The Playa Flamingo area is a great Pacific coast destination. lt is a small town, but has some of the best resort and white sand beach options in the country.
Most of the accommodation options here are high end, but it is possible to find budget-friendly options as well (especially when traveling during the rainy season).
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.
Getting 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.
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.
Tip: If you don’t feel comfortable driving, a private shuttle is always a great option. Find out more here.
Getting Around 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.
Pro Tip: Rent a car with Adobe through our site and you will get a 10% discount! Score! You can find out more about it here.
Go beach hopping– There are so many beautiful beaches in this area. Definitely check out nearby Playa Conchal and Playa Potrero.
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. There are several companies in Playa Flamingo that do sunset catamaran tours. Often 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.
Go sport fishing- This area is perfect for a half or full-day sport fishing trip. We suggest asking at your hotel if they have any suggestions for excellent companies to go with.
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.
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.
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.
Casitas Mar y Posa– Small hotel with a pool. The owners are super nice and helpful. Breakfast is also included.
Massai Apartments– Simple and comfortable apartments located 300 meters from the beach. There is a pool on-site for guests to use.
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!
– 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.
You Might Also Enjoy Visiting…
Tamarindo is a bustling town that is popular with surfers. There are tons of things to do here for all budgets and interests.
Coco is a busy beach town located near the Liberia International Airport. It is. a popular destination for divers, deep sea fishing, etc.
Manuel Antonio is home to Costa Rica’s most popular national park. This is a great town for all water adventures!