Zip Line/Canopy Tours

Zip Line/Canopy Tours

Zip Lining is one of the most popular adventure tours our guests like to experience. The thrill is indescribable; the feeling of flying as high as birds is exciting while taking in the breathtaking scenery is an experience of a lifetime.

The difference between Zip Lining and a Canