Tamarindo to Santa Teresa is a four-hour drive, covering nearly the length of the entire Nicoya Peninsula. Heading south out of town, you have the choice of a few different ways to cover the 123 miles (198 km). The fastest option is to take Route 21 for most of the way, driving along the southern coast past the towns of Paquera and Tambor.
This region of Costa Rica is dotted with incredible coves and beaches, all worth their own visit. As you make your drive around the Peninsula, you may want to consider checking out the other towns it has to offer. This guide to Costa Rica's best beaches is a helpful start.
There are nearby airports but flying would be very time-consuming due to limited routes with in-country airlines. You'll be better off hiring a taxi or reserving a tourist shuttle for your trip. The drive should take about the same amount of time, depending on whether you choose a shared ride or not.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 4-5 hours
The best way to get around the Peninsula is by car. Having your own space and a trusted guide who knows the area means you'll get to your destination in the most timely, efficient way. If the roads are dry, and you stay on the paved highways along the aforementioned Route 21, you could be in Santa Teresa in about four hours.
If you want to travel slower and stop often, you'll probably prefer to turn off Route 21 near Mansion and take back roads until you drop down to the coastal Route 160. Either way, you'll enjoy great views and a chance to pass through a variety of sleepy beach towns that line the coast.
Duration: 4-5 hours
Tamarindo is full of taxicab companies so you'll have your choice to pick from. Your hotel can book once in advance or simply get to the center of town for a taxi stand. Traveling by taxi is a common, fairly convenient way to get from one town to the next and much quicker than public transport. It might be worthwhile to ask about half and full-day rates so that you can take your time and sightsee along the way. If you're not taking a cab from an official company, be sure to negotiate your fare before you get in.
Duration: 5-7 hours
In general, the public transport system is a good way to get around. In this case, though, the ride will take quite a long time and require multiple transfers. You're better off booking a ride on a tourist shuttle or bus. These are easily found around Tamarindo and most have websites where you can get a better idea of amenities. You may want to see if there are any scheduled stops or if the route is direct. Once aboard, you'll be able to just sit back and relax and enjoy the half-day ride.