BEACHES & WATERFALL
A 30-minute walk north from the beach of Montezuma you will find Playa Grande, a seemingly endless sandy beach. The only way to get there is to walk, so there are no cars, no quads, no police, and no people. Many travelers looking for a nude beach spend their days here. It's also a great surf spot, with fairly large waves. Die-hard surf addicts who live in Montezuma carry their surfboards thirty minutes each way every day.
On your way, look for local artist's rock balancing sculptures, which are often quite remarkable. Here you could walk up the river and enjoy the fresh water and smaller water falls of Piedra Colorada.
Playa Las Manchas is a perfect little beach which is a fifteen minute walk south of Montezuma. This beach is especially popular with Montezuma's Italian community and you might think you're at a Mediterranean beach.
When the waves are large and the tide is fairly high, a rip tide can form on the right side of the beach, as water pours around the rocks.
Playa Las Manchas also has the best snorkeling spot in the entire area. Swim 100-200 meters to the right from the beach and look for a long underwater canyon filled with fish. Over 40 species of tropical fish have been spotted here, including rays, parrotfish, two types of puffer fish, needlefish, etc.
There are two beaches in Montezuma: the one to the south with all the fishing boats and the beach to the north which is much cleaner and the preferred beach for swimming.
Montezuma Falls is perhaps the most famous waterfall in Costa Rica. It isn't a single waterfall, but three separate falls. To reach the first falls, start at the ocean near Hotel Amor de Mar, and walk up the river for 10-20 minutes. Here you will reach the highest waterfall, with a huge swimming hole. This is the easiest of the falls to access.
If you want to jump from a cliff, continue to pools two and three above. To reach these pools, climb up the steep path to the right of pool #1. Follow a trail up and to the right. Eventually you will find a steep trail leading down with a rope to help you descend. From here you'll be between pool #2 and #3. You can jump from 40 feet into pool #2, or keep climbing up and then you can jump from 8-15 feet into pool #3, which also has a rope swing. Please be careful as many accidents have occurred with tourist jumping.
The land surrounding the pools is private property, and people live in the houses above, so if you want to hike, stay in the river, but please respect the privacy of the people who live above and don't walk through their yards.
Cabo Blanco Park has an amazing story behind it. It was the first national park in Costa Rica, founded by two Scandinavian immigrants who lived for years in Montezuma, and are buried there. Most of the park was originally cow pasture, but for over twenty years was allowed to grow back.
No tourism was allowed in the park. Now there's a single trail through the park to a rugged and wild beach on the other side. Its a two-hour hike each way. Don't expect to see any animals unless you arrive first thing in the morning.