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“Great short hike in Montezuma” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Montezuma Falls

Montezuma Falls
Entrance just south of main town road, Montezuma, Costa Rica
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Ranked #1 of 4 Attractions in Montezuma
Type: Waterfalls, Outdoors
Attraction details
Palo Alto, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Great short hike in Montezuma”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

I did this hike in July 2013, on the evening when I arrived in town. To get to the trail head is very easy: when in downtown, with your back to the shore and facing the hill, simply turn left on the main road and walk about 5 minutes until you cross a bridge (the bridge is over the creek which forms the waterfalls). Most of the hike is on the left side of the creek but you can more or less choose your way, walk through the water, etc, depending on your level of comfort and hiking experience. For the last five minutes you can reach a higher pathway on the right side, or stick close to the water (which is what I did). The 1st waterfall is very nice (I did see better though). Being rainy season the pool was not clear and not very inviting in my opinion.

The decision point is really here - if you want to go to the next waterfalls or not. The climb is on the right side (when facing the waterfall) and the hill is steep, eroded and quite exposed. After a false start I realized that the easiest way is to follow the tree roots. Most of them (but not all; test them!) are very good hand holds. Once you get up you notice that there is a trail (so you could possible access it from a point further downstream?!) which follows the edge of the hill until you get to safe/unexposed ground and there it splits. The right side trail goes deeper in the jungle and might be an interesting hike in itself. The left side trail turns towards the river and crosses first a side stream, after which it climbs steeply to a ridge (again, roots are your friends). From the top of the ridge you go down towards the creek/waterfalls, but not before having to pass the most exposed section of the whole hike - a 10 feet drop with few hand holds and a rope which was very handy (and it held well, at least at that time; again - test it!). That's definitely a place where you don't want to fall - the 10 feet drop can become a 30 feet extremely dangerous drop in a split second).Once you pass this step you get to the banks of the creek, on top of a smaller (2nd) waterfall, with a 3rd waterfall right on top, in quick succession, and a pool in between. Two hikers we met there hesitated and then bailed out on jumping (wisely, in my opinion). Locals told me that some people died while jumping in the waterfalls.

To summarize, accessing the first (and highest) waterfall is a very nice and easy hike, no guide needed. To reach the higher waterfalls by the shortest path is relatively dangerous, but this will obviously depend on your experience more than anything else. It did look like there were other trails, less exposed, which required some detours. Locals said that there was also a much longer trail on the left side, which starts on the road further away from the normal trail head and you won't see the water at all until you reach the upper waterfalls. But that might be a nice jungle walk, and hopefully less exposed.

Visited July 2013
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Grayslake, Illinois
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
“Awesome!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Ok, this is actually harder to get to then it seems. We got started and had a local guy show us the way for a tip we gladly paid.

The waterfall is absolutely amazing - the water is very comfortable and swimmable. The currents are a little strong, but manageable. There are a couple other falls higher up we did not go to, we were told they are smaller and less impressive.

Plan to spend a few hours from start to finish, and bring water shoes - the rocks are very slippery!

Do not miss this FREE (unless you want to tip a local guide to help you out) activity if you are in Montezuma!!

Visited July 2013
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Heredia, Heredia, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Montezuma Falls”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Great free activity in Montezuma. We went to the falls on a few different occasions and they never disappointed. Pack a snack, towel, and spend a hot day there hiking up to the different falls and swimming. I would recommend wearing Chacos or Tevas that you can hike in and also wear in the water.

Visited March 2013
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best thing we did here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

My girlfriend and I were recently in Montezuma and hiked to the three waterfalls. This was a completely awesome time for a variety of reasons, the first of which is that it is a free activity. It is recommended you wear good shoes as this is not a trivial hike. There are several guides waiting to scoop up confused looking tourists for a fee (this ended up happening to us kind of by accident) but it is completely possible to do this hike on your own, and I wish that we had. The best thing to do is get some local advice before going and then you won't need a guide, Armando at the Bakery Cafe told us exactly how to get to the three waterfalls. Once at the top you can swim in the plunge pools, jump off some of the rocks, and jump off of the small and medium-height waterfalls (note, the first waterfall you come to is the big one and several people have died trying to jump this one, therefore don't do it). Like I said before, this can be a free activity and regardless it is a must do because of the beautiful scenery and the fun you can have at the waterfalls.

Visited October 2013
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15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Very tranquil”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Not far away from the intersection near amor del mar in montezuma, the road leading to the waterfall is not long, but there are no signs so it is better to study the way first. When we were there it was quiet and very private, hence amazing. FYI, parking there costs money

Visited September 2013
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