The taxi boats between Jaco and Montezuma, which are very fast speedboats holding 10-29 people, depending on the boat and the company, are a great way to get from the southern Nicoya Peninsula to the mainland, since you can avoid the trip to the ferry and the ferry journey. If you don’t want to fly, it’s also the fastest way from Montezuma or Santa Teresa to San Jose, because you can take the taxi boat over to the Jaco area and then catch a bus or taxi to San Jose or the international airport.
In general, I’d recommend taking the taxi boat if you can. It’s worth the $40 not just for the time you save but for the super-fun boat ride itself. Every time I do it I’m reminded how I need to get out on a boat more often. The last time I did it we saw tons of dolphins and a flying fish that flew for several hundred meters… it was in the air for at least 20 seconds and everyone was as impressed with that as with the dolphins. The boat captain also caught a beautiful fish (photo below) and then released it, because it was so small.
Water Taxi Companies: There are two companies that have taxi boats: Cocozuma and Zumatours. Direct links to their details are here:
Adults: Both companies charge US$40
Children 4-10 are half price.
Children up to age 3 are free.
Depart from Montezuma: 9:30am
Depart from Jaco/Herradura: 11:am
Afternoon or custom departures are possible if you have a group. Contact the companies directly for pricing/availability.
The time to cross to the other side is around 1 hour. And, be aware that from the Montezuma side the boat comes from the small beach/cove in the center of town. But in Jaco, it goes to Playa Herradura, which is north of Jaco next to Los Suenos Resort. So if you’re going to Jaco, then from there you’ll need to take a taxi or shuttle to town.
Shuttle from Jaco to Herradura
: With Zumatours, the shuttle leaves at 10:30am from Musmanni Bakery and coffee shop, next to the Mas X Menos grocery store.
Other FAQs for the Taxi Boat Journey
What’s it like: The trip can be very exciting because you’re likely to see dolphins, manta rays, flying fish, whales, sea turtles, etc, and the boat captain will usually stop or maneuver the boat closer for you to take a look and get photo/videos, etc (see video below from my last taxi boat crossing.)
Reservation: Advanced reservations are required so that the companies can plan which boat to use. Contact them directly to make a reservation.
Weather Issues: The boats have shade in the back and sun in the front. Many people can get very sunburned in the 60 minute journey so if you’re sensitive to the sun then try to get a seat in the back where it’s shady, and pay attention to which side the sun will be on. If the sea is choppy, then the ride will be more bumpy, and the front of the boat moves up and down much more, so it’s a much smoother journey sitting in the back. If the waves are too big, it’s possible that the boats will be unable to launch from the beach, so if you’re in doubt about the wave size, call them to confirm that it hasn’t been cancelled.
Luggage: Up to 20Kg (45 lbs) per person is allowed. $10 extra for surfboards. Your luggage will be put into plastic bags so it won’t get wet if the waves splash into the boat or it’s raining. No bicycles or pets are allowed.
Further Transportation: You can arrange with the taxi boat companies for a shuttle to take you to Santa Teresa, Cabuya, or Tambor, from Montezuma upon arrival. From the Jaco/Herradura side, shuttle pick-up can be arranged in advance to Manuel Antonio, Dominical/Uvita, San Jose Airport, Arenal, etc.
My new favorite restaurant, Clandestina is not to be missed by food lovers staying anywhere near to Montezuma. Established in March 2015, Clandestina is the new kid on the block. The Oregon/Tico collaboration is a winner among locals and travelers alike, with artisan craft beers, made onsite by Butterfly Brewing Co. and delicious, exciting […]