Guide to Montezuma – Costa Rica’s Trendiest (Hidden) Beach Town
Bohemian and laid-back Montezuma may be the latest ‘it’ beach destination in Costa Rica although, given its remote location, the risk that it’ll soon be overrun by masses are tourists are close to zilch. Located at southeastern of the Nicoya Peninsula and nestled amid untouched wilderness, Montezuma is the kind of place that takes time and effort to reach. Yet you know those places are always the best to discover and experience, because that ‘time and effort’ puts a lot of tourists off visiting.
This spells GREAT news for dedicated adventure-seekers visiting Costa Rica.
Why visit Montezuma Beach?
Families, couples and anyone who wants to get off the beaten trail in Costa Rica is enticed to Montezuma by the promise of sublimely uncrowded beaches, wildlife, wilderness, peace and quiet. The town is small and compact but bursting with a bunch of like-minded, nature-loving, adventure-seeking people. Vibrant and addictive, the vibe of Montezuma is both small-town Costa Rican and multicultural. The center is small but you’ll find amazing variety in everything, from food to souvenirs.
Boasting unpaved local roads, just two main streets and an out-there feel, Montezuma is Costa Rica’s wild west equivalent. The fabulous thing about this gem of a place is that although it may take some effort to reach, you’ll need to make none to enjoy your stay. There are bucket loads of things to see and do nearby and you’ll have no problems filling your days.
Plus, Montezuma will reward your efforts with spectacular sunrises AND sunsets….and ain’t that reason enough to visit?
What’s there to see and do in Montezuma
Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches will entice you to do nothing except lie in the sun or in a hammock tied up on palm trees, enjoy delicious refreshments and frolic in the azure seas when you get too hot. Not a bad way to relax, right?
Montezuma is no different.
Beach bumming galore – Playa Montezuma is the town’s crown-jewel although you can follow the coastal walk for hours and discover a multitude of remote coves, one more resplendent than the next. Pack drinks and snack and just choose of Nicoyan paradise.
Go chase waterfalls – On the opposite end of town (the south) are the wonderful triple Montezuma Waterfalls, a stunning place where you can spend an entire day. Hike, swim, cliff-jump, picnic and enjoy the outstanding scenery. You can also enjoy a thrilling zip line course here!
Snorkel at Turtle Island – Isla Tortuga is just off the coast of Montezuma town and offers fantastic snorkeling day-trip, especially for families.
Scuba dive just off the coast – The area around Montezuma is home to several reefs and is absolutely brimming with sensational marine life. Scuba diving trips from here are immensely rewarding.
Enjoy a sport fishing excursion – Pack the family and head off on a day’s sport fishing excursion, with local agencies providing all the gear you’ll need. We can help you organize half or full-day fishing tours in Montezuma (or anything else you’d like to do).
Visit the dead at Cabuya – A tiny island that you can actually walk to at low-tide, Cabuya hosts an old cemetery and although a visit sounds kinda creepy it’s actually kinda cool! This is a beautiful and contemplative place to visit and makes for awesome photography.
Hike to your heart’s content – Nearby Montezuma is the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, which was actually the first reserve ever designated in Costa Rica. The hiking trails are amazing and you’ll spot monkeys and birds galore. Also, guess what? Yes, there’s a gloriously remote beach here too so pack your swimmers (as well as water, sun cream and shades!)
Enjoy being part of the Montezuma family – There’s something super special about this place and the local’s warm hospitality is a huge part of that. Resident Ticos and expats alike know how lucky they are and although they may not wish to share their little corner of paradise, they do know that a handful of tourists are beneficial. Plus, they like seeing and meeting people who make the effort to explore what they consider to be the real side of Costa Rica. The upside of that is that Montezuma has an incredibly hospitable feel – stay for a few days and you’ll get to know pretty much everyone. And everyone will get to know you by name.
Where to feast in Montezuma
We really weren’t kidding about the culinary offerings in Montezuma – they really are all that! You will probably be surprised to find that this unassuming little beach town serves up some of the best Japanese, Middle Eastern and Italian THIS side of the Atlantic, plus plenty of gourmet bakeries and ever craft breweries to boot.
Where to stay in Montezuma
The magic of Montezuma is reflected in the healthy choice of budget, mid-range and deluxe accommodation. Since backpackers, families and honeymooning couples have discovered this place, you do have a huge choice of places to rest your head. From cheap and cheerful casitas and even project hostels, all the way to the fancy-schmanzy Ylang Ylang (just look at those pics!) and everything in between: finding a spot that fits your budget and desires is super easy here.
How to get to Montezuma
Given its remote location, it can take upwards of 7 hours to reach Montezuma from the capital, San Jose, with public transport. Given the convenience and COVID-safety aspect, this year, a private transfer is the best choice. For just a few extra bucks, you can enjoy a stunning drive along the entire east coast of Nicoya (if coming from the Liberia Airport). Alternatively, drive to Puntarenas town from San Jose and hop on a ferry that’ll cross the bay.
Learn all about Costa Rica’s amazing peninsulas.
Best time to visit Montezuma
Being in such a unique location gifts Montezuma year-round temps around 90F, with only slight drops of 20F in the coolest and rainiest months of October and November. The best and driest months are between December and April, although do note that strong winds are notorious in January and February.
With our Costa Rica Adventure Vacations, you are free to customize any part of your guided private tour and include a few days in Montezuma when visiting Puntarenas. We’d highly recommend leaving this spot for the end of your adventure, however: not only will you relish in the rest BUT it’ll also make it easier to drag you away when you have a plane to catch 😉
Want to know more? Contact us today