The popular beach resort of MONTEZUMA lies about 40km southwest of Paquera, near the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Some three decades ago, a handful of foreigners seeking solitude fell in love with Montezuma and decided to stay. In those days, it was just a sleepy fishing village, largely cut off from the rest of the country, but today Montezuma draws tourists galore, and virtually every establishment in town offers gringo-friendly food and accommodation and sells tours. Nevertheless, it still feels like a village because large-scale development has been kept to a minimum – and it’s still a bit of an effort to get here.

Montezuma and the area south to the Reserva Absoluta Cabo Blanco features some of Costa Rica’s loveliest coastline: leaning palms and jutting rocks dot the white-sand beaches. Here you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Pacific, especially arresting when the occasional lightning storm illuminates the horizon and silky waters. Inland, thickly forested hills, including rare Pacific lowland tropical forest, dominate the landscape.

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