If you’ve ever looked into the areas of Mal Pais, and Santa Teresa, you may be thinking “Hey Kate, didn’t you already write this post here?”
Well yes, and no. Before Christmas, we spend 10 days in Santa Teresa, in a hostel that was about 5km from where we are now. As a result, we didn’t get a chance to explore the area of Mal Pais very much.
So, I thought I would write about a couple of our favourite places on this end of the strip, and with good reason too. There are some amazing local businesses here that I highly suggest you check out.
Bean & Bejuco- Natural Food Market & Artisan Trading Co– If you are a health food fanatic, as I am, Bean & Bejuco is the place to be. When I first walked into the little shop nestled amongst the clothing shops and restaurants in the Playa Carmen mall, I couldn’t believe my eyes, a real health food store! It even had that health food store smell that I love.
The previous health food stores I’d visited were mostly organic fruits and vegetables. Not this one! The store is a wonderful mix of both western health food store goodies like burts bees, and local Costa Rican food products like honey, and cacao. Need less to say I was in heaven.
On my first visit, my eyes scanned over all sorts of goodies like quinoa, and kimchi, until they finally landed on the prize of the day…natural peanut butter! For real! Nothing but peanuts! Although I’ve found some that has come close in the past, this is the real stuff. And not only peanut butter, but almond, cashew, and other fabulous combinations
You better believe I bought a container, as this stuff is pure gold.
If you are in Mal Pais, and looking for some healthy treats, have specific food needs (raw, gluten-free, vegan etc) or just want to support an amazing local business, I would highly suggest checking out Bean & Bejuco.
Kasava Gourmet Fast Food: A great healthy dining option for anyone visiting the Mal Pais area.
The first thing that attracted me to this place was the building. It’s really attractive, and makes you want to check it out. The sign outside boasts healthy fast food, so I was intrigued.
I certainly wasn’t disapointed. They have a huge array of healthy made to order options, a salad bar, full coffee menu, plus the added bonus of a/c and free wifi. The service was great, the staff are really friendly, which is something that I find is hit or miss in this area.
What really made this place stand out was their outdoor space in the back. I’m always looking for places that I can get a coffee, sit down, and relax for a little while, without feeling rushed. The outdoor space in Kasava is the perfect spot for a little Zen Kate time.
If you are looking for some healthy eats, or a relaxing coffee, this is the place to be!
Papaya Lounge: I had read about Papaya Lounge on trip advisor, and once I heard everyone raving about the view, I knew I wanted to visit it. It’s a little off the beaten path, but if you are looking for the best way to see Mal Pais at sunset, and are willing to got for a bit of a walk, it’s well worth it.
Located about 2km from the main intersection, Papaya Lounge is perched at the highest part of the Moana Lodge property, so be prepared for a lot of stairs!The menu is mostly tapa style, and although we had planned on going just for a drink, we ended up sharing some pico de gallo, which wasn’t anything too exciting. In the end, this place is all about the view. Get there in time for sunset, and I promise it will be worth your while!
So there you have it, our fave picks during our stay here! It was actually hard to choose for this round, because there were so many great places.
If you are visiting the area, and want anymore recommendations, pop me an email, or come join our Facebook page.
Follow me on Twitter: @caketress
Looks like a great place! I’m hoping to get over to South/Central America later this year, or failing that on another trip soon. I’m definitely going to remember the health food store you mentioned, looks heavenly!
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