Price From $120
It takes a certain confidence to put up a hotel in a spot that requires a 15-minute hike on the beach to find, but Ylang-Ylang pulls it off. (You can arrange a lift for you or your bags from sister property El Sano Banano, located in town.)
Shielded from the ocean by palm trees, the resort is set in a jungle clearing, and borders a wildlife reserve on one side.
Ylang-Ylang's main, two-story building has six rooms, each with pale yellow walls and brightly striped blankets. The eight bungalows are more private; all but one have ocean views from their patios.
Stone walkways connect the buildings and are lined with flowering plants and trees, including the fragrant ylang-ylang (naturally).
The restaurant's menu was created by a French chef—he trained the kitchen staff and returns periodically to add new dishes such as grilled sea bass in a sauce of tomatoes, mushrooms, and white wine.
Montezuma is the most compact and walkable of the southern Nicoya towns. During the day, street vendors sell jewelry and beaded caps from folding tables; at night, surfers and tourists barhop along the main drag. Includes breakfast and a candlelit dinner.