Montezuma is one of many beach enclaves strung along the Nicoya Peninsula’s gorgeous coastline, a part of the country renowned for sunshine and great surf. The area was understandably popular with surfers, and we spotted many with board under arm on the day-long bus/ferry/bus combo from Quepos to Montezuma.
Montezuma, a spreading community of colourfully painted hotels and restaurants are decidedly tourist-oriented, hawkers sell cigars from their car boot, T-shirts for sale saying ‘Montefuma’ are self-explanatory after a handful of hustlers try to sell weed. The attached beach next to Montezuma’s bars is littered with cigarette butts; more of a boat launching beach for the many snorkeling day trips that depart daily.
Outside of the town, however, are some great beaches with white sand, crashing blue waves, and white throated magpie-jays frolicking in the palms. The area is cool and relaxed, and Cindy and I became more and more confident with hitchhiking, so we travelled to Cabuya, not far down the road, with a few more things to see.
Tiny Cabuya doesn’t have a real town centre, just a sprinkling of small shops and houses spattered across a dustdowl of a main road. A few friendly cafes and dark, humid supermarkets make up most of Cabuya’s trade; however, this was the gateway town to the Cabo Blanco National Park, small but thickly populated with dense foliage and soaring gargantuan trees bearded with moss.
Capucin monkeys were numerous here, and although the number of visitors to the park was relatively small, groups of shutter clicking trekkers bottlenecked at the troupe. The monkeys were noticeaby unhappy with the attention, as they sneered and challenged, jumped up and down and twisted their faces until we moved along, out of their territory.
The trek was only 5km, leading to a beach on the pacific, a secluded little stunner, sand of white gold and warm waters of impossible turquoise. Swimming was a great idea on this hot day. I thought about the last time I saw the Pacific Ocean; maybe in Malaysia. I knew Australia was somewhere on the other side of the blue. On the return, we spotted a pair of dancing birds with long, wiry tails flipping up and down in a noisy ballet of courtship, and coati, a foraging mammal with an upturned snout and long, hovering tail.
On the outskirts of town, was a tree named Higueron. A ficus cotinifolia of immense proportions, a cluster of knobby white trunks twisted together into a great mass as wide as a house. It was absolutely enormous.
Jutting south from Cabuya’s coast was a cemetery on a small island, accessible on foot at low tide. Several locals and expats were buried there. At 2:30pm the tide was low enough to cross the rocks, and we used this window to head over.
The bridge was all rock, drying in the sun, revealing shells and snails. The cemetery was a small collection of white crosses shaded by palms, in the heart of the small island. We stayed for a short time, before heading back. When the tide rose and the natural bridge disappeared, the cemetery found peace, solemn and beautiful surrounded by the blue pacific.