Excellent Photography Tour
I've wanted to learn how to take photos for a long time and finally, I found out the best way to do it while on vacation. John Ussenko is a professional photographer offering photography tips and techniques. He helped me understand the basic principles of aperture, shutter, and composition. The best part, we did this all in the rainforest. I have some incredible pictures. And best of all, I finally understand how to use my camera settings. Thank you John. I recommend taking John's Costa Rica Color Photography tours if you have a camera, period. He goes above and beyond to help you. His positive attitude and passion for photography is welcoming. He makes you feel like a pro yourself.
- Family Travel
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Cabuya Island Fishing & Snorkeling Tour
You quickly learn that the main tour pushed all over Montezuma is the Tortuga Island tour. It's a fun tour but it is a pretty standard tour.... lots of lolling around the island time waiting for the boat to leave, snorkeling with 50 people in the water etc. In search of something a little different and more authentic we went on a fishing and snorkeling tour of Cabuya Island with a local diver/fisherman - Jeffry. He's a local from Cabuya who is trying to build his own business - Solo Bueno Tours. It was such a fun and interesting day! Jeffry made every effort to provide a fun and interesting tour for my wife and our kids. From teaching us out to cast our hand lines, to collecting and preparing delicious fresh oysters for us! OK so we didn't catch fish but of course Jeffry did which he provided to us cleaned and ready for cooking. We finally felt like we were seeing the real Costa Rica! For $35 per person plus fresh fish for dinner, it's was great value.
- Adventure Travel
Reserva Absoluta Cabo Blanco
I'm not sure I can be an unbiased critic of this particular outing. I set out for the Cabo Blanco beach at the end of my trip, sore from long day of surfing and tired from battling a day of light travelors diarrhea. I expected for the bus to drop us off at the beach, I wore sandals and shorts and did not bring water. Reality hit hard. Getting to Cabo Blanco is a bit of a hike, 3 miles I believe, through jungle. The humidity in this reserve challenges any area I have ever been, I can not remember the last time I was so drenched in sweat, and when I arrived, tired, feet worn, thirsty, I sat on the beach for a few minutes as the sun beat down on me and was to worn to enjoy any beauty. If you want to make a day of seeing Cabo Blanco please come prepared with lots of water, hiking shoes, take ample time to get to the beach, enjoy the forest and rest in the shade you can find at the beach. Overall I think if you are prepared you can enjoy this trip, however, be aware of the difficulties and plan accordingly
Day Trip to Tortuga Island
Another popular and fun tour from Montezuma is a day tour to Tortuga Island. Again shop around as many tour operators offer this. I believe I paid 40$ a person for the full day. You depart from the beach in the morning and head out to the island area, stopping for an hour of snorkeling. You arrive to the Island for a lunch, laying in the sand or playing beach volleyball. The island itself is a wildlife sanctuary and is access to most areas besides one patch of beach is restricted. The island is gorgeous, with white sand and great shady palm trees. There is a souvenir shop (an expensive one) on the island as well. You have the option of going for a second snorkeling trip or lounging around the island. Engage in a beach volleyball game with some locals and enjoy the fresh cooked lunch. This tour is definately worth a day
Horseback Riding Along the Beach
My first time horseback riding was in here in Montezuma, Costa Rica. The Montezuma area has several long patches of beach for horses to romp, and let me tell you, the horses take off! The tour guides ensure you get a thrill by racing by your horse on their own, sending yours into a full gallop. They give the horses an hour or so break at a stop at a waterfall near that ends in the ocean and you can take a swim and enjoy a fresh fruit lunch. Overall the ride lasts around three hours and is well worth the money and time. Always bargain and shop around for the different tour operators. Usuall you will be accompanied by a party of about 12 other people. My travelmate Karessa said that the horseback riding was the highlite of her trip to Costa Rica, now that speaks volumes!
- Horse Riding
Talk to Paul
Paul is an American expatriate who lives on the beach in Montezuma. Seen by some as a bit of a nuisance, he is actually quite an interesting fellow. He is on the main street every morning sweeping up the garbage in hopes of a bit of compensation from the merchants. He pan-handles most of the rest of the day but is more than happy to engage in conversation for as long as you want (or can take). He has quite a storey to tell and some of it rings very true. He is a VietNam vet and is well versed on that country from that era. He also has a great sense of humor and took my good natured scolding for using my "donation" for beer rather than the orange juice he had promised. Next time I'll buy the juice myself for him!
Rather than being intimidated or scared of him, talk a few moments to sit down and get to know him. He's probaby one of my most lasting memories of Montezuma.
I purchased the all day snorkel trip via CocoZuma in Montezuma. Departure is at 0830 from the beach. About 20 people on the small boat seemed a challenge but it was more seaworthy that at first appearance. Its about 60 minutes to the Island which is a tropical paradise with fine white sane, acqamarine water, and excellent snorkelling.
brought my own gear but the equipment provided looked in good condition. We did the first dive on a small island imediately north of tortuga. You can swim around it in 10 minutes. The volcanic nature of the island provided hundreds of nooks and crannies to peer into. Large fish were easily located and they were not too shy of divers. Spotted several coal snake eels, morays, and a few lobster.
