Playa Flamingo Costa Rica: 2023 Travel Guide
Playa Flamingo Costa Rica is known for its beautiful fine white sand beaches and turquoise waters
The Playa Flamingo Costa Rica Vibes
Playa Flamingo is not as bustling or crowded as some other popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica, but there are still ample amenities and activities available.
You can find a range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to vacation rentals, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.
The beach is beautiful, with white sand and clear blue water that looks like a postcard.
There are also lots of fun things to do, like snorkeling, fishing, and enjoying the amazing sunsets.
Background Info About Playa Flamingo Costa Rica
Nearest International Airport
Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia
Popular Things to Do
surfing, rent an ATV, snorkel or diving tours
Best Way to Get Around
Rental car, walking in the downtown area
Best Time of Year to Visit
Dry season is from late December until mid-April
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Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).
We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and have called sunny Costa Rica home since 2016.
We are on a mission to help you plan the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Map Of Playa Flamingo
Playa Flamingo is located on Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Guanacaste Province.
The nearest big city is Liberia, which is about one and a half hours away.
Flights to Costa Rica
The easiest way of getting to Flamingo is by flying into the Liberia International Airport. From Liberia, it is about a 1.5 hour drive to Flamingo. From San Jose, it is about a five-hour drive.
That said, we will go through how to get here from each airport to clarify things.
If you haven’t booked your flight yet, we suggest using Skyscanner. We consistently find the best rates through their website.
Driving to Playa Flamingo
It is much easier to get to Playa Flamingo from Liberia airport rather than from San Jose. From Liberia, the drive will take a little over an hour on a well-paved (and mostly flat) road.
From San Jose airport the drive will take about 4.5 hours. The roads are all well maintained, but this route can sometimes be really slow. Most roads are one lane in either direction and if you get stuck behind a slow truck (which will happen at some point), it can be difficult to pass.
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We like to rent a car to get to Playa Flamingo. You do not need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get to Playa Flamingo. An SUV is nice for comfort, but you can make it here from San Jose or Liberia with a small car.
We suggest using Adobe Rent a Car because they are the most trustworthy rental car company in this country (in our opinion) and we have a 10% discount for you. You can read more about renting a car here.
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Private Shuttle to Playa Flamingo
A private shuttle is the most comfortable way to get around the country.
Your shuttle driver will be waiting for you when you exit the airport and will take care of everything.
You and your group can just enjoy looking out the window. Your driver will be happy to stop for pictures or food along the way.
Taxi to Playa Flamingo Costa Rica
If you are traveling as a couple or a small family, a taxi is usually a more economical option rather than a private shuttle.
There is a family of certified Costa Rican taxi drivers based out of Liberia who we think very highly of. They will take very good care of you!
If you are interested in taking a taxi, click here to contact them for a price quote.
Oh, and they will give all our readers a $10 discount off the official taxi price list!
Domestic Flights to Playa Flamingo
From San Jose, it is possible to take a domestic flight to Tamarindo. From Tamarindo, it is only about a 30-minute drive to Playa Flamingo.
In my opinion, you are better off just flying into Liberia International Airport if you would like to get to Playa Flamingo. It is only about an hour’s drive from Liberia to Flamingo and it will save you the hassle of switching to a domestic flight.
Transportation In Playa Flamingo
The downtown area of Playa Flamingo is very walkable. You really do not need a car if you will just be relaxing at your hotel, visiting the beach, and enjoying the great restaurants.
However, there is a lot to do in the area.
If you would like to explore some nearby spots, a car is the easiest way to get around.
If you take a shuttle to Playa Flamingo and would like to rent a car for just a few days of exploring, that is completely possible with Adobe.
In fact, they will even deliver your rental car to you for free within Playa Flamingo.
Just add a comment in your reservation about which hotel you will be staying at so they know where to deliver your car.
Also, make sure to select “Tamarindo/Flamingo/Potrero” as your drop-off and pick-up location.
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Playa Flamingo Costa Rica Weather
As with most of the country, the dry season runs from mid-December until April or May. During this time it gets very hot and dry here. By March everything turns brown due to such a lack of rain.
This is also the most popular time of year to visit Playa Flamingo.
From May until August, expect some afternoon rainstorms, however, it is difficult to predict. There is typically far less rain in Flamingo than in other parts of the country.
From mid-August until December afternoon rainstorms are very typical. The rain tends to arrive around 2pm and lasts for a few hours.
For more information on the weather in Costa Rica by month and location, check out this complete guide.
Things to Do in Playa Flamingo Costa Rica
Go Beach Hopping
There are so many beautiful beaches in this area. Definitely check out nearby Playa Conchal and Playa Potrero.
We suggest an in-shore or off-shore trip with our buddies on the Guerrero del Mar. Captain Werner and crew will guarantee you have a great day.
Some fish you might catch include; mahi-mahi, sailfish, marlin, cubera snapper, and skipjack tuna.
Check out Tamarindo
The town of Tamarindo is located about 20 minutes south of Flamingo. This Costa Rican town is great for surfing lessons, delicious restaurants, and shopping.
Take an ATV Tour
There are multiple companies in Playa Flamingo that can arrange fun ATV tours.
Take a Sunset Boat Tour
The sunset here is always amazing and what better way to experience it than while on a catamaran or sail boat? These tours include snorkeling and some food and drinks.
Go Scuba Diving
If you are interested in diving, this is the perfect place to get your scuba gear on. Most tours will take you out to the Catalina islands where you can experience a variety of marine life.
Visit a Day Spa
With so many high-end hotels and resorts in the area, there are plenty of day spa options.
Head South to Playa Grande
Playa Grande is located just south of Flamingo. This remote beach is also home to nesting sea turtles. If you are lucky, you might just spot them.
