North Pacific Communities
Nestled along the picturesque shores of Northern Costa Rica, lies a collection of idyllic coastal communities that beckon with their unparalleled beauty and abundant opportunities. Welcome to Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero, Playas del Coco, and Hermosa Beach - a treasure trove of enchanting destinations that captivate the senses and embody the essence of the Pura Vida lifestyle. Endowed with pristine beaches, lush jungles, and a vibrant local culture, these communities offer an alluring investment opportunity for those seeking a slice of paradise and a promising future. From sun-drenched days spent on sandy shores to thrilling water sports, diverse wildlife encounters, and a thriving tourism industry, Northern Costa Rica promises an unparalleled experience and a promising return on investment that extends far beyond financial gains.
Tamarindo caught its big break when its once-secret surf breaks, scenic beaches, and pura vida lifestyle starred in the 1994 surf movie Endless Summer II. The film has been renowned since its release for attracting a cult-like following of surfing nomads and nature lovers to seek the idyllic spots that had been scouted out by the filmmakers. Sure enough, just a few years following the film’s release, Tamarindo began to evolve into a bustling beach hub.
With just over two miles of golden sand, the beach stretches from one end at the mouth of the Tamarindo estuary to the other, where a point formed from volcanic rock separates Tamarindo from its neighboring Playa Langosta. The palm tree-lined beach is postcard quality, with its pristine blue and turquoise waters. Drawing sunbathers, yogis, beach volleyball, soccer players, and surfers of all skill levels; there is plenty to do for those seeking an active lifestyle.
A genuine jewel among the Northern Costa Rican villages, Playa Flamingo is tucked away on the Gold Coast of Guanacaste and offers the ideal fusion of opulent calm and daring energy. Playa Flamingo has developed into a refuge for discerning investors looking for a piece of paradise thanks to its gorgeous white-sand beaches, clear oceans, and breathtaking sunsets that paint the horizon with brilliant hues.
This coastal community offers a wealth of chances for individuals wishing to invest in Costa Rica's booming tourism industry thanks to its first-rate amenities, opulent resorts, and thriving real estate market. Whether it's engaging in aquatic sports like deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, or snorkeling, or just relaxing in the tropical climate's warm embrace, Playa Flamingo promises an investment that not only promises impressive financial returns but also a lifestyle that celebrates the art of relaxation and adventure in equal measure.
Welcome to Brasilito, a hidden gem on the stunning Pacific coast of Costa Rica that presents a fantastic chance for real estate investment in this idyllic setting. Brasilito, which is north of Tamarindo and Playa Conchal, attracts visitors looking for a peaceful getaway without giving up modern conveniences because of its pristine, placid atmosphere. For those who enjoy the beach and the ocean, the area's pristine beaches, such as Playa Brasilito and Playa Flamingo, are a paradise, while the natural surrounds provide countless chances for outdoor exploration and adventure.
Smart investors eager to profit from Costa Rica's burgeoning real estate market are the ideal fit for Brasilito's target market. The area offers strong chances for property appreciation and rental income thanks to a consistent influx of tourists and expats attracted to its unspoiled beauty and relaxed way of life. Brasilito offers a variety of investment alternatives to fit every taste and budget, whether you're interested in beachfront condos, luxurious villas with breath-taking ocean views, or quaint bungalows within tropical gardens. Accept the appeal of this serene coastal paradise, where dreams of investing can come true amidst the beauty of Costa Rica's Pacific coast.
Introducing our Northern-Pacific Communities
Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, Playa Potreto, Playas del Coco and Hermosa beach. All very diverse areas fit to meet your needs and expectations.
Tamarindo: A Vibrant Beach Town in Costa Rica's Blue Zone
Beyond the palms, separating the beach from the town, the charming main road is lined by beachfront restaurants, bars, hotels, yoga studios, souvenir stores, surf shops, real estate offices, and a couple of day spas – including a trendy new fish pedicure shop.
