The Montezuma Waterfalls are three cascades along the Montezuma River and are 40 meters (130 ft) high in total. The tallest part of the falls is the lowest tier, tumbling 79 feet (24 meters) into a large pool at the river bottom.
Not only are the falls themselves beautiful, but you can swim in the refreshing pools and even jump from some of them, the smaller ones, if you dare.
There are two main options when hiking to the Montezuma Waterfalls, the Riverbed Trail and the Canopy Tour Stairs Trail. The Riverbed Trail is probably the best one if you want to visit the Lower Waterfall. This waterfall is the one that people visit most because it is the largest, has the shortest hike, is free (except for parking), and is closer to town. You don’t need a car to get here if you are staying near downtown Montezuma
You will find access to the Riverbed Trail of the Montezuma Waterfall at the main beach roadside. From downtown Montezuma, walk or drive about 0.3 miles (0.5 km) south to the small bridge that crosses the Rio Montezuma. Just after the bridge, there is a trail and parking area on the right. Parking costs ₡1000 (about $2), otherwise there is no entrance fee. A sign at the Waterfall entrance displays the different trails and levels. Be sure to read the recommendations before undertaking the 20 minute hike up the river reaching the lower and biggest waterfall with a 24 meter cascade.
This waterfall has a nice pool to swim in while you gaze up at the cascading water. There are smooth rocks to relax on and some trees for shade. It is not safe to jump from the top of this waterfall because of the dangerous rocks, but you may see some local divers jumping into the water.
For thrill-seekers who want to jump from heights into a waterfall pool, they can do so, up above at pools two and three. But we recommend taking the Canopy Tour Stairs Trail as the Riverbed trail is very extreme and somewhat dangerous.
The Canopy Tour Stair Trail for accessing the Montezuma Waterfalls requires a car or at least a ride. This way brings you through the property of Sun Trails, over two of their hanging bridges, and then to the Top Waterfall. From there, you can climb on the rocks and then swim across the pool to see the Middle Waterfall.
The tour company charges a $4 toll for using their stairs and trails, they keep the area clean, and protect it from soil erosion during the rainy season.
Be sure to wear sturdy, water-resistant shoes as you will wade through the river and climb over slippery rocks and roots. We suggest wearing shorts and a T-shirt with your bathing suit underneath. That way, you can easily swim if you want to. And do not forget mosquito spray, sunscreen, and a waterproof bag for your phone comfortably packed in a small backpack. If you bring some snacks, make sure you collect all garbage and take it back to your hotel or house where you can dispose of it.
Please keep in mind all waterfalls are not regulated for safety. Respect nature.
THE DO NOT LIST:
don’t get too close to the edge of the waterfalls where you can slip
don’t jump from the top
don’t swim under powerful waterfalls that can suck you under
don’t leave garbage behind