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Playa los Cedros in Montezuma, Costa Rica.  Great left-point break.

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Montezuma Coastline looking south towards Cabuya


ˇ Travel and Mapsˇ 

Please select:

Taking the bus (cheapest way)
Shuttle Service
Renting a Car
Driving to Montezuma
Ferry Schedule
Flying to Montezuma
How else can I get there?
Map of Montezuma


Taking the Bus - Cheapest

Direct bus service from San Jose to Montezuma. This bus leaves every day from the Coca Cola bus station in downtown San Jose at 6:00am and 2:00pm. The cost is $12 US. The Coca Cola bus station is a 20 min., $20 Taxi ride from the international airport. The bus trip takes about 4.5-5 hours total.  There is one rest stop between San Jose and Puntarenas. In Puntarenas you must get off the bus and the driver will hand you a ferry ticket and a laminated card that you need to get back on the bus.  Follow the bus crowd onto the ferry for a beautiful one and a half hour ferry ride. The ferries have an air-conditioned passenger deck complete with snack shop and restrooms, as well as a large outside viewing area. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased. Upon crossing the gulf you will disembark in Paquera. Follow the passengers to the other side of the ferry terminal to re-board the bus and continue the journey to Cobano. In Cobano all passengers going to Montezuma switch to another bus, which takes you the final 20-30 minutes to downtown Montezuma. 

Shuttle Services

You can book a shuttle for yourself via Montezuma Expeditions. They leave from San Jose at 6:00am and 2:00pm. The last we checked, it was $40/person. Also try The Costa Rica Shuttle ($40). You will need to take a taxi to the Montezuma Expeditions office in Alajuela, 5 min from the Airport. They will pay the taxi driver or reimburse you. Like the bus, the shuttle price includes the ferry ticket, but in this case you don't leave your luggage on the shuttle. They drop you off at the ferry and give you a ticket to get on. You carry your luggage on the boat, then when you arrive you carry you luggage off the boat and get on another shuttle which will look just like the first one, with the Montezuma Expeditions logo on the side. They will drop you off in Montezuma. They also have shuttle service from Montezuma to San Jose, Fortuna, Monteverde, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and Samara / Tamarindo.


Renting a Car:

If you want to rent a car and drive instead, it won't cost much more than the shuttle if you have two or more people. We recommend Vamos or Budget. Caution! Many companies hide some fees, especially insurance, so be very careful. Budget is very upfront about their fees, and they have two local offices so they're a good bet. The other problem people often run into is that the rental agencies sometimes don't take DEBIT cards... only credit cards or cash. For your security deposit, you have to put this all on your credit card, and it must be the same card as you pay for the car with... you can't split it between two different cards.

1.  Budget - this is the best company because they have two local offices - one in Malpais and one in Tambor, and so if anything goes wrong, you can get it fixed or they swap out the car quickly.  They're also very flexible.  For example, you can pick up the car in San Jose, but leave it here in Malpais and fly back if you wish.   All the name brand car rental places basically have the same prices, once you read all the fine print and pay the mandatory options.  That's because they're all owned by the same family.   Expect $70-$95/day with everything included.

2.  Vamos - is quite a bit cheaper, but they have an office only in San Jose and Liberia.  They're very expensive to have a car dropped off here for you.  If something goes wrong with the car, you have to wait all day for them to send a mechanic with a new car from San Jose.  This company is independently owned.  The same car as Budget would be more like $50-$60/day with everything included.

If you do drive, then you can get from the airport to the Puntarenas Ferry in 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

Driving to Montezuma:

New Shortcut! There's a new road from San Jose to Caldera/Puntarenas, and you can use this superhighway to rapidly get to the ferry... saving up to an hour of driving time. As of this writing, there are no signs for how to do this, so follow these instructions.

