Vacation Rentals vs. Hotels

Many visitors from United States, Canada and other parts of the world have the decision to pick a hotel in the area that they would like to stay. If it is Playa Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo or Playas del Coco, there are many hotels scattered throughout the area and many of them being all-inclusive. But what about vacation rentals that include homes or condos?

Research is the best way to find out these differences and knowing what is included at the hotels is a must especially the distances from the areas that you mostly want to spend your time....let's start there.

Playa Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo

If you are traveling to Costa Rica and have decided on the beach areas to be your home for the week then you should decide which beach. Understanding which areas have restaurants, nightlife, shopping or if you want to be in a secluded area where you have your own space and none of it is very important.

We will start with Playas del Coco for example...

Playas del Coco is known as a small fishing village and one of the largest beach communities in Guanacaste, but since most of the one paragraph descriptions were written years ago and it seems as if most websites use the same copy, they are a little bit behind on the developments of the area and progress it has made over the years.

How far is Playas del Coco from the hotels? Click here to find out.

Playas del Coco has four (4), yes...4, grocery stores in this small fishing village. So let's just say its not so small anymore especially since there are many restaurants and shops and also the place to go when leaving your hotel for the evening to get away or just to see a different place during the day.

Playa del Coco Costa Rica

Playa del Coco Costa Rica

Many tours including Marlin del Rey Sailing Tours have made Playas del Coco a home and lots of other tours can be found sold on the street (not recommended) or in offices, although some offices are timeshare so be aware.

After clicking the link above to see how far these hotels are from Playas del Coco, you will notice that there are added costs of staying away from an area that you may want to be in on a daily or nightly basis.

So here are your choices:

Hotels vs. Vacation Rentals:

Hotels usually are all inclusive in Costa Rica near Playas del Coco therefore they have set meals, times and liquors that may not be to your standard. Vacation Rentals are generally a little bit more inexpensive in cost but you will have the added cost of shopping at a store and cooking in, dining out and buying your own liquor if desired.

Vacation Rentals can usually be found within walking distance of the beach areas desired and therefore not go over your budget by needing taxis or ground transportation each day or night pending on your desire to visit the areas.

Hotels give you the feel of being at a resort with standard rooms and clean towels on request and Vacation Rentals will give you the flexibility of living in the area during your stay, linens are always included but you may need to wash your own clothes in the washer and dryer that is most likely located in the units.

There are many other options that you can determine your decision so make sure to do your homework on where to stay.

Here are some suggestions to start your Vacation Rental search and also a list of hotels in each area:

Playa Tamarindo:

Note: Free Transportation for Marlin del Rey from Hotels in Bold. Others can be arranged for additional fee.

Vacation Rentals - Tamarindo Beach Rentals

Hotel - Tamarindo Diria

Hotel - Westin Playa Conchal

Hotel - Marriott Hacienda Panilla

Hotel - Tamarindo Vista Villas

Hotel - Barcelo Playa Langosta

Playas del Coco:

Vacation Rentals - Costa Connection

Hotel - Four Seasons Resort

Hotel - Allegro Papagayo

Hotel - Hilton Papagayo

Hotel - Grand Occidental (Vacation Club)

Hotel - Vista Bahia Resort

Hotel - Villas Sol (Timeshare)

Hotel - RIU Guanacaste

Hotel - RIU Palace

Good luck with your search and we look forward to seeing you in Costa Rica on our Catamarans!


RIU Palace & RIU Guanacaste Guests

Hotel RIU Guests are just around the corner from paradise on the water.



RIU Palace and RIU Guanacaste is only a 20-25 minute drive from Playas del Coco, Costa Rica where the New Marlin is located for daily open snorkeling and sunset sailing with Marlin del Rey Sailing Catamarans.

MARLIN DEL REY PROVIDES FREE TRANSPORTATION From Riu Hotel Properties for our tours!

Boasting over 1250 rooms with both hotels at the RIU Hotels location, there are many guests that come to Playas del Coco to shop, dine and take in some of the local culture while visiting Costa Rica with transportation the can be found at the front desks for $15 per person, round trip.