Aside from the world-renowned surf and paradise-like atmosphere, Tamarindo proved to be no one-hit-wonder when it garnered international attention once again in 2004 for being located within one of the world’s five “Blue Zones”—areas where people regularly reach the age of 100, and in good health.
With one of the warmest and driest climates in the country, Tamarindo and the surrounding region experiences direct sunlight nearly every single day of the year. Temperatures are consistent year-round, fluctuating normally between 80 F and 95 F. Even during the “rainy” season, lasting approximately from May to October, a day without sunshine is rare.
All that said, it’s easy to understand how this town has become one of Costa Rica’s most popular beach towns; popular among “ticos" (native Costa Rican), but also a large expat community and tourists from around the world. With a growth in popularity has come a growth in amenities and infrastructure.
Playa Flamingo: Where Luxury Marina Living Meets Convenient Inland Charm
Right next to that is the new marina, which has 92 slips (out of 184 planned), a fueling dock, a desalination plant and a wastewater treatment plant. The central building at the marina has restaurants, shops, offices and a medical clinic on the ground floor, with 40 luxury condos for lease on the upper three floors. There’s also another side to Flamingo, on the main inland road that connects to Potrero and Brasilito. Here there are two banks, several restaurants, a great grocery store, hardware stores, legal offices and a medical clinic — plus some surprisingly affordable housing — all within three to five walkable blocks of the beach. Flamingo has served as home to such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Linda (“Wonder Woman”) Carter. The homes of the North Ridge are built along cliffs with spectacular views, each with its unique architecture, swimming pool, lush landscaping and in places maids’ quarters. Some properties even have their own secluded beaches, with access through wooden stairs and small trails.
Tamarindo: A Convenient Beach Town with a Perfect Blend of Modern Amenities and Tropical Charm
Located just over an hour from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, LIR is accessible via a paved road the whole way, Tamarindo is about as convenient as it gets for a beach town that still allows you to “get away from it all.” And if you need to head to the nation’s capital of San José, you can drive along a paved highway and be there in about five hours. Scheduled daily bus service to and from San José and other larger cities is available and reliable too.
You’ll find three banks in town, including Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional (the country’s two largest chains). There’s a local hardware store for basic needs and a couple of shops offering services like printing, faxing, scanning, and copies.
A place where both relaxed retirees or ambitious digital nomads can thrive. A place with just enough modern-day amenities to suit your everyday needs, but not so developed to hinder its slightly bohemian, off the beaten path charm. This place exists, in Tamarindo, and could be the perfect spot for someone ready to reinvent life as they know it with a daily dose of sun, sand, and a tropical ocean breeze.
Playa Flamingo: A Seaside Haven of Beauty, Luxury, and Beachfront Living
Playa Flamingo is one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful seaside communities, known for its white-sand beaches, luxury beachfront homes, and the state-of-the-art Flamingo Marina that just opened. Located in the middle of Costa Rica’s Gold Coast, Flamingo is a place of striking beauty, with two green, hilly peninsulas jutting into the Pacific Ocean. Known as the North-ridge and South-ridge, they are covered with multimillion-dollar homes and vacation rentals, virtually all with stunning ocean views. Flamingo has two beaches within a 5-minute walk of each other, Playa Potrero and Playa Flamingo. They are separated by the North Ridge, at the base of which is the compact, walkable downtown.
Tamarindo & Playa Flamingo
Brasilito: Embracing the Authentic Costa Rican Experience by the Beach
Brasilito stands out from neighboring beach communities because of its traditional Costa Rican feel. To the north and south, it's easy to find a half dozen other beach communities where foreigners drastically out-number the locals and where you'll hear English being spoken all around you; but not in Brasilito. The community is mostly inhabited by Costa Ricans, many of them working to support the tourism industry in other places, then coming home to their families and lives here. People of every age gather at the town's soccer field and enjoy meals at the modest "sodas" (that's a very casual Costa Rican restaurant). There are no big name stores or even national chain supermarkets in Brasilito; it has a noticeably local feel to it.
