Sandra and I visited Costa Rica in 2011 from January 28 - March 25 and this is what we did and what we thought of it. We had reservations for all accommodations for the first month, but did not reserve anything for the second month. We left March wide open so we could revisit places we went to in February if we wanted, or to explore new places we might have heard about during our February travels. This isn't everyone's style of travel, but it worked out great for us. This was my fourth time to CR, and my second time to CR with Sandra, so we were both experienced CR travellers. Sandra has virtually no Spanish and I have very limited Espanol malo but this was never a barrier and we always got what we needed using my terrible Spanish and a Tico's limited English. Driving directions were not needed this time round because we had a Garmin Nuvi GPS with CR map from navsatcr.com which performed flawlessly.
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I love Montezuma. It hasn't changed much at all. I was first here about ten years ago and it quickly became my favourite place in CR. We flew in then, on Sansa from SJO. I couldn't believe how narrow the landing strip is at Tambor. I also couldn't believe there was a gigantic mountain at the end of the runway! We drove in this time, from Tamarindo. beautiful drive as usual, there was a section of unpaved road that made up roughly the middle third of the way down the eastern side of the Nicoya Peninsula. One part was as smooth as a paved road, but the other part was rougher than a bear's ass. Once you leave the main road at Cobano to drive toward Montezuma, the pavement ends again. I've been on far rougher roads than this, but not much dustier. My second trip to Montezuma saw a more shady element moving in, but that was in '08. This time round things were peaceful and carefree again. I've only ever stayed at Los Mangos, about a slow five minute walk from the town centre, and barely two minutes to the trail entrance for Montezuma Waterfall. This is a must see if you are in Montezuma. The walk up the river is a little challenging but doable for anyone in okay shape. Bring lunch and a bathing suit for swimming in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Another must do while in Montezuma is renting an ATV for the day. If you plan on doing this, don't wear "good" clothes because it is a dusty but extremely fun ride over the mountains to Mal Pais to watch the surfers and have lunch. Right next door is Sta Teresa. The road for the most part is right next to the ocean with many beaches along the way, mostly deserted so you might be able to get away without your bathing suit. Eventually the road will take you back into the mountains through farmland with breathtaking views over the valleys. This is well worth the $75 rental. A few beaches past Playa Grande is sort of rock garden where you can stack rocks into amazing formations. The rocks are quite grippy so you can make some gravity-defying sculptures. Also at the rock garden is a little stream with little cascades that present great photo ops. There is good food all around Montezuma and Restaurant Playa De Las Artistes has a well deserved reputation in town. We ate here once and it was really good, not great, but really good. There are only two waterfalls that empty directly into the ocean and one of them is about a two hour walk along the beach from Montezuma. I don't recommend this walk unless you're in good shape. It is HOT! Take plenty of water with you, six litres per person if you plan on walking back. Just before the waterfall is a brackish pool formed by beach sand naturally piling up at the end of a river. We swam here for a while to cool off and relax before walking back. I didn't swim very far into the river because I couldn't tell if there were any crocodiles in it or if there were, how hungry they would be. At the waterfall you can climb the rocks to the top of the fall and follow the path to the hotel (I can't remember the name) and catch a taxi back to Montezuma. One of the most amazing experiences we had was when we were driving back from Cabo Blanco. Out of the corner of her eye, Sandra spotted some Humpback whales breaching! Never leave home without binoculars! All in all Montezuma was great for us and we will definitely be returning here for the really slow pace and very laid back vibe. You haven't properly experienced CR until you've spent a few days here. We liked it here so much that we returned a couple weeks later, this time we put the car on the ferry at Puntarenas. Here's where I bumped into the limit of my Spanish. Eventually I figured out to park in the line and wait for the attendant to give you a card. You then take this card to the ferry ticket office and buy a ticket for your car and every person in it. Only the driver is allowed in the car when you board. Be prepared for a slow ride as the ferry tops out at 8mph. It's a beautiful ride, food and drink is available on the ferry and the cabin has A/C. Keep your camera handy as the gulf usually has a few dolphins and whales splashing about and the birds don't mind getting up close to pose. Montezuma was the first town I came to on my first visit to CR. We drove from here to Tamarindo up the middle of the peninsula. The map we had didn't show the road we took ten years prior, but we were able to find another one that did. The CR map in Wanda the Garmin didn't have these roads and in my opinion is the best way in and out of Montezuma, not the fastest though. the road appears to be maintained by driving a tractor through it on a regular basis and is actually much better than most gravel roads. We flipped a coin to choose left or right when we came to the forks in the road, and there were a few. Also there were about five or so shallow rivers to cross which added to the experience. Driving yourself around CR is the best way to go. We finally made it back to semi-civilization and picked up the road heading toward the Peace Bridge. It takes eleven hours to drive from Montezuma to Zancudo, Golfito.