Costa Rica

8 Best things to do in Montezuma Costa Rica

A woman standing under a palm tree on a beach in Montezuma, Costa Rica.

Montezuma Costa Rica, is one of our favorite places in this tropical country. The beach town has a laid-back vibe and instantly feels like a holiday. It’s a hippie town with lots of pristine wild beaches nearby, a stunning waterfall, beautiful nature reserves, and hiking trails. It is well-known among budget travelers. You can’t miss this part of Costa Rica if you like nature, small towns and peaceful places. In this guide, we share all our favorite places in the area and must-do’s when visiting Montezuma, Costa Rica.


Best time to visit Montezuma Costa Rica

Montezuma Costa Rica, has two seasons – the dry season and the green season (or the rainy season). From December to April, you will experience dry weather, a lot of sunshine, hot temperatures, and the highest prices. It’s the best time if you are looking for a beach holiday. From May to November is the wetter and rainier time of the year, but also off-season for tourism, which means better prices when traveling during this time. It does not mean you will have rain all day. Usually, tropical rains can come and go quickly.

Are you planning a trip to Costa Rica? You can find All you need to know to plan your perfect trip here.

Montezuma Costa Rica

How to get to Montezuma Costa Rica

Montezuma Costa Rica, is located at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. You can get there either by car, bus or domestic flight.

Rental Car

Our preferred way of traveling in Costa Rica is by rental car. This gives you the most freedom to explore and is the most convenient way to travel on your own schedule. Driving in Costa Rica is easy. If you visit Montezuma in Rainy Season, a 4×4 car is recommended. We always find the best rental car prices on Discover Cars

Local Ferry

Depending on where in Costa Rica you drive from, you might want to take the Ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera (especially coming from San Jose; this saves you many hours of driving). You can find all the ferry information here and also get your ticket online.

Domestic Flight

If you want to fly from San Jose domestically, you can fly to Tambor Airport, which is a small Airport close to Montezuma. From there you can take a Taxi to get to your final destination. This route is operated by Green Airways.

8 Best things to do in Montezuma Costa Rica

The small town of Montezuma offers a few restaurants, small shops, and a little market, but you can walk through in just a few minutes. The town is located directly at Montezuma Beach, a beautiful white sand beach with many palm trees for shade. You don’t have to go far to enjoy a gorgeous beach in Montezuma Costa Rica, but we recommend exploring more than just Montezuma town, as there is a lot to discover in the area.

Montezuma Waterfall

Right outside of Town, you find Montezuma Waterfall. There is no entry fee for the waterfall. It’s free to visit and our absolute must-do in Montezuma Costa Rica. The trail from the parking lot is easy and takes around 20 min along the driver. You can already find lovely spots to refresh in the river on your way. The waterfall is beautiful and powerful and has a big pool in front, allowing you to swim and jump from the rocks. We recommend visiting in the morning to have fewer other people.

Playa Grande

From Montezuma Beach, you can hike along the coast to Playa Grande, a stunning, wild, and long beach in the nature reserve of Montezuma. The beach is usually empty as there are no roads leading to it. We recommend hiking in the morning when it’s less hot and bringing enough water and some snacks.

Catarata el Chorro Hiking Trail

You can continue the trail along the beach from Playa Grande to the next beautiful beach, Playa Cocalito. At the End of this beach, you will find a hidden gem. A waterfall that drops from the cliffs into the ocean. Apparently, only 31 waterfalls in the world pour directly into the sea, and this is one of them. The round trip to the waterfalls and back to Montezuma takes around 4 hours.

A sign for the green manzana trail in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
Playa Grande Montezuma

Curu Wildlife Refuge

In approximately a 50-minute drive from Montezuma Costa Rica, you reach Curu Wildlife Refuge. Curu is one of Costa Rica’s first private nature reserves. The area is abundant in wildlife and hosts some of the most beautiful beaches and protected bays on the Nicoya Peninsula. The wildlife refuge offers easy access to many species, such as White-faced Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, White-tailed Deer, Collared Peccary, Coati, Raccoons, Coyotes, Iguanas, and hundreds of species of tropical and migratory birds. The general admission is 16 USD, and there are options for tours, horseback riding, and even staying in a cabin at the wildlife reserve. 