But don't think this is just a sleepy beach town. The town comes alive as groups of visitors trickle through the area, coming to enjoy its mellow and quiet light gray-sand beach. A variety of restaurants line the beach, and sodas are positioned around the soccer field, which sits just steps away from the waves.
One of the best restaurants in town is the Papayo Restaurant in the Conchal Hotel. While not located on the beach, this amazing restaurant has its own beautiful atmosphere featuring the lush vegetation, pool, and charm of the small hotel. Owned and operated by an expat couple, this charming restaurant offers delectable seafood and cocktails that will leave you savoring the experience.
Playa Potrero: A Culinary Paradise and Authentic Costa Rican Village
Situated on the very North end of the bay is Las Brisas, which is a famous restaurant/bar in the area. Las Brisas bar has been in business for 50 years and is well known for their Wednesday night lady’s night, where ladies drink free of charge. During the day, this restaurant has fresh seafood served daily and is a great place to grab lunch or watch the sunset while eating dinner. The Beach House is also located on Playa Potrero. It has a great many featuring fresh fish and burgers. Definitely a Jimmy Buffett vibe going on at the beach House. Great Margaritas!
Although not directly on the beach, Las Perlas, El Castillo, Casa Celeste, Smoking Pig, Numu, and the Shack are some other great restaurants located in the Surfside Estates neighborhood of Playa Potrero. Excellent food, cold drinks, and a sense of camaraderie keep both the locals and the tourists coming back for more.
The true village center of Playa Potrero is located just inland on the North end of the bay. Like any typical Costa Rican town, Potrero has a soccer field in the center of it, and the soccer field is surrounded by homes, stores, restaurants (sodas), and a school.
Brasilito: Where Authentic Costa Rican Charm Meets Upscale Beach Lifestyle
Brasilito's position less than two miles from the ultra-luxurious Westin Resort in Playa Conchal means that it attracts a more upscale crowd from time to time. Several exquisite restaurants and the simple charm of the town attract nearby property owners and those staying in vacation rentals within the resort. The relationship between residents in both communities is mutually beneficial. For example, Brasilito residents may seek membership in Playa Conchal's multiple clubs. An exclusive members-only tennis club and Roberts Trent Jones II-designed golf course ensure those who vacation and retire in Costa Rica will be able to keep their skills sharp.
A quick drive along the beach delivers Brasilito residents to a completely different beach experience. The beach at Playa Conchal is made up of tons of crushed up seashells, a natural wonder and a delight to see and experience for yourself. Vendors sell souvenirs and snacks, while massage therapists set up their tables just feet from the ocean.
Playa Potrero: A Laid-Back Paradise with Exquisite Dining and Beachside Relaxation
The overall vibe of this beach town is laid back and family friendly. Retirees are attracted to this area for its many amenities, including its proximity to excellent health care, beautiful beaches, terrific restaurants, golf, boating, and exploring all the wonders of Costa Rica. Playa Potrero has great lodging and restaurants. The most respected boutique hotel on this bay is the Bahía Del Sol, situated roughly in the middle of the bay. Bahía Del Sol is a favorite among tourists and locals alike, as many expats in the area come for lunch, for a drink, or to enjoy the pool during the day.
Directly south of the Bahia Del Sol is the Costa Rica Sailing Center, which offers beach goers great food, a full bar, pool, and access to sail boats, catamarans, paddle boards, and kayaks. The Sailing Center offers fresh grilled seafood and live music to their patrons. They also offer a yearly membership that gives their members discounts on boat and equipment rentals, and also food and drink discounts. You can also book your scuba diving from this location.
Brasilito, Playa Potreto & Playas del Coco
Discover the Marine Wonders of Playa Potrero: Unforgettable Scuba Diving Adventures at the Catalina Islands
Playa Potrero has excellent scuba diving operators, with daily trips to the Catalinas Islands. The Catalina Islands exist 10 kilometers (about a 45-minute boat ride) offshore of Playa Potrero Bay, and are a great place to see giant manta rays and whale sharks. Devil rays, spotted-eagle rays, white-tipped reef sharks, and dozens of varieties of tropical fish also can be seen around the Catalina Islands.
