Thinking of moving to Costa Rica? Consider Playa Flamingo, also known as Flamingo Beach – a beach town and slice of coastline renowned for its pristine white-sand beach; new $50M marina; easy access to essential services, private schools, dining, and lifestyle amenities; and an ambiance that attracts more full-time residents, especially families and retirees, who are drawn to a quieter life and more space (including larger homesites) than you’d find in other beach towns (ex. Tamarindo, to the south).

Of course, deciding where to settle down and how to shape your lifestyle are deeply personal choices that only you can make. While you can weigh the on-paper pros and cons of your many options, ultimately, your feelings about a place can and should play a crucial role in your decision-making process. 

With that in mind, we strongly urge you to do your research (lots of it) and then, visit any and every location you’re considering for relocation, before searching for real estate, committing to a purchase, or making any major life changes. And please, whenever feasible, avoid buying property sight unseen or in an unfamiliar destination

With that said, let’s circle back to the above: your copious research on moving to Costa Rica and the specific destinations you’re considering. We’re here to help with that, beginning with this thorough intro to life in Playa Flamingo.

Welcome to Playa Flamingo

 

As is so often the case in Costa Rica (and so often confusing to the uninitiated, especially if you’re only just beginning to research moving to Costa Rica), Playa Flamingo is both a beach and a beach town: playa means “beach” in Spanish, so Playa Flamingo is the literal name for Flamingo Beach – the stretch of sand, that is.  

However, Playa Flamingo is also the name of the town – even most maps say “Playa Flamingo,” rather than just “Flamingo” – and, to make matters even more confusing, it’s also the name for the general area. 

Why is that confusing? Because Playa Flamingo (the town) often encompasses more than just the beach of Playa Flamingo: Here, you’ll find Playa Ardilla, too, with unofficial town limits stretching into Playa Brasilito and Playa Potrero, too. Notably, Brasilito and Potrero are both towns of their own, but the lines are often blurred! It’ll make more sense once you live here…

Anyway, if we want to be exact about it, Playa Flamingo is situated at GPS coordinates 10.430568047810754, -85.79290079864914, approximately 23.5 kilometers (15 miles) north of Tamarindo, 29 kilometers south (18 miles) of Playas del Coco, and 52 kilometers (33 miles) southwest of Liberia.

And that makes this an extremely convenient place to call home.

Beach Lifestyle Vibes: Playa Flamingo

 

Often likened to the Beverly Hills of Costa Rica, Playa Flamingo exudes an upscale yet welcoming atmosphere. It’s exclusive without being exclusionary and sophisticated without the snobbishness. That said, comparing it to the French Riviera, particularly Saint-Tropez, rather than urban Beverly Hills, might better capture its sun-kissed, glamorous ambiance, where everyday life feels like a perpetual vacation. Again, without the lofty superiority.

Historically seen as a glamorous resort getaway rather than a fully-fledged town, Playa Flamingo has experienced significant growth over the last decade. It now offers essential amenities, such as banking and pharmacies, along with excellent dining options. Major services like hospitals are accessible in Liberia. It’s a bit of a best-of-all-worlds scenario – at least, for many people considering moving to Costa Rica. (See: visit first, above!)  

Flamingo is a popular choice for families, especially – not only because of its lifestyle but because of private schooling: La Paz Community School, one of the best IB schools in Costa Rica, is located right here – and because Flamingo is almost equidistant to Tamarindo, Playas del Coco, and Liberia, families also have access to both Tamarindo-area private schools and private schools near Playas del Coco.

In 2023, Flamingo also welcomed the new Flamingo Marina (see below, for more details), which has become a major attraction, especially for boating and yachting enthusiasts, and has ushered in even more amenities, including upscale shopping and dining 

A Resident’s Perspective: Insights from Becky Clower

 

“I love living in Playa Flamingo and Mar Vista because it’s slower paced (vs. Tamarindo) yet has many great amenities, restaurants, a white-sand beach ideal for swimming, schools in the area, the marina(with several great restaurants and shops), medical, a vet clinic, and banks, all right here in town. 

