Getting to Montezuma from San Jose
The warm, calm waters of Montezuma beach are a divine shade of aqua-blue. The town of Montezuma itself is small and is well known for its hippie vibe and incredible waterfalls. You can hike along a trail that leads to fifty foot falls and a natural swimming hole. Within the city is a slow-paced mix of yoga studios, health-food cafes and surf shops. Sometimes compared to Northern California but without the crowds, the city is an idyllic place to really take a vacation! The town has none of the high-rise condos or big hotels that have began to cover parts of Costa Rica’s more developed coastlines, and part of its appeal is its quiet, calm beauty.
There is a fantastic array of wildlife in Montezuma, and there are a variety of tours and activities available, including horseback riding tours to the El Chorro waterfall, a snorkeling in Tortuga Island, waterfall canopy tours, scuba diving, as well as sportfishing.
But Montezuma is by no means easy to get to! Montezuma is located on the Nicoya Peninsula. This peninsula is on the gulf side of Costa Rica, jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. Montezuma is located at the most southern tip of the peninsula, and is right next to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. There is actually no road you can take to the city, so your mode of travel can become complicated. Probably the easiest way to get to Montezuma beach is to take an airplane. The nearest airport to Montezuma is in the city Tambor. There are several flights a day to Tambor. You can take Nature Air or Sansa Airlines. Airfare is typically around $65 one way, and the flight only lasts about a half an hour. Once you are in Tambor, you can take a half hour taxi ride to Montezuma.
If you want to take a car, there are actually ferry services in which you can bring your car along. It is a good idea to rent a car that has four wheel drive, since most Costa Rican roads are covered with potholes and mud. So, if you prefer to drive, your first step in leaving the city of San Jose is to follow Highway 1 to the city Puntarenas. Drive to the end of the city and you will get to the ferry terminal. You can purchase a car ferry ticket to Paquera for about $10, and that price includes fare for the driver. All other passengers will need to buy individual tickets for less than $2.00 each. The ferry ride to Paquera takes a half of an hour. Once you have disembarked from the ferry, follow the signs to from Paquera to Cobono. When you get to Cobono, you will see signs for Montezuma.
Another option is to take the bus to Puntarenas. The bus leaves Monday thru Saturday from the Coca Cola bus station in San Jose at 7:30am and 3:30pm. It costs about ten dollars and the driver locks all luggage below the bus. The bus ride takes about two hours and goes along along the Panamerican road. Once you get to Puntarenas, you will need to purchase a ferry ticket. The ferry ride provides wonderful views of the Costa Rican coastline, and lasts about a half an hour.
The ferries provide air-conditioned passenger decks, snack shops, restrooms, and viewing areas. After you cross the gulf you arrive in Paquera, where you can re-board the bus and continue the journey to Cobano. In the city of Cobano all of the passengers that are going to Montezuma have to switch to a microbus which will take them the final 20-30 minutes to downtown Montezuma.