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Montezuma Sanctuary: Spacious Hill-top Villa w/Spectacular 360-Degree Views

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,500 sq. ft.
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 3 - 4 nights


About the property

2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, sleeps 1 to 12+ people

ALL RENTAL INCOME goes directly to support this beautiful 28-Acre Wildlife Sanctuary which entails the safety and preservation of all plants and trees, birds and animals living freely on this lovely estate. This hilltop home is 1 kilometer (less than 1 mile) from Montezuma Beach on a 28 Acre Wildlife Sanctuary bordering the Montezuma River, and less than a 5-minute drive from the center of Montezuma, where one can easily find an abundance of excellent restaurants, grocery- and gift-shopping and night life, not to mention the miles and miles of gorgeous beaches and trails. For those without a car, a 10 minute walk down the driveway gets you to the bus that runs every 2 hours between Montezuma and Cobano.

The fully-furnished home has two huge bedrooms with two bathrooms. Magnificent, 360-degree views of coastline, open sea, mountains and forest. The construction features large, open-air living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom with custom-made wicker furniture. There's a very large front porch with hammocks, Lounge Chairs and Rocking Chairs and table & chairs, with flowering plants all around.

Both bedrooms are octagon-shaped; the upstairs bedroom has a balcony with a 180-degree, walk-around corridor, walk-in closet and private, open-air bathroom with magnificent views, stone floor and built-in garden. This bedroom has one queen-size and one double bed. There are other mattresses available if needed. Some guests choose to put their mattress onto the balcony to sleep under the stars. The downstairs bedroom, has the same magnificent views of the coastline, ocean and mountains. It has a King-size bed (on wheels) with 6 huge drawers, for clothing and/or other storage, plus one single bed. This bedroom has an overhead fan, a built-in-the wall air-conditioner, an extra-large desk for computer, etc., a large-screen television, as well as a stereo sound system with speakers throughout the house. This stereo sound system has AM/FM Radio, double cassette tape and CD Player, with speakers throughout the entire house. There are additional mattresses available that can be used as a comfortable meditation couch or for additional guests.

There is a fully-equipped kitchen with 6-burner stove & oven, full-sized fridge with large freezer. In back of the house is a washing machine with an extra-large sink alongside, and a hot water tank that serves the entire house. There's even an outdoor shower, decorated with a wrought-iron palm tree, where one can shower outside with refreshing, cold water from the river (ideal for cooling off in the heat!) This home and property is truly a nature-lover's paradise!

The land is managed as a 'Wildlife Sanctuary'--so all kinds of birds and animals come and live here in safety away from dogs and hunters. The only sounds up here are those of the birds, all three species of monkeys, and the ocean and river. The animals we live with are: mapache (raccoon), pizotes (coatimundi), sloths, monkeys, porcupine, ant eaters, aracaris (relatives of toucans), all kinds of birds, and an abundance of butterflies, and humming birds.

Just outside the entrance, there is a path down to the famous Montezuma River (approximately 50 meters below). Be sure to bring good rubber-soled, hiking sandals, allowing you to hike down the path with ease and to walk in the river and hop from rock to rock, (flip-flops just won't do for this). This gorgeous river has abundant waterfalls (from small to huge), varying-size swimming holes, howler, spider and white-face monkeys and all kinds of species of birds and animals. One can easily meander down the River to the famous, huge Montezuma waterfalls where all the tourists go (by hiking up from the road down below in town). However, because we're approximately 1 kilometer up the River from where all the tourists congregate, our guests have the river all to themselves up here just below the Villa, and often will spend the entire day with their picnic lunch and a good book.

