Top 5 Things To Do When Visiting Montezuma, Costa Rica
January 10, 2020
Montezuma is a small but quaint village in Puntarenas, a province on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. At first sight, you wouldn’t think there’s much to do in a quiet place like this, but I have found that the neighbourhood has a lot to offer if you know where to look. Aside from its glorious waterfalls, there’s baby turtles to spot, beaches to discover and islands to explore. I spent a month in Montezuma and I thought I’d share the most fun activities I did during my time there. Here are the top 5 things to do when visiting Montezuma!
5 Amazing Things To Do In Montezuma!
1. VISIT THE TURTLE HATCHERY
One of the reasons Costa Rica appealed to me so much was because I’d seen some videos about baby turtles being released into the ocean… Obviously, I decided then and there that I had to witness this cuteness at least once in my life. When we stumbled upon a turtle hatchery on one of our first beach walks in Montezuma, I was thrilled!
I was in luck that day because they were just about to release about a 100 baby turtles! It’s so fascinating to see these tiny creatures heading straight for the ocean; somehow they know exactly where to go. What’s even crazier is that they will return to the exact same beach to lay their eggs years later. Truly a unique experience.
2. HIKE TO PLAYA GRANDE
If you’re in the mood for a beach walk, I would definitely suggest hiking to Playa Grande. Starting in Montezuma, you can follow a hiking trail that connects all of the different beaches (there are a ton) and it’s mostly in the shade, so it’s still a good activity during the day.
On your way to Playa Grande (which is a 30-40min. walk depending on how fast you go), you will pass rocky landscapes, jungle rivers and possibly some capuchin monkeys. It’s definitely an adventurous trail!
As the name suggests, Playa Grande es MUY grande and it’s supposedly the best beach in the area to swim or surf. However, the waves are pretty crazy, so don’t do anything stupid and go in with your sunglasses (yes, I lost mine). Also, check the tides, because there’s hardly any beach left at high tide!
3. GO ON A TOUR TO ISLA TORTUGA
This was the most expensive activity I did ($50), but it was SO fun! We went with a company called Zumatours, who arrange a lot of tours in the area. I would definitely recommend them, as the whole day was arranged perfectly. We left around 9am at Montezuma beach and out of all the sunny days, I’d probably picked the most cloudy, rainy day ever, but oh well, it added to the experience.
First, there was time for some snorkelling and it was actually the first time I saw some beautifully coloured fish! After this, we arrived at Tortuga Island, had a healthy lunch – prepared by our guides – and then went on to explore! As always, I was on the hunt for the best viewpoint and I wasn’t disappointed this time (just look at the pics). I would strongly suggest hiking to the highest point of the island, it’s rocky and I saw a snake, but the views are absolutely worth it.
4. EXPLORE CABUYA ISLAND
This was an interesting activity and unlike anything I’d done before. It’s about a 30 min. ride in an small bus that leaves from Montezuma centre. The road is bumpy and the bus goes achingly slow, but you do get a nice ocean view. If you arrive at high tide, it seems impossible that you would be able to reach the island without a boat, but just hold on, because at low tide you can walk all the way there!
So, what Cabuya Island all about? I couldn’t explain it better than this article, so have a read:
Cabuya Island is one of those magical spots that most people see, but few people actually take the time to walk out to. It’s a place of fear, legend, rumor, and excitement, supposedly haunted by ghosts at night, due to the fact that it’s been a cemetery for as long as anyone can remember. Supposedly, when Spanish settlers first arrive here, it was already a place where the natives buried their dead, and was guarded by spirits, magic, and was controlled by the village shaman. The newcomers continued the tradition by keeping it a cemetery. When funerals are held there at night, the participants will sometimes walk to the island holding candles and lights, creating an eerie sight as seen from the hills above Cabuya, Los Cedros, Delicias, and Montezuma, because it looks like lights are walking across the water. (Source: http://www.montezumabeach.com/cabuya-island/)
5. WATCH THE SUNSET IN SANTA TERESA
Santa Teresa isn’t that far from Montezuma and it’s definitely worth a visit. You can get there by bus, although going by car would definitely be more convenient. We were lucky enough that our lovely Airbnb hosts drove us there to have dinner!
Santa Teresa is the perfect surfer’s beach town: amazing waves, a great atmosphere and, of course, majestic sunsets every night. It’s a lovely place to chill and relax while having a mojito (or two) in one of the beach bars.
These are all of the activities that I would recommend when visiting Montezuma, in addition to its famous waterfalls (I have a separate guide on this, check it out here). I hope you’ve gotten some inspiration! Let me know if you’ve done any of these in the comments 🙂
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