New Marlin is the only sailing catamaran of its size in Playas del Coco and its surrounding areas that has a 90 passenger capacity. Available for Open Tours when you can come by yourself or with another and join groups from various hotels in the area to meet people from all over the globe as we have hosted vacationers from every continent in the world. I guess you can say we are World Famous!

See our reviews on TripAdvisor and also check out out on facebook from more information. Ask anyone that has been to Guanacaste, Costa Rica and they have probably heard of us and the quality service, food and tour that we provide. We have been creating memories since 2005.

We are looking forward to seeing you on our tours! Make your reservations now.

Four Seasons Papagayo Guests

Nothing tops the elegance and style of the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Papagayo Peninsula.

Four Seasons Resort at Papagayo Peninsula

Four Seasons Resort at Papagayo Peninsula

Nestled on the point of the Papagayo Peninsula, Four Seasons Resort hosts guests from all portions of the world including many celebraties that enjoy the full service spa and challenging 18-hole golf course

With 175 guest rooms, suites and residences, Four Seasons Resort is a very popular location for Corporate Incentive Groups and Meetings. These large groups are treated to the quality service and products that each and every regular guest experiences when staying on the property. 

New Marlin outside of Four Seasons at Playa Blanca

New Marlin outside of Four Seasons at Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca and Playa Virador are the two beaches on each side of the resort with Sea Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boards, Wind Surf, Surfing Tours and also the location of pick up for the Marlin del Rey Catamaran Sailing Tours when hosting private groups.


Only 25 minutes from Liberia International Airport (LIR) Four Seasons Resort is just a short drive to paradise. You and your party can also take a boat ride (15 minutes) or car (45 minutes) to Playas del Coco where shopping, restaurants and other tours from the resort for some outside action.


Contact us if you have any questions regarding our tour or click here to find out more about Playas del Coco.

Secrets Papagayo Guests

Hilton Papagayo

Hilton Papagayo

Secrets Papagayo is one of the adults only sister property of Dreams Resort in La Cruz, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Located in Playa Panama in the Papagayo Gulf and 15 minutes from Playas del Coco (20 minutes from Liberia Airport), the guests at Secrets Papagayo enjoy FREE Transportation for the Marlin del Rey Catamaran Tour. Pick up time is 12:45pm.

Stand Up Paddleboard

Stand Up Paddleboard


Join guests from Occidental Grand Papagayo, RIU Palace, RIU Guanacaste and other local hotels and vacation rentals on a Sunset Tour that starts at 1:30pm from Playas del Coco and includes Snorkeling, Sailing, Meal and Premium Open Bar with bottled water, sodas and juices.

New Marlin from a secluded beach

New Marlin from a secluded beach

It is not uncommon to see Dolphins, Rays, Turtles and Whales (February, March, August & September) as the New Marlin sails through the Northern Pacific of Costa Rica. If you are not a fan of snorkeling, you may use one of our noodles to float in the water, swim to the beach or just hang out on the nicest Sailing Catamaran in Guanacaste.

Diria Tamarindo Hotel Guests

Tamarindo Diria offers the beach, surf, golf, casino and a very nice place to stay during your trip to Costa Rica.

When booking your hotels before your trip to Costa Rica, Tamarindo Diria is a great place to start your search if you want to stay in a resort style location.

Located on the beach directly across from the Marlin del Rey Office, Tamarindo Diria has a pool, restaurant and bar conveniently place just off the beach where many beach goers enjoy the amazing Costa Rican sunsets. The resort has 239 rooms of various sizes and locations (also across the street behind the casino).

Golfers! Tamarindo Diria also has a private driving range located about 2 miles from the resort and access to Hacienda Panilla Golf Course and Westin Playa Conchal Golf Course.


Since the Diria Tamarindo is located on the beach in the center of Tamarindo Beach, it is easy to walk across the street to book your tour in the Marlin del Rey office. After booking your tour with Marlin del Rey Sailing Tours, you can simply walk down the beach, turn left and meet our staff in front of El Pescador Restaurant. 

