Montezuma is located in the South of the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s a popular tourist destinations because of its proximity to other Costa Rican landmarks such as Cabo Blanco, the first National Park in Costa Rica, Tortuga Island and the Curu Wild Life Reserve.
Montezuma beaches are wide, the sand is soft and clean, and the water can be rather temperamental depending on the time of year, like many of the beaches on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. From these beaches you can see the sunrise, usually beginning at 5:20 am.
The most popular hotspots of Montezuma are:
-The waterfalls: they are about a 10 minute hike, from the town center (truthfully, 10 in flip flops and 15 barefoot ), or a couple of minutes with a vehicle (there is a private parking lot at the waterfall and two public ones close to town). This spectacular place has three waterfalls, neatly stacked one on top of the other and being more than 15 meters high. The trip can be a bit intense and sometimes you might need to use a rope (conveniently posted along the mountain). If you are a strong swimmer and not afraid of the heights, you can jump from a rock to the deepest pool of the second waterfall, not for the faint of heart! But remember to do it with caution.
-Piedra Colorada is just before Playa Grande and just after Hotel Ylang Ylang. Piedra Colorada begins as a waterfall and ends up as a soft stream that flows into the ocean. Here you can enjoy the cool water of the falls and the ambience of the ocean while checking out (or if the spirit moves you, partaking in) the meditative act of “balancing stone” artwork at the mouth of the stream, created over the years by inspired tourists and locals.
-El Chorro and Playa Cocalito: From Montezuma center it is about a 2 1/2 hour hike on the beach. For those who do not wish to walk, there is another point of access from Tambor Beach, but believe me when I say the hike is worth it (a horseback trip is also an option). You’ll get to experience 4 scenic beaches in this trip; Montezuma Beach, Piedra Colorada, Playa Grande and finally Cocalito. Here you will find Rio Bonito, a river where the water will delight and intrigue you, hot on the bottom and cool on the surface (in the dry season). From the river you will see the waterfall. It is a majestic place where the fresh water flows in and mingles with the ocean, like nature toasting for a job well done.
-The Butterfly Gardens: (Update to September 2022: At the moment the Butterfly Garden is undergoing remodeling and improvements) The gardens are lush, tropical and peaceful. A fantastic opportunity to learn about the fascinating world of the lepidoptera (read: butterfly), you should not leave Montezuma without seeing this.
Montezuma is a town with two streets but for sure it’s a place with a lot to offer. There are plenty of tours offered in this area from island trips, to horseback riding, to canopy zip line fun… and those are just day time activities! About nighttime, options, options, options. Enjoy a delicious dinner in one of the many unique restaurants in town, then watch a spontaneous jam session/fire dance from where you dine, then grab a partner and go dance! Finally, settle down at the beach Playa Montezuma and watch the stars or wander around to meet and befriend tourists from all over the world and Costa Rica.
Currently in Montezuma there are some exciting projects about arts and ecology going on, but I will tell you more about them in future articles.
To close, all I can tell is that Montezuma is “Pura Vida”: relaxing beaches, breath-taking landscapes, bright vivid colors, wild animals living among humans; smiling people; a harmonious, joyful and peaceful beachside village! Qué viva Montezuma!