Montezuma, Costa Rica

Over the years, the laid-back beach village of Montezuma has been a magnet for those seeking an off the beaten path escape from the all-inclusive mania that has swept over Costa Rica’s Northwest Pacific region.

Although many people think that Montezuma lies within Guanacaste province, the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula where it is located actually belongs to Puntarenas province.

Playa Montezuma is a breathtaking expanse of white sand and clear blue-green waters set against a thick jungle backdrop, while the town, which has seen some development over the years, still maintains an artsy, natural vibe with plenty of options for accommodation and restaurants offering an array of international cuisine.

Apart from the usual activities such as canopy ziplining, horseback riding, and ATV tours, Montezuma offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy its natural surroundings.

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve is an exquisite national park with magical jungle trails and a pristine beach located just a short drive or taxi ride away. Montezuma is also home to some majestic waterfalls that you must not leave without soaking under. These popular attractions demand at least a half-day visit, and they are just a short walk away to the south of town. The pounding water cascades into refreshing pools where you can take a dip or dive into from the surrounding cliffs if you feel up for the challenge.

A highly recommended tour that can be arranged in Montezuma is the boat trip out to Isla Tortuga, a heavenly little island of white sand and clear, turquoise waters that boast a vibrant and colorful underwater life. Snorkeling here is heavenly and diving can also be arranged here.

Weather and Packing Checklist

This piece of paradise is blissfully located in one of Costa Rica’s driest areas. The rainy season here usually strikes in September and October, while the months of November to August are generally gorgeous and sunny. Montezuma enjoys daytime temperatures that hover in the upper 80s and lower 90s, and nighttime lows that drop to the upper 70s.

When packing for your Montezuma getaway, don’t forget to throw in beach clothes, swimsuits, flip flops, beach towels, shorts, a hat, t-shirts, rain gear insect repellent, sunblock, and aloe vera gel or lotion to hydrate after sunbathing.

How to Get There

From San José:

By plane:     

Located about 17 km away, the closest airport to Montezuma is in Tambor, which could be around a $30 USD taxi ride. The two domestic airlines Sansa and Nature Air offer daily 30-minute flights from San José to Tambor. The cost of a one-way ticket ranges from $65 to $83.

By car:

The quickest route from San José to Montezuma is on Autopista del Sol to Puntarenas, where you would get on the ferry to Paquera. Montezuma is about an hour south of Paquera on a paved road.

By bus:

Transportes Cóbano ( has daily, direct buses from downtown San José’s Coca-Cola bus station to Montezuma that leave from the Coca-Cola bus station. The trip takes about five hours and tickets cost around 6,500 Colones (approximately $13 USD).

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