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2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

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Saarf England
posts: 24
2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

Hi, my wife and I, our son (10 month old baby) and 2 friends want to go to Costa Rica. My friend and I (gentlemen of an adventurous nature) want to surf and check out waterfalls, ziplining, exploring, beach and bars, etc. while my wife and her female friend will be more into chilling by a pool and at the beach and general wondering around the towns, due to our son being with them.

After looking around on t'interweb, Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa look to fit the bill. We were originally looking at a villa for all five of us, but think that it would be better getting two chalets or small villas between us due to our baby waking up at night, etc.

Can anyone recommend anywhere in these areas? We may look at staying in Montezuma for one week and Mal Pais another. Does this sound like a good idea?

I am trying to find out what we're likely to be spending on a mid range budget daily too.

We are used to cheap Asian backpacking type travel, but will be fine with going mid to high range for accommodation for this trip due to us having our son with us.

We did like Casa Frangipani, but it only appears to offer one two bedroom villa and as said, we'd like somewhere offering separate small villas or chalets. Can anyone recommend anywhere to have a look at?


Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 575
reviews: 9
1. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

Besides the beach, when I'm in Montezuma I run into lots of people coming over from Mal Pais and Santa Teresa to do the other activities you've mentioned.

Although, I'll admit I usually don't get over to Mal Pais and Santa Teresa except to check out a different beach or the sunset. Maybe I'm missing out on some great hiking or waterfalls that I don't know about? Anyone?

I'm not sure what city Cabo Blanco National Park is in (borders Cabuya and Mal Pais?), but I have been there.

I like your idea of 1 week at each. I think they're very very different towns.


Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,814
reviews: 26
2. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

Well you be renting a car? if so, if stay in one town and do daytrips to the other. Surfing is better and more accessible in mal pais/st Teresa, but lodging seems to be cheaper in 'zuma and the waterfall is there as well as a zipline. Cabo Blanco national park is north of montezuma, about half an hour if I remember correctly. IMO the 2hr hike from 'zuma to el chorro waterfall is just as rewarding and free to boot.

Edited: 9:53 am, March 21, 2013
posts: 278
reviews: 6
3. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

Casa Frangipani is beautiful. Have stayed there 3 times and going back in Feb.

They have 3 villas with 1 bedroom, and another villa with multiple bedrooms. So the 1 bedroom villas would seem to work for u. What month are you going?

Saarf England
posts: 24
4. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

We're going in July. Is this 'Little Summer' thing i hear about true? I imagine it will be sunny most of the time and rain for a while in the afternoon?

What kind of budget would someone expect to be spending if self catering?

We'd rent a car if necessary. What are prices like for two weeks?

Good to hear that about Casa Frangipani. I'll get hold them to enquire.

Thanks for the replies.

crest, ca
posts: 34
reviews: 2
5. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

I have been to Montezuma and Santa Teresa last year in May, and again 2 years prior. Montezuma is very small. There is not much to do there. The beach is not as nice (or long) as Santa Teresa/Playa Carmen. The restaurant options are better in Santa Teresa (my opinion). The waterfall area in Montezuma is nice, but the water was brown, so not particularly inviting. It is quite a hike there. We did not have, nor feel a need for a vehicle. We stayed 3 days in Montezuma (enough) and 5 in Santa Teresa. You cannot beat Santa Teresa for a walking beach. The hotels are either on the beach or across the road up a very steep hill. I would recommend a private house on the beach with pool for cooling off, as the surf can be rough there. If you want quieter surf, great restaurants, and multiple beach options I would also recommend you check out Manuel Antonio. We have also gone there 4 of the last 5 years in May, and it is pretty great.

crest, ca
posts: 34
reviews: 2
6. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

Additionally, you are correct about the rain. It is likely in the afternoon or eve. We did not use a car. We have taken various modes of transport - all easily arranged. Shuttle/ferry or plane to Tambor gets you to the area. Taxis between Montezuma and Santa Teresa are easy.

Saarf England
posts: 24
7. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

Thanks for the replies.Where's best to fly into for this area?

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 575
reviews: 9
8. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

Tambor is the closest local airport. The local airlines have some very very restrictive weight limits so check those out, you might not be able to fly locally if you bring a lot of stuff.

Depending on where you are staying (how far from a town) and since there are five of you you might want the car. Make sure you know exactly where you're staying because when they say "it's just down the road" or "up the hill", sometimes it's pretty far away or up the steep 75 degree incline!

On the other hand, I rarely get a vehicle, but it's usually just me or me+1 so it's a lot less cost effective. Plus, I stay downtown Montezuma so getting to town isn't an issue, if I was staying at a house out of town a bit away, I'd have to consider it.


9. Re: 2 Weeks in Montezuma and Mal Pais, Santa Teresa

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