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Flamingo beach is located just north of Brasilito Beach and south of Playa Potrero. The beach is only about a half a mile long and is not as well protected from the surf as some of the surrounding beaches are. However, there are still many very calm days.
Waves at Playa Flamingo can get large and many times, they break very close to shore making them especially dangerous. Also due to the varying contour of the beach having small hills and valleys of sand. it is more susceptible to strong rip currents. The conditions can also change rapidly. Small surf for a long time and then all of a sudden a group of large swells can show up and be gone quickly.
The beach in lined the entire distance with small trees that provide nice morning and early afternoon shade. Once late afternoon arrives, the shade disappears quickly. I absolutely love the mornings at Playa Flamingo.
The sand is white and not as hot to walk on with bare feet as some of the nearby, darker sand beaches are.
There are no public restrooms at Playa Flamingo. On the north end of the beach, close to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville resort, you will be able to find street vendors selling things along with refreshments and some food, especially on the weekends.
There are usually vendors that will rent you large 12 x 12 tents with chairs for about $20 for the entire day. These vendors are usually located about half way down the beach road.
This is a great beach to watch the sunset. One of my favorite places to do this is at Coco Loco, a small restaurant with tables right in the sand. Great food, people and views.
Avoid weekends, especially Sundays, the two weeks around Christmas, the first week of January, Semana Santa (the week before Easter) and the first two weeks of July as crowds from San Jose Costa Rica come up to this area. It is also a popular time for tourists to visit, and given the proximity to many nearby resorts, condos and hotels, this beach can get very crowded.
The best time to visit in on the weekdays, the earlier in the day the better. There will be more people during high season that runs from December through April, Crowds start to decline starting in May with September and October seeing few visitors due to the heavy rains during this time, however, there can still be beautiful days, especially in the early morning.
There are small trees and bushes along the road where you park that will provide partial shade until about noon. Once you get to the afternoon, the amount of shade is minimal unless you can find that perfect tree to get under.
Playa Flamingo is about a 30 minute drive from Tamarindo, 45 minutes from Playa Coco, 60 minutes from Liberia and the International Airport, 3-4 hours from the Central Valley and 4-5 hours from San Jose.
If you enter from the north side by the marina and the center of Flamingo, the road is paved all the way to the beach. Then right next to Margaritaville, it turns to dirt for the entire length of the beach. Even in the worst of weather, this road is usually in good condition with only a few small potholes.
You can also access the beach from the from the south side, closer to Brasilito. However this road will be dirt the entire distance. While it may be the shorter route, it is usually not is as good condition as the northern entrance.
Either way a 4x4 is usually not needed unless there are torrential rains for a long period of time.
Access to the beach is via the dirt road that parallels the beach. Parking is available on both sides, with the beach being just a few feet away. This make is very convenient if you are bringing tables, tents, chairs, etc.
You cannot access the southernmost portion of the beach by car and have to instead park near Coco Loco and walk.
There is no fee to park unless you are very close to the southern end and Coco Loco during lunch or dinner time. There will be a parking attendant that will charge you 3000 colones ($5 USD).