There are 2-3 Catamaran operators that offer daily trips that include cocktails, food and snorkeling. The afternoon tours are popular because they offer the beautiful sunsets on the return to the bay. This is a “must do” if you are visiting Playa Potrero or Playa Flamingo.
Playas del Coco: Your Gateway to Paradise in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
There are numerous fun-filled day-trips from Playa Potrero, including a visit to Rincón de la Vieja, a geothermal hotspot and national park that offers fascinating geology and superb hiking. The park has wonderful examples of dry forests and humid forests, and is home to the lake-filled crater of Rincón de la Vieja volcano. Other fun days trips include white-water rafting and tubing, ATV tours, canopy tours, kayak fishing, natural mud-treatment and hot-spring spas, and horseback riding tours.
Playas del Coco is the closest beach town to Liberia Airport (LIR), which services the Guanacaste area. From here, you can also easily access the top private resorts, such as Four Seasons, Secrets, Planet Hollywood, Andez, and the Riu. Close by are the towns of Tamarindo (where you go to surf), Playas Flamingo, Hermosa, and many other great beach towns.
Playas del Coco has a main street where many shops and restaurants are located. You will see the expats hanging out at a few of these locations. Craft beer and great food are to be had.
Talking to some of the first expats, who arrived here 20 or so years ago, you’ll discover life was very different. On Friday, one bank came to town in a van by the old police station. There was one supermarket in town. Main street was the only road paved. Now, there are over nine supermarkets in Coco and six or more banks. Plus, with all the fruit stands on the side of the road, you will never want to shop close to food shopping. We even have a Price Smart within 20 minutes.
Coco has grown over the years and is a very popular home to expats—the bulk is from Canada and the U.S. Not all live here year-round, but many do.
Exploring Playas del Coco: Car-Free Living, Diverse Communities, and Real Estate Opportunities
You can get by without a car. Most places are walkable from anywhere in Coco. There are plenty of taxis available to take you to the grocery store if you are doing some heavy shopping. A lot of people just opt to have a golf cart for in-town excursions. If you do get a car, be careful coming through town. Dogs, pedestrians, monkeys, motorcycles, scooters, buses, bicycles, ATV’s, and golf carts are all competing for a place on the road.
There are so many communities within Coco to choose where you can live. Many condos are found in the Las Palmas area, but you can find some nice houses there also. Pacifico is a gated community with very upscale houses and condos. This area comes with a private beach club, but be prepared to pay for it. Playa Ocotal and Hermosa, just around the corner, all have expat housing/communities. Real estate is booming in Coco. Do not expect anything to stay on the market very long.
You do not need to buy to live here. You can rent long-term. If you rent, having electricity and water included is really a bonus, but usually not the case. It takes a bit to become a resident, but is very doable on a Pensionado ($1,000 per month to qualify) or Rentista visa, allowing foreigners to stay for up to two years with the ability to extend. The Rentista visa allows the self-employed, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads to work in Costa Rica.
Healthcare and Climate in Playas del Coco: Accessible Medical Options and Year-Round Tropical Living
Medical in Coco: If you are not a resident, you will not qualify for the CCSS or CAJA (for a small monthly fee you can receive free medical care), but there are good options such as BlueCross BlueShield Costa Rica. A policy for two over-60s, with no pre-existing conditions, is around $6,000 per year. You will need to go to a private hospital in Liberia to receive treatments such as physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies, etc. Liberia is about a 45-minute drive. There is a great medical clinic for emergencies in downtown Coco, you can even get an EKG there! Prices are minimal. There are also several dentists in Coco, you will pay about a third of the cost as in the U.S. or Canada. You do not need to apply for residency but you will have to renew your visa every 90 days. That means leaving the country via air, bus, or car. Nicaragua is the closest land border. There are even tour companies that sponsor a border run for expats.
You will never need a jacket here! High season (tourist season) is from November until May. It does not rain here and is quite hot, sometimes reaching 100 F. Humidity is lower in these months due to the lack of rainfall. From June until November it is cooler but the rains start and you get higher humidity. September and October are the wettest months, and you can experience monsoon rains in these months.
