Regions: Central Pacific: Montezuma and Malpais

The Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula guards two very special treasures. The warm waters and beautiful sunsets are just a small part of all the wonders you will find in Montezuma and Malpais.

The best possible blend

Getting to Montezuma involves driving on gravel roads, or taking the Paquera ferry-boat from Puntarenas, crossing the Nicoya Gulf. The second option is best if you must follow the road through Paquera, Cobano and cabuya, until you reach this small beach of big contrasts and diverse natural environments.

On your way, you’ll see dry forests surrounded by river and marine environments. Small streams flow down from the hills of sedimentary and volcanic rock, forming waterfalls and pools, ideal spots to escape the intense heat of summer. The rivers and streams crisscross the wide but rocky beach. All of these sites can be explored on foot mainly at low tide.

The town is cozy and has an excellent offer of gourmet restaurants; services and facilities are suitable for even the most demanding customers. The majority of the townspeople make up a very international community, with a strong commitment to protecting the environment.

Art and a bohemian type lifestyle make Montezuma what it is: an intimate and cozy village with endless scenic beauties, that has managed to maintain a low profile while still overflowing with energy.

This tiny beach is favored by European backpackers, vegetarians, yoga enthusiasts, and practically anyone in search of something new. They all choose Montezuma over many other places in Costa Rica and the world.

The several waterfalls it has, have helped to set it apart from the competition. However, a beach that stretches for miles has also been helpful. After all, it provides visitors with enough isolated spots for everyone to plop down on a towel and take in the sun and fresh air.

Without a doubt, Montezuma is among the best places for camping and admiring the wilderness, or relaxing and enjoying some of life’s pleasures.

Not all is in a name

This beach is very close to Montezuma, but the name can be tricky. Malpais actually means bad country or bad land. This has absolutely nothing to do with the appearance of the coast. In fact, it’s quite unfair. The reason behind it though, lies on the dramatic rock formations, picturesque coves and stunning views that create a fascinating landscape.

The very irregular and rocky shoreline, is great for visitors to find platforms and rocky sheets stretching out from sandy portions of the beach. There are few houses in Malpais, and it’s common to find yourself walking alone with no other company than that of a few pelicans and crabs.

The Cabo Blanco Reserve is in between Montezuma and Malpais. Although entrance to the park is not allowed through Malpais, you can still explore its backlands by foot or on horseback A sanctuary for many wild animals, you’ll be one with a green and abundant jungle.

If you want to witness a breathtaking sunset, Malpais should be on your list of places to visit. In the afternoon, you’ll have a panoramic view of the distant hills of Guanacaste.

Malpais is a street village with few, yet charming hotels and restaurants. Surfers long to visit and anyone who gets here finds themselves in awe of the miles of nearly deserted beaches.

Close to you

While you’re still on the Southern tip of Costa Rica’s beautiful Nicoya Peninsula, Tambor beach is quite close to Montezuma. From San Jose, the trip involves a drive or bus ride across the recently built bridge over the Tempisque river. Also, this dreamy destination is easily and quickly reached by regular and charter flights.

Here, the warm currents of the Pacific meet the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Nicoya, and created an amazing tropical wonderland. Located in what’s known as Bahia Ballena (Whale Bay), the whitish sand that covers the beach is great for walking or simply resting under a palm tree.

If you look around, you will realize you’re standing amid hills of volcanic origin dotted with trees. To the South you’ll discover imposing rock platforms, and to the North, the Panica river. The road that takes you to the beach is a combination of blue coastal waters, a lush woodland, grassy hills, and green pastures. Lay back and take it all in.

Costa Rica Travel: Travel Information & Tips

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