If you're in San Jose already, then drive on freeway #27 towards Santa Ana and this road will take you all the way. But if you're near the airport, then drive west from the airport on the main freeway (Interamericana) until you see an exit for Atenas. Take that exit and cross over the freeway to your left. Drive for approximately 2km and turn left between a soccer field and a blue school. There is no sign here for the freeway. If you get lost, ask for "La Pista por Caldera". Drive for 3.5km the then you'll see an overpass. Don't go under it but instead turn left just before the freeway, and that will take you to the onramp. Get on that and head west (right) again. It will take you to Caldera, which is the main port next to Puntarenas, and from there, drive north along the coast. You'll pass a big development called "La Roca" and eventually you'll pass up and over the top of the road you want to turn right onto. There's a sign for Puntarenas, but it's been covered with tree branches for several years, so it's difficult to see. Loop around to the right and get onto this road, heading west again, and follow that in a straight line all the way to the very tip of the Puntarenas peninsula, and then turn right and it will curve around to the ferry line.

This trip will take you around 90 minutes if you drive pretty fast all the way. Don't drive over 90kph or the police may give you a ticket, which can be $400 or more!!!


Ferry Schedule:
Leaving from Puntarenas Leaving from Paquera
Time Ferry Time Ferry
5:00 am Tambor I 6:00 am Tambor II
9:00 am Tambor II 9:00 am Tambor I
11:00 am Tambor I 11:00 am Tambor II
1:00 pm Tambor II 1:00 pm Tambor I
3:00 pm Tambor I 3:00 pm Tambor II
5:00 pm Tambor II 5:00 pm Tambor I
9:00 pm Tambor II 7:00 pm Tambor II

To verify this, you can call the ferry at 2661-2084 extension 4. It's only in Spanish, so a good way to do it is to ask the person at the rental car desk to help. There are two ferries. One is to Paquera and one to Naranjo. Take the Paquera Ferry, and from there, drive to the left and go to Cobano, which takes 45 minutes normally. From Cobano, turn left and head to Montezuma.

When you arrive at the ferry, get in line and wait for the ferry guy to give you a laminated voucher. You take this to the ticket window and buy your ticket... one ticket for the vehicle plus driver, and another ticket for each passenger. Without this laminate, you can't get your ticket. When you drive onto the ferry, they only allow the driver to go on with the vehicle. Everyone else must get out and walk on. No one I've ever talked to knows why they do this.


Flying to Montezuma:
 

If you can't make it to the shuttle by 8am and it's low season (June 1 - Dec 15) when there's no afternoon shuttle bus, then another option is to fly. There are two airlines with flights to Tambor, which is a 30 min drive from Montezuma. (Take a taxi for $30 from Tambor to Montezuma). Flight times:

Sansa (High Season 2011): ($85 incl tax)

   7:40am, 10:15am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm

Nature Air (High Season 2011): ($75 +)

   8:00, 9:15am, 2:00pm, 4:30PM

Note: For Nature Air flights, you will need to take their $5 shuttle service from SJO airport to a smaller airport nearby. Their shuttles leave at 6:15am, 10:15am, 12pm, 1pm.


How Else can I get to Montezuma?

1. Private vehicle with driver: go all the way for $160-170. Book through Montezuma Expeditions for up to 4 people. $25 per extra person. This will leave from San Jose or the Airport whenever you want.

2. Water Taxi! Get yourself to Jaco (1 hr drive from San Jose) and then take a speedboat to Montezuma at 10:45am. $45 per person each way. If you want to go back this way, the water taxi leaves Montezuma at 9:30am. It's also $350 for a private service at the time of your choosing, for up to 5 people. Other details and booking: zumatours.net

3. Helicopter or private plane! VIP Costa Rica Charter Flights (Email: andreszclients@gmail.com / Phone 2241-5364)

   By plane from San Jose to Tambor airport (one way flight):

      4 passengers plane : $457
      12 passengers plane : $1265

   By Helicopter from San Jose to Tambor airport ( one way flight):

      4 passengers Helicopter: $1722
      6 passengers Helicopter: $2750

 

Map of Montezuma:



           Copyright 2011 by Geoff McCabe - All Rights Reserved