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What to do in and around Montezuma

Montezuma is for all those who love the coolness (Pura Vida) of Costa Rica. If you want to escape the stress, this is the place to come. It is a small picturesque town located on the east coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, in the province of Puntarenas, 158 km from the airport in San Jose. Hippie and artistic atmosphere guaranteed, with nice little hotels and a population composed of "ticos" and foreigners who have fallen in love with the area.


1. Visit Montezuma

Montezuma is a very picturesque and colorful little beach town. You can easily walk through it from end to end in about 15 minutes. There is a main road that runs through the outside of town and along the coast. From this road, there is a street that enters the town and ends at the north end of Playa Montezuma. Take a stroll and enjoy the restaurants, cafes and bars along the main road lined with vendors selling all kinds of handicrafts, necklaces and colorful bracelets.
Montezuma has some small convenience stores, a bank and tour operators, but if you need other important services, you will have to go to Cobano, the local town, about 15 minutes away. Cobano has a gas station, more banks, pharmacies, ATMs, etc.

Go to Montezuma

2. Montezuma Beach

You can walk for miles along the rocky shores of Montezuma, the bay and the nearby beaches. Playa Montezuma is the main beach next to Montezuma Bay. If you continue walking south, you will come to Las Manchas, Las Rocas and Los Cedros. All of these beautiful beaches have similar characteristics: clear sand, rocky shoreline and big waves. Chances are you'll be the only one on these beaches, as most tourists don't go all the way south.
No sunsets in Montezuma like there are in Santa Teresa, but the great thing is that you will have the beach practically to yourself and you can enjoy the tide pools. Since the coastline is very rocky, at low tide you can sit in the tide pools or watch the many creatures there !

Montezuma WaterfallsCrédits : TripAdvisor – Jamie @WorldExplorer17418

3. Bathing in the waterfalls of Montezuma

The Montezuma waterfalls are the most popular attraction in the area. Even lovers of the competing beach, Santa Teresa, go there for a change of scenery. The entrance to the Montezuma waterfalls is near the Cascada Hotel, near the bridge. We recommend that you wear hiking sandals or water shoes, definitely not flip-flops. The hike takes about 20 minutes to reach the first waterfall. There are 3 in total: the upper falls, the middle falls and the lower falls.

The upper falls are actually the smallest, making them a good option for those with children. The middle falls are about 12 meters high and are fairly hidden between the upper and lower falls. The lower waterfall is the largest and most popular, with its 25 meter drop and a nice pool suitable for a refreshing swim after a long hike.

Cabo blanco reserve wildlife

4. Visit the Curú Reserve

One of the must-see in Costa Rica! Do you want to see animals up close? You should definitely go to Curú, especially if you have children. This paradise covers about 1,496 hectares of forests, mangroves, beaches and marine habitats. With its high biodiversity, you are guaranteed to see monkeys, coatis, scarlet macaws, white-tailed deer and hundreds of other species of tropical and migratory birds native to this area. There is a beautiful beach in the shape of a shell, where it is good to swim because there are few waves. A heavenly place.

5. Walking around the Cabo Blanco Reserve

We strongly recommend that you go to Cabo Blanco. This nature reserve is located a short drive from Montezuma, and offers some great hiking trails. The reserve encompasses 1,172 hectares of tropical rainforest and a rich marine and jungle ecosystem. The reserve is also home to many seabirds. If you are lucky, you may also see some wildlife, such as deer, armadillos, anteaters, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys and coatis, to name a few !

Surf santa teresa

6. Surfing in Santa Teresa

Grab your rental car and head out for the day to Santa Teresa, one of Costa Rica's most famous surf spots. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, you'll find something to suit you here or on the surrounding beaches. For surfing lessons, you will find plenty of surf schools on the main street from Playa del Carmen to Santa Teresa. Most schools offer group and individual lessons. The beaches are so large that even if it gets crowded, you'll have plenty of room! One of the most famous breaks is the "Suck Rock" in front of the Red Palm Villas Resort, and next to it is the spot "La Lora" which takes its name from the local nightclub located across the street. For less experienced surfers, we recommend Playa Hermosa where the waves are more suitable and regular.

How to get there ?

Taking the ferry from Puntarenas with your car is the most pleasant way to get to Montezuma, but you can also make the entire trip in a rental car by driving around the Amistad Bridge. The drive from San Jose to Montezuma takes about 5-6 hours and the best route is Route 1, Route 18 and Route 21 which go around the Nicoya Peninsula. Tip: Don't take any of the shortcuts suggested by Waze, as the trail is simply impassable! If you plan to explore the area or continue along the Nicoya Peninsula to Santa Teresa, Samara, Nosara or even to Tamarindo, a 4×4 is highly recommended, as these roads are not paved and they are rural areas.