More Details

Kati Winnegrad
Member since: 2012
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 25, 2017

About Kati Winnegrad

I came to Costa Rica in January of 1988 for a 3-week vacation, and after 2 weeks, I read in my Tourist Guide Book that the MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES of Costa Rica were in Montezuma, a tiny fishing village almost at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. In those days, only four people owned cars there, and it was a real "pilgrimage" to get there, because back then, there was no Ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera, just a foot-passenger launch. At that time, the only way one could go by car to Montezuma was to take a Ferry from Puntarenas to Playa Naranjo and drive all the way from there to Paquera. It was a time when "Really Bad Roads Brought Really Good People!" I went on the foot Launch and in Paquera there was an old yellow School Bus to Cobano and in Cobano only ONE TAXI drove people to Montezuma. Once I arrived there, I was amazed at the beauty all around me (the Biological Corridor runs through there). I felt I had "COME HOME", even though I couldn't speak a word of Spanish at the time. When my third, and final week of vacation ended, I literally couldn't leave, and I ended up staying for SEVEN MONTHS!!! I then returned to the United States in order to "finish up my life" there in order to return to Montezuma to make it my permanent home.

Kati Winnegrad purchased this villa in 1989

Why Kati Winnegrad chose Puntarenas

I had looked for a property to buy for well over a year, focusing mostly on beach-front lands. However, the very first time I walked on this property, I knew that this was "the one". At that time, these 28-Acres were being used for raising cattle, meaning that the majority of it had been cut down, almost devoid of trees, so that the grasses would grow as pasture to feed the cattle. . What I loved the most about the property were the amazing views of the Coastline, Open Ocean, Mountains and Forest, but most of all, the fact that two sides of it bordered the beautiful Montezuma River. I was in awe of the beauty of this land, saying, "No one can 'OWN' this magnificence of nature!" Therefore, I decided that I was merely the "Guardian" of this land and "dedicated" it to be forever a true "Sanctuary" for the abundant Wildlife that existed there LONG BEFORE I came on the scene, and I planted hundreds of trees.

When I returned in 1998 to build my home, I was shocked that Montezuma had been "discovered", and was now one of the preferred tourist attractions of Costa Rica. I was so grateful that I hadn't purchased land on the beaches in town, and felt so blessed that I had purchased a "Jungle Paradise", just 5 minutes from town and the beaches. One of the blessings is that those of us who came so long ago were all predominantly environmentalists, so the miles and miles of beaches walking from town towards Tango Mar and Tambor are "PROTECTED LANDS".

What makes this villa unique

Montezuma Sanctuary is the perfect spot for people who want to connect with nature. Sitting on a breezy hill inside a 28 acre (11 hectare) private wildlife sanctuary, our views are 360 degrees of forest, mountains and the gorgeous coastline. The famous Montezuma River runs along the side and back of the property, just 50 meters down two different paths. This gorgeous river has abundant waterfalls (small to huge), varying-size swimming holes, howler, white-face and spider monkeys and all species of birds and animals.I invite you to share in this unspoiled jungle paradise, just steps away from the picturesque town of Montezuma and its beautiful beaches.

Warmest Regards,



Montezuma Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 12
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • River ...
  • Village ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Villa Bathroom 1 (upstairs) - toilet , shower , Shower is under the roof w/side OPEN to View Ocean & Trees
    Villa Bathroom 2 (downstairs) - toilet , shower , outdoor shower , Shower Curtain can open completely to Ocean and Garden Views
  • Both bathrooms have slate floors and have a private, outdoor section to shower, alongside nature, and under the stars! The Upstairs Bathroom toilet-seat, we call 'The Best Seat in the House' because looking straight forward you see the Ocean (to the side of the house) & looking to the left, you see the Mountains and the Ocean to the front of the house. The Upstairs Shower has a chest-high wall to the outside, so one feels they are showing completely in the great outdoors. Even with the downstairs' shower, one can open the shower curtain all the way to be looking out at the garden; but not nearly as dramatic as the upstairs shower. For this reason, most all of our guests take their showers upstairs, even if staying in the downstairs bedroom. In addition to the 2 showers, we also have a TOTALLY-OUTDOOR SHOWER (decorated by a wrought-iron palm tree), with cool fresh water from the River!!! So you can shower in the sun in the day or under the stars in the's magical!!!
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Villa Bedroom 2 (downstairs) - 1 king , 2 twin/ single , AC
    Villa Bedroom 1 (upstairs) - 1 queen , 1 double , Beautiful wooden, wrap-around deck~ front to back w/hammocks
  • Books
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Terrace
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible
  • botanical garden
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • nude beach
  • playground
  • pond
  • rain forests
  • reefs
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
The owner chose NOT to create a chlorinated pool because the Montezuma River is right below the home, offering a wide variety of small to huge NATURAL-WATER swimming pools and an equal number of small to HUGE waterfalls as well. NOTE: It's HOT at the beaches in Costa Rica & the feature that our guests love most is that our home is open to the outdoors, allowing the breezes to pass through. So if you’re coming from a hermetically-sealed home, please be aware that flying insects will be present, none of which will harm you. So if flying critters are any sort of an issue, then you would prefer our downstairs bedroom, as it is the only room that completely closes off to the outdoors. All of our guests have preferred the upstairs bedroom, as they are completely in contact with the outdoors. The windows CAN be closed but our guests always choose to leave them open, allowing the breezes from the Ocean, or the River to cool the room. There's a mosquito net for over the bed if desired.


