Playa Flamingo

Today we’re going to check out Playa Flamingo, which is in Guanacaste on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Playa Flamingo is immediately south of the town of Potrero, and only a short drive from Tamarindo.

The Main Road

We’re going to start this video driving north into Flamingo on Route 180. There are several Villas and hotels along this route, which are just outside of the beach area. We’ll head past Route 911, which breaks to the right to head towards Potrero.

Continuing along Route 180, we’ll bend to the left and then travel along the southern end of Playa Potrero. This is also a very nice beach which has plenty of boats anchored as this location is offset from the full power of the Pacific. There’s a marina being constructed in this crescent bay as well.

Into Flamingo

Heading into Flamingo, there’s a narrow bridge to cross before arriving in the northern town area of Flamingo. Our drive will take us directly to the beach, but if you take one of the few roads to the right you’ll find the hotels which spot the side of the mountain on the north end of Playa Flamingo. There’s also shops and a supermarket in this area, which are convenient should you be staying in the hotels.

Route 180 will transition into Flamingo Beach Road, which is dirt rather than pavement, but it’s not in terrible shape. You’ll be able to drive this road with just about any car, but avoid the large potholes of course. Parking along this road is ample and seems to be unrestricted, just be courteous in allowing room for through traffic.

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Fresh & Vibrant Food

Most vendors have various fruits and vegetables. Lots have various roots, oranges and pineapples. Some of the vendors will carry rambutan and water apples. There are also guanabana zapote available, which I have seen on less occasions.

You can expect to pay a few dollars for a very large amount of most of the foods. It’s a great opportunity to stock up on a weekly basis with your fresh foods directly from the farmers.

flamingo beach road
Flamingo Beach Road - Not Too Rough

Travelling in Costa Rica is much easier when you know some conversational Spanish. Many locals will understand English, but it will ease your experience by knowing some basic Spanish in advance. You'll be able to ask better questions and understand signs/shop owners. I recommend using Rosetta Stone before you even leave for your trip, and when you arrive you can refine your conversational skills.

White Sand Beach

Next we’ll walk part of the beach, which is white sand and very well kept. On the date of filming this video, it’s a weekend so there’s lots of families and groups enjoying the day. As you can see in the video, you can set up a sun shade tent or barbeque if you’re staying for the entire day.

The water on this occasion was calm, and at this time the tide was waning from highest tide, about half way to low tide. There are waves close enough to shore that break with power to allow for some great body boarding. You can buy cheap body boards for about $10 USD, or rent higher quality ones.

Although the water was not incredibly powerful, be careful for rip currents. The surface under the water has several sand bars at various distances. As the water vacates between waves, the rip between these sandbars can become powerful as the water flows through various heights. As always, be sure to swim only where you see others in the water and have safety equipment ready on the beach.

Despite the power of the water, this beach is very calm compared to some along the pacific side of Costa Rica. The waves break very close to shore as well, so stronger swimmer shouldn’t have much trouble very far offshore past the breaking point.

Picturesque Scenery

Playa Flamingo is an amazing beach with a great view of the sunset. The area has lots of hotels with quick access to Flamingo and many other beaches. It’s much quieter than Tamarindo, so if you’re looking for a relaxed vibe you should definitely consider booking your stay in the area!

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