Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

If Costa Rica had a Riviera, the beach town of Flamingo would surely be its capital. Tastefully sprawled on a hillside with views over Playa Flamingo, a gleaming arc of white sand and blue-green water, this area is home to one of the most beautiful undeveloped beaches in Costa Rica. In fact, Flamingo Beach Resort is the only hotel you will find directly on the beach.

Over the last decade, elegant boutiques, restaurants and bars catering to the wealthy Ticos and foreigners who visit this area have sprung up in town. But there is much more to do around here than shopping and dining, and although it’s always a great idea to have a Spa day or lounge by the pool, water sports fans and nature lovers will be thrilled at the variety of activities and tour options that exist here. 

With a colorful underwater world and white tipped reef sharks flitting around, the Catalina Islands, right off the Flamingo coastline, are a diver’s dream and scuba diving or snorkeling trips can be arranged at the PADI dive center in town, Pacific Coast Dive Center, which also offers diving lessons and certifications. Another popular activity is to arrange a catamaran day trip to visit the nearby Sugar Beach and Potrero Beach, north of Flamingo, with opportunities for marvelous snorkeling, sunbathing and relaxing.

Playa Grande, a magnificent surf destination located inside Las Baulas National Marine Park, is a short drive away. The marine park is a nesting site for the enormous leatherback turtle, known as tortuga baula in Spanish. Nesting season extends from mid-October to mid-February, and visitors can go on nighttime guided tours – an unforgettable experience – to observe as the gigantic creatures lay their eggs.

Flamingo also offers world-famous sport fishing charters and hosts annual tournaments. The species you will find here include Swordfish, Marlin, Roosterfish, Snapper and Yellow Fin Tuna, which is almost under threat of extinction because of overfishing. 

Weather and Packing Checklist

Like most of Costa Rica’s Northwest Pacific region, Flamingo is hot! Whether you visit during the wet or dry season, be prepared for good doses of daily sunshine. Daytime temperatures range between the upper 80s and lower 90s, dropping to the upper 70s at night. Expect the best possible weather between the months of November and August.

Don’t forget to pack your beach clothes, a swimsuit, flip flops, a beach towel, shorts, t-shirts, rain gear, and an endless supply of sunblock and aloe vera gel!

How to Get There

From San José:

By plane:

The nearest airport to Flamingo is a 30-minute drive away in Tamarindo, and Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia is approximately 45 minutes away. Taxis are usually waiting to pick up travelers after each arrival. Forty-five minute flights to Tamarindo and Liberia depart from San José daily.

By car:

The shortest way to drive to Flamingo is to take either Autopista del Sol or the Interamerican Highway to Caldera. Turn left after Puntarenas and follow the sign to Puente de la Amistad (Friendship Bridge). After you cross it, follow the signs to Nicoya until you start to see signs to Flamingo.  

By bus:

Tralapa (tel. 2221-7202) has a daily bus service to Flamingo from San José. The trip lasts about five hours and a ticket costs approximately 5,000 Colones ($10 USD).

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