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(26 traveler reviews)

Montezuma Sanctuary: Spacious Hill-top Villa w/Spectacular 360-Degree Views
average rating of 4.8076925 based on 26 reviews

Amazing place!

  • 5 of 5

My friends and I spent a wonderful time at this beautiful Villa in Montezuma. The place has amazing views and great common spaces to hang out around the kitchen and living room. The fact that the living room is completely open space (no windows nor doors) makes this living room area fresh because of the winds that come from both the Ocean in the front and the River in the back, plus it allows one to feel in total contact with nature. The Villa has two enormous bedrooms (each one can sleep up to 6 or more people), and two bathrooms, each one with open-air showers and wonderful slate floors.

The upstairs bedroom is a very special space. It has access to a deck overlooking the property where you can sit or sleep out under the stars and watch the sunrise over the ocean in the morning. Sleeping in that room, with all of the windows open, is an experience you will not forget.

The house has everything you need to have a comfortable vacation. The kitchen is well equipped and the furniture is both tasteful and comfortable. This Wildlife Sanctuary Villa is conveniently located less than a mile from the town and beaches of Montezuma (5 minute drive) and far enough to avoid the noise of the bars and restaurants from downtown. If you don’t have a car it is about a 20 minute walk down to town and there are buses that run up and down the hill every 2 hours.

The place does not have a swimming pool, the owner never wished to have a chlorinated pool because she has, instead, the Montezuma River right in the backyard, down a trail where we went swimming. It is a short hike (hilly so take good hiking shoes or sandals, NOT flip flops, and once you get to the River, you have the place all to yourselves, along with all of the birds and the monkeys who are always there.. We spent about three hours just reading and sunbathing, and it was heavenly.

Kati, the owner, and Johnny, the Administrator, will do anything they can to accommodate your needs. Johnny (who lives in the tree house next door) is a great host and helps you with anything you might need.

  • Submitted: Feb 12, 2014
  • Stayed: Nov 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so very much for the glowing review Andrea. We loved having you here and we are looking forward to your next visit. I want you to know that we are working on getting an "Official" Not-for-Profit Status for this beautiful Sanctuary we have for the animals. Our intention is to become self-sustaining, with all monies being used to maintain salaries and maintenance of the property. Warmest love to you, Andrea!
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  • 5 of 5

I spent a three-day weekend with some friends at this 27-1/2 Acre, Wildlife-Sanctuary Villa and had the time of my life! Eventhough I am not a foreign tourist (I’m a Costa Ricanliving all my life here, I have rented many vacation homes in Costa Rica, and this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

For example, I woke up at 5:30 a.m.on Saturday, and as I wassitting on the porch drinking my morning coffee, looking at the amazing view of the Sea, suddenly, a family of monkeys started coming to the mango trees. At the same time some little guatusas and pizotes were running across the grass in the garden, where there were hundreds of beautiful butterflies and all kind of little birds... later on I saw two little baby deer and foxes. I felt so blessed to be among these magnificent creatures! I said to myself, “This truly IS a “Sanctuary” not just for the animals, plants and birds but for ALL living creatures, such as myself!

