Visiting Costa Rica is exciting and different from neighboring countries for many reasons, including the sense of remoteness one gets as soon as they get just a few minutes outside busy San Jose. Almost any visitor can attest to the lush green countryside that still prevails over the asphalted urbanization perhaps more pronounced in other countries in the region. But if you’re aiming to really get away, away from the Taco Bells, KFCs and strip malls that seem to follow you wherever your vacation takes you, then I’d suggest going a little farther to the small town of Montezuma in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula.
Since Montezuma is relatively young in terms of modern developments such as electricity (brought to the area only 20 years ago!), and paved roads (i.e. they are few and far between), it also provides a sense of genuine escape from those monotonous norms of fast food chains and GAP stores back home. You won’t find a McDonald’s lurking on any street corner here (ok… there’s only one real corner, but still). The fact that big chain restaurants haven’t yet taken over this tiny town attests to the genuine ‘Costa Rica’ feeling you’ll get when you’re here. Although ‘town’ can be quite busy with tourists during the high season (Dec through March), you’ll still find tranquility, wildlife for neighbors, and that tropical escape you were seeking, especially if you find accommodations just a couple minutes up the main hill or in either direction away from town.
While scarcity of paved roads in the area and some other developmental needs are certainly not without some contention among residents, it’s hard to deny that they are characteristics that make going all the way to Montezuma a must on your Costa Rica vacation. If you don’t, I just don’t think you’ll be able to go back home with a good story about the crazy bumpy ride you took that was seemingly forever in what felt like the middle of nowhere to get to a beautiful beach, waterfall or wildlife reserve. Moreover, you will have missed one of the few areas in Costa Rica or anywhere else that really does feel ‘away from it all’. 🙂
For an even greater Costa Rica experience, consider our “Let’s Get Local” tour to meet some amazing and friendly locals and let them share their take on the best aspects of the area.