10 Things To Know Before Visiting Montezuma Costa Rica

10 Things To Know Before Visiting Montezuma Costa Rica

Montezuma is the epidemy of a laid back small bohemian beach town located in the southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula. It’s artistic flair seen in its shops along the main street, beach bum vibe, and its gorgeous surroundings make Montezuma a must-see destination for the small town beach lover like myself. 

What is the main reason to visit Montezuma besides its bohemian village appeal, laid back vibe and beautiful beaches?

Well besides it being the perfect place to destress while you leave the real world behind there are lots of fun adventures just waiting for you in this little town. Firstly, it’s home to the Montezuma Waterfall which is within a lush rainforest, with cascading waterfalls surrounded by towering cliffs. The falls consist of three separate falls, freshwater pools, a rope swing, and massive rock cliffs where many locals and tourists alike can be seen diving from the top of the huge cliffs into the cool freshwater pool below. Here are our  “10 Things To Know Before Visiting Montezuma Costa Rica”.

1.  How do I get to Montezuma?
You don’t need a car here. If you like the idea of saving some money take public transportation or the shuttle into Montezuma. The town is really small, and everything you need is within a 5-minute walk. There are also excursion companies in the city that will take care of your transportation needs.

By bus and shuttle:

From San Jose, the most economical way to get to Montezuma is by bus. You will need to take a cab from the bus station to the ferry station. When you arrive at the ferry station there are two ferry routes to choose from, make sure you choose the Puntarenas to Paquera option. Once you arrive in Puntarenas, you will take an hour-long ferry to Paqueras where you will take another bus for an hour-long ride to Montezuma. If you are taking the public bus to Montezuma make sure you have lots of water and if you can freeze it the night before. Not only is the weather hot, but many of the buses on route to Montezuma don’t have air conditioning and are sweat boxes. The estimated cost for this travel journey is $8.50 per person.  

If you choose not to take the public bus route, you can hire a shuttle to take you from the airport, to the ferry, and directly to Montezuma.  If you choose this option, you can leave your luggage on the shuttle bus when getting on the ferry.  We took the public bus which meant we had to cart our luggage on and off the ferry ourselves.  Although this was the cheaper route, if you don’t want to lug your luggage up a flight of stairs you may want to go by shuttle.  This ferry can take people and cars so it makes it convenient.

“Living our best life.”


Montezuma Waterfall

2. Beaches of Montezuma:
Playa Montezuma in Montezuma Bay is the main beach where most people swim. Our advice would be to stick there if you are looking for a beach to swim. Not only are the rip currents on the other beaches stronger, but the rocks at the bottom of the ocean are everywhere. When the waves hit you, and you fall on one, it hurts like crazy. We were tripping and falling, and as you can see on the video, Joel got scraped up pretty good. If you walk south from Playa Montezuma, you will come to Las Manchas, Las Rocas, and Los Cedros. Most of these beaches are rather deserted because of the conditions described above; however, if you want a secluded experience head out for a walk along the beach towards Cabuya.

3. Take an Isla Tortuga snorkeling tour.
We took an excursion tour to Isla Tortuga Island, and it was a lot of fun!! It’s a full day excursion where, you will take a boat with approximately 20 people from Playa Montezuma Beach, to the island of Tortuga or Turtle Island as many call it. We took the tour through Zuma Tours and were happy with the tour and the English speaking guide. The tour includes a lunch cooked on the island, drinks for the day, and snorkeling. After dropping off the cook on the island, the guide will take you to a snorkeling area about 10 minutes from the island. You can snorkel for approximately an hour before heading back to the island for lunch, drinks, and relaxation on the beach for a few hours.

 “Just go. Go see all the beauty in the world.”

4. Take a hike to Montezuma waterfall.
We went on a Sunday, and it was very busy with locals and tourists. It was a double-edged sword. It was amazing watching the locals jump from the waterfall but very busy and a little shady. A few of the locals were jumping off the top of the waterfall which was over 50 feet high. Check out our video on this post to see the craziness.

We learned firsthand to make sure to keep an eye on our stuff. Of course, upon arriving at the falls, Joel was taking video with his GoPro along with drone shots. We have a cooler backpack we use on all of our hikes which Joel put his camera into before jumping into the water. Two of the locals saw him taking video, and as soon as he jumped into the water, they went over towards the bag. We noticed them right away, and we could tell they were waiting for him to get preoccupied with the waterfall or whatever.

