Montezuma Waterfall

Montezuma Waterfall, Costa Rica.

The Waterfall has been one of the most iconic spots in Montezuma, Nicoya, Costa Rica. Visited constantly by locals and foreigners despite the fact that access is not easy.

Behind the town of Montezuma, flows a river with the same name. The river comes from the high plateau then falls to the beach by a series of small waterfalls. It is the perfect spot for those who enjoy hiking and swimming because it is truly a challenge to get to the lower waterfall, getting harder for the upper one. All of the waterfalls count with a pond enough deep for swimming.

The Upper Waterfall

The upper part is the harder to access. You need to use the stairs that are located 20-30 meters to the left before the lower waterfall and walk around 20 minutes until you reach it. You’ll need physical condition for this, it is not for everyone.
Once you reach the top you can see a small 3 meters waterfall that falls into a pond. If you swim to the other side of the pond, you will see the second waterfall.

The Middle Waterfall

The second one is much better to check it out by going around the pond of the first and watching it from above. It also counts with a pond. Some locals use to jump from the first pond to the second but it is not recommended by any means. Descending can be dangerous since there is no trail but using the horizontal ravine spots to get to it. Not recommended also.

The Lower Waterfall

The most popular one of the three waterfalls. It has a nice pond and it is easier to access than the others. You can access it by just walking over the riverbed or a rustic trail next to the river. It has a midsection where daredevils can climb and throw themselves into the pond.
The pond is 3-4 meters deep as much, suitable for a nice swimming session.
It is the higher waterfall too, up to 12 meters.

How to get to the Montezuma Waterfall

Geographically speaking the waterfall is just right behind Montezuma town. Still, you’ll need to drive 3-5 minutes else to the south after reaching downtown, until you reach the bridge over the Montezuma river. Next to the bridge is the entrance, there is a parking lot where you can leave your campervan or 4×4. It is not free but very cheap, we were charged 2 dollars (USD).
There is a rustic trail and sometimes it gets into the riverbed. Before reaching the lower waterfall is a privately owned trail and you’ll be charged another 2 dollars(USD) per person. This trail takes you to the upper waterfall. Access to the lower waterfall is free.


If you are not in good physical condition, accessing the lower waterfall will be a tough experience. The upper waterfall is only recommended for people with experience in hiking. Sadly there are no installations for people with disabilities. Bring water and some healthy snacks if you need to gain strength. You can bring your swimsuit if you want to get a dip in the ponds.
Maybe you’ll see some people getting to the mid-section of the lower waterfall to jump into the pond, we do not recommend it, if you get hurt the zone is hard to access for the paramedical staff.

More tips

You should avoid visiting the waterfall if it has been raining in the zone or even the whole Nicoya peninsula. Consult the weather conditions in the right channels. The best hours to visit it is after lunch. Use sunblock even if you are not planning to bathe in the pond.
When walking on the riverbed, do it slowly since it is rocky and slippery. Preferably, you should wear sneakers, do not go there using flip-flops.
You can park the Camper Van or 4×4 downtown or on the public street but be sure to hide your valuables, just in case. The Montezuma community is lovely with hardworking people but no community can avoid undesirable visitors.