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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 US dollars per person, or about $9 per car), and then drive or take a bus. The road from Paquera is 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.

Alternatively, you can fly from San José to the small airstrip at Tambor and then take a taxi. Sansa has daily flights, which take around 30 minutes. 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.

There are also taxi boats from Herradura to Montezuma.

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.


  • Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve Take the 8AM bus there to ensure you have enough time. It is a 2-hour hike from visitor's center to the beach. US$10 entry fee per person.
Beach at 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
  • Hanging out on the beach


  • A variety of tour companies in Montezuma offer ATV/dirt bike rentals (about US$65 a day), horseback riding, and snorkeling tours.
  • Walk south from the village to get to some very nice and more secluded beaches.
  • 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 ft (21 m) into the pool below, but catastrophic injuries are not uncommon.
  • Proyecto Montezuma - TEFL Certification, Surf School, Spanish Classes, Tour Agency
  • Isla Tortuga Diving Club s.a (Next to hotel Lys), +506 8823-0831, +506 2642-0544. 10:00-18:00. 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. US$50 for one tank $90 for two.
  • Los Delfines Golf Course, Playa Tambor (Beside the Tambor airport and minutes away from Montezuma).
  • Montezuma Yoga (at Hotel Los Mangos), +506 87041632, +506 2642 1311, . 08:00-18:00. Daily yoga classes & retreats at Montezuma Yoga, located at Hotel Los Mangos, on the main road towards the waterfalls. Yoga classes led by experienced teachers for all levels; beginners are welcome, mats are available. US$14 single class.
  • [dead link] Costa Rica Color Photography Tours (Photography Tours & Classes), Montezuma, +506 8334-9976, . Learn how to use your digital camera and improve your photography skills. Half and full day digital photography tours available. Daily and weekly digital photography classes offered as well.


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. Some stores do accept credit cards but not all of them. There are quite a few stores to purchase clothing, bathing suits, sunglasses, souvenirs, and so on. There are 2 medium-sized supermarkets, 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.


If you are coming in from other parts of the country, be prepared for high prices. Even the casadas will cost you US$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, great decor and great food, the menu changes daily.
  • Cafe Organicos, vegetarian and vegan food.
  • There's a restaurant in a somewhat hidden area, near the centre of town that serves a lobster buffet for US$12.
  • 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.
  • El Sano Banano, Montezuma - El Sano Banano offers nightly movies for free with the purchase of a meal over US$5. They also have great sushi offerings and good service.


  • Chico's Bar - Chico's is in the center of town. Great place to hang out with locals and other tourists.
  • 1 Panorama Bar, 10 meters above Butterfly Brewery (we are located 400 meters up the road to Delicias from the waterfall parking lot in town. You will see the sign for Sunshine Sanctuary and Panorama is at the end of the road - 10 meters), +506-7014-8394, . 12-6pm. Enjoy the ocean view and the pool!


  • Anamaya, +506 2642-1289. 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 US$150 to $250 per night + tax.
  • Hotel Amor de Mar, +506 2642-0262. 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 US$45 to $90 per night + tax.
  • Lucy's is north of town, and on the beach. US$10 per person.
  • There is a pretty cheap camping site. US$2 per person. Two-person tent costs $2 a night.
  • Hotel Lys. Right on the beach, this place is a little overpriced (US$15/night) but has a great location and offers family style dinners each night. In peak season, try and book ahead of time.
  • Hotel 3 Monkeys, +506 2642-1033. A short distance from the beach. Quiet peaceful setting. Avoid the crowds and the noise. Easily accessible. Rates range from US$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 Hermano. This 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. US$10-25.
  • Hotel Casacolores, Apdo-180, 5361 Cobano de Puntarenas (on the main road 1 km before the village), +506 2642-0283. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Family hotel in a quiet area. Swimming pool, Wi-Fi, hamocks, veranda, safety box, fully equipped kitchen and window screens, fans. US$40.
  • 1 Ylang Ylang Beach Resort (700 m north of the School Puntarenas), +506 2642-0636, toll-free: +1 888-795-8494, . Check-in: 11AM, check-out: 2PM. Beach resort with a spa, a restaurant with vegan options, and activities such as yoga and other vacation packages.
  • Hotel Aurora, Montezuma - Offers hot water, air conditioning, television, and refrigerators in some rooms. Also features a shared kitchen. Rooms start at US$30 a person during high season.
  • 2 Sunshine Sanctuary Boutique Jungle Lodge, 10 meters above Butterfy Brewery (turn right on the first street above the parking lot to the waterfalls in town - 400 meters up the hill towards Delicias you will see a sign. Enter our driveway there and follow the road about 100 meters.), +506-7014-8394, . Check-in: 2, check-out: 11. Sunshine Sanctuary is more than a hotel. This quiet treasure is nestled in the heart of the jungle. Each room offers a private entrance, private balcony, AC, hot water and cable TV. Included in your stay is a full breakfast, a private hanging bridge, cafe, bar, Fiber optic WIFI, a fully stocked kitchen available to guests, laundry services and a yoga shala. This sanctuary is located as close to the Montezuma waterfalls as one can stay, a leisurely 10-minute walk, which is reached by a private path. Along the way you will likely encounter howler and white-faced monkeys, toucans, and a rainbow of other birds, pizotes, a myriad of butterflies and the wonder of local flora. We are located about 400 meters from the beach. The main road from the beach is steep. Gravel steps and stairs are a part of the journey. Varies sesonally.

Go next[edit]

If you are trying to make your way back to the San José airport, take a US$40 express 1-hour water taxi ride which takes you to Jacó. You can then take a US$60, 2-hour taxi ride (with air conditioning) to San José. Inter-city buses (no air-conditioning) run from Jacó to San José every few hours for about $5. The bus station is located across the road not far from the Best Western in Jacó.

To Monteverde by public bus: Take the morning bus in Monteverde to Paquera (₡ 1800). In Paquera take the ferry to go to Puntarenas (₡ 810). From the harbour take a taxi to the bus station (approx. ₡ 750). Wait 2 hours at the bus stop or have some food in a nearby cornershop. From there leaves a public bus directly to Monteverde (₡ 1450).

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