Getting There & Departing
By Plane: The nearest airport with regularly scheduled flights is in Tamarindo, although it is also possible to fly into Liberia. From either of these places, you can arrange for a taxi to drive you to any of these beaches. Playas Brasilito and Conchal are about 25 minutes from Tamarindo and 40 minutes from Liberia. A taxi from Tamarindo should cost around $35 to $50, and between $50 and $70 from Liberia.
By Car: Two major routes head to these beaches from San José. The most direct is by way of the La Amistad Bridge over the Tempisque River. Take the Inter-American Highway west from San José. Forty-seven kilometers (29 miles) past the turnoff for Puntarenas, you'll see signs for the turnoff to the bridge. After crossing the Tempisque River, follow the signs for Nicoya, continuing north to Santa Cruz. About 16km (10 miles) north of Santa Cruz, just before the village of Belén, take the turnoff for playas Conchal, Brasilito, Flamingo, and Potrero. After another 20km (12 miles), at the town of Huacas, take the right fork to reach these beaches. The drive takes about 4 1/2 hours.
Alternatively, you can drive here via Liberia. When you reach Liberia, turn west and follow the signs for Santa Cruz and the various beaches. Just beyond the town of Belén, take the turnoff for playas Flamingo, Brasilito, and Potrero, and continue following the directions given above. This route takes around 5 hours.
By Bus: Tralapa express buses (tel. 2221-7202 in San José, or 2654-4203 in Flamingo) leave San José daily at 8 and 10:30am and 3pm from Calle 20 between avenidas 3 and 5, stopping at playas Brasilito, Flamingo, and Potrero, in that order. The ride takes around 5 hours. A one-way ticket costs C6,350.
Alternatively, the same company's buses to Santa Cruz (tel. 2680-0392) connect with one of the several buses from Santa Cruz to Playa Potrero. Buses depart San José for Santa Cruz roughly every 2 hours daily between 7:15am and 6pm from Calle 20 between avenidas 3 and 5. Trip duration is around 4 hours; the fare is around C5,500. From Santa Cruz, the ride is about 90 minutes; the fare is C1,500.
Gray Line (www.graylinecostarica.com; tel. 800/719-3105 in the U.S. and Canada, or 2220-2126 in Costa Rica) and Interbus (www.interbusonline.com; tel. 4031-0888) both have two daily buses leaving San José for the beaches in this area, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The fare is $54. Both companies will pick you up at most San José–area hotels, and offer connections to most other tourist destinations in the country.
Express buses depart Playa Potrero for San José at 3 and 9am and 2pm, stopping a few minutes later in playas Flamingo and Brasilito. Ask at your hotel where to catch the bus. Buses to Santa Cruz leave Potrero at regular intervals throughout the day and take about 90 minutes. If you're heading north toward Liberia, get off at Belén and wait for a bus going north. Buses leave Santa Cruz for San José roughly every other hour between 6am and 6pm.
The pavement ends just beyond Playa Conchal as you leave the small village of Brasilito.