In many ways Montezuma feels like the end of the line. This charming little village is nestled on the eastern shore of Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula, down dusty roads that lead to ridges covered with tropical dry forests and contrasting green terraces etched out by rivers and tides. Unlike many other parts of Costa Rica, Montezuma has been largely untouched by commercial development and is therefore a beach lover's paradise. Dramatically located at the bottom of a plateau overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Montezuma has an enticing quality that goes far beyond its spectacular setting: a strong emphasis on an eco-conscience mindset while maintaining a laid back lifestyle. Montezuma has been a popular destination for hippies, new-agers, and eco-tourists; not surprising since it has long been a haven for alternative thinkers. Without a doubt, this little cove town is among the best places for camping, relaxing and enjoying the wilderness.
During the last decade many foreigners have settled down in Montezuma: mainly Europeans, South Americans, Americans and Canadians. It is an interesting melting pot of cultures from all over the world.
Originally, Montezuma was the only spot along the coast that could be reached by boat from the main land, therefore becoming an important place for commerce. People used to travel by horse from Cabuya and Mal Pais to buy the products coming in from the mainland by boat.
The town is still very small, on a slim piece of land at the bottom of the hill. The center is a T-shaped road with shops, tour agencies, grocery stores and restaurants. On the south side there is a small beach where the boats leave for Jacó or the daily excursions to Tortuga Island. On the north side of the village you will find the main beach of Montezuma, Playa Piedra Colorada and Playa Grande.
If you are looking for rejuvenation, relaxing and enjoying the wilderness, you can join the many yoga classes offered in town. Over the last few years Montezuma has become one of the worlds well known yoga mekka's offering yoga classes from Anusara Inspired Vinyasa Flow at Montezuma Yoga to Yoga Dance at Ylang Ylang Resort. All classes are open for all levels and you will find not only well trained and certified yoga instructors that will help you to deepen your practice, but also wonderful massage therapists that will soothe your body after a good class. Check each individual website for offers on classes, retreats, vacation packages and yoga teacher trainings.
Several gift shops are scattered in the center of town that sell clothing, jewelry and art crafts from Costa Rica.
There are two supermarkets where it is almost possible to find everything, even international products and delicatessen items.
"The bakery" is on the way to the main beach, right before the local Primary School. Enjoy breakfast surrounded by white faced monkeys and blue magpie jays. The library in front of the bakery has gifts, maps and international magazines and news papers. There is also a good selection of new and second hand books that are possible to rent or trade. "Café Organico" is the paradise for vegetarians, pure organic food with love; wifi internet connection available.
The very popular restaurant "Cocolores" is located oceanside, not far from the church and offers a large variety of delicious dishes from all over the world. Open only at night; make a reservation in advance in high season (closed Mondays). There is a new soda "Las Delicias", located in the very center of Montezuma. It is open all day until midnight. There are a couple of Pizzerias offering Italian and Argentinean specialties.
The "Sodas" are the best places to enjoy the typical Costa Rican food while” Puggo's” offers falafel and typical dishes from Israel. Restaurant/bar "Moctezuma" is located next to the small beach on the north side and has a constantly breezy terrace overlooking the ocean. Spanish management ensures delightful dishes such as the famous “Paella”.
"Playa de Los Artistas" is a very special restaurant, located just north of the beach where the boats go out. It offers a Mediterranean cuisine and is probably the best restaurant in the area; attracting assiduous clients from Mal Pais, Santa Teresa and Manzanillo. Fresh ingredients, art pieces, paintings, great music and an amazing atmosphere right on the ocean are the ingredients of this perfect meal. Open lunch and dinner (closed Sundays). Once a week they have the best Sushi!
Every Saturday morning the organic market takes place in the little public park. It is a relaxed, weekly gathering enjoyed by the community: live drumming, food and sunny mornings surrounded by children in the playground.
Every once in a while it is fun to watch the football match. The soccer field is located behind the beach where the boats are launched and surrounded by the jungle. This is another occasion to gather and enjoy the community life. The wall by the field has been painted in 2009 by a group of artists from everywhere.
The incredible film festival that takes place every year in November showcases shorts and features from across the world. Visitors enjoy film screenings, live music and some very special events. Don't miss the now famous Saturday Night Street Party where a team of fire dancers and performers transform all of Montezuma into an all night fiesta. These shows happen pretty often during the high season.
If you are looking to have fun and meet people, best go to Chico's Bar; during the day it is possible to play pool and watch sports drinking a cold beer; at night the dance floor is crowded with salsa and meringue dancers, as well as electronic and reggae, transforming the nights into wild parties.