This wonderful Villa has so many comfortable spots to sit, read a book or just meditate. I said to myself, “Who needs a swimming pool, with chlorinated water, when you have a fresh-water riverwith natural swimming pools and all kinds of waterfalls just 50 meters down the path!”The town of Montezuma is less than a 5-minute drive (20 minute walk), down the hill, as are the miles of gorgeous beaches there. This rental property has everything that one needsin order to have a marvelous vacation; just make sure you try to stay at least 5 nights in order to fully relax into this magical paradise. I guarantee you will let go of all stresses and strains. I wish that I could have stayed longer, but I had to return to my home to go to work.

This is truly a little piece of heaven and I felt honored to spend my weekend there. I thank you Kati for deciding to dedicate your land as a Wildlife Sanctuary and for donating ALL THE INCOME to supporting it as a not-for-profit entity!!!

  • Submitted: Aug 26, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

this house is amazing! nestled deep down a beaten road , which can be a little difficult to find at first, but easy and worth it when you do. its up on a hill over looking the ocean with all open windows and breeze. they have one enclosed room but we didnt even go in there really. we had a problem with bugs the first night just because we didnt know there was 2 different kind of lights for night time to not attract the bugs. it got a little hot in the morning but we had a fan which was nice. the upstairs shower was my favorite thing! also was super sad to not see any monkeys.. but they were definitely heard. the caretakers loft is kinda right off to the side of the house which was fine, he was super friendly, we just felt kinda bad playing any music late or being loud. its super close to town but we never wanted to even go there , the house was hard to leave. and katy was super helpful and accommodating and quick to answer any questions. my boyfriend and i cant wait to come back and show our friends this magical place! thanks katy !

  • Submitted: Jul 1, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We just returned from 4 days and nights in paradise! This home is truly a sanctuary. It's a five minute drive from Montezuma town and beaches but feels like a million miles away. The owner, Kati, and Johnny and Perla, caretakers next door, were very helpful. We changed the number of guests coming several times and everyone was accommodating. Kati advised us to rent a car with Mareks from Carcosta Rent A Car. We were very pleased with the service and the price.

I will recommend Montezuma Sanctuary to friends that are comfortable in nature. Although the home is luxurious and everything you could need is provided, it is wide open. One bedroom has screens on the windows but there are barely walls anywhere else. It feels like the easiest and most elegant camping trip ever. There are mosquitos nets over the beds but I would definitely recommend bringing insect repellent. We saw and heard a lot of wildlife. We ate out some (delicious meals at Cocoral and Organicas) but mostly cooked in the well-equiped kitchen. Evenings are beautiful and relaxing. There are 4 hammocks and, at least in June always a breeze. There is a small TV, so we didn't miss any soccer games. The property is great for exploring. There are many fruit trees and a fun hike to a river and water fall.

  • Submitted: Jun 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wonderful and relaxing! Beautiful location

  • 4 of 5

This was a great place to relax. The husband and kids (9 & 10) had a wonderful time at the falls located on property. Very short drive to town/beach Montezuma. The open-air quality of the house was great. First morning, howler monkey family had breakfast with us (in their own tree, next to the house)! Renting a car (in Alajuela) was very handy...allowing us easier traveling freedom. Could also be a nice middle location to visit various sites along that side of Nicoya Penninsula.

Johnny had the site prepared and ready. We didn't really need much from him; however, he was close by if anything was needed. The kitchen was very nice. We were able to save money cooking our own dinners (bought groceries in Alajuela beforehand as it was cheaper). We didn't spend much time in the town of Montezuma as we had everything we needed already. The beaches were very nice and a great place for the kids to play, but watch out for the riptides. The beaches also were not crowded at all.

We would definitely rent this location again.

The relaxing trip was very much needed! Thank you!

