whabbits wrote:There are 3 restaurants in Bahia Salinas that cater to the kiteboarders.
Most people do not rent a car, instead they take a cab for $80 from the airport to main area.
I have not heard of anyone kiting in Riu, I am not sure the wind goes that far south.
Miltsface wrote:The wind doesn't blow that far south. I believe it blows in bahia salinas because the trades are greatly enhanced by a thermal that's gerated between lake nicaragua and the Pacific.
I recently PM'd the below to another member, so thought I'd copy here. I was in bahia salinas 2 yrs ago.
it blows very consistently, almost all the time - as in you can wake up at sunrise and go rig a 7m. Jan-feb timeframe, you'll most likely be on a 7m most days, and some days need a 5m. Dec, its more like 7m-10m. It can be inconsistent earlier than December.
There are 4 places to stay. I stayed at http://site.kiteincostarica.com/ which is run by a super nice guy named Bob. His lodging is a 2 minute walk to the beach and is the cheapest option, but pretty bare bones. studio apts that can sleep (i think) 4 people. No AC, but you don't really need it with the wind blowing day and night. The restaurant there was good.
The Kitehouse is right next to Bob's. I was there in early December and they were just getting set up, so I don't know anything about them, but it was a house that you rent a room in. http://www.kiteboardingcostarica.com/ I think also pretty inexpensive.
Blue Dream hotel is a drive from the beach, but they run a shuttle service to/from the beach and looked a little nicer. you should be able to find rates here: http://www.bluedreamhotel.com/
All three of the above have Kite operations, lessons, rentals, etc, and you can do any of the above without renting a car, but its probably not too much more to rent a car for a week than it costs just to pay for airport transfers (and its fun to cruz around the jungle and check out different areas).
If I were going back again (and I will, at some point), I would stay at eco playa resort http://www.ecoplaya.com/ and have a car to drive over to the main launch or launch at the resort. You can launch right behind this resort, but the wind will be directly onshore (not an issue if you're proficient upwind), and you'll probably be the only people kiting there. pretty reasonable rates here and way nicer accomodations than the other choices. Since it's off season for the resort, you'll probably be one of only a few guest during windy season. maybe a 10 minute drive to the main launch. You can rent gear or take lessons from the 3 operations if you want/need to. Just walk up and say hi at the beach.
Overall, if you don't want waves, this is a great place to kite. not much (almost nothing) in the way of nightlife. each hotel has a restaurant/bar, and you'll find little roadside spots to have a beer. all dirt roads in this area.
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