Montezuma Getting There
Domestic airlines Sansa and Nature Air both make the half hour flight from San Jose to Tambor. From there, Montezuma can be reached in 30-40 minutes by car.
Boat taxis are becoming the transport of choice between Montezuma and the central Pacific beach town of Jaco. The one-hour journey provides ample opportunities to view sea turtles, rays, whales and dolphins while zipping along the ocean in a high-powered speedboat. Boats can hold up to 18 passengers, are operated by bilingual guides, and have an overhead canopy for shade. Rates usually run about $40 per adult, and if the boat has space, last minute walk-ins are welcome. Passengers from 0-3 years of age are free; 3-10 years of age are $30. Surfboards have a $10 fee, and bicycles cost $30 extra. The entire boat can be rented for $400 (1-5 people) or $500 (up to 10 passengers), with a $40 charge for additional passengers.
Direct buses depart the Coca Cola Station in San Jose at 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for the five-hour journey to Montezuma. Buses cross the scenic Gulf of Nicoya via ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera. The cost is around $13.50 and includes the ferry fee. (Transportes Rodriguez Tel: 2221-7479) From Montezuma, buses depart daily for San Jose at 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
From Alajuela or San Jose, take the Caldera Highway west to Puntarenas. From there, take the ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya to the town of Paquera. The ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera runs at 5:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.; the current rate is about $1.60 for an adult passenger, $1 for children, $4.50 for bicycles, $7 for a motorcycle, $13.50 for a quad, and $22.50 for a car. Call ahead to check for schedule changes. (Ferry: Naviera Tambor tel. 2661-2084) From Paquera, drive 20 miles to Cobano and continue four miles south to Montezuma.
Coming from the Guanacaste region, the Puntarenas route is also recommended. The journey via the mainland to Naranjo and then down to Paquera looks shorter on the map. In reality, it is not. The road conditions from Naranjo to Paquera are poor, making the Puntarenas ferry your best bet.
From Samara and the coastal towns of Guanacaste, it is sometimes possible only in the driest part of the dry season (December through April) to take the seaside road leading south through Samara, Carillo, Punta Islita, Coyote, and finally Mal Pais. From there, it is possible to take a shortcut to Cabuya and Montezuma during the dry season – otherwise a stopover in Cobano is inevitable.
The Bongo River often blocks the path just before Mal Pais, so be sure to ask directions. Because driving through rivers is mandatory, this route can be hazardous and is not recommended. This journey is especially risky in a rental car, which can incur large fines for traversing rivers.