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Montezuma is a town near the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Get in[edit]

Take the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera (a couple of dollars per person, or about $9 per car), and then drive or take a bus. The road from Paquera to Cobano is pretty well paved, though from Cobano to Montezuma the road is rather poor. By car, it will take about one hour to drive from Paquera to Montezuma. Obey the speed signs, as you may encounter traffic police.

The road from Montezuma to Cabuya is terrible. It is driveable but it is not well maintained at all.

Alternatively, you can fly from San José to the small airstrip at Tambor and then take a taxi. Both Nature Air and Sansa have daily flights, which take around 30 minutes. The cost of flying is much more expensive than using ground transportation, but if you are short on time, flying is the way to go. Coming from Tamarindo or anywhere further north on the Nicoya Peninsula, there are shuttles available for the trip.

Get around[edit]

The town is very compact and walking is the best way to get around. There is very inexpensive bus service from Montezuma to Cabo Blanco National Park and Mal Pais. The local bus service can be a little off schedule. It will cost you 365 colones to travel from Montezuma to Cobano. This is a good way to travel to Santa Teresa, too.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve [5] Take the 8am bus there to ensure you have enough time. 2 hour hike from visitor's center to the beach. $10 entry fee per person.
The first of three waterfalls in Montezuma
  • Waterfalls. There are 3 sets of waterfalls flowing into each otherwith pools to swim in on the bottom of each one. It's a very steep, somewhat dangerous climb to the 2nd part of the falls. Shoes are best but it can be done in sandals. To get to the falls just follow the creek up for 15 minutes and you'll see them. Ask any local for directions.
  • Horseback riding Any of the local adventure travel agencies can book you for a horse tour, in which you'll journey several miles north along the beach and various trails to reach the El Chorro waterfall. This is a very beautiful and highly recommended tour.
  • Hanging out on the beach The beach right in the middle of town is polluted, so head north just outside of town. Also, a walk to Playa Grande [6], 30 minutes to the north is spectacular, or the cutest beach nearby, Playa las Manchas, is a 15 minute walk to the south.

Do[edit][add listing]

Bring enough cash ($ or colon) to last your stay in Montezuma as there is only one ATM and it is almost always not working. The nearest bank is in Cobano, about 7 km away, and though it has ATMs, a taxi ride there and back will cost you around 10,000 colones. Taking the bus to Cobano will cost you 365 colones. The bus station, not really a station just a stop with a place to sit outside, is located just down the street from Banco Nacional where the ATMs are located. Some stores do accept credit cards but not all of them.

A variety of tour companies in Montezuma offer everything from ATV/dirt bike rentals (about $65 a day), to horseback riding, to snorkeling tours.

Walk south from the village to get to some very nice and more secluded beaches.

Montezuma Falls - Take the trail heading up the hill from Amor de Mar to get you to a beautiful three-tiered waterfall. Many jump from the top of the second one about 70 feet into the pool below, but catastrophic injuries are not uncommon.

Montezuma Surfing [7] - Although it's not as popular as nearby Santa Teresa for surfing, Montezuma has several excellent surf spots, and a few surf schools as well.

  • Isla Tortuga Diving Club s.a, (Next to hotel Lys), 506/88 23 08 31 | + 506/26 42 05 44. 10 am to 6 pm. [1] Diving in Montezuma with Isla Tortuga Diving Club. Great team of friendly Italians will take you out to Tambor Bay and Tortuga Islands. For a two tank dive expect to pay 90$ per person, for a single tank 50$. They will arrange for you to be picked up at your hotel and driven to Tambor where the diving boat is. 50$ for 1 tank 90$ for two.  edit
  • Guided Tour (JC's Journeys Nature/Culture Tours), Montezuma, [2]. JC's Journeys (Nature/Culture Tours), Montezuma, [5]. There's a great local tour called Let's Get Local that shows you around the area and takes you to a family home, also nice birdwatching tour in the area. The newest tour is a night hike called Nocturno. You can book via email at [email protected] or on their website $30-$55.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are quite a few stores to purchase clothing, bathing suits, sunglasses, souvenirs, and so on. There is one medium-sized supermarket, Super Montezuma, and one fairly small supermarket, Super Mamatea, which will accept credit cards but won't provide cash back. Two internet cafes offer speedy, reasonably-priced Internet access.

