areas await the avid divers and snorkeling enthusiasts of all levels. Whether one prefers to dive the reefs or gigantic volcanic formations, during day or night, this place has it all. A variety of whales, sharks, rays, turtles, fish and crustaceans are plentiful in the area, making the experience unforgettable.