Playas del Coco
Hermosa: A Welcoming Community of Diversity, Conservation, and Convenience
Although this quaint and peaceful community itself is small, with the population fluctuating seasonally from high 100’s to the low 1000’s, it is well developed and boasts all the basic amenities you would need to live comfortably with high-quality boutique hotels, bars with live music, and international open-air restaurants dotting the oceanfront. The population consists of an equal mix of expats, mainly North Americans and Europeans, “ticos” (Costa Rican natives), and vacationers.
The residents here are generally tightly knit and are willing to donate money for various fundraising efforts to make the community a better place. In fact, Hermosa has a recycling program and residents routinely volunteer for beach clean ups. There is also a Salve Monos (Save the Monkeys) program in place, working in conjunction with the University of Costa Rica to preserve, document, save, and enhance the dwindling Howler Monkey population in Hermosa.
Hermosa town is situated in a valley with much of the real estate development in the surrounding hills. It is one of the few Costa Rican towns with a miniature golf course, and also has a pharmacy, a spa, a hair salon, an ATM, plus a grocery store in the center of town to satisfy shopping needs from fresh produce to imported wines. As Hermosa is fairly concentrated and on the bus line, you do not have to own a car here.
Hermosa: Gateway to Convenience and Natural Wonders in Costa Rica
However, if you do have a car, you will open your world to the nearby restaurants, bars, and bigger grocery stores of Playas del Coco and to the provincial capital, Liberia. Many coastal-living expats prefer to call this area home because of the nearby amenities in Liberia such as the private Hospital San Rafael Arcángel, and the central hub of commerce including shopping, banking, attorneys, a migration and fingerprinting office for residency, a COSEVI driver’s license office, as well as car dealerships and big-box stores like Pricemart, Walmart, Universal, and Pequeño Mundo.
Many of Costa Rica’s national parks and tourist attractions are within an hour’s drive from Hermosa, including Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Palo Verde National Park, and Santa Rosa National Park. These parks provide a great opportunity to see wildlife and experience a few of Costa Rica’s diverse ecosystems, including an active volcano. The Papagayo Peninsula also boasts multiple 5-star luxury resorts near to Hermosa, such as the Four Seasons, Andaz, Secrets, El Mangroove, and Planet Hollywood.
Embrace the Rhythms of Playas del Coco: Exploring Activities, Nightlife, and Community Spirit
Get out when the sun comes up (5 a.m.) when it’s cooler. Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., you might find yourself inside working on a project, meeting others for lunch, or taking a siesta. It gets dark in Coco around 6 p.m. all year round, and you will see many expats reappear after the sun goes down. Sitting on the beach for sunset dinner, drinking, and listening and dancing to live music are the main attractions. In 2019 Coco was host to Costa Rica Blues Festival and the famous Ironman triathlon.
A great Farmers market happens every Thursday night and Sunday morning at the Garden Bar (a popular expat hangout). This is a great place to buy local art, get fresh veggies and fruit, and see your friends. You will find the community a little older than the surf towns such as Tamarindo and Jaco due to the waters being too calm here to surf.
Active Living and Community Engagement in Playas del Coco
There are so many ways to get exercise in Coco. You will see many expats walking the beach or fishing in the morning, between the hours of 6am and 9am. Hiking the hills surrounding Coco, going to one of the four gyms in town, or taking part in pickleball, Zumba, water aerobics, kayaking, bicycling, and yoga at Costa Rica Wellness Retreat are all great ways to get your body moving. Yoga can also be experienced on the beach or even on a SUP!
Many classes and community groups are here also. Learn Spanish, learn how to make Kombucha, learn Reiki, meditate, and more.
There are so many animals for adoption here also. You can find healthy dogs and cats (usually nurtured and vaccinated) and, if you can’t adopt, there are organizations such as Four the Love of Paws and Homeless and Helpless that will gladly accept your donation.
Quick review of factors when considering options for an investment property in Costa Rica