Playa Montezuma is the local beach in the artsy town of Montezuma and easily reached from San José. It's about 108 miles (173 km) from the capital to this remote stretch of sand on the Nicoya Peninsula. Travel times will vary depending on what mode of transport you choose. Flying over on a domestic charter flight into the town of Tambor (5 miles away) is the easiest way to go if you want to get there quickly. The flight is barely 30-minutes plus a short drive from the airport to your preferred location.

For a more laid-back Costa Rican experience, consider hiring a car and driver. You'll need to carve out most of a day for travel but it'll be worth it for the back roads and small towns. The best route incorporates a ride on the Puntarenas Ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya but it is possible to drive the entire distance.

The next efficient choice would be to book a shared shuttle or bus. You could take local transport or taxi but you're better off with a seat on a tourist bus to avoid the transfers, multiple stops, and crowds. Since many companies allow you to book ahead online, you'll be able to see what sorts of on-board amenities are offered for the long ride too.

By Plane

Duration: 1-2 hours

From San José, it's a short hop to the Peninsula if you opt for a plane ride. Montezuma doesn't have its own airport but the small one in Tambor is often used as a jumping-off point with visitors from the city. Flights operate daily but always check the airline's website ahead of time for schedule changes. Once outside the airport, taxis are easy to find. A local bus will also get you to Montezuma within a half-hour.

By Private Transfer

Duration: 5-6 hours

The drive from San José, with the ferry, will take about five hours. After you clear the city traffic, you'll be on Route 27 most of the way. At Puntarenas, you'll hop on the ferry for the hour ride over. There are bathrooms, seating areas, and a snack bar on the ship so you'll enjoy a comfortable ride. The ferry disembarks in Paquera and then it's about an hour's drive to Montezuma. To do the entire trip by land, you'll take Route 1 to Route 18 until it drops down to Route 21 South. 

By Bus/Shuttle

Duration: 5-6 hours

Playa Montezuma is remote and quite a good distance from San José so public transport will take too long. Booking a ticket with a tourist bus or shared shuttle offers the chance for a comfortable ride at a reasonable price. Most will be non-stop but be sure to double-check if you want direct service. Generally, the ferry cost is included in your bus ticket if they go that route. If you already have accommodations in Montezuma, you may want to ask about what options they provide for pick-up service.


Map of How to Get from San José to Playa Montezuma
Map of How to Get from San José to Playa Montezuma