Montezuma, Costa Rica

A remote bohemian beach destination

The Montezuma Vibe

Montezuma is a small and cute beach town. The white sand beaches are some of the nicest we’ve experienced in the whole country and you just can’t beat the vibe here.

The relaxed, nature-loving, hippie vibe is totally up our alley.

In all honesty, not to insult the rest of beautiful Costa Rica, but if we ever buy a house in Costa Rica it will without a doubt be in Montezuma. We just love it so much!
We 100% recommend visiting.

OK, enough fangirling. Now on to the rest of the Montezuma guide!

montezuma map

Map Of Montezuma

Montezuma is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, the little hook of Costa Rica.

This area is not the easiest to access, but that seems to give it a lot of its charm.

Montezuma at a Glance

Nearest International Airport

Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia

 

Popular Things to Do

Take a day trip to Isla Tortuga, walk the miles of beaches, visit the Montezuma Waterfall

 

Best Way to Get Around

Rental car, walking in the downtown area

 

Best Time of Year to Visit

Dry season is from late December until mid-April

 

Best Hikes

The nearby Cabo Blanco Reserve

 

Getting to Montezuma

Flights to Costa Rica

Montezuma is great because it is easily accessible from the Liberia airport and the San Jose airport. 

More and more airlines are starting service to Liberia so check out the rates. It may be worth it for you.

If you haven’t booked your flight yet, we suggest using Skyscanner. We consistently find the best rates through their website.

 


Rental Car

If coming from San Jose we suggest driving to Puntarenas and taking the ferry to Pacquera. From Pacquera the drive is a little over one hour to Montezuma.

You can find more about the ferry with our ferry guide

This trip will likely take about five hours. 

Renting a 4×4 or at least an SUV is recommended. Most of the roads are well maintained but in Montezuma some of the roads are not paved. During rainy season things can get a bit interesting.  

We suggest booking your car with our favorite local company, Adobe. They have given us a 10% discount plus other great perks to pass on to you.

You can book your rental car here.

Private Shuttle

If you don’t think you will need a car while in Montezuma, a private shuttle is a good option.

You can book your private shuttle here

Domestic Flight

There is a domestic airport located in Tambor (about 20 minutes from Montezuma). 

These flights can be a bit pricey and if you get scared by small planes, this probably isn’t the best option for you, but it will definitely majorly cut down on your travel time! 

You can check out all your flight options here. 

 

Getting Around in Montezuma

We suggest depending on a rental car while in Montezuma. The downtown area and beaches are easily accessible by foot, but you’ll probably want to take day trips while you are here and that is easiest to do by car.

If you plan on just relaxing on the beach and exploring the downtown area, save yourself some money and skip the rental car. 

As we already mentioned, you will likely need a vehicle with 4 wheel drive or at the very least an SUV (especially in the rainy season).

Book Your Transportation

Montezuma Weather

Like most of the country, the dry season here runs from mid-December until April or May.

From May until August you can expect some afternoon rainstorms, however, we once visited in early August and we didn’t have any rain during the four days we were there. You just never know!

From mid-August until December a lot of things close down because the weather can be really rainy.

We visited one year in late September and it rained every day but the next year we visited at the same time and had perfect weather. It’s impossible to predict.

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Montezuma Hotels

High-End Hotels

Ylang Ylang Beach Resort

Rustic luxury on the beach. The rooms and facilities have a jungle feel to them but are top-notch. There is a restaurant, pool, and yoga classes on-site. 

Aves Hotel & Resort 

A small jungle resort located 1.3 kilometers from the beach. There is a restaurant, spa, and pool on the property for guests to use. 

Kalapiti Jungle Suites 

A unique hotel in the jungle. Enjoy the pool, hot tub, Turkish bath, yoga classes, and delicious restaurant on-site. 

 

Mid-Range Hotels

Fitos House 

Modern rooms located near downtown Montezuma. There is a pool on the property.

Casitas Sollevante

Beautiful hotel with pool and hot tub located about 1 mile from downtown Montezuma.