After the first dive we went on shore for a great barbeque lunch. Lots of melon and pineapple to wash away the salt water.
The second dive was to a different island. The tide was running out and the surf was up but it brought huge amounts of bigger fish close to the island. Schools of blue pattotfish and at least three kinds of puffers.
A full hour at least was provided at each dive site and that was measured from the time the last diver got it. I brought my own gear and was off first so i got almost 90 minutes per dive.
Excellent day. We got back to Montezuma about 1700.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- National/State Park
I booked a 2 tank dive through CocoZuma Traveller in Montezuma. I went by the same boat that takes the snorkellers to Tortuga Island. Just before we got to Tortuga, I was met by the other boat with the divers. I believe the scuba operator is based in Tambor. The two tank dive was $140 which is much more than I had paid elsewhere in CR.
Equipment was good and the dive master quite informative and professional. Reentry to the boat was very easy with the ladder they used.
The dives were nothing too spectacular. We actually saw more fish while snorkelling but did see several eels and lobster.
After the two dives, they dropped me off on the island where I rejoined my group who had already eaten. The tour operator had kept a barbeque lunch for me, all wrapped in foil and still nicely hot.
Its about an hour by boat from montezuma to tortuga.
- Diving and Snorkeling
The swimmin' hole
About half an hour from the town, up the river is an awesome waterfall that cascades into a refreshing natural pool. It's worth the hike to get here, splash around, and eat a picnic lunch on the rocks, shaded by the towering trees all around. There's no anything there, so bring food and water, and hit up the bathroom before you leave.
It's the Pacific!
Shoot, you're at a remote tropical beach town in Costa Rica. Go to the beach! Swim, sunbathe, rent a boat and go fishing or snorkeling. The closest beach isn't that great, but a 5 minute walk north of town puts you on some fantastic smooth, sandy beaches. Also great for seeing the gull vs. crab battle when the tide comes in. I never knew crabs could jump so far!
This is a popular tour offered from Montezuma and much cheaper than similar tours that leave from San Jose, Puntarenas and Jaco. Every travel agency in town offers a similar tour but we went with Cocozuma tours and were very impressed.
For $35, you get a full day tour which includes roundtrip boat transportation to the island, use of snorkelling gear (and can opt to do a morning and/or afternoon snorkel) and a delicious fresh bbq chicken/fish lunch on the beach. I recommend going on a week day when the beach is less crowded and more tranquil (the public area is not very big); the snorkelling is ok- the tropical fish are nice- but there is no colorful coral to see.
We went at the end of August which was peak whale season and were able to see three giant humpback whales on our way to the island. Check out my travelogue for more pics of the island!
We did a great tour through the Bakery Cafe: the owner's Swiss wife has several houses up in their ranch outside of town. You can choose between a beach ride or a mixed mountain ride that, in 4 hours, allows you to view the scenery, ride out to an isolated series of waterfalls (with a deep pool into which you can safely jump the 10 feet) as well as some of the beaches. $25 and it was just us and our guide Carlos.
Hike the beaches, Playa Grande and beyond
Going down to the main gate to the beach on the lefthand side (north east) of the town, facing the ocean, are kilometres of beach.
Playa Grande is about a 45 minute-1 hour walk along the beach from the town. You occasionally have to go into trails in the forest (don't go over the rocks as they can be dangerous, slippery and you wouldnt want to be caught in there if tide moves in quickly) so bring lots of water, footwear and be prepared for a few hills. Playa Grande has some waves but is good for swimming (dont go out too far) and is fairly deserted. If you continue on further, there are many other nice places to bathe and relax. There are no services on the beach so if you want to make a day of it, take enough snacks and water.
Hike up to waterfall, stop off for a massage
On your way up to the waterfall, there is a first little part where there are very small falls and a small natural pool to bathe in. A local told us that if you sit in the pool with your back against the mini fall, it acts as a natural massage and helps soothe tired muscles (especially from bad mattresses while travelling!)
Swim in the waterfall
A 15-20 minute hike up from the entrance to the waterfall (walk west of town until you get to the bridge and then head inland- or follow the river upwards).
On a rainy day or following a rainy day, it is probably not too safe to hike up as the water can get strong and the trails can be muddy and washed out.
Follow the red arrows (found on trees and rocks) which mark out the best way to climb up. Once you cross the river onto the right side, look for the trail slightly above the river- this is a lot easier and safer than navigated through the rocks that line the river shore.
Don't jump off any of the waterfalls- it is very dangerous and many people have died. Be careful when swimming in the water as the current can be strong. Many people (along the rocks) swam up behind the waterfall, got up and jumped the 2 feet into the water and through the falls. Seemed safe and fun enough. The water is soooo refreshing!
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