Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula: Montezuma Beach
About four years ago, I had the opportunity to explore Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula for two weeks. It was an unbelievable experience. Seriously. I learned how to surf, road a horse through 1000+ acres of farm and beach land, road an ATV through the jungle… Man the list goes on. If I ever get the chance to go back some day, I would not mind going back to the Nicoya Peninsula. Over the next few days, I want to share where to stay, what to see and where to eat in the Nicoya Peninsula. Today we visit the small coastal town of Montezuma located in the district of Cóbano…
Where to stay
There are plenty of sweet deals on Airbnb, starting at around $40/night for a private room. If you book early enough, I am sure that you could score an entire home for close to nothing.
If you are interested in socializing and meeting new people I highly suggest that you Stay With Local Hosts on Couchsurfing.com. You can get to know your potential Hosts through the messaging system and read what other Couchsurfers have said about their experiences with them. If this is something you plan to use often, plan on upgrading to their verified members account. You will have access to more features that the free account does not offer.
There are plenty of hostels and hotels in Montezuma. The rates are lowest during the off season, but the off season means rain. If you would like to go during the high season- I suggest booking well in advance.
Amor de Mar hotel offers nine cozy individually styled rooms, as well as two unique Beach Villas, Casa Sol and Casa Luna. Talk about an oasis. If you enjoy the finer things in life then you need to check out this cozy hotel situated on the coastal west side of Montezuma. The rates are not even that outrageous and you definitely get your money’s worth. Make sure you catch breakfast, because it is to die for!
When I went back in 2011, there was an issue with my one bed hotel room’s plumbing, so they bumped my up to Casa Luna Villa at NO EXTRA CHARGE! I did not even think what was happening was real. This was like the tree house of my dreams. Scratch that, the house of my dreams. I wish I had more time in this spot. Below is the outside entrance to the villa. The second image is the deck that had the coziest hammock and floating bench with incredible views of the grounds and Pacific Ocean. The main bedroom was upstairs, every window was able to open and there was a giant pole structure in the middle of the foundation with a small opening on top where you could observe the night sky from your bed. And don’t worry about bugs or critters saying hello while you sleep; The bed is protected by a bug net.
Now, there was a small surprise in the villa… I went to draw a bath after a long day of traveling through the jungle in the gorgeous plant-filled bathroom. When I entered and turned on the light, I found a BABY Fer-de-Lance snake (extremely venomous viper) and a plethora of crabs coming out of the drain! I was very frantic, but did not want to bother the hotel staff, so I got a piece of Tupperware and a magazine (I know how stupid this was), caught the snake and dumped it outside.
There is a beautiful green patch between the main building and the coastline where you can relax on some furniture and soak in the rays or the night sky. There are incredible views Eastward where you can see Playa Grande/Tamarindo Bay area. There is also a little swimming hole just beyond the grounds!
What To Do
Montezuma waterfalls- set of 3 waterfalls
Top – smallest – 15 ft. tall dumps into a deep pool perfect for swimming!
Middle – 40 ft. – hidden between the top and lower waterfall – swim across the top fall’s pool and you will see it. Jumping is not recommended and take caution while peeking over
Lower – 80 ft. tall – smooth rocks to relax on or take a dip in the refreshing pool
The riverbed trail – best for visiting the lower fall
From downtown Montezuma, head 0.3 miles south to the small bridge that crosses the Rio Montezuma. Just after the bridge there is a trail and parking lot on the right. A dirt trail leads to a rocky riverbed. There are ropes along the riverbank to help you pass. Some of the rocks are also very slippery so be sure to bring footwear. After hiking for about 20 minutes, you will reach the Lower Waterfall and pool.
Mariposario Butterfly Garden
Where else can you grab a micro-brew and hang out with some butterflies or banana spiders?
A tranquil place where you can pay to have a small tour of the grounds or stay in one of their four guest rooms and enjoy the grounds for free! Splay out with the resident dogs observing the wonders of Costa Rica’s plant and wildlife.
Open daily 8am to 4pm
Check out their site here
Playa Grande – Tamarindo Bay
7 km north of Montezuma lies the best surfing in the area.
It is a 30 minutes to access the beach, between the beautiful waters of the Pacific and the greenery of Montezuma Biological Reserve.
There have been reported ghostly encounters along Playa Grande. Rumor has it the beach was once an ancient burial and ceremonial site of one of the long forgotten tribes who lived in the region. Stay until nightfall to find out!
Where To Eat
Playa De Los Artistas
This is dubbed many’s favorite meal in all of Montezuma. It is recommended to enjoy appetizers so that you can explore as many flavors as possible. Where else can you feel like you are on your own private beach with your own private chef? If you enjoy seafood/Mediterranean/European fare Playa De Los Artistas is for you!
Open 10 months out of the year (November-August). Open 12 pm-8:30 pm December-April, July & August. Open 4 pm-8:30 pm November, May and June. No credit cards accepted. Make sure you place your reservation well in advance.
Sushi is not a common occurrence in Costa Rica, but at Puggo’s Restaurant they have their very own sushi bar! Not in the mood for sushi? You’re in luck because this restaurant also offers Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Serving brunch, lunch, dinners and even late night food! Do not forget your cash! Puggo’s Restaurant does not accept credit cards.