- Summary: Mellow and trippy beach village; exceptional surfing; spectacular scenery and hiking
- Landscape: soft-sand rugged beaches, new-growth rainforest
- Attactions: Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve, Cocalito and Montezuma waterfalls, Cabuya Island, The Strangler Tree
- Activities: Bird & wildlife watching, hiking, snorkeling, surfing, swimming, sunbathing
- Caters to: Budget travelers, couples/honeymooners, surfers, wildlife enthusiasts
- Quick Facts: 8 miles north of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa ; Hot and sunny with little rain ; 84 to 90°F ; Sea level
Mellow and trippy, Montezuma draws the young and young-at-heart, free-spirited travelers and those longing for a little more peace and love in a bohemian fairy-land, sprawling from the edge of the ocean toward a cliff face, among luxuriant rainforest, roaring waterfalls, abundant wildlife and stretches of sand and lava rock-strewn beaches artfully contrived to leave the impression that nature shaped them, not humans.read more close
Unplug along the forsaken rugged Montezuma five-mile (eight-km) coastal rainforest jungle, northward to Playa Grande in its lengthy sandy stretch, past the meandering stream into the rocky waterfall-spilling cove of Piedra Colorada Beach, and continue southward from Montezuma to Cabuya Beach to sweeps of sand and rock-strewn, interrupted by river mouths.
Explore the wildlife coastal corridor from Playa Grande, past Cabuya towering strangler tree, to the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in the Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve where howler and white-faced monkeys swing from tree to tree, birds and bats flutter on tree tops while white-tailed deers, anteaters, coatimundis drink from the clearest water streams of the forest.
Peer to the horizon during the day to get a glimpse of turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, dolphins traveling in pods, and humpback whales swimming in the shores of Montezuma coast to give birth to their calves between July and November.
Sign up as a turtle volunteer for one night to walk from Montezuma beach to Playa Grande to protect Olive Ridley turtles and their eggs from poachers and predators, and transfer the turtle eggs to a safe hatchery from July to September 30th.
Horseback or trek the seven-mile (11-km) coastal trail skirting north past Montezuma Beach, through Piedra Colorada Beach, continue Playa Grande arrive at Playa Cocalito and enjoy Cocalito Waterfall – one of the few waterfalls in the world that drips directly over the ocean.
Zip line over the Montezuma river valley with breathtaking views of the northern coast; feel the roar of the upper, middle and lower Montezuma waterfalls.
Beach lovers bask in the sun at any beach along the coast and people watchers enjoy seeing newbie surfers trying to catch waves in Playa Grande or intermediate and advanced surfers riding waves in Reyes or Cedros beach.
For those looking for an undersea adventure, cruise to Tortuga Islands on a day tour and discover their vibrant marine life or head to Cabuya at low tide, plunge in behind Cabuya Island and snorkel the skirts of the cemetery brimming with amazing creatures – under the right weather conditions – tip: rent snorkeling equipment in Montezuma.
Framed by the sparkling Gulf of Nicoya and imposing cliffs covered in tropical rainforest, Montezuma is visually stunning. Walking to and from the outskirts of village is possible, but can be a hot and steep endeavor, braved only by those in good physical condition. Though rental cars, all-terrain vehicles and bicycles are other practical means to explore the area, tanned and toned pedestrians clad in swimsuits still outnumber those with wheels.
Montezuma, little L shaped village, has transformed from a main trading port to two main intersecting roads serving as the center of the village and a meeting point filled with surf, crafts and knick-knack shops, a supermarket, hostels and restaurants at the edge of the beach berm. Artists have covered the walls with ever-changing murals surrounding the main bus station.
In Montezuma, time seems to float by more slowly than in other parts of the world. Nothing is rushed. By night, the scene shifts to the center of the village where fire dancers along with flame jugglers and spinners – usually on Thursdays from Dec. to Apr. - dazzle tipsy travelers who dance to the beat of the drummers as an entrancing smell moves through the roads and lingers at the beach.