  • Submitted: May 30, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wonderful Nature/Wildlife Experience

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at the Montezuma Sanctuary house for 1 week after a week in Samara. All five of us really enjoyed the experience. The house is really spacious with both bedrooms very large and well laid out .It has a tasteful bohemian flaire but this just helps everyone relax more as you don't worry about stuff. The upstairs bathroom and bedroom deck are an experience in ithemselves as you really feel like you are outdoors with amazing panoramic views from the shower and whole bathroom. We thought we'd have more problems with bugs but the constant breezes prevented any problems and kept the house cool at night. There is tons of wildlife everywhere. We had capuchin monkeys try and come into the kitchen to steal a chocolate bar and there was a troop of howlers that set themselves up in the trees right beside the house for 2 days. We saw tons of birds ,lizards, frogs, a deer and lots of pizotes on the property. You saw a lot when you walked down the entrance road especially in the morning. The path down to the river is rather steep but well worth it as the river area is beautiful and private. You can swim in numerous rock ponds and waterfalls and we liked the hike along the river where we saw more wildlife. The downstairs kitchen/ living area is huge with lots of very comfy lounge and rocking chairs and the kitchen is well stocked with equipment. There is a nice juicer that we used to make fresh lemon and lime juice from trees on the property. We did have some problems with the car rental but Kati was wonderful in helping us resolve the problems. We would definitely recommend this house especially if you want to get away from it all but still be close to Montezuma.

  • Submitted: Apr 15, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
100 Miles
Juan Santamaria International
Nearest Ferry
22 Miles
Nearest Beach
1 Kilometres
Playa Montezuma
Car: recommended

Wildlife sanctuary is less than 1 mile from downtown Montezuma. Some of the species you'll find:

- 232 species of birds. The most common species are motmots, white-fronted amazons, laughing hawks, woodpeckers and herons. Scarlet macaws have successfully been reintroduced in the area and can sometimes be seen in the morning or in the late afternoon.

- Among the mammals are rare species such as ocelots, pumas, margay cats, collared peccari, coyote, anteaters, and otters. Those we see on an-almost-daily basis are pizottis (coatamundis) and guatuzos, and the easiest to spot are howler and capuchin monkeys.

As far as Montezuma, this is what the San Diego Reader had to say in a recent article (Oct. 14, 2010):

'You know the place you daydream of escaping to on one of those hectic days at the office? This is it. Turn off your cell phone, unplug your laptop. Things move to a different rhythm here. Surf or hike the endless miles of pristine, largely uninhabited beaches. Explore the tide pools in the natural beach reserve. Go whitewater rafting. Play the guitar. Write that novel that’s been lingering in your soul. Create art. Make love. Listen to the pounding surf. Do absolutely nothing. Feel the stress ooze from the pores of your skin. Pressures? Worries? They drift away with the breeze and the surf in Montezuma.

Montezuma, Costa Rica, on the southern Pacific tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, was a tiny fishing village – an isolated, nearly uninhabited paradise – until the 1980s, when it was “discovered” by international travelers. It quickly gained popularity with artists, bohemians, hippies, surfers and dropouts who flocked here to get away from it all. Despite this influx, Montezuma has retained its village atmosphere. Italian immigrants opened several pizzerias and perhaps the best restaurant in town, Playa de las Artistas, decorated with a plethora of local artworks at its magnificent beach-side location.


I first heard about Montezuma on the PBS series Globe Trekker. Particularly memorable was the interview with the guy who lived off the land, boasting that for one year he only spent money on tomatoes and postage home. He said he watched the monkeys and ate what they ate. I knew I had to go there.

Each morning in Montezuma, I wandered along the beach from my hotel to the dusty main road five minutes away and our café overlooking the beach. We took our good sweet time lingering over breakfast and other meals. The capuchin monkeys are everywhere and entertaining to watch. At certain eating spots, they’re brazen enough to steal your food if you leave it unattended for a few minutes.

On my last night in Montezuma, I looked up at the night sky and saw a brilliant moon and an unusual cloud formation. I grabbed my camera and took a picture of what appeared to be a sleeping Albert Einstein, resting his chin on the moon. Goodbye, Montezuma. You’ll remain in my dreams.'


Rates & Availability

Montezuma Villa Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Low Season
Apr 21 2017 - Nov 15 2017
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
High Season 2
Nov 16 2017 - Dec 18 2017
4 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
Dec 19 2017 - Jan 4 2018
4 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
High Season
Jan 5 2018 - Apr 20 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

If Reservation is Cancelled prior to 30 days notice, there is a 100% Refund.

50% at time of booking, 50% upon arrival Non-refundable 50% deposit if cancelled within 45 days of arrival.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

Enter dates for accurate pricing


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