Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula

The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information


Beaches and Waterfalls in Montezuma Costa Rica

Beaches north of Montezuma:

Playa Montezuma
Playa Montezuma

Playa Montezuma is a large sandy beach a few steps north of the village center. It is great for sun bathing and swimming but take care as the sea bottom drops steeply and the surf is sometimes rough.
If you crave more solitude venture farther past pristine, secluded bays backed by the steep rising jungle of the Montezuma Biological Reserve. After a 15-minutes hike comes Piedra Colorado, a pocket beach between rocky outrops where a small river empties into the sea. The off-shore reef is good for snorkeling. Still further north, 3 km from Montezuma, you arrive at Playa Grande whose long expanse of white-sand beach is one of Montezuma's best surf spots. If you are still not tired, you can continue for another 5 km until Playa Cocalitos and the El Chorro waterfall where fresh water cascades off an escarpment into lava rock swimming pools and then into the ocean.
Instead of walking you can also opt for a tour on horseback from Montezuma to the El Chorro waterfall.

Beaches south of Montezuma:

South of Montezuma
Playa Las Manchas, south of Montezuma

Choose low tide to walk around the rocky headlands south of Montezuma where tide pools provide natural bathing tubs.
After two kilometers you arrive at Playa Las Manchas, a picturesque white sand beach with clear turquoise waters. The bay affords great swimming and snorkeling but you have to take care of a rip current, especially towards the southern part of the bay.

Further along the beach: » Detailed description from Montezuma to Cabuya

Montezuma Waterfalls:

Montezuma river
River pools in Montezuma

If you prefer to cool off in freshwater, you can hike up any river to find natural bathing tubs with sparkling jacuzzis surrounded by the amphitheater of the steep rising jungle. The best pools are those of the Rio Montezuma where you find a series of waterfalls that cascade over the rocks.

Montezuma Waterfall
The Montezuma waterfall

The waterfalls are among the most noted features of Montezuma. The highest and most beautiful is the Montezuma Waterfall that tumbles from a height of 24 meters and feeds a large pool which is great for swimming. Be careful however not to dive or jump off the rocks as you might hit stones underwater.
The waterfall is reached on a 20-minutes hike from the village center. See » Map of Montezuma The rough trail leads steeply uphill through the thickly forested river valley. Wear sturdy, water-resistant shoes as you will wade through the river and clamber over slippery rocks and roots.

Montezuma upper waterfall
The upper pool of the Montezuma waterfall

Thrill-seekers can continue uphill on a difficult small trail at the right side of the waterfall to find another cascade above. There are also two more large swimming pools in the rocks and a rope to swing and plunge into the water like Tarzan.
Instead of climbing the small trail you can also reach the upper pools on an easy path which starts at the Montezuma Canopy tour, 1 km uphill from Montezuma, on the road to Delicias. See: » Map of the Montezuma Area
The Montezuma Canopy tour charges a $4 toll for using their bridges and trails.