By Plane: The nearest airport is in Tambor, 17km (11 miles) away. Some hotels might pick you up in Tambor for a reasonable fee. If not, you’ll have to hire a taxi, which could cost $40 to $60. Taxis are generally waiting to meet most regularly scheduled planes, but if they aren’t, you can call Gilberto Rodríguez ((tel) 8826-9055; email@example.com).
By Car: The traditional route here is to drive to Puntarenas and catch the ferry to either Naranjo or Paquera. Montezuma is about 30 minutes south of Tambor, 1 hour south of Paquera, and 2 hours south of Naranjo. The road from Paquera to Tambor is paved, and taking the Paquera ferry will save you time and some rough, dusty driving. The road from Naranjo to Paquera is all dirt and gravel and often in bad shape.
To drive to Montezuma from Liberia, head out of town on the main road to the Guanacaste beaches, passing through Filadelfia, Santa Cruz, and Nicoya on your way toward the turnoff for La Amistad Bridge. Continue straight at this turnoff, and follow the directions for this route as listed above.
By Bus & Ferry: Transportes Cobano ((tel) 2642-1112) runs two daily direct buses between San José and Montezuma. The buses leave from the Coca-Cola bus terminal at Calle 12 and Avenida 5 at 6am and 2pm. Fare is C7,500, including the ferry. The trip takes a bit over 5 hours.
Alternatively, it takes two buses and a ferry ride to get to Montezuma. Empresarios Unidos de Puntarenas express buses ((tel) 2222-0064) to Puntarenas leave San José daily every hour between 6am and 7pm from Calle 16 and Avenida 12. The trip takes 2 hours; the fare is C2,640. From Puntarenas, you can take the ferry to Paquera. A bus south to Montezuma will be waiting to meet the ferry when it arrives in Paquera. The bus ride takes about 1 1/2 hours; the fare is C1,850. Be careful not to take the Naranjo ferry because it does not meet with regular onward bus transportation to Montezuma.
Buses are met by hordes of locals trying to corral you to one of the many budget hotels. Remember, they are getting a commission, so their information is biased. Not only that, they are often flat-out lying when they tell you the hotel you want to stay in is full.
When you’re ready to head back, direct buses leave Montezuma daily at 6:30am and 2:30pm. Regular local buses to Paquera leave Cóbano roughly every 2 hours during the day starting around 4am. Buses to San José leave Puntarenas daily, hourly between 6am and 7pm. Buses from Montezuma to Paquera leave about every 2 hours between 5:30am and 5pm.
A Time-Saving Route
The fastest route is the daily speedboat shuttle between Montezuma and Jacó (actually Playa Herradura). This 1-hour shuttle departs Montezuma for Playa Herradura at 9:30am and makes the return trip from Playa Herradura to Montezuma at 11am. Zuma Tours (www.zumatours.net; [tel] 2642-0024) can book this, including connecting shuttle service to or from San José, Manuel Antonio, Malpaís, and other destinations. The boat shuttle itself is $40 per person, one-way.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.