Living in Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

Those looking for a beautiful, unspoiled beachfront setting, as well as a sizeable community of expats, should find living in Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica to be a good match.

Flamingo is located on the northern Pacific Coast, in the heart of what is known as the Gold Coast. The area has a reputation for pricey real estate. And to be sure, you will find multimillion dollar homes dotting this stretch of coastline. But there are still plenty of affordable options, without sacrificing location or views. Ocean-view condos with three bedrooms and large terraces – right next to multimillion mansions and with the same views – start at $200,000.

The homes and condos on Flamingo are clustered on a small peninsula jutting out into the Pacific. The rock rises steeply from the water, so you’ll be living on the side of a hill. No big piece of property or large outdoor areas. But you get better views that way.

It’s a quiet and private neighborhood. At the bottom of the hill there are a few hotels and a small all-inclusive resort. Next door is a shopping plaza with a car rental agency, some boutiques, and a few excellent restaurants. Around the corner is a tiny grocery store where you can get essentials.

Major shopping trips can be done in nearby towns like Potrero  to the north, which also has a great fruit and vegetable vendor – look for the stand on the side of the main road into town. Fresh fish can be had from, who else but the local “fish guy,” who drives around town slowly in his refrigerated truck. Flag him down to buy tuna or mahi, just $10 for two pounds. If you’d like, make arrangements for him to stop at your house each week.

The international airport in Liberia, served by JetBlue, Continental, United, and Delta among other airlines, is just 45 minutes away. And nearby Tamarindo (30 minutes south) and Playas del Coco (60 minutes north) offer expat grocery stores, international cuisine, and other amenities. Nearby luxury resorts like the Westin Playa Conchal, Four Seasons Papagayo, and JW Marriot Guanacaste have golf courses. And sport fishing and scuba is available right off the coast. Boats leave from the small marina in on the north side of the peninsula. There’s a dive shop/tour business in town. And several sport fishing charter boats.

The white sand beach itself is very long, set on a large cove, with green hills and cliffs tumbling down to the water. And it’s very quiet, you’ll have the whole beach to yourself most days. It’s also a great place for sunsets.

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