Montezuma

Costa Rica
Montezuma Itinerary

Remote Costa Rican jungles and beaches

Duration: at least one week

Budget: $ 75 per day

Stay:  Belleh23 or Raggamuffin

Any local Tico (Costa Rican) will tell you that Montezuma, Costa Rica, is a must-visit destination
to add to your itinerary. We agree with them! If you’re a person who loves the beach, natural beauty,
and artsy towns, you’ll be in heaven here. The moment you step into Montezuma, you’ll see why
people love it so much. This place is full of local shops and restaurants that attract visitors from
around the world. You’ll find some fantastic waterfalls, beaches, and wildlife here. There is
something for everyone in Montezuma.

Relaxation and boho vibes

Montezuma, Costa Rica, began as a small fishing village and is now a favorite among tourists on a
budget. It is a bit off-the-beaten (and paved) path, but that’s why we love it. No matter where you
go here, you’ll never be too far from the jungle.

  • Sight Seeing 85% 85%
  • Food 75% 75%
  • Culture 80% 80%
  • Activities 95% 95%

However, nature isn’t the only appeal to this small town. Montezuma has a distinct boho vibe, with
veggie-friendly eateries, neo-Rastas, yoga classes, and live music to entertain locals and travelers
alike. The setting for all of this is alongside the beautiful Pacific Ocean. With all these stunning
landscapes surrounding you and exciting activities, you’ll find no shortage of things to do here.

Relax on the beach

Montezuma has countless beaches that attract visitors from around Costa Rica and the world. Playa Montezuma is the most popular beach in the area, just north of the town. It’s a great spot to sunbathe, swim, or take a walk. From Playa Montezuma, you can walk 15-20 minutes to see other beaches, secluded coves, and makeshift rock sculptures (cairns). You’ll even encounter a small waterfall!

Granada, Nicaragua: view of Calle Calzada
Granada, Nicaragua: market

Chase some waterfalls

You may want to ignore TLC’s advice on this one and go chasing waterfalls! There are some breathtaking ones just south of town. One of the most famous waterfalls is the Montezuma
Waterfalls, which include three cascades. Its tallest waterfall is the most easily accessible, but adventurous types can swim and trek to the other two. These waterfalls are a must-see attraction in Montezuma.

Enjoy the ocean at Isla Tortuga (Tortuga Island)

Snorkeling tours to Tortuga Island are one of the most popular activities for Montezuma visitors. Most tour operators include a boat ride to the island, a lunch BBQ, and snorkeling. The island is about an hour away from Montezuma, and the journey is part of the experience. Along the way, you’ll see incredible coastlines, beaches, and possibly some sea creatures!

Granada, Nicaragua: colorful houses
Granada, Nicaragua: dani in front of church

Spend the day hiking at the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve

Just south of Montezuma is the Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica’s first nature reserve, established in 1963. If you’re a hiking enthusiast looking for some exciting trails, this is your spot. Cabo Blanco is the epitome of sustainable travel, with carefully preserved tropical forests and stunning beaches to reward you at the end of your hike. This nature reserve has trails that are suitable for all skill levels.

Hang out in Montezuma

After spending some time in nature, hang out for a bit in town. Montezuma is a fascinating area with plenty of culture and intrigue. It’s not a place where you’ll see a lot of landmarks. Instead, it’s a destination where you can spend time with locals and other international travelers. There are plenty of locally-owned and sustainable shops, restaurants, and bars.

Granada, Nicaragua: Lauri in Parque Colon

My favorite things to do downtown

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Coronation Market 

Home to the famous Coronation Market, downtown Kingston is always bustling with activity. The market is filled with stalls selling everything from fresh produce to handicrafts, and bargain hunters can find great deals on everything from clothing to souvenirs. So head downtown for an authentic Jamaican experience next time you’re in Kingston.

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Water Lane – Street Art

As part of the “Paint the city” street art project, downtown’s water lane has been transformed from a dull street into an hommage to Jamaica’s culture and artisanship. Along with some of the murals, a QR Code is attached. You can scan and access a detailed history of the piece and the artists involved. It’s a super interesting little street where you could linger for hours reading up, interpreting, and admiring the street art. Of course, today, many music videos are shot on Water Lane, too. 

The Downtown Kingston area is not super safe and best visited with friends. Just be aware that there is some pickpocketing etc. Even though it sounds contradictory: while you shouldn’t walk around in Kingston at night, the parties downtown feel very safe!

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Foodie Tour

A truely wonderful way to discover what’s happening downtown, including the best food is by going on a food and culture tour with my dear friend Birgitta from @streetsofjamaica!

My favorite beaches around Kingston

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Hellshire Beach

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Lime Caye

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Bob Marley Beach

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Get ready to travel Montezuma

How to get to Montezuma:

The best way to get to Montezuma is to rent a car in San José or catch a bus, then take the Puntarenas Ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula. Something to keep in mind is that the road to Montezuma is not well-paved, so you’ll need to get a four-by-four vehicle. It is possible to drive the entire route to Montezuma, but it’ll add several additional hours to your trip. Driving and taking the ferry will take about 4-5 hours, and a bus ride using the ferry will take about 7 hours

Best time to visit Montezuma:

There is little variation in Montezuma’s temperature. Most of the year has average highs in the 80s and average lows in the 70s. The hottest months are March and April. You’ll encounter the most rain between May and November, so winter is the best time to visit.

Safety in Montezuma:

Costa Rica is generally one of the safest destinations in Central America. Most of the hazards in Montezuma are related to nature. There are few paved areas, so closed-toed shoes are a must for many activities. It’s essential to be careful on trails after rainfall and avoid hiking at night. The most common crime in the area is theft, so ensure that you keep your valuables close, especially on buses. Stay vigilant of your surroundings, and do not leave drinks unattended.

Nightlife and entertainment:

Montezuma may be a small town, but it has a robust nightlife. There are plenty of beach bars during the day that turns into live music venues and dance clubs at night. 

Tap water:

The tap water is by no means suitable to drink. Bring your Lifestraw Pro to avoid plastic pollution and keep your drinks cool.

Biggest challenge for the responsible traveler

Trash: bring your collapsable food container & Lifestraw Pro with you to avoid causing plastic pollution.

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Packing List Jamaica

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Eco-friendly stays in Jamaica

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Traveling Jamaica?

Jamaica Itinerary

Places to visit in Jamaica

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Is it still ok to book an AirBnb?!

Is it still ok to book an AirBnb?!

Overtourism has long become a buzzword. Cities, Islands, and entire countries are creaking under the weight of too many visitors. Locals’ lives change drastically as prices rise and an increasing amount of living space is allocated to accommodate tourists. Especially Airbnb has been the cause of uproar and anger for many locals suffering from over-tourism.

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