Playa Flamingo is one of Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific beaches and with access to sportfishing, spa days, surfing, and sunbathing, it offers a little something for everyone.
Where is Playa Flamingo Costa Rica
Playa Flamingo is one of a string of sunset-perfect beaches that stretch along the Pacific northwest quadrant of Costa Rica in the Guanacaste province. It is bordered by Playa Brasilito to the south and Playa Potrero to the north.
What is Playa Flamingo like?
Just like its neighboring beaches, Playa Flamingo is known for great sunsets, white sand beaches, and an easy-going lifestyle. One of the only things that sets it apart from other nearby beaches is its resorts and casinos, including the eponymous Flamingo Marina Resort.
These all-inclusive experiences tend to attract a type of national and international tourism that is a little more insular – think “tourism” versus “traveling.” In general, people who visit Playa Flamingo tend to be looking for an all-inclusive, easy-going trip where they can count on certain creature comforts like air-conditioning and consistently nice weather.
Things to do in Playa Flamingo
There are lots of ways to experience the gifts of Playa Flamingo and the surrounding area. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Playa Flamingo.
Walk the beach
What better way to slow down than taking a stroll in the sand and waves? And if there is one lesson that Costa Rica can teach you it is that it is okay to go slow. By walking the beach and trail paths between Brasilito, Flamingo, and Potrero beaches, you will be able to see local kids playing soccer, fishermen heading out in their iconic blue panga boats, and families barbecuing under the palm trees. This is how Costa Ricans keep the “pura vida” alive.
Due to its dry, sunny climate, the Guanacaste province is one of the most popular locations in Costa Rica for destination weddings. Playa Flamingo provides a good option for destination weddings with its two resorts, high quantity of available rooms, and gorgeous sunsets.
Have a spa day
Vitamin C facials, manicures, deep tissue massages, rainforest aromatherapy, mineral bath soaks, and seaweed contouring body wrap – these are just a few of the spa treatments available at the OnZen Spa in the Margaritaville Beach Resort.
See the turtles nesting
There are several protected turtle nesting spots within an hour or two from Playa Flamingo. These parks include Santa Rosa National Park, the Marino Las Baulas National Park, and Vida Silvestre Ostional Refuge. Each one of these parks provides highly controlled opportunities to learn about and observe the thousands of leatherback and Olive Ridley sea turtles who come to nest there each year.
Go for a swim in the calm waters
Brasilito Bay’s calm waters are ideal for young families to splash around in the Pacific Ocean. There are also some surfing outfitters for people who want to try out some basic elements of surfing or even take a chartered surf tour up to the famous Witch’s Rock.
Try out sport fishing
With a resort named after Jimmy Buffet’s famous song, “Margaritaville”, it is a given that Playa Flamingo is going to have good sportfishing options. Sportfishing is an important part of Costa Rica’s tourism industry and most of the boat captains are locals who have been fishing the North Pacific waters most of their lives and will know the best spots to find the best catch.
Linger at a beach bar
A 20-minute walk or a short drive up the beach from Playa Flamingo is Potrero Beach’s famous beach shack, The Beach House Bar & Restaurant. Open from 11 am to 9 pm year-round, the Beach House is a great place to eat fresh seafood and the sunsets are on the house.
Enjoy the nightlife
Aside from the activity going on within the resorts, Playa Flamingo is a small beach town with just a few restaurants and supermarkets. However, 30 minutes to the south is the popular beach town of Tamarindo and 45 minutes to the north is the bustling beach town of Coco. Both places have lots of options for international cuisine, reggae-playing bars, and discotecas that go until 2 am.
Charter a yacht
…or drop anchor for your own boat at the recently opened Flamingo Marina. The Flamingo Marina joins its recently opened neighbor to the north, Papagayo Marina, as the sixth marina in the country. In addition to being a launching pad for sportfishing tours and private charters, the marina hopes to provide jobs for local people while also promoting progressive ecological practices such as seawater desalination.
What is the weather like in Playa Flamingo?
As with the rest of Guanacaste, Playa Flamingo tends to be sunny and hot with year-round temperatures between 80-90 Fahrenheit during the day and 70-80 Fahrenheit during the night. For the most part, this area of the country still respects the dry/rainy season rules: January-May it rains less and June-December it rains more.
One thing that may surprise some tourists is that the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica contains the largest tropical dry forest in all of Central America and Mexico. Much of the flora is deciduous – which means the leaves fall off the trees and/or turn brown. As a result, during the dry season from January to May, the lowlands of Guanacaste can sometimes look more like the Pacific coasts of Central America, Mexico, and California (dry and brown) than like the typical image of a wet, green, Costa Rican rainforest. And even though each dry season brings concerns about water management and drought, inevitably the rains start again in April, May, or June, and the land replenishes.
When is the best time to visit
Without a doubt, January to May will provide the most consistent “good” weather of sunshine and dry skies. However, many people opt to visit during the green and/or rainy seasons in order to take advantage of the less crowded beaches and discounted accommodation. After all, even in the rainy season, the sun is usually out for the first half of the day.
For a more comprehensive guide on Costa Rica’s weather, check out this article on Costa Rica Weather: Climate Zones, Seasons and Patterns.
How far is Playa Flamingo from other areas?
- 1 hour from the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR)
- 5 hours from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (SJO)
- 45 minutes from the expat-friendly beach town of Tamarindo
- 40 minutes from the Westin Reserva golf course at Conchal Beach
- 4 hours from Jaco and other popular mid-Pacific towns
- 3-4 hours from the surf towns in southern Nicoya like Santa Teresa and Montezuma
- 3-4 hours from the fiery Arenal Volcano and adventure activities in La Fortuna
- 3 hours from the cloud forest of Monteverde
Plan a Trip to Playa Flamingo
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