Montezuma Falls, Costa Rica

Gingerbread at Montezuma Waterfall

road to montezuma waterfall costa rica

  • The temperatures already rising, we walk along the dirt road in search of the trail to Montezuma Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in Costa Rica.

montezuma land crab

beach on the walk to montezuma waterfall

  • Montezuma Falls consists of 3 separate waterfalls. The first waterfall is the tallest and is reached, according to locals, by hiking up the river for about 20 minutes. We quickly learn in Costa Rica 20 minutes is the estimated time for almost everything and rarely accurate. The path to the 2nd and 3rd waterfalls begins by climbing up an extremely steep bank with the assistance of tree roots. 
  • “Guides” wearing hats displaying the handwritten word Guide on the front, can be found offering tours near the waterfall entrance. We choose not to partake in the tour.

montezuma waterfall sign costa rica

path to the montezuma waterfall costa rica

  • A fallen sign for a Free Waterfall marks the beginning of the dirt trail to Montezuma Waterfall. The path ends at the river.

mitch and i at montezuma waterfall costa rica

river to montezuma waterfall costa rica

hiking up the river in montezuma

  • The path to the water fall continues down the river. The large, slippery rocks jutting out from the brown river water become scarce making it more difficult to continue upstream.

montezuma waterfall hike montezuma

  • Lines of large red ants march along the branches and lizards bask in the small patches of sunlight. Thick, intertwined tree roots cover the banks require us to carefully place each step.
  • Only when necessary, we carefully place our hands on rocks or vines. Taking a step, I slip and grab a vine to prevent from falling into the murky water. We hold our breath as the tree slowly becomes still again and let out a sigh of relief no sleeping reptiles were disturbed.

Crossing the river at Montezuma Waterfall

  • As the bank grows steeper, we encounter a thinning nylon rope to assist us to climb along the river.

Montezuma Waterfall in Montezuma

  • We reach the first of the 3 waterfalls. Many visitors swim at the base of the falls. Seeing the color of the water we opt out of swimming in the pool. 
  • Midway through our return hike, we hear voices above us. Carefully climbing up the steep bank, we emerge onto a small dirt path that runs parallel to the river. The unmarked trail ends abruptly along the river and climbing once again over the large boulders we emerge onto the road.

Traveling Gingerbread Note: We recommend starting this hike early in the morning, bringing water, and wearing water shoes. The temperatures climb quickly and hike is challenging at times. 

* 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


Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

My fiancé, Mitch, and I have been traveling together over four years. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, PA, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, and experiences to maximize our time. Any time we travel, we try to visit to a local brewery and can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. 
 In Tokyo, we laughed every time we saw someone talking on their large, animated phone case. We had to buy one. Having an obsolete IPhone 5, the selection was limited. We purchased a gingerbread off a neglected rack in Shinjuku, Tokyo and The Traveling Gingerbread was born. You can purchase your own adorable gingerbread friend here! The Traveling Gingerbread is an entertaining account of our travels, fun facts, and tips we learned along the way.

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