“And for whatever I can’t find within 10 minutes of my front door, our location is idealTamarindo is 30 min south, Coco is 35 min north, and we’re just 50 minutes to the international Guanacaste Airport and 1 hour to our provincial capital of Liberia, where you can find just about anything available in Costa Rica.” 

Becky Clower broker Blue Water Properties

Becky Clower is a dual citizen (USA & Costa Rica), and the founder, CEO, and lead broker at Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica. After enjoying a successful career as a real estate investor in Tampa, Florida, she relocated to Costa Rica and in 2006, founded Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica. She is also an active investor and real estate developer, with several projects currently underway.

Contact Becky

 

Hometown: Playa Flamingo

 

Playa Flamingo is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream and the Costa Rica you see in the postcards: pink- and white-hued sands, turquoise shores, and shade-lined coasts.

If you’re considering moving to Costa Rica, know that Playa Flamingo itself is one of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches – fine, pink-white sugar sand, close to resorts, luxury homes, and entertainment, and offering plenty of land and leisure activities. It has safe swimming in pristine, clear blue ocean waters, with a variety of beautiful trees, shrubs, flowers, and an abundance of activities. The region also offers an array of secluded beaches and lagoons, due to the mountain formations reaching into the sea. 

As a result, life here is one lived outdoors, beneath the warm tropical sun. The vibe is decidedly tropical paradise, with a strong leaning toward long-term and full-time residents – particularly, families and retirees drawn by a slower pace, less tourism (than, say, nearby Tamarindo), easy accessibility, and more room to spread out. 

If you choose to live in Playa Flamingo, your free time will likely be dedicated to surfing, swimming, golfing, paddle boarding, boating, fishing, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, mountain biking, sailing, birdwatching, and so much more! Your dreams can come true in our little spot of paradise.

Beach: Playa Flamingo

 

When we talk about Playa Flamingo in terms of its beach, we’re talking tree-lined shady coast, lapping waves, and beautiful off-white sands

The beach here is truly a sight to behold, with its pristine sands and gentle waves. Awarded the Ecological Blue Flag for its cleanliness and environmental efforts, it offers a serene setting for swimming and snorkeling. For a more adventurous experience, you can also explore the Catalina Islands, known for their exceptional snorkeling and diving opportunities.

Facilities: There are no bathroom, shower, or other facilities exclusive to the beach, but you’ll find plenty of restaurant offerings, as well as a small shopping center with a convenience store, banks, and more. The Flamingo Marina now offers dining and shopping, if you’re on the eastern side of the town/beach. 

Welcome to the New Flamingo Marina

 

As Costa Rica marinas go, the full-service Flamingo Marina is the newest – and perhaps the country’s most upscale. 

Built to accommodate vessels of all lengths and beams (slips accommodate up to 40 meters/125 feet), Marina Flamingo is designed to serve and service yachts, sailboats, and other vessels with an array of premier services and amenities, including 92 slips (with floating docks and inside the breakwalls), a high-speed fuel dock, and full immigration and customs services onsite. 

It’s also a place built for the beach and boating lifestyle. Flamingo Marina is a luxury, oceanfront wonderland of onsite restaurants, marina-view accommodations, an onsite ship store, and a stunning VIP Club outfitted with first-class amenities, including an outdoor pool and bar, for your relaxation and enjoyment. Need something? Head to the Marina Flamingo Village, which is now open and offers a range of retail options.

Step outside the marina’s 40+ acres of land and ocean facilities, and you’ll have access to many of the Pacific’s best beaches, white sands, sport fishing, sailing, water sports, and other world-class activities. Plus, you’re just a 7-minute walk to Playa Flamingo and its tree-lined shady coasts, lapping waves, and beautiful off-white sands. 

