Montezuma is located on the most southern tip of Costa Rica’s western peninsula. It is my home for the month as I travel through my journey to become a yoga teacher at the beautiful Anamaya resort. As you can see from my last blog post it’s a long and colourful journey to get here. ‘Off the beaten’ track is somewhat of an understatement. Instead of roads there are dirt tracks, instead of cars there are quad bikes and instead of the aggression that seems to be so commonplace in the world, there is an authentic feeling of kindness and tranquility. As you journey towards the centre of town you are struck by scenes of raw beauty from all angles.Nature grows wild here. The locals respect the land as much as it’s inhabitants. “In Montezuma we are simply guests in the animals house, we play by their rules” explained Jeison, a local Costa Rican who lives on the beach with his 7 dogs. En route to the town you can visit a beautiful waterfall, Montezuma Falls, just 10 minutes walk inland, surrounded by lush rainforest.
At this time of year, rainy season, the waterfall runs fast and heavy making its way down to the beach to flood into the ocean. In true Costa Rican style there has been nothing added or taken away from this site of natural beauty. Nor are there people hassling you or trying to sell you anything. If you’re looking to switch off for a few hours, this is the place to sit. But you won’t be completely alone…Perhaps one of the most unique features of Montezuma, apart from it’s astonishingly beautiful scenery and wildlife, are the home made signs that are dotted around the town like art hanging on the walls of a house. There’s almost one on every corner, each more charming than the last, each celebrating local trade, talent and of course pura vida.
If you find yourself in the centre of Montezuma you will discover a beautifully hand painted map, unique and colourful, just like its surroundings. The town has a real island feel to it, completely cut from ‘main land’ civilisation. You’re never far from a familiar face and making friends is as easy as smiling and saying hello.Each building is dressed with colour and aged with wisdom and character. There is no such thing as a ‘bad place’ to stay here, with almost all the hostels and hotels being privately owned, each takes great pride in its individuality and unique style.The same applies for the town’s restaurants, of which the construction reflects the local culture: diverse, adapted and organic. Living off the land in every sense of the expression. Celebrating what they have, as opposed to what they don’t have. Art is an integral part of the ‘Montezuman’ energy. The streets are filled with artisan jewellers who display their work with pride, if you get friendly with them they will let you choose a crystal from their box and make it into a bespoke piece for you. The locals craftsmen also take to the town walls with unique messages that many people in this world could benefit from. This is a town that indulges all of the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and of course, taste. You’re never far from a coconut tree, which means you’re never far from a fresh coconut water. Now this isn’t the kind of coconut water they dress up and sell for £4 at your local yoga studio, this is direct, from the source. For a mere dollar a friendly local will crack one open and pop a straw in. If you’re nice they’ll chop it up for you to eat the flesh when you’re done! Selling food from vehicles seems to be a ‘the done thing’ here. Usually these ‘pop-up’ grocery stores are flanked by a number of proud shopkeepers who invite you to try anything that catches your eye. Here the produce is from the land, not the laboratory, each one with a unique shape and colour, as nature intended.Capturing the charm and beauty of Montezuma in a blog post is somewhat like trying to convince a vegan to devour a t-bone steak on ‘world animal day’: impossible. This is a town that has an irresistible energy that draws people from all corners of the world. If you’re searching for the real pura vida, look no further.