Day 4: La Fortuna/Montezuma

Today we travel from La Fortuna to Montezuma. We take a van to Puntarenas, where we board a ferry to Paquera, and travel on a public bus the remaining route to the beach town of Montezuma.

Our last morning in La Fortuna, we are awaken by the early crow of a rooster. Gathering our bags, we walk to reception for breakfast before we check out of Las Cabanitas. Our luggage is piled in the G Adventures van as we find a seat for the three hour ride to Puntarenas. After ninety minutes of winding mountain roads, we stop for a quick break at an overlook. The Costa Rica flag flaps in the wind above rolling green pastures and fields.

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Views from an overlook traveling from La Fortuna to Puntarenas
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Views from a lookout traveling from La Fortuna to Puntarenas

Another ninety minutes later, we arrive at Puntarenas, the Central Pacific’s largest city in the Gulf of Nicoya and Costa Rica’s most important fishing port. We have only a few minutes before boarding the Puntarenas Paquera Ferry and quickly exit the van to explore.

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Coconuts for sale at Puntarenas
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Walking around the street corner, we see a small stand selling cold coconuts for five hundred Colones. Finishing the refreshing coconut milk, we return to have the meat cut from the shell and returned with a custom coconut husk spoon. We continue along the sidewalk to get a closer look at the city’s lighthouse.

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Out of time to explore, we hurry back to join the rest of our group in line for the ferry when I suddenly feel something wet on my shoulder. I quickly pay fifty Colones to enter a nearby bathroom and wash the bird poop out of my shirt. Excited to feel the warm sun and smell the ocean air, we order a couple Imperials as we enjoy the seventy minute ferry ride.

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Views from the Puntarenas Paquera Ferry

Docking at Paquera, we transfer to a public bus for the remaining two hour ride to Montezuma. With many passengers already seated, we split up and gaze out the window. Similar to the public bus from San Jose to La Fortuna, there is no air conditioning, no bathroom, and we make frequent stops to pick up and drop off other passengers along the narrow, steep, dirt road.

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Sweaty, tired, and hungry, we arrive in the small bohemian town of Montezuma. We follow Pam, our CEO, up the dirt road along the beach to Hotel La Cascada. Dropping off our bags, we walk back into town for lunch at Soda La Naranja.

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La Cascada, Montezuma
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La Cascada and the now closed into the foreseeable future b. bar, Montezuma

The sixteen of us fill the small café. The two employees quickly get to work cooking and filling drink orders. As Pam finishes chatting with who we assumed was a waitress at the café, we are informed she is a local taxi driver that was eating lunch when we walked in. Knowing the staff would be overwhelmed she immediately started helping by taking orders and waiting tables.

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The streets of Montezuma
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The calm before the storm in Montezuma

After lunch, we walk to Zuma Tours and book our Tortuga Island Snorking Adventure for tomorrow. As some of our group members start the walk back to the hotel, we walk across the street to Restaurant Montezuma for drinks. Choosing a table along the railing, we have an uninterrupted view of the ocean below. As we drink our Imperials, the wind increases, the sky darkens, and the clouds release a downpour of rain.

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Lightning streaks across the sky lighting up the ocean as the restaurant’s lights swing fiercely in the wind. More than once the power flickers out, leaving us in complete darkness. As suddenly as it began, the rain begins to lessen and we take advantage of the break in the storm. Quickly, we splash through the tiny rivers forming down the muddy road to our hotel.

* For more information on our tour check out: G Adventures Costa Rica on a Shoestring.

  1. Day 1: Fly into San José
  2. Day 2: San José travel to La Fortuna
  3. Day 3: La Fortuna
  4. Day 4: La Fortuna travel to Montezuma
  5. Day 5: Montezuma
  6. Day 6: Montezuma
  7. Day 7: Montezuma travel to San José
  8. Day 8: Fly out of San José

April 2018