Among the marina’s amenities:

  • 92 Slips with floating docks (inside the breakwalls); plans are to expand to 184 slips
  • High-Speed Marine Fuel Dock and Sanitary Pump Outs
  • Full Immigration & Customs Services
  • Heliport
  • Professional Management with First-Class Customer Service, including an Onsite Concierge
  • Electric, Water, WiFi (Fiber Optic), and Dock Box
  • VIP Marina Lounge
  • Exclusive Outdoor Club Pool and Bar
  • On-Site Restaurants
  • Onsite Ship & Supply Store
  • Secure Storage
  • Restroom, Shower, and Laundry Facilities
  • Golf Cart Transportation
  • Well-Maintained Fish-Cleaning Station
  • 24/7 Uniformed, Professional Security + Controlled Access Gated Facilities
  • Multi-Level Parking
  • Trash & Recycling
  • Emergency Services
  • Coast Guard Station

ROI: Flamingo’s Rising Home Values

 

The real estate market in Playa Flamingo is thriving, particularly now, after the official opening of the Flamingo Marina in 2023.

For those considering moving to Costa Rica and Playa Flamingo, know that the vast majority of area offerings are building homesites and single-family homes, most often set into hillside communities that promise upscale lifestyle amenities and breathtaking ocean vistas. There are several exclusive, upscale gated communitiesMar Vista, Flamingo Estates, and Altos de Flamingo, among them – in the area, and they’re especially popular among families and retirees, as well as anyone seeking resort-style amenities and breathtaking ocean views.

And while the market has been growing for over a decade, it’s getting hotter: As many predicted, property values began to rise as soon as the new Flamingo Marina broke ground in 2019. That’s no surprise. 

Historically and around the world, marinas create positive growth impact with resulting increases to commercial and residential home values. Estimates predict that Playa Flamingo real estate and existing property values could rise 20-30% when marina construction is complete, with the largest increases in the surrounding towns of Playa Potrero and Playa Flamingo. 

Additionally, the new Flamingo Marina itself offers no real estate for purchase: The marina’s only onsite studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom residences and villas are for long-term rental only. If you’d like to own property near the marina, then the surrounding towns are the only option.

This signals big things for Flamingo real estate, as much of the area’s beachfront properties are titled – already, a major point of differentiation from much of Costa Rica, where property is held in concession. (What’s the difference between titled. vs. concession property in Costa Rica?)

Playa Flamingo Real Estate

Spotlight On: Mar Vista Gated Community

 

Prestigious. Luxurious. And offering panoramic ocean views. While you could describe Mar Vista in many ways, the word many choose is simply, “home.” 

Mar Vista –a 750-acre residential gated community development located between Brasilito and Playa Flamingo, overlooking the curve of Conchal Bay and the Pacific Ocean – is more than a gated community; it is a sustainable development, where the emphasis is firmly on the environment.

Mar Vista is conceived and designed to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint possible – and over 25% of the project has been set aside as a nature reserve. And yet, the community also prioritizes great neighbors and first-class amenities, including night-lit clay tennis courts, a community clubhouse and restaurant, an infinity pool with a swim-up bar, a game room, a playground, and hiking and biking trails, which lead to waterfalls and a natural swimming hole.

Additionally, Mar Vista is home to one of our area’s best international schools: La Paz Community School, a private bilingual school accredited both in Costa Rica and the United States. La Paz Community School also offers the prestigious International Baccalaureate, or IB, degree.

Mar Vista Amenities:

  • 24/7 Gated Security
  • Lighted Clay Tennis Court
  • Top-of-the-Line Fitness Center (New 2019)
  • 4-km Trail System
  • On-site Restaurant
  • On-site K-12 Bilingual School
  • Organic Orchard
  • Tilapia Pond
  • Children’s Playgrounds

Explore Mar Vista

Questions About Moving to Costa Rica and Playa Flamingo?

 

You may not know that our entire Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica team lives in Guanacaste – and some of us, in Playa Flamingo and Playa Potrero. Want a first-hand account of what it’s like to call Flamingo home? We’re happy to help, in any way we can! 

Because at Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, we’re committed to you. Not to selling you a property or spamming you with all the options, but to helping – genuinely and with good intent – to match you to the perfect property for your needs and wants. We thrive on relationships and promise the fastest communication and best services in the industry. 

At Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, we’re proud to offer some of the best Costa Rica real estate. We have both condos and homes, land and businesses for sale. Go ahead – try us. Give us a chance to show off our expertise – and wow you with the possibilities! We look forward to it.