Go Horseback Riding
Often you will see people with horses on Flamingo and other nearby beaches.
Our favorite is to take a horseback ride while enjoying the sunset.
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Playa Flamingo Restaurants
There are some excellent restaurants and bars in the Playa Flamingo area.
Sentido Norte– Not only is the food here excellent (and beautifully presented) but the view is also amazing! For a fancy dinner out, this is our top pick!
La Forketa– Super delicious Italian food and an overall really cute place. Located just north of Playa Flamingo in Playa Potrero.
Surf Box– Our go-to spot for breakfast and lunch in the area (although they are also open for dinner). The cafe vibe here is great and they really know how to make some awesome breakfast foods!
Coco Loco – Coco Loco is our go-to beach bar in Flamingo. Even if you don’t eat here, we suggest at least spending some time here and getting some tasty cocktails. Although, the food is great as well.
Fun fact…Coco Loco actually catered our wedding. 🙂
Cerveceria Independiente– Tasty craft beer! It is not actually overly budget-friendly. Craft beer tends to be a bit pricey in Costa Rica, but we put it on the budget list because they also have a nice garden with four food stands on the property.
You can grab a beer and get an affordable burger, taco, pizza, or breakfast. It’s a great place to hang out!
Playa Flamingo Costa Rica Hotels
Margaritaville Beach Resort– Nice resort with all-inclusive options. There is a pool with swim-up bar and restaurants on-site.
360 Splendor– Amazing apartments with a shared infinity pool. This is a great accommodation option because each unit has a private kitchen.
Casa Chameleon Hotel– Beautiful adults-only hotel with amazing sea views. There is an amazing restaurant, bar, and infinity pool on the property. Note that this is not located in downtown Flamingo but rather in Las Catalinas.
Libelu Lounge– If you’ve ever wanted to try out glamping (glamorous camping) this is the place to do it. There is a pool on-site and breakfast is included.
Hotel Guanacaste Lodge– Simple but nice accommodation option with a pool and free daily breakfast. Located 300 meters from the beach.
Massai Apartments– Simple and comfortable apartments located 300 meters from the beach. There is a pool on-site for guests to use.
Vacation Rentals in Playa Flamingo
We always love renting a home or villa for our vacation in Costa Rica. This gives you more privacy and allows you the flexibility to cook your own meals.
Note: We try to only ever suggest places with good cancellation policies, but always double-check before booking.
Ocean Views Condo – A 3 bedroom condo designed to sleep up to 6 guests.
Sea View Play – A 2 bedroom condo that can sleep up to 5 guests. We love the large outdoor balcony.
Oceanfront Condo – This well maintained condo has one bedroom and can sleep 4 guests.
Villa Fugata – A two bedroom villa that can sleep 4 guests. This would be perfect for a girls trip or a small family. There is a small infinity pool and everything is immaculate.
Casa Frisons – A luxury six bedroom villa that can sleep up to 14 guests. I always keep this place in mind because it would be perfect for a girls weekend away.
Luxury Sunset Villa – A five bedroom home that can sleep up to 10 guests. This home is beautiful and would be perfect for an extended family or group of friends.
Casa Playa Bonita – A five bedroom home that can sleep up to 10 guests. We like this place for the large pool and nice outdoor space.
Playa Flamingo Travel Tips
– We suggest avoiding this area in the week leading up to Easter Sunday. There is only one road in and out of Flamingo and this is the most popular time to travel in Costa Rica. Let’s just say the beach is packed and the traffic is crazy.
-Playa Flamingo is wonderful, but if you want a bit more peace and quiet, stay at Playa Potrero (just north of Playa Flamingo). This little beach town is really peaceful but still has plenty of great restaurants.
Packing for Playa Flamingo Costa Rica
We tend to pack a bit nicer stuff for Flamingo because it is a more resort/ touristy beach town. You will probably spend most of your time on the beach/ at a pool but you may also enjoy some nice meals out.
Keep in mind that the sun here is really strong, so pack very lightweight things if possible, but always remember to use a lot of sun protection.
Yes, be that person with a big floppy hat, long sleeve UV shirt, and sunscreen smeared across the bridge of your nose.
For meals at nice restaurants we usually opt for sundresses or lightweight shorts and a nice top.
Check out our Flamingo Packing List on Amazon for all the essentials.
Playa Flamingo Costa Rica FAQ
Is Playa Flamingo Costa Rica safe?
Overall, Playa Flamingo is considered a safe destination, but it’s always a good idea to use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and take precautions to ensure personal safety.
Is Playa Flamingo safe for swimming?
Playa Flamingo in Costa Rica is generally considered safe for swimming. The beach has calm waters and is suitable for swimming for most of the year. However, it’s always important to exercise caution and be aware of the current conditions before entering the water.
Does Playa Flamingo have a nightlife scene?
Playa Flamingo has a few bars and restaurants where visitors can enjoy a drink and some evening entertainment. However, if you’re looking for a vibrant and bustling nightlife scene, you may find more options in nearby towns such as Tamarindo or Coco.
Are there flamingos in Playa Flamingo Costa Rica?
Despite its name, Playa Flamingo is not home to flamingos. The name “Flamingo” in Playa Flamingo actually refers to the pinkish hue of the sand on the beach, rather than the bird itself.
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You Might Also Like Visiting
Tamarindo: A bustling surfing town that has something for everyone
Las Catalinas: A car-free beach community that is home to several luxury accommodation options
Playa Avellanas: A relaxed surfing village down a dirt road
….if none of those appeal to you, check out our Guide to the Guanacaste Province for more ideas of places to visit in this area.