Tortuga Island

A Tortuga Island tour is probably the most popular thing to do in Montezuma Costa Rica. We have not done this tour yet, but hopefully, we will visit next time when we are in the area. After a 45-minute boat ride from Montezuma, you reach the paradise island with white sand, tall coconut palms, and turquoise water. You can snorkel and enjoy the island. Tours are usually a full day, including Lunch served on the island and snorkeling gear.

Visit Cabuya 

Not far from Montezuma, if you follow the coast after Montezuma Waterfall, you will pass many beautiful beaches along the way until you reach Cabuya. Another small beach town with a c couple of restaurants. Some of our favorite beaches like Playa Cedros and places to swim in the river are in this area.

Taste Chocolate at Indigena Cafe

If you visit Cabuya, stopping at Indigena Cafe is a must. Our friend Gianni serves the best ceremonial cacao and homemade chocolate treats made from local cacao from a Costa Rican Indigenous tribe. You can’t miss this place if you are a chocolate lover like us. We recommend the Mayan cacao and whatever wonderful treats they offer to you.

Reserva Natural Cabo Blanco

Right next to Indigena Cafe, you will find Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, with beautiful nature trails and beaches to explore. There are chances to spot coaties, monkeys, iguanas, and various birds, but there are fewer wildlife sightings than in Curu. It is still worth enjoying the beautiful nature.

Where to stay in Montezuma Costa Rica

There are various options, from shared rooms in a hostel to boutique hotels by the beach. Here are some options in different categories:

NYA Boutique Hotel – if you are looking for a beautiful,  aesthetic place to stay within walking distance of the beach and all the restaurants of Montezuma Town.

Jodokus Inn – Midrange hotel with green and natural surroundings

Luminosa Montezuma Hostel – If you are looking for an affordable place to stay with shared rooms close to the beach,

Montezuma Costa Rica

How to get around in Montezuma Costa Rica

The most convenient way to get around in Montezuma Costa Rica, and to be able to explore the area with all its pristine empty beaches and waterfalls is by renting either a car, ATV, or Motorbike. 

We always find the best rental car prices on Discover Cars. If you want to rent an ATV or motorbike, there is a rental place in Montezuma.

Travel Budget for Montezuma

Montezuma is one of the more budget-friendly places on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The small hippie town lives up to its backpacker vibe and has small hostels with shared rooms starting at 17 USD per night. Also, there are many free activities in the area, like Montezuma Waterfall, all the beautiful beaches, and Nature reserve hiking trails.

Travel tips

Internet Access

In Costa Rica, Internet Access is usually not bad, and most places (like cafes & restaurants) offer wifi. We recommend buying a local SIM card upon arrival. The most convenient option for travelers is the eSim Card (digital SIM card) from Airalo. You can download and install a digital data pack and get connected anywhere in the world as soon as you land, so there is no need to waste time looking for a local plastic SIM card. 


Montezuma Costa Rica is a small beach town and has no ATM. If you need cash during your stay, we recommend getting cash either in Cobano, the local nearby town, or in Santa Teresa.


Montezuma is a nature paradise. Make sure to leave no traces except your footprints in the sand. 

An aerial view of Montezuma beach in Costa Rica.


Montezuma Costa Rica, is the perfect place for visitors who want to disconnect from the world to connect with nature, live a slow-paced lifestyle, and enjoy pristine beaches and stunning waterfalls. Don’t expect a lot going on in this laid-back town, but use the time to relax and appreciate the laid-back vibes of this coastal paradise. You can combine your stay with a visit to the famous beach town of Santa Teresa nearby.

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