Itinerant merchants and craftspeople line the streets of Montezuma, and their wares are often quite unique and interesting. You can negotiate with them, too.

Eat[edit][add listing]

If you are coming in from other parts of the country, be prepared for high prices. Even the casados will cost you $5 and up. The majority of restaurants/sodas cater to an American audience with hamburgers, muffins, sushi, pancakes, and pizza on the menu. Not your regular Costa Rican food...

  • Playa de los artistas [8], great decor and great food, the menu changes daly.
  • Cafe Organico, vegetarian and vegan food.
  • There's a restaurant in a somewhat hidden area, near the centre of town that serves a lobster buffet for $12.00.

Lots of places.

  • Chicos. Located in the heart of Montezuma, this restaurant serves up overpriced fare at painfully slow rates. Plan on waiting somewhere in the ballpark of 90 minutes for your food, regardless of time of day.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Chico's Bar - Chico's is in the center of town. Great place to hang out with both locals and other tourists.
  • Clandestina - Head towards Cabuya, cross the narrow bridge, then up the hill on the right toward the Butterfly Garden.
  • El Sano Banano, Montezuma. great hotel and restaurant. Watch out for the iguanas and birds. They'll try to steal your food.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Anamaya 506-2642-1289 [9] - Anamaya is a luxury boutique hotel and yoga retreat center, with organic food, and located right next to the Montezuma Waterfall. Primarily used for yoga retreats, yoga and surf camps, and yoga teacher trainings, but often a room or two will be available for hotel guests as well. Rates range from $150 to $250 per night + tax.
  • Hotel Amor de Mar 506-2642-0262 [10] - Located a short walk outside of town, across the road from the waterfalls. Absolutely gorgeous setting right on the ocean, with hammocks and chairs on the lawn, and a small tide pool that provides surprisingly good viewing of fish and other marine life. Variety of room types (some with shared bathroom, some with private). Rates range from $45 to $90 per night + tax.
  • Lucy's is north of town, and on the beach. $10 per person.
  • There is a pretty cheap camping site. 2$ per person. 2 Person tent costs 2 $ a night.
  • Hotel Lys. Right on the beach, this place is a little overpriced ($15/night) but has a great location and offers family style dinners each night. In peak season, try and book ahead of time.  edit
  • Hotel 3 Monkeys 506-2-642-1033 [11] - A short distance from the beach. Quiet peaceful setting. Avoid the crowds and the noise. Easily accessible. Rates range from $40-70.
  • Many other accommodations are available, to suite all budgets. Some very swanky places, such as Anamaya Resort and Ylang Ylang, will be amenable to wealthy travellers looking for a good beach and some luxury.
  • Casa de Romano. This new hostel consists of two beautiful big white houses, one of which has a lovely view over the sea. Monkeys can occasionally be seen in their well-maintained gardens, and some very large iguanas have favorite basking rocks around the houses. There is free use of the kitchen, but there is no hot water available on the premises at all. If you are an early riser you will be treated to the owner singing her morning vespers. To find it: at the bus stop, with your face towards the sea, go right. The road goes to the left, the hostel is on the corner. It is across the road from Hotel Lys. $10-$25.  edit
  • Hotel Casacolores, Apdo-180, 5361 Cobano de Puntarenas (on the main road 1 km before the village), +506 2642 0283, [3]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Family hotel in a quiet area. Swimming pool, wifi, hamocks, veranda, safety box, fully equipped kitchen and window screens, fans. $40.  edit
  • Jodokus Inn (Guest house), Calle Horizontes,Las Delicias (Up by Waterfall(amor del mar)3 times left by mariposario (steephill,yellow bridge)), 26421284, [4]. checkin: 1300; checkout: 1100. Jodokus Inn In the hills of Montezuma 3 km from town center with 6 rooms 4 to rent two 2 person rooms with private bathroom , two 4 person rooms with private or shared bathroom, full commercial kitchen with own fridge, breakfast included. $60-360. (9°38'50.7N,85°04'34.6W) edit

Get out[edit]

If you are trying to make your way back to the San Jose airport, take a $40 express 1 hour water taxi ride which takes you to Jaco. You can then take a $60.00, 2 hour taxi ride (with air conditioning) to San Jose. Inter-city buses (no air-conditioning) run from Jaco to San Jose every few hours for about $5.00 The bus station is located across the road not far from the Best Western in Jaco.

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