Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica, is one of the top beaches in Central America and is filled to the brim with natural beauty. It’s known for its fluffy white sands, gorgeous ocean views, proximity to the Catalinas Islands, and top-notch amenities. As a traveler, what more could you ask for?
- Playa Flamingo Facts
- Map of Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
- Playa Flamingo: Beach Details
- Playa Flamingo Beach Town
- Beach Hopping from Playa Flamingo: Which Beach Should You Visit Next?
Playa Flamingo Facts
- Beach Name: Playa Flamingo (Flamingo Beach)
- Distance from San Jose Airport: 153 miles (245 km)
- Distance from Liberia International Airport: 26 miles (42 km)
- Closest Town: Playa Flamingo
Map of Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
Playa Flamingo: Beach Details
Planning to visit Flamingo Beach during your visit to Costa Rica? Here’s what you need to know before taking a trip to this luxury destination:
Terrain at Playa Flamingo
Flamingo Beach, Costa Rica, is only about one-mile long, but for what it lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty! Playa Flamingo is known for its white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and gorgeous sunsets. There are also many outdoor activities and tours to enjoy at Playa Flamingo, like scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and more.
However, you won’t actually find any flamingos here. Flamingo Beach gets its name from the “pinkish” hue of the white sand when the sun hits it just right. It’s a stunning sight to behold and one of the many reasons Flamingo Beach is consistently ranked among Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches!
Weather Conditions at Playa Flamingo
Playa Flamingo experiences two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season lasts from December to April, and during this time, the beach experiences hot, sunny days with little rain. May marks the beginning of the rainy season, which lasts until November. September is usually the wettest month at Flamingo Beach, Costa Rica, with nearly 15 inches of precipitation.
The high temperatures at Playa Flamingo are always warm, ranging from 88°F in October, the coolest month, to 96°F in April, the hottest month. November is a gorgeous time to visit Playa Flamingo, right before the dry season begins. At this point, the likelihood of rain has decreased, but the plants are still beautiful, full, and lush from all the rain, and the weather is cooler.
Conditions at Playa Flamingo
Playa Flamingo is a small town that attracts wealthy foreigners and is a hotspot for luxury travel. Because of this, Playa Flamingo tends to be a clean, well-kept beach that doesn’t attract too many rowdy tourists. It’s a great beach to visit in Costa Rica if you want to enjoy a laid-back vacation with a great mix of outdoor activities and relaxation.
If you’d like to avoid the crowds, try to plan your trip to Playa Flamingo around the following dates: Sundays, any day from mid-December to mid-January, the week before Easter, and the first two weeks of July. These are the times the beach will be the busiest since this is when Costa Ricans and their families come to the beach. If you want to enjoy Playa Flamingo with fewer crowds—visit on a weekday!
Best Things to Do at Playa Flamingo
Flamingo Beach is just a short 20-minute boat ride from Las Catalinas Islands, one of the top destinations for scuba diving in Costa Rica along the Pacific Coast. While scuba diving at the Catalinas Islands, you can see rays, sharks, eels, turtles, fish, and other types of marine life.
Playa Flamingo is a top destination for fishing in Costa Rica. You can catch snapper, tuna, wahoo, and roosterfish inshore, but if you take fishing boats offshore, you can catch bigger fish, like marlin, mahi-mahi, and yellowfin tuna.
Snorkeling is a fun way to see the fish, turtles, and sharks near Flamingo Beach up close and personal. Most of Costa Rica’s beaches offer the best snorkeling further away from the shore, so it’s wise to take boating or sailing tours from the marina for the most memorable snorkeling experience.
Flamingo Beach and the neighboring Potrero Beach have always been popular destinations for boating. However, now with the new marina open at Flamingo Beach, you can easily take a catamaran, sailboat, or fishing boat out onto the tranquil waters for a fun day of fishing, snorkeling, or scuba diving—or simply to enjoy the amazing sunsets!
Safety at Playa Flamingo
Playa Flamingo is filled with all-inclusive resorts, luxury hotels, and high-end mansions owned by wealthy retirees, so overall, it’s a safe place to stay during your vacation to Costa Rica.
If you’d like to swim at Flamingo Beach but are worried about the currents and riptides, you’re in luck! Since Playa Flamingo is located along Brasilito Bay, the waters tend to be calmer than many other beaches in Costa Rica. However, at times, the waves can sometimes get large and break close to the shore, and there aren’t any lifeguards on duty to monitor the swimming conditions. That said, always use common sense when swimming, boogie boarding, or snorkeling at Flamingo Beach, Costa Rica.
