a VirtualTourist member from San Francisco
Hi yall. We're going to Montezuma pretty soon. What are the beaches like? White sand? Black sand? Because we hate tanlines, we were looking at how liberal they are with being topless. Anyone know?
a & j
Nude sunbathing is frowned upon by the locals in Montezuma but if you walk up the beach past Ylang Ylang north of town you should be ok to bare it all. Just make sure to wear lots of sunscreen!
I believe the sand has a brownish sort of color while other areas have a whiter color but not pure white. The beaches have beautiful volcanic rock that make it very scenic. I suggest that you walk down the beach away from town about 30 minutes to a beach called Playa Grande. It is a long stretch of beach that has very few people if any at all. This is the best place for swimming. Make sure you take plenty of water because it is hot and it is a bit of a walk. The walk is well worth it not only for the beach but because of the beautiful scenery along the way. It is through National parks. At times you will take a path through wooded areas briefly because you can not stick to the beach the entire time due to the volcanic rock. As far as topless sun bathing, I have only seen this one time in Montezuma but it definately is not accepted by the locals in the country. Since this is a tourist area you can probably get away with it especially at Playa Grande but if you want to respect the locals I wouldn't. It would be very offensive to them. I will say that it is doubtful you will see locals at Playa Grande so that would be the spot I suggest if you are going to do it. Last year when I was in Manuel Antonio a bar/restaurant owner had a fit on someone who was topless on the beach in front of his business. He came out and made her put her top back on.
You guys are going to love Montezuma. It was one of my favorite places to go to when I was in my teens. Check out Malpais as well, is relatively close to Montezuma by car or bus, and it's worth the drive. There are no official "topless beaches" in Costa Rica, however Playa Grande and other surrounding beaches are as close as you can get to a top less beach over there. I remember going swimming there with a friend and we would not see anyone around for hours. This was some years ago and I'm not sure if it's still like this, but I'm sure you'll have plenty of privacy there.
As a Costarican, I wouldn't say topless is frowned upon but our society is still very traditional, so the common person is not used to it. Is better not to do it at crowded beaches like Jaco (although I'm sure men will love it), but places like Montezuma tend to be more liberal. Find yourself a nice spot and you are all set. I'm sure you'll see others doing the same.
And don't forget to visit the waterfall!
Good luck on your trip.