The main road is great for running!

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: Pavement and gravel – some uneven in parts
  • Length: As long as you want!
  • Flow: Pretty good, some traffic and dust may slow you down…
  • Scenery: A road through a quaint beach town with views of the ocean…
  • Safety Issues: A little traffic to watch out for
  • Bathrooms: Possibly in restaurants along the way…
  • Drinking water: Water fountains
  • Transit Access: n/a
  • Parking: Free street parking
  • Night Access: Not well lit after dark (which is around 6pm!)
  • Special Features: Views of the beach…
  • Nearby Attractions: The beach!


This morning I found myself in the lovely beach town of Mal Pais. As we drove into town last night I immediately noted that the main road that runs parallel to the beach from Mal Pais to Santa Teresa would make a great place to run. I was really happy to find, that the house we had rented was just off this main road and had easy access down to the road.





This morning I woke up early, to beat the heat, and get out for a run. (For other notes on running in the tropics see my post on Dominical, Costa Rica. Basically, be finished running by 8am, find shady paths, and bring water. ) I was greeted by chirping birds and the sounds of howler monkeys. I could see the ocean peaking out from trees and hear the waves crashing. It was another glorious morning for a run in Costa Rica.


These guys were hanging out in the trees as I ran by! I couldn't resist a quick stop to snap a few photos.

These guys were hanging out in the trees as I ran by! I couldn’t resist a quick stop to snap a few photos.





The road that I ran, connects Mal Pais and Santa Teresa and continues beyond. I ran for 5km and turned around making a 10km out and back, but according to Google maps it goes on much further. The road meanders up and down small hills, past numerous houses, hotels and as you pass into town restaurants and shops. There is some lovely landscaping in yards along the way, and I enjoyed the colourful bougainvillea and the smell of ylang ylang hung in the air; these are the sights and smells of the tropics and I love them. Lined with large trees for most of the way, there is a lot of shade, which is important, as the sun peaks over the hills early in these parts!



The road is a mixture of pavement and gravel, a little uneven in parts, but overall makes for a good running path. I was pleased to find the road fairly quiet in the early morning, although the odd atv and bus passed me, kicking up some dust. I felt perfectly safe, but I did make sure to pay attention to traffic.


The area has lots to offer, including great surfing, nature excursions, beautiful waterfalls and ate tours. There is a remarkable amount of restaurants serving a variety of international and fusion style food. They seem a little pricey for Costa Rica, but the quality of the food has been excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed lunch at The Bakery and dinner last night at Katana (Asian fusion). I noticed that many vacation rentals and hotels lined the road, or are accessed close by. Like our vacation rental, they would all have easy access to the main road for a run, making the area of Mal Pais – Santa Teresa a great tropical vacation destination for runners; you know you will get your run in!

I did pass another runner, clearly a local, tanned and relaxed in the early morning heat. She smiled and waved, and there it was that moment: we are runners.