When did you open Iguana Surf Vacations and what inspired you to do so?
My brother Chad and I are from the Chicago area but have been lucky enough to call Tamarindo home for the past 19 years. It's a magical place with incredible people! We opened this hotel Christmas of 2017 as an expansion to our Surf Vacation and Tours Company, Iguana Surf, which we are proud to say has been serving the Guanacaste Region as the #1 Surf & Tour Company since 1989.
What do you love most about Iguana Surf Vacations?
Its people, its vibe, its professionalism.
What has been the most rewarding part of opening Iguana Surf Vacations?
Having the opportunity to share our passion for surfing and nature with so many people.
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you overcome this?
In our history there have been many challenges, starting by adapting to a foreign country in a foreign language, and with different customs than our own.
The two biggest ones were separated by about 10 years, the first one was when the SUP burned down entirely and we were left with only ashes and our love for surfing. And now, just last year, everything got shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we had to lay off all of our employees, which we love and care for as family.
Tell us about your team (how you built the team/what you love most).
Here at Iguana, we keep things simple ;) At first it was just Chad running everything, giving the surf lessons, guiding the kayak tour, selling t-shirts at the shop, then I came on, then my good friend Megan, then we got Christian, who has been part of the team for 15 years already and we have seen him grown into being an amazing man, and today the surf shop manager.
We have Ale and Paris, who both started as online reservation agents, and today basically run the show. They are the ones who know by name every single customer that comes to the shop, books a tour or stays with us at the camp. And then, we have the surf instructors, and the hosts, who always keep a fun environment and great vibes in the place.
What I love most of my team is that we are a family, the Iguana Family. We have each other's back all the way.
How has Tab helped Iguana Surf Vacations?
Tab has been an amazing tool for us since it has simplified our day to day credit card transactions in the shop. Also Tab helped us a lot during the pandemic by incorporating us into the Gift Card plan, we got some air to breathe while drowning thanks to the little money we got then.
What is your favourite feature that Tab offers, and why?
The best feature is the Credit Card charging system through phone or tablet. It is easy, fast, safe, and always a good conversation starter when the time for the selfie comes.
Why would you recommend Tab to another business?
Because the service fee is acceptable, because you have a user friendly system, and because you helped us when we needed help.
Why is Tamarindo a great place to visit?
1. Because of the beauty of the beach, the good waves, and the scenery in general.
2. Because of the good vibe and energy
3. Because you meet people from all over the world. We are all "locals" no matter where you come from.
What would your advice be for anyone thinking about starting their own tourism business?
Be patient, and choose something you really love to do.
You can find out more about Iguana Surf Vacations on their website at https://iguanasurf.net.