An insider’s guide to Santa Teresa- my must-dos, and where to buy the best croissants

I first arrived in Santa Teresa at the beginning of February this year for a week I had booked into a gorgeous little Airbnb. Somehow by accident, the time seemed to slip through my fingers and it’s now March, and I’m writing this blog post one evening on the veranda of said Airbnb while the dogs are sprawled by my feet. The magic well and truly has a hold on me, and somehow I even seem to have stumbled into a job here. Spending this much time somewhere rather than just passing through a hostel for a few days, you get to know a place a bit better. Here are my favourite shops, restaurants and things to do in the beautiful beachside town of Santa Teresa.

The Bakery

The Bakery is located right at the south end (actually Playa Carmen), but it’s definitely one of the best places to eat in Santa Teresa. They’re famed locally for their phenomenal homemade cream cakes and pastries, and the food they do there is perfection. I had a fantastic (and much needed) hungover breakfast of sweet potato pancakes, poached eggs, smoked salmon and avocado. All of these are pretty classic fare as breakfasts go, but the sweet potato provided a great twist on the traditional, and the freshly baked bread was just perfection. They don’t skimp out on ingredients, and I had some of the best smoked salmon I’ve ever had there. And to top it off, if you post a photo of your food on Instagram and tag them- they’ll give you a free cookie! Score! I was so full at this point, but I couldn’t resist the beautiful chocolate covered caramel shortbread heart they put in front of me. I’m getting nostalgic thinking about it. The decor here is super cute too- I loved all the artwork on the walls, and it’s all for sale! As if that wasn’t enough, on a Monday they do all-you-can-eat pizza for $10.

Chakra Bikinis

Also in Playa Carmen, the sign outside the shop says ‘Life is too short to wear boring bikinis’ and I’m inclined to agree. All of their bikinis are handmade, and come in every style and print you can imagine- and some you can’t! I ummed and aahed over a pineapple and a pizza print set, but eventually settled on two Brazilian bottoms- one in a Chinese dragon print and one in a banana print. Super cute, and guaranteed to stand out at the beach! If you’re looking for the perfect place to go bikini shopping in Santa Teresa, then look no further.

Banana Beach Bar

The best beach bar in Santa Teresa. It has hammocks, loungers or tables (depending on what mood you’re in) and does the best smoothies and cocktails. There’s a show or party on there every night of the week- my personal favourite is the ‘airshow’ every Monday, where local surfers compete for prize money to do the best trick in front of the bar at sunset. It draws huge crowds, the commentators are great, and they play exclusively old school rap and hip hop. Winner. In the month I’ve been here, I also went to an excellent food festival here, saw a fire show, and listened to DJs from across genres. 

 

Aerial Silks at Selina

I’ve always wanted to try aerial silks, and after Envision Festival I was feeling inspired. A friend invited me to a class being held at the Selina Hostel by the lovely Sabrina. In the hour I was there, I feel like I learned a lot, and more importantly was able to retain it after the class- not bad for someone who’s memory is comparable to a sieve! I’m lucky to have access to silks to practise on in my Airbnb, so this was great as it meant I could go home and go over what we’d done in class. The class was really small too (three including me) so we got a lot of individual attention, which I really appreciated. Overall- for anyone who’s into gymnastics, climbing, yoga or just wants to try something new- I’d really recommend this class! It’s on 5 days a week at Selina hostel.

L’Art del Gelato

I had been craving some real Italian gelato so I was soooo happy when I found out about this place. They do really good Italian style ice-cream in a huge variety of flavours- I had a double scoop of banana choc chip and nutella, but they also had dulce du leche, pistachio, mint chocolate, melon and tiramisu! They also do some crazy looking freakshakes, perfect for satisfiying even the most hardcore of sweet tooths.

Now I’ve got just under a week left, and I can tell you exactly what I’m going to be doing- sitting on the beach, trying to get as brown as humanly possible before my flight to Argentina!

     

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