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Montezuma, North Puntarenas

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The Montezuma Waterfalls are one of the most iconic waterfalls in Costa Rica. They consist of three separate cascades not far from the small town of Montezuma. At the falls, you'll find scenic rain forest, cliffs ideal for diving and a rope swing. Whether out with an appetite for adventure or looking for a slice of serenity, you'll be able to find it at this top fresh water spot. Many visitors even rank the it as the highlight of the Montezuma area.

The Town of Montezuma

Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, Montezuma is a small beach village known for its bohemian attitude and artistic residents. It sits within high cliffs and a jungle where the small rivers pour out into perfect arcs to create these picturesque waterfalls. In the town's center, vacationers explore the charming wood houses and vibrant street life. The restaurants, hotels and beaches are all within walking distance of one another.

Getting to Montezuma Waterfall

The beginning of the hike to Montezuma Falls is a only short distance from town. However, since there are not many signs, be sure to keep an eye out and ask a local Tico if you get lost. Start at the main beach road by Hotel Amor de Mar, and walk south until you cross a bridge over the river. Once you pass the bridge, you'll notice a trail off to the right, which you'll follow upriver. Along the way through the jungle, many people spot families of monkeys and colorful birds that accompany their hike. After about 20 minutes, you'll reach the first and tallest waterfall.

If you're driving, you can park the car at the fall's parking lot for around $2.

The Three Waterfalls

The first waterfall is a haven for tourists. It is the tallest out of the three, and for the brave, there are plenty of rocks to jump off. The locals leap effortlessly, but that is only because they have had years of practice. If you wish to follow suit, be careful and wear sturdy shoes as the rocks can be very slippery. There is also great swimming holes here, where visitors cool off, relax and enjoy the day.

The second waterfall sits roughly 13 meters high, and has a lower spot for cliff jumping. To get there from the first waterfall, you'll have to climb up a trail using tree roots and a rope, but rest assured, it's well worth it.

At only 3 meters tall, the third pool is better known for its swimming hole than its cliffs. There is a rope swing that is sure to entertain for hours. From the second fall, walk along the paved road next to the parking lot, past the Butterfly Garden, and head on the dirt road until you come across the old jungle gym. Then make a left on the only trail to get to the third set of falls.

The Montezuma Waterfalls makes for a great day adventure for the whole family, as it is one of best the country has to offer.
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