We’re careful about keeping our eyes on the bag because it has a lot of what we need for our travels. He noticed the guys get out of the water and both of them were standing next to our bag staring back at Joel. He said he had a bad feeling, so he swam over really fast never taking his eyes off them. As soon as he got out of the water and came over to the bag they jumped in and swam back to their big group which included their children by the way.

We were told by a few people in Puntarenas, before getting on the taxi to watch our bags because there is a petty theft problem in the area. It’s the first time we felt someone was trying to steal from us since we started our traveling. I would not let this deter you from going to the waterfall, as this can happen anywhere and it was an awesome day but be sure to watch your stuff.  

*** Just remember when you get to the waterfall, there are lots of people so keep an eye on your stuff. Always, always have somebody with your bag or watch it at all times.

5. Enjoy the fun nightlife in Montezuma for the nightlife.
During the weekend especially, make sure you go out at night. The town is literally shaking haha. Music, people dancing, beers flowing it’s a wild town on the weekends. Chico’s Bar in the center of town is the place to be for expats, tourists, locals, and students after 10 pm on the weekends. If you’re looking for a party, you will find it there!

6. Try the chicken kabobs from the local street vendor on the corner on the main street. There’s a guy on the corner where the two main roads converge that cooks chicken kabobs on the grill (in the video). Try these kabobs, Joel thought they were amazing!! I think they are 1,000 colones.

A Day in Montezuma

This video shows the Montezuma Waterfall which is one of our “10 Things You Should Know Before Visting Montezuma”

 10 Things To Know Before Visiting Montezuma Costa Rica

7. Tip for the grocery store.
If you go to the grocery store, they do not have plastic bags even for purchase so bring your own bag or backpack. Costa Rica as a whole is very environmentally conscience and its even more evident in the town Montezuma.

8. Be prepared for the heat and plan accordingly.
Did I say it was hot? Well, it is, extremely. We were visiting Montezuma in March which is considered their peak season or dry season and it was typically 85-90 degrees with 75% humidity. Make sure your accommodations have air conditioning if you’re not used to the heat and humidity.

9. Accommodations
A great place to stay is the Nya Hotel at the end of the main street and just steps from the beach. You can check prices here for Montezuma.  We showcased the Nya Hotel in our Honeymoon Blog Series, and we even spent a couple of nights at the hotel. It’s absolutely beautiful, and we highly recommend staying at Nya because of their great location, service, amenities, and for a full tropical experience. Many animals were living on site, such as howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, and even a tayra which is very rare to see. The Nya Hotel has a wonderful French restaurant called Ubin on site which is to die for so if you’re looking for a romantic restaurant give them a try.

10. Make sure if you’re hiking, walking or whatever you plan on doing during the day always have lots of water with you.             You can’t drink the water in Montezuma so you will have to boil it first, bring a filter or be prepared to purchase water (which is on the expensive side in Costa Rica). We used the Sawyer mini water filter which has been really handy. It’s light, compact and it doesn’t take up much room in a suitcase at all.

More 2 Traveling Lovers Article & Video links from Costa Rica:

We spent a month traveling throughout Costa Rica.  If you’re interested in visiting the area, we hope you will find our articles and videos helpful.  All of our posts have a video included, and we have more videos on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too so you won’t miss a video. Subscribe here.  

Below are a few articles and videos from our stay in Costa Rica:

Top Costa Rica Budget Vacation Tips

Cost Of Living For A Couple In Costa Rica

Best La Fortuna Restaurants In Costa Rica

Honeymoon/Couples Getaway Resort In Costa Rica   

Cost Of Living For a Couple Living in The Dominican Republic

8 Best Things To Do In La Fortuna Costa Rica

2 Traveling Lovers Videos ONLY on YouTube

Best FREE Excursions – La Fortuna

La Fortuna Waterfall

 Top Things To Do In La Fortuna

A Day In Montezuma

Costa Rica Transportation

Jaguar Rescue Center In Puerto Viejo


These are areas in Costa Rice we have traveled to and we recommend staying in these areas based upon our personal experience.  Click on the town to be referred to the booking.com link to each city.

La Fortuna   


Manuel Antonio

Quepos/Puerto Viejo


Closing Words

I hope you found our 10 Things To Know Before Visiting Montezuma Costa Rica to be useful and you are excited to visit Montezuma Costa Rica.  

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