Getting to Playa Flamingo
There are plenty of ways to get to Playa Flamingo from around the country. You can book a rental car to drive from the airport in Liberia or San Jose, take the bus from the Liberia International Airport or San Jose International Airport to Playa Flamingo, or book shared or private shuttles to the beach. Playa Flamingo is a:
- 30-minute drive from Playa Grande and Tamarindo
- 45-minute drive from Playas del Cocos
- 60-minute drive from Liberia
- 4.5-hour drive from San Jose
Playa Flamingo is a walkable beach town, so if you’re planning to enjoy the activities, restaurants, tours, and experiences in the area, you won’t need a car. However, if you’d like to visit other beaches in Guanacaste, like Tamarindo Beach, or if you want to visit a national park, the easiest (and most affordable) way to get around is with a car. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, consider hiring a shuttle or booking tours that include transportation to and from Flamingo Beach.
Parking at Playa Flamingo
If you’re only visiting Playa Flamingo for the day and need somewhere to park your car, you’ll be happy to learn there is plenty of free parking near the beach. If you enter from the north side (by the marina), the road is paved to the beach, and then the road turns to dirt. You can park anywhere along the dirt road on either side for free.
Playa Flamingo Beach Town
Flamingo Beach has a different layout than other beaches and beach towns in Costa Rica. Instead of having a dedicated “beach town” located directly off the sand, Playa Flamingo only has one main road filled with restaurants, hotels, stores, and other local businesses.
When exploring Playa Flamingo beyond the beach, here are some of the highlight restaurants, nightlife, and activities to check out:
Playa Flamingo Restaurants
There are tons of great restaurants in Playa Flamingo for you to enjoy—whether you’re visiting for a day or staying for the duration of your entire vacation in Costa Rica. These are just a few of the most popular:
Restaurante Pleamar is a local restaurant that is beloved by tourists and locals alike! They serve seafood and traditional Costa Rican and Central American dishes. Their menu features items like Patacones Con Frijoles (Plantains with Beans), Con Camarones (Shrimp Spaghetti), and Ceviche Mixto (Mix Ceviche).
Restaurante Coco Loco
Restaurante Coco Loco is a beachfront restaurant on the southern end of Playa Flamingo that is popular with locals and visitors. They serve ceviche, salads, burgers, tacos, seafood, and other delicious dishes. They also serve signature cocktails, like the Coco Loco and Ruby Flamingo, for a refreshing treat after a day at the beach. Coco Loco offers special menus for kids, vegetarians, and vegans. They also serve brunch on Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM.
Surf Box is a popular spot for brunch in Playa Flamingo. They serve all-day breakfast, including acai bowls, breakfast burritos, avocado toast, and pancakes. They also serve coffee, tea, and tasty smoothies. Surf Box is located on the main road as you’re heading north to Playa Potrero. It’s located just past the Banco Nacional.
Playa Flamingo Activities
Aside from beach activities, like snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming, there are dozens of other activities to enjoy in and around Playa Flamingo, including the following:
While in Playa Flamingo, consider renting an ATV for the day or embarking on an ATV tour. You can ride to many nearby beaches, like Playa Brasilito or Playa Potrero, to see more of Costa Rica—even if you don’t have a car.
Rincón de la Vieja National Park
You can embark on several awesome day trips during your time at Playa Flamingo, including ziplining at Diamante Eco Adventure Park and watching sea turtles at Ostional Wildlife Refuge. However, the day trip you can’t skip from Playa Flamingo is the one to Rincon de la Vieja National Park—the most popular national park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica!
Rincon de la Vieja is filled with hot springs, hiking trails, waterfalls, and gorgeous rainforest scenery that starkly contrasts the sandy beaches of Playa Flamingo. It’s less than a two-hour drive from Playa Flamingo, so it makes for the perfect day trip!
Playa Flamingo Vacation Rentals
Although there are several all-inclusive resorts and popular hotels in Playa Flamingo, like the Flamingo Beach Resort, Flamingo Marina Resort, and Margaritaville Beach Resort, we highly recommend staying in a luxury condo or vacation rental for an authentic beachfront experience.
Special Places of Costa Rica offers dozens of rentals in Costa Rica to accommodate all styles of travel: from the luxury traveler to the budget traveler:
Beach Hopping from Playa Flamingo: Which Beach Should You Visit Next?
Potrero Beach, to the north, is within walking distance of Flamingo Beach. This beach is known for deep sea fishing, horseback riding, and sailing in Potrero Bay. Brasilito Beach, to the south, is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Other beaches just a short drive from Playa Flamingo include Playa Conchal, Playa Grande, and Tamarindo Beach.