Mal Pais is a small fishing village on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. From its southern limit at the Cabo Blanco National Park it extends north for around 4 km, until joining the neighboring village of Santa Teresa. While in recent years Santa Teresa has become a bustling surf town, Mal Pais has retained its laid-back vibe and appeals more to nature lovers and tranquilty seekers.
Mal Pais, also written Malpais, means “Bad Land” in English and there are various theories about the origin of that name. It could refer to a special stone found in Malpais which the Chorotega Indians called “Mah Pah”, or maybe it was called a bad land because of its rocky coastline. Whatever the reason, the name isn’t justified. Mal Pais is blessed with a picturesque landscape, and the world class surf of Playa Carmen attracts surfers from all over the world.