Montezuma hasn’t changed that much. Considering how fast Costa Rica has been developing and growing, I had half-expected beachfront condos and skyscrapers at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Nope. Not yet. Montezuma is still just three streets of hostels and hotels, restaurants and sodas, a small village surrounded by amazing beaches. This may have to do with the fact it’s hard to get there. The dirt roads are bumpy, the bus service erratic, and I’m guessing it must be hell during the rainy season.
I like the hippie feel here. This is the kind of place where people eat granola for breakfast, do yoga before going surfing, where people wear handmade jewellery, where everyone is chatty and relaxed and where you can relax. Would I live here? Hell no. It’d get on my nerves after a while. But it’s a good spot to beach bums.
I didn’t remember much about Montezuma (Feng and I were there in 2001) excepted for the famous cascadas, a set of three waterfalls located right outside the town. A few daredevils jump the 50 feet from the second set of waterfalls into the swimming hole—this is kind of a local rite of passage.
I climbed up to the second set of waterfalls but I didn’t jump. I’m not crazy.
After the waterfalls, I decided to explore the coast. The idea was to walk, rest on a beach, walk to the next one, rest, and so on. I was pretty tired after the hike in Cabo Blanco the day before.
I started walking. The first beach north of town, Playa Montezuma, was nice—I could always come back there anytime. The second beach was a bit rocky. After many other small beaches and coves came Playa Grande, and wow, it was mucho grande! I wasn’t expecting a beach that huge, with plenty of almond trees, plan trees and birds. I was alone on that huge stretch of sand. I didn’t even know such place still existed in Costa Rica. No houses, no hotels, no resorts… just the sea, the sand, and my sandwich and I.
After Playa Grande came Playa Cocalito and El Chorro Waterfalls, both deserted as well. I had walked for about two hours and I was ready to go back to town. I thought I’d try to find the road that had to be parallel to the beach.
Still wearing my bikini (may as well get a tan, right?), I followed a caminito up the hill. I could see the trail but not the road.
So, I dived into the forest. Still no road, and no one around. After thirty minutes, I gave up and walked back to the beach. I didn’t want to get lost in the woods. It felt like in one of these slasher movies where “Cindy” is looking for a road in the forest because her car broke down and her boyfriend mysteriously disappeared, and she thinks she has to go right but in fact she should have taken a left turn, etc. Well, you’ve all seen this kind of movie, right?
The walk back to Montezuma took another two hours and the light changed as the sun disappeared behind the palm trees. It was beautiful.
The plan had been to rest on the beach and take it easy… and I still ended up walking all day long. But hey, as they said here… vale la pena!