Montezuma beach
photo by Christian Haugen

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

Getting there

Take the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera (a couple 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. 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.

Traveling around

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

  • 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

  • At Playa Grande you find a secluded beach with the option to go nude

Things to do

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. 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 $35 a day), to horseback riding, to 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 feet into the pool below, but catastrophic injuries are not uncommon.


If you are coming in from other parts of the country, be prepared for high prices. Even the casadas 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...

  • Hotel Montezuma

  • Pizza Net

  • 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 restuarant 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.


  • Chico's Bar - Chico's is in the center of town. Great place to hang out with both locals and other tourists.


  • Hotel Amor de Mar 506-642-0262 - 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 $45 to $90 per night + tax.

  • Lucy's is north of town, and on the beach. $7 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.

  • Hotel 3 Monkeys 506-2-642-1033 - 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.


There are quite a few stores to purchase clothing, bathing suits, sunglasses, souvenirs, and so on. There is also a medium-sized supermarket, 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 trying to make your way back to the San Jose airport, take a $65/3 hours express ride: 1 hour water taxi + 2 hours taxi ride (with air condition). This option can be purchased at any of the local tour companies. It is worth it.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Christian Haugen, Chad Teer, Olaf

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Peter Fitzgerald, Stefan Ertmann, Luke Rodgers, David and, Inas, Morph and WindHorse

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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