Playa Flamingo ★★ is a long and beautiful stretch of soft white sand, although the surf can sometimes get a bit rough here. The beach doesn’t have much shade, so be sure to use plenty of sunscreen and bring an umbrella if you can. If you’re not staying here, parking spots are all along the beach road where you can park your car for the day—although do not leave anything of value inside. Playa Potrero has much gentler surf and, therefore, is the better swimming beach. However, the beach is made up of hard-packed dark sand that is much less appealing than Playa Flamingo.
A Beach Club -- If your hotel doesn’t have a pool or beach access, you can always head to El Coconut Beach Club ((tel) 2654-4300; www.elcoconut-tamarindo.com). Located right on Playa Potrero, these folks have a pool and a mess of chaise lounges and chairs. You can enjoy the facilities, as long as you eat and drink at their excellent restaurant, a sister to El Coconut in Tamarindo.
Horseback Riding -- You can arrange a horseback ride with the Flamingo Equestrian Center ((tel) 8846-7878) or Casagua Horses ((tel) 2653-8041; www.paintedponyguestranch.com). Depending on the size of your group, it should cost between $25 and $40 per person per hour.
Language Learning -- The Centro Panamericano de Idiomas ((tel) 2265-6306; www.cpi-edu.com), which has schools in San José and Monteverde, has a branch in Flamingo, across from the Flamingo Marina, facing Potrero Bay. A 1-week program with 4 hours of class per day and a homestay with a Costa Rican family costs $525.
Scuba Diving -- Scuba diving is quite popular here. Costa Rica Diving ((tel) 2654-4148; www.costarica-diving.com) has a shop in Flamingo and offers trips to the Catalina Island for around $85. Alternatively, you can check in at the Flamingo Marina Resort Hotel and Club.
Watersports -- You can rent jet skis, boogie boards, skim boards, and stand up paddle boards on Playa Flamingo from Playa Vida ((tel) 2654-4444). These folks are on the south side of the Flamingo Beach resort, and offer guided snorkel tours out to the Catalina Islands in addition to renting out beach chairs and shade umbrellas.
If you’re interested in stand up paddling, surfing or surf lessons, check in with the folks at Point Break Surf School ((tel) 8866-4413; www.pointbreaksurf.com).
Sportfishing & Sailboat Charters -- Although the Flamingo Marina remains in a state of legal limbo and turmoil, you still have plenty of sportfishing and sailboat charter options here. Jim McKee, the former force behind the Flamingo Marina, manages a fleet of boats. Contact him via his company, Oso Viejo ((tel) 8827-5533 or 2653-8437; www.flamingobeachcr.com). A full-day fishing excursion costs between $700 and $2,200, depending on the size and quality of the boat, and distance traveled to the fishing grounds. Half-day trips cost between $500 and $700.
If you’re looking for a full- or half-day sail or sunset cruise, check in with Oso Viejo to see what boats are available, or ask about the 52-foot cutter Shannon. Prices range from around $50 to $120 per person, depending on the length of the cruise. Multiday trips are also available.
Alternatively, you can ask at the Flamingo Marina Resort Hotel and Club.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.