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Montezuma - charming or overrun?

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bklynyoga
posts: 16
reviews: 35
Montezuma - charming or overrun?

Hi

We are 2 adults and three small kids traveling to CR in Feb. Have heard conflicting things about Montezuma and would love to hear your advice. We prefer chill, quiet places. Even if we had money (we do not) for 5 star- we would pick a place without pretension or cheese. I have heard that there is a bar/frat scene and am curious if montezuma has a Cancun vibe on a smaller scale. Would Santa Teresa be a better choice? We chose Montezuma bc it seems that the water us calmer.

We are considering ruling out Manuel Antonio bc it seemed too touristy- any thoughts?

Osa seems amazing but might be too tough with small kids.

I love reading all the advice on this board- thank you!

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,111
reviews: 36
1. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

I love Montezuma, very small town, right on the water, Cancun Like? NOT AT ALL... More a beatnik hippie town than anything else. You will laugh when you see the actual size of the town.

You are right about calmer waters than Mal Pais. IMO I say go for it.

Cheers

Dunwoody, Georgia
posts: 163
reviews: 7
2. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

It is a great small beach down, hippie abounds, great scenery, food, drink, etc

San Francisco...
posts: 296
reviews: 5
3. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

I haven't been to either, but Santa Teresa has been awarded a Blue Flag for water quality, whereas Montezuma has not. With three small children who would be spending a lot of time in the water, this might be important to you.

visitcostarica.com/ict/…

Click on the "map" tab to see a map with the beaches in Costa Rica that have earned a Blue Flag.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,111
reviews: 36
4. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

This is true Junk2, but the beaches are 30 minutes away from each other, share much of the same water consequently, and Mal Pais is a surfing beach, which here means dangerous to swim.

Just a couple things to keep in mind.

Cheers

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 4,918
reviews: 20
5. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

I wouldn't pick Montezuma with small children and I wouldn't pick MalPais either. When we were in Montezuma for 4 nites last year the waves in Montezuma were too high and we had lots of reports on riptides at multiple beaches so we never went in swimming. It may be a little less wave action in February but IMO it would not be safe for small children. Your best choices for a safe beach are the beach inside the park at Manuel Antonio which is gorgeous or take a look at the small town of Samara which has better conditions for swimming.

Edited: 6:51 pm, June 30, 2011
San Francisco...
posts: 296
reviews: 5
6. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

We just got back from our trip to Costa Rica and spent three nights at Tulemar Bungalows (Mot Mot unit) in Manual Antonio. We really loved the Tulemar beach, which is very safe, and we basically spent three days on that beach. Something to think about . . .

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,161
7. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

Nothing like Cancun...is a very low key places!

roadadvisor

louisville
posts: 866
reviews: 1
8. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

Fisrt of all, if you get the chance to see Montezuma, you will laugh at the thought of it as a Cancun. It is so far from that. Quite the opposite. It is more of a small village, no pretnetious hotels. absolutely no resorts whatsoever. It is tiny. Plus it has a hippy bohmian vibe. I wouldn't classify it as frat boy. Party yes but more of the bippy variety so right in town is not quiet.

I fyou travel to the beaches on foot farther from Montezuma you reach one called Playa Grande, which is better for swimming. I am not sure of the age of your children to know if they would be up to the walk but you said small kids so I am guessing not. It takes about 20 minutes. The beaches right in town are not great for swimming.

I will say that mal Pais or Santa Teresa would be even worse as they have very strong current that even as an adult neither my boyfriend or I could go in. It is for surfers.

Manuel Antonio would be better for children and the beach inside the National Park is the most perfect for swimming with children. The other beaches in the area are like the rest of Costa Rica in that they have riptides. Ingeneral though it is a more suited area for traveling with children.

I also do not like traveling to resorts or pretentious places. The good thing is there really is no pretntion in Manuel Antonio. Yes it is popular and has many places geared toward tourists but that is only by Costa Rica standards. There is no comparision to Cancum. If you want to visit more local and les tourist places to eat you can always hit Quepos, which is a real tico (costa Rican) town and has sodas (like diners) and local owned restaurants. It is mostly boutique hotels along the road to Manuel Antonio so they are smaller hotels with pools, etc.

bklynyoga
posts: 16
reviews: 35
9. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

Thank you all! I think we will do Monrezuma, Uvita and Rio Tico lodge.

louisville
posts: 866
reviews: 1
10. Re: Montezuma - charming or overrun?

Make sure you understand what the travel time will be between two places. It will be a long day of travel to do that. Montezuma will require g oing by road, then ferry then road again to get in and out. You then have about 4hours of driving from Puntarenas to Uvita after that whole road and ferry routine. You are looking at approximately 6 or 7 hours of travel to get from Montezuma to Uvita. There is the option of the fast ferry between Montezuma and Jaco to cut down travel time but this is not a ferry that transports vehicles so if you are driving, this is not an option.

Manuel Antonio on the other hand is close to Uvita....about an hour or so away.