 

Budget Hotels

Soul Fire Casitas

Located 2km from the beach, this hotel offers lush garden vibes with rustic accommodations. There is a shared kitchen for guests to use.

Luminosa Montezuma Hostel

This hostel offers shared dorms and one private room near downtown Montezuma.

Hotel Luna Llena

Located 200 meters from the beach, with amazing views, there are shared dorms and private rooms available on-site. There is also a shared kitchen for guests to use.

Montezuma Homes & Villa Rentals

We always love renting a home or villa for our vacation. This gives you more privacy and allows you the flexibility to cook your own meals.

Note: We try to only ever suggest places with good cancellation policies, but always double check before booking.

Octagonal Oceanfront Home – A two bedroom home that sleeps 6 guests. The home is rustic but, has everything you would need. Plus, we love that this spot is directly on the beach. 

Casa Mas Mañanas – A luxury modern 4 bedroom home. We love the pool, views, and open feel to the home.

Montezuma Casita – The casita is located on a property that also contains the owner’s house. However, the casita is in its own secluded area and has a private plunge pool. It has one bedroom and sleeps two guests.

LUNATICAlounge – This house is insane. If you like modern architecture, you’ll love. It has 4 bedrooms and can sleep 9 guests. 

Blue Zone Jungle Oasis – A unique two bedroom house that can sleep 8 guests. Definitely check out the listing. We personally love the massive waterslide. 

Things to Do in Montezuma

Visit Cabo Blanco Reserve

A bit past the beach in Cabuya there is a ranger station and place to park to access the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

Admission is $10 per person and there are a few different hike lengths you can take. It is a great way to see some awesome wildlife. We have a full guide here.

 

Visit Curu Reserve

Curu Reserve is located north of Montezuma near Paquera (where the ferry lands). This reserve has tons of trails and very few tourists. We really really like this spot. Here is a full guide to Curu.

 

 

Spend a Day on Isla Tortuga

Isla Tortuga is an undisturbed tropical island that you can visit on a day tour. It is perfect for snorkeling and relaxing on the beach.

There are tons of Tortuga Island tours that leave from Montezuma. We have yet to find one that we absolutely love, but we will keep you updated if things change.

 

Go Bioluminescent Kayaking

Have you ever seen bioluminescence? It is really cool! One of the best places to experience this in the world is in Paquera (north of Montezuma).

There are several companies that offer tours from Montezuma, or if you drive yourself to Paquera we suggest this tour.

 

Visit the Montezuma waterfalls

There are three waterfalls in Montezuma. We have a full guide to accessing the falls.


Check out the butterfly garden

Definitely go to the butterfly garden and then eat at their restaurant Clandestina and drink some of their tasty craft beer.

 

Walk along the Montezuma beach

From downtown Montezuma, you can walk north along Playa Montezuma and several other beaches connected by trails. If you are lucky you might even see baby sea turtles making their way into the ocean.
This walk is the perfect morning activity. It is free and an absolute must-do. We loved it so much that we created a complete guide to the beach walk.

 

Take a trip to a cemetery island

From downtown Montezuma, you can drive about 30 minutes to the small village of Cubuya.

During low tide, you can walk out to their cemetery island. Just make sure to come back to the mainland before the tide comes in or you’ll be stuck out there. We have a full guide here

 

Take a day trip to Santa Teresa and Mal Pais

We like the Santa Teresa area for the backpacker feel. It is also Thomas’s favorite place to go fishing in Costa Rica.

You can check out our complete guide to the area here.

Montezuma Restaurants

Cocolores:  Great spot for dinner. They have a nice varied menu of meat fish, pasta and more. This cute little place abuts the beach.

Clandestina:  Excellent fresh food. Also, they brew their own beer here so definitely try that as well. 

Ylang Ylang Restaurant– On the pricier end of mid-range, but totally worth it. This place is located in the Ylang Ylang resort. They serve up quality food for all dietary needs. 

Soda Tipica Las Palmeras: Ridiculously tasty typical Costa Rican food at a good price. Plus their presentation is on point.