San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Recreational Rentals Abound in Guanacaste

GUANACASTE offers tourists everythingthey could possibly want on holiday:lying on beautiful beaches along the coastor trekking up volcanoes such as Rincón dela Vieja and Tenorio, in the north.Adventure activities abound for those whojust can’t keep still and want to try somethingnew.For independent people who like tostrike out on their own, renting a scooteror bicycle can be a great way to explorethe area. Resort Divers ( in Playa Panamá, justnorth of Coco on the northern Pacificcoast, offers scooters and jet skis for rent,as well as ATV tours, diving and fishing.Owner Vivian Beckers says she recommendsscooters to get around, as it can becheaper – and more fun – than taking taxiseverywhere.“We rent scooters for four, six or 24hours,” Beckers said. “Playas del Coco andPlaya Hermosa are nearby, and there areother beautiful places to discover.”Prices range from $29-45, plus $10insurance and $4 for fuel. All rentals, fromany shop, require a deposit.FOR those who prefer to keep cool inthe water, water skis are available for rentfrom AquaSport ( in Playa Hermosa, a little farthersouth. You can use the skis, doughnutrings or kneeboards for $60 an hour.AquaSport also offers kayaks for rent andkayaking tours with experienced guides, aswell as windsurf boards, boogie boards andbicycles at $3 per hour.There is no shortage of surf rentals upand down the coast, and according tomost, the best waves are to be found atPlaya Langosta, Avellanas and Negra,near Tamarindo, and further north atOllie’s point and Witch’s Rock. Checkout Maresias Surf Shop in Tamarindo(653-0224) and Coconut Harry’s SurfShop (684-0574) in Nosara, farther southon the coast.WHETHER you prefer to fish in thesea or frolic on the boat, sailboats are readyat any hour to whisk you away on a relaxingtrip. Unforgettable moments on a beautifulsunset trip are possible out ofTamarindo with Mandingo Sailing(, on the 50-foot schooner Lemuria, which ownerAndree Hammerschmidt sailed fromFrance to Costa Rica in 1999.Featured on E! EntertainmentTelevision’s show, “Wild on Costa Rica,”in 2003, the Lemuria lets you experiencethe true adventure of sailing and spottingdolphins, whales and turtles while sippingwine and watching a famous Guanacastesunset. The trip costs $50, including appetizersand drinks. Or you can enjoy a snorkelingtour on a 27-foot custom-builtmotorboat, exploring different locationsbetween Tamarindo and Playa Conchal for$45, including gear and refreshments.“We’ve taken thousands of happy customersthroughout the year, and manyreturn to come sailing with us again,” saidMaria Hammerschmidt, Andree’s wife.To add a twist to your sunset sail, whynot relax on the trampoline of a 40-footcatamaran leaving from Playa Tamarindo,again for $50, with Blue Dolphin Sailing( fanatics have no shortage ofopportunities. In addition to a 68-foot yachtfor sunset sail tours, Resort Divers in PlayaPanamá offers deep-sea fishing for $500 forhalf a day and $700 for a full day, for up tosix people. Prices include all equipmentand permits. The outfit also offers bottomfishing at $60 per person, with a minimumof four people for four hours.Guanacaste is a paradise for anglers,so check out Billfisher Sportfishing inPlayas del Coco ( and, further down the coast,Tamarindo Sportfishing ( or Harbor ReefLodge in Nosara ( nature lovers and birdwatcherswon’t want to miss out on Safaris Corobicí(, which offersgentle rafting trips down the Tenorio River,where you can spot monkeys, iguanas andall sorts of birds. The trips cost $37-60,depending on length. Children under 14pay half price.Adrenaline junkies should check outthe Waterfall Canopy Tour (642-0911)in Montezuma, with 11 platforms overthe Montezuma River, as well asMontezuma Expeditions (, for tours andrental information.For full listings of rental shops andtour agencies in Guanacaste, check outThe Tico Times’ “Exploring Costa Rica”guidebook, on sale throughout the country;call 258-1558 for the point of salenearest you.

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