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What to do on a quick trip to Montezuma, Costa Rica

Montezuma is a small beach town in Costa Rica that is well known for its hippy scene and bohemian, off-beat atmosphere. Long popular with backers, it’s a great town for meeting people and having some fun. But, there’s more to it than that. There’s a great beach, one of Costa Rica’s most iconic waterfalls, snorkeling, and tons of great outdoor activities. Montezuma is a great place to visit for a couple of days while visiting Costa Rica.

montezuma costa rica wall art

Top Things to do in Montezuma

Hike to the Montezuma Waterfalls

montezuma waterfall sign

Hiking to the Montezuma waterfalls and swimming in the refreshing pool was our favorite activity in Montezuma. It’s approximately a 20-minute hike to reach the bottom waterfall. The trail is a little rough and can get steep/narrow in parts so it’s a good idea to wear proper shoes. Though a little challenging, it is definitely worth it!

Below the 24-meter high waterfall is a pool, perfect for swimming. We also climbed the rocks behind the cascade and dove through the waterfall into the pool, which made for some fun pictures. If you’re up for more of a challenge and thrill, continue uphill on another difficult trail at the right side of the waterfall to get to another cascade above. You’ll find two more large swimming pools and a rope swing!

Take a boat to Tortuga Island

From Montezuma, you can easily visit beautiful Tortuga Island. We enjoyed a full-day snorkeling tour that allowed us to see some beautiful marine life, rock formations, and ended with some lunch and quality beach time on the island. Tortuga Island is known for its pristine white sand beaches, gorgeous reserves, and wildlife refuges. It also offers a wide variety of activities, including world-class diving, canopy tours, and other water activities.

rock arches on the way to isla tortuga

isla tortuga costa rica

isla tortuga costa rica

Chill out at the beach

If you’re traveling to Montezuma, chances are good you’re looking to get some beach time. And since Montezuma is a quintessential beach town, the beach is where you’ll find most people on a nice day. The lagoon style beach is perfect for lounging. There’s a couple of restaurants right by the beach that we enjoyed. It’s hard to complain when you’re sitting beachside and enjoying an Imperial :).

What to do in Montezuma CR
The view from Restaurante Montezuma
Montezuma beach costa rica
The perfect beach for hanging out!


Staying Overnight?

If you choose to stay in Montezuma and you’re looking for a good budget-friendly hotel, El Sano Banano, is a great choice for 2 reasons.

The hotel restaurant is a fun, outdoor place to hang out and grab a meal. The breakfast is fantastic and you can’t miss the banana pancake! Seriously, the banana pancakes will have you thinking about pancakes for weeks after you eat them!

The second best part about staying at El Sano Banano is that you also have access to their sister hotel, the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort. Take a quick and scenic 15-minute walk along the beach so you can enjoy their beautiful pool, hammock, nature trail, and other outdoor spaces.

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While many popular Costa Rican destinations have experienced a lot of growth and development over the last 10 years, Montezuma has been able to preserve its eclectic, bohemian charm. It might not be the place for all visitors to Costa Rica, but it’s certainly an interesting and vibrant place to visit – especially for a couple of days while you enjoy the Nicoya Peninsula.

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