Book your tour now online here

Hope to see you soon in Playa Tamarindo and make sure you visit us during your stay!

Vacations from Canada

Sunwing Vacations, WestJetAir TranSat, NoliTours, Air Canada and SunQuest provide various charter flights from Canada straight to Liberia International Airport aka Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport and partners with hotels in both the main town areas of Playa Tamarindo and Playas del Coco.

Playas del Coco (El Coco Beach)

Playas del Coco (El Coco Beach)

Playas del Coco offers a small town feel with shopping and many restaurants with nightlife filled with live acts and DJ's playing at the local venues. Although it is like the little brother to Playa Tamarindo in terms of tourist traffic, Playas del Coco or El Coco Beach has everything you need in reference to Banks, Grocery Stores, shops, casino  and tours. The neighboring towns include Playa Hermosa, Playa Ocotal, Pez Vela, Playa Panama and Sardinal.

If you are driving a rental car, make sure you fill up with gas outside of tow because once in enter the beach town you will need to get back out. No Gas Stations!

Playa Tamarindo (Tamarindo Beach)

Playa Tamarindo (Tamarindo Beach)

Playa Tamarindo is bustling with tourists from north America throughout this popular surf town. The beach is wide and beautiful with rock formations and swells for the surfers to enjoy the whole day. Larger scale in terms of shops and restaurants than Playas del Coco. Playa Tamarindo or Tamarindo Beach, also is home to many tours, casino, shops and of course Surf Lessons! Again, No Gas Stations in Playa Tamarindo for those who rent a car.

Don't Forget to book your Marlin del Rey Catamaran tour while in either one of these areas. Both locations are well known for its' laid back culture and Tropical Desert feel.

Come to Costa Rica. You will never want to return home.

Marlin Tres completes the Panama Canal passage.

Marlin Tres, the newest addition to the Marlin del Rey Sailing Tours fleet has completely the journey though the Panama Canal and is now heading up the coast to its' final destination in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. 

Watch here how the Panama Canal locks move Marlin Tres though to the other side. 

Posted on October 14, 2013 and filed under Marlin del Rey, Marlin Tres.

Marlin Tres gets some modifications.

The photos posted here may not look like much but it is the beginning of the hulls with some modifications to them to make each one 500 lbs more buoyant.  More photos to come as we continue the building process.

Posted on May 22, 2013 .

Marlin Tres is under construction

Marlin del Rey Sailing Tours has begun construction on the new sister catamaran, Marlin Dos. Being built in St. Croix, USVI, the new 65' custom built sailing catamaran is planned to be completed by November 2013 and ready to provide guest experiences soon after.

Below you will find pictures of the massive hull and size comparison to the person building it. 

Keep coming back to for more information and pictures as we move through the process. 

Grand Papagayo Guests

Grand Papagayo vacationers can expect an easy day on the New Marlin in Playas del Coco.

Occidental Grand Papagayo

Occidental Grand Papagayo

After checking in to your room at the Grand Papagayo in Playa Panama, guests can expect a great day at the pool to ease into the Pura Vida life of Costa Rica.

When the day comes to experience Marlin del Rey Catamaran Tours, you will enjoy FREE TRANSPORTATION from the hotel and driven to Playas del Coco. This village is the main area near Grand Papagayo that has restaurants, shopping, nightlife, grocery stores and banks to make your trip a little easier. Although during your trip to Marlin del Rey will not give you enough time to stroll the village on this day, you could catch a ride earlier to do some shopping from the concierge at the hotel front desk. This should be in the range of $15 per person.


When arriving to Playas del Coco, our driver will walk you to our meeting place where you and other guests of hotels in the area will meet and depart on the tour at approximately 1:30pm. Don't forget your swim suit, sunblock and towel if you want to snorkel and catch a tan.

New Marlin - Playas del Coco 

New Marlin - Playas del Coco 

A light meal will be provided on the New Marlin but it is after the snorkeling portion of the trip so don't come too hungry or grab a bite to eat before you come to town.

After the Open Tour our drivers will bring you back to your hotel and then you can tell everyone that night how much fun you had on Marlin del Rey Catamaran Tours!