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Montezuma, Costa Rica

Montezuma, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 04, 2023

Summary: People describe Montezuma, Costa Rica as a beautiful, laid-back beach town with a vibrant culture and stunning natural beauty. Expats love the relaxed atmosphere, the friendly locals, and the abundance of outdoor activities. The weather in Montezuma is typically warm and humid, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 to $2,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is typically around $500 to $700 per month, while a two bedroom apartment can range from $700 to $1,000 per month. The approximate population of Montezuma is around 2,000 people.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Montezuma?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Montezuma responded:

"Our location is beautiful. Just outside of town. Wonderful neighbors. There's been a fair amount of building construction right where we are. It's been very annoying. It was very peaceful when we first rented here. That has changed considerably. I love that we are surrounded by mango trees. I love that we have three guanabana trees. I love that we have beautiful limes growing from a number of trees. I love that I can walk five minutes and have a wonderful view of the ocean. I can hear the waves crashing against the rocks. I love our landlord and her huge compassion. People seem to think we are rich because we live here and we are gringos. :( I love that I can sit on the front porch and watch a number of species of birds flying in. I love to watch the iguanas and watusas when they come to visit. Naturally, I love this location. There is a lack of public transportation during this pandemic. Who wants to get on a public bus? I don't," explained one expat in Montezuma.

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What advice to expats in Montezuma have about housing?

"It's hard to find decent housing at a decent cost here. Even the house we live in, needs a lot of help. Our landlord will not fix the issues we have. They seem to be more interested in building new places to rent rather than fixing the houses for the people who already live here," explained one expat living in Montezuma.

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What do I need to know about living in Montezuma?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Montezuma, they said:

"Before considering retiring in Montezuma it is important to know the cost of living. The cost of living in Montezuma is higher than the U.S. average, but still significantly lower than many other places in Costa Rica and the world. The currency in Montezuma is the Costa Rican colon, and the U.S. dollar is accepted. It is important to understand the taxation of foreign income when considering retiring in Montezuma. As a foreigner living in Montezuma, all income earned outside Costa Rica is exempt from taxation in the country. There is a 13% sales tax applied to goods and services, but most goods and services related to medical and education are exempt. When looking to retire in Montezuma it is important to understand the healthcare system. While there is no national healthcare system in Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health oversees most public healthcare systems in the country. The healthcare system is known for its high quality care, but it may not be as comprehensive as other places. Additionally, private healthcare is available and many foreigners have supplemental private health insurance to give them the coverage they need. Getting around and finding transportation in Montezuma may also be a factor for those looking to retire in the area. There are no cars for rent in Montezuma and the public transportation system is limited. Taxis are available, but more expensive than in other parts of Costa Rica. Other options for getting around include walking and bike rentals. Finally, it is important to know the climate and weather of Montezuma. The climate is tropical wet and dry and the temperatures remain mostly consistent throughout the year. The area receives a large amount of rainfall and hurricanes can be a factor between May and November," said another person in Montezuma.

"Before retiring in Montezuma, it's important to research the available benefits and services to ensure that your retirement needs are met. Consider factors such as climate, housing costs, healthcare, transportation, and entertainment options. Costa Rica offers a generous government retirement program; ensure that you meet the requirements and understand the application process. Make sure to obtain permanent residency prior to retiring in order to access most benefits. Additionally, familiarize yourself with Costa Rica's tax laws and regulations as retirees in Montezuma may be subject to income and/or capital gains taxes," remarked another expat in Montezuma.

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What do I need to know before moving to Montezuma?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Montezuma, they said:

"Before moving to Montezuma, you should research the cost of living, housing, employment opportunities, weather, local attractions, and transportation options. Additionally, you should be aware of the local laws and regulations, as well as the cultural climate of the region. Additionally, safety is an important factor to consider when deciding if Montezuma is the right place for you to move to. It is also important to consider the language spoken in Montezuma as English may not be prevalent throughout the region," replied an expat in Montezuma.

"Before moving to Montezuma, you should familiarize yourself with the local climate. Montezuma is a small town located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and therefore experiences a temperate climate with cold, snowy winters, and warm, dry summers. It is also important to be aware of the elevation, which is 6,820 feet, and take care to plan accordingly for the high elevation if you are coming from a lower elevation. The cost of living in Montezuma is affordable, with a median home value of approximately $218,710. Residents of Montezuma have access to a variety of outdoor activities year-round, including fishing, skiing, hiking, biking, and boating. Hiring professional movers can facilitate the moving process and make it easier to transition to Montezuma. It is important to also be mindful of the town’s small size, with a population of only 762, as it offers more rural living than a bustling city," remarked another in Montezuma.

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How do I find a place to live in Montezuma?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Finding a place to live in Montezuma can be done in a few different ways. First, you can browse through the local listings on popular real estate sites such as Zillow and Trulia. These sites can help you narrow down properties that are available in Montezuma and provide a good starting point for your search. Additionally, you could contact a real estate agent or agency that specializes in the local Montezuma area to help you find the perfect rental property. Also, you could search through newspaper classifieds or postings in local markets and bulletin boards. Finally, you could also ask around in the local community to see if anyone knows of an available apartment or house to rent," added another person living in Montezuma.

"When looking for a place to live in Montezuma, first research the neighborhood and amenities you are interested in. Consider factors such as commute times to work or school, cost of living, safety, and access to transportation. Consider whether you would like to live in a rental property or purchase a home. Once you have determined your ideal living situation, search online for a variety of properties that best meet your needs. Consider using real estate websites such as Zillow or Trulia for the most up-to-date information. You may also contact a local real estate agent for additional assistance in finding a place to live," explained one expat living in Montezuma.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Montezuma?

"The typical expat home or apartment in Montezuma is usually situated in the lush hillsides that surround the area, providing tropical views and lots of natural beauty. Many homes are set on large blocks and come with open-plan living areas, outdoor spaces, large pools and plenty of sunbathing areas. These properties come in a range of sizes, from small apartments to multi-story mansions, and are often built of traditional materials such as timber, stone, or adobe. Although some properties have modern amenities, many still have local flavor, such as a Caribbean style kitchen, bright hand-woven hammocks, and colorful flowers and trees that bloom in the backyard," remarked another in Montezuma.

"Expat homes and apartments in Montezuma often feature a combination of modern amenities with tropical vibes. Homes typically have high ceilings, small balconies or terraces, and open-plan living and kitchen spaces, which are great for entertaining. Apartments may come fully furnished with furniture and household appliances. These spaces tend to have a casual Costa Rican feel to them, but can be made cozy and stylish with a few accents and accessories. Many structures come with outdoor gardens, making them a great place to relax and spend time outdoors. Ocean views are also common in the area, making them desirable for those looking to enjoy the country's stunning natural beauty," explained one expat.

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What is the average cost of housing in Montezuma?

If you are thinking about moving to Montezuma, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Montezuma varies widely depending on location, size and amenities. Generally, the average cost of housing in Montezuma is lower than the cost of living in most large cities. However, housing prices have been steadily rising over the past few years," remarked another expat in Montezuma.

"The cost of housing in Montezuma varies greatly depending on the location and size of the property. In general, the average price of a single family home is around $255,000," explained one expat living in Montezuma.

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How do I meet people in Montezuma?

When we asked people living in Montezuma about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Most people in Montezuma meet new people through getting involved in the local community. Joining a club or sports team is a great way to meet people with similar interests and make new friends. There are also plenty of activities to explore in the area, such as attending festivals and exploring local attractions. Building relationships with neighbors is also a great way to introduce yourself and meet people in Montezuma," replied an expat in Montezuma.

"Meeting people in Montezuma can be done through a variety of ways. Participating in local organizations, attending community events, and visiting nearby restaurants, bars, and cafes are all great ways to meet new people. Joining a recreational sports team or signing up for a club or class at a local gym or fitness center can also be a great way to meet new people. Additionally, volunteering with a local charity or organization can be a great way to make friends and meet new people," remarked another in Montezuma.

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What should I bring when moving to Montezuma?

People living in Montezuma were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Clothing, toiletries and other personal items, bedding and towels, kitchen utensils and appliances, books, laptop and other electronic items, water filter/purification system, medical and emergency supplies, emergency cash, insect repellent, sunscreen, hat, sturdy shoes, walking and hiking gear, travel umbrella and rain coat, binoculars, camera, first-aid kit, flashlight, and a copy of your passport," remarked another expat in Montezuma.

"Clothes for all climates, personal items, season appropriate footwear, laptop and power cords, toiletries, bedding, kitchen items, important documents, cleaning supplies, phone and charger, furniture/appliances, storage bins/boxes, toilet paper, towels, pet supplies (as applicable)," explained one expat living in Montezuma.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Montezuma?

We asked expats in Montezuma what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"The best place to setup a bank account in Montezuma is at Banco Nacional de Costa Rica. This institution has a full-service banking presence and is one of the most established and trusted in the country. It offers traditional banking services such as opening accounts, applying for credit and debit cards, making deposits and withdrawals, and providing a variety of banking and investment services," remarked another in Montezuma.

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Will I be able to find a job in Montezuma?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Montezuma, they reponded:

"Yes, it is possible to find a job in Montezuma. Montezuma is a growing city with large companies and many industries. There are a variety of job opportunities available in the city, including retail, education, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, construction, and more. Additionally, unemployment in Montezuma is lower than the national average. Therefore, it is highly likely that a person can find suitable employment in this city," said another expat in Montezuma.

"Tourism of course is huge here. I do not see a lot of career opportunity for people coming from other countries," added another person living in Montezuma.

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What is life like in Montezuma?

When we asked people living in Montezuma what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living as an expat in the area can be a rewarding experience. There are many cultural activities, a rich history, beautiful scenery, and abundant leisure activities. In addition, the people are very welcoming and hospitable to newcomers. Public transportation is reliable and reasonably priced, and the cost of living is generally lower than most western countries. The climate is mild all year round, with hot summers and cool winters. Healthcare, education and other services are available and generally of a good standard. Language can sometimes be a challenge, depending on where you live, though many locals are multilingual and often able to help. Expat communities tend to be close-knit, so socializing can be easy once you get settled, with plenty of bars and restaurants offering both international and local cuisine," remarked another expat in Montezuma.

"Living as an expat in the area can be an enjoyable and interesting experience. There are plenty of attractions and activities to keep you entertained and give you an insight into the local culture. The cost of living is generally lower than many other parts of the world, so your budget can stretch further here. Plus, the good climate, excellent healthcare system and abundance of outdoor activities mean you can easily take advantage of all that the region has to offer. With the major cities of Lima and Cusco close by, there’s plenty of nightlife and international cuisine available, so there’s something for everyone. Plus, local people are usually open and helpful, so you’ll find it quite easy to settle into the local culture and make quite a few friends along the way," explained one expat living in Montezuma.

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What do expats in Montezuma appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Montezuma appreciate the vibrant culture, including the traditional cuisine and music. They also enjoy the friendliness of the local people and their acceptance of new cultures. The area offers an array of outdoor activities for adventure seekers and the natural surroundings provide great views and plenty of opportunities for peaceful relaxation. The combination of a laid-back pace of life, with the convenience of nearby larger towns, offers a perfect balance between city life and rural tranquillity," added another person living in Montezuma.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats often find it difficult to adjust to the new language and culture of the country of relocation. High costs of living and difficulty in finding suitable housing are other challenges that are often encountered. Additionally, feeling isolated and disconnected due to being far away from family and friends can be difficult to cope with. Building a professional network in a new country may prove challenging due to lack of knowledge of the local job market and competition," remarked another expat in Montezuma.

"Roads can be terrible, power outages, language, keeping electronics working, trust, purchase and shipping of goods, getting use to what I consider rude behavior, ie people cutting in front of me in lines," explained one expat living in Montezuma .

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Is there a lot of crime in Montezuma?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"No, there is not a lot of crime in Montezuma. The overall crime rate in the area is well below the national average, and the town has consistently been ranked as one of the safest communities in Colorado," remarked another in Montezuma.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Montezuma accepting of differences?

"Montezuma is known for its diverse population and culture, both of which have grown in recent years thanks to an influx of people from around the world. People in Montezuma are generally welcoming and accepting of differences. The city regularly celebrates diversity through events like the annual Dia de los Muertos festival, Unity Fest, and the International Festival of the Caribbean. These events showcase the multiple and varied cultures that are present in Montezuma. The local government has also taken several steps to ensure diversity and acceptance, including working to improve language access for Spanish and English speakers and passing laws that protect people from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation," said another person in Montezuma.

"Montezuma is an accepting and diverse community. It is home to a mix of cultures, ethnicities, and beliefs, which is celebrated through various festivals and events. Locals are friendly and open to newcomers and outsiders, creating an welcoming atmosphere for those who may be different. There is an understanding and respect of different ways of life within the town, which creates a unique environment in Montezuma," remarked another expat in Montezuma.

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What are the schools in Montezuma like?

"In Montezuma, students have access to primary and secondary education at both public and private institutions. Public education is provided by the Montezuma-Cortez School District, which provides education to over 6,000 students across nine primary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and an alternative school. Private education is provided by four college preparatory schools and two Montessori schools. Each school offers resources and programs tailored to their student population," said another expat in Montezuma with children at .

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Montezuma, Costa Rica

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