Cabo Blanco National Park
Cabo Blanco National Park is located approximately nine kilometers to the South of Luna Llena Hotel, just past Cabuya on the map. The park comprises the Southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and means “White Cape.” It was named for a large rock just off the coast of the cape where many seabirds, especially the Brown Booby, tend to congregate, turning the rock white with their droppings.
Cabo Blanco was the first National Park to be established in Costa Rica in 1963 by Nicholas Wessberg and Karen Morgensen, a Danish couple who settled in Montezuma in the early 1960s. Disturbed by the fact that many original-growth trees of the Southern Nicoya Peninsula were being felled to make way for cattle pastures, Nicholas and Karen recognized that the area of Cabo Blanco was still largely untouched, with abundant wildlife and enormous native trees still thriving. In an effort to save what was left of Cabo Blanco's primeval forests, Nicholas and Karen purchased 1270 hectares (3,150 acres) of land area. Currently the park also includes 1789 hectares (4420 acres) of marine area, as well, where fishing is prohibited and plenty of marine life still thrives.
Wildlife is most likely to be seen during an early morning hike through the reserve. Some animals you may see include howler, spider and white-faced monkeys, sloths, iguanas, raccoons, agoutis, armadillos, anteaters, peccaries and deer. You can hike on your own, or hire a guide who will show you hidden streams where the locals swear the water is pure enough to drink. These streams form hidden swimming pools where your guide will take you to cool off, as most of the hiking in Cabo Blanco is quite hot and without breezes. If you really put in the effort, you can hike for two hours and be rewarded by spending the day at Cabo Blanco's beach where you're likely to be the only humans, as it does take a lot of effort to arrive there.
Cabo Blanco can be reached by bus from Montezuma, or you can rent a bicycle and ride the nine kilometers down, but you'll have to leave the bike at the park's entrance since no vehicles are allowed inside the park. It's a $10 fee for foreigners to enter and the park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to minimize human impact on the land.
The romantic image of riding a horse on the beach in Costa Rica can be part of your Montezuma adventure during your stay at Luna Llena. Or you can take a jungle horseback tour through secret jungle paths to a hidden waterfall. Either way, it's an adventure you'll not soon forget.
The beach horseback riding tour starts at the entrance of Luna Llena Hotel and follows the beach North along the coast. The tour takes you through jungle trails, mountains, beaches and ends at Cocalito , one of the few waterfalls in the world that falls directly into the ocean. There you take a rest, have a snack and then gallop your way back across the white-sand beaches of Playa Grande back to Montezuma. It's a great way to see Cocalito without having to hike for three hours, which is about how long it takes to arrive there by foot.
The jungle horseback riding tour starts on the horses' farm just a few kilometers away from Luna Llena. Guests are picked up by car at the entrance of our hotel and taken to the farm where you get to see where the horses reside and are cared for. The tour goes through hidden jungle trails where the shade of the trees can provide a needed break from the hot afternoon sun. You'll see wild animals and your guide will take you to La Florida , a beautiful series of waterfalls and pools between Cobano and Tambor that are a challenge to find on your own. These waterfalls are usually not very populated, so your tour group will likely be the only people there. Stop and take a cooling swim if you like, have a snack before heading back to the farm by horse and return to Luna Llena by car.
Both tours offer bilingual guides and horses that can accommodate beginning riders. We at Luna Llena only work with reputable companies that take excellent care of their horses, feed them well and never over-work them.
Many of the residents of Montezuma enjoy natural living, so practicing yoga is a popular pastime. It's a great way to relax, gain flexibility and get in tune with nature during your stay at Luna Llena.
Hotel Los Mangoes has a highly recommended yoga instructor who gives classes Monday through Friday at 9:30am and at 6pm on Sundays. Hotel Ylang-Ylang, which is a 15-minute walk along the beach to the North, has a beautiful yoga studio with calming ocean views and classes that start at 9:30am daily. Anamaya Resort, located 3 kilometers from the center of Montezuma, offers daily classes starting at 8am, as well as month-long teacher training events.