Montezuma is such a cute little Costa Rican beach town, but it’s kind of hard to get there. Sometimes travel days are fun, but they can also be a huge pain in the butt. I contemplated not even going because I didn’t want to figure out the transportation between the mainland and the Nicoya Peninsula where Montezuma is located.
I made the mistake of going to Monteverde (not to be confused with Montezuma!) before La Fortuna after I arrived in San Jose. There’s a direct bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas, where the ferry port is, but there isn’t a direct bus from La Fortuna. After making the trek to La Fortuna for an underwhelming day touring the area, I was ready to check out Costa Rica’s beaches.
To make a long, 11-hour story short, I began my day at 5:30 in the morning on a bus to San Ramon, where I switched to another bus to Puntarenas, arriving at around noon. After a 25-minute walk in the blistering heat because I refused to take a taxi, I was on the ferry to Paquera on the Nicoya Peninsula. Not quite there yet. About two hours later after jumping on the first chicken bus I saw, I’d finally arrived in Montezuma. I was covered in dirt and sweat and completely exhausted. Even if I had departed from Monteverde instead of La Fortuna, the trip would have taken about 8 hours to get to Montezuma, but 11 hours was pretty tiring.
It wasn’t the worst travel day I’ve ever had, but there’s a much easier way to get to Montezuma. Zuma Tours has the only taxi boat service straight to Montezuma from Jacó. No nonsense and no hassle. And it’s really fun.
I took the taxi boat from Montezuma to Jacó and it was so easy and convenient. After the amount of time it took to get to Montezuma, I was so ready to get directly to Jacó without having to jump through a million hoops in between.
The boat ride is only an hour and Zuma Tours offers pick up and drop off at your accommodation in air-conditioned vans (I cherish every moment spent in A/C!). Departing at 9:30am, I was at my hostel in Jacó by 11am including the ground transport. The boat ride itself was worth the trip. It was a sunny day and the ride was so comfortable with beautiful views. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see some marine wildlife along the way. It was kind of like killing two birds with one stone – I got to do some sightseeing along with my transportation!
I’ve been on a few uncomfortable and questionable boat rides, but the taxi boat ride with Zuma Tours was safe and reliable. We all wore life jackets and any bags that might have gotten wet were placed in plastic bags for protection. With two operators on board, I knew I was in good hands.
In comparison to the local transportation I took to Montezuma, the Zuma Tours taxi boat was worth the money, especially if you only have a limited time to explore Costa Rica. The bus is a more economical option if you’re concerned about your budget, but the taxi boat is like an excursion and transportation in one! I wish I’d known there was a more direct route to get to Montezuma, I would have much rather spent my time on the beach than jumping on and off so many buses!
Cost: $40 including pick up and drop off
Departure Times: 9:30am from Montezuma, 11:00am from Herradura Beach, just north of Jacó
Shuttle pick ups are from Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, Manuel Antonio, San Jose, and Uvita areas.
Thanks to Zuma Tours for hosting me. But don’t worry; no matter who foots the bill, I’ll always keep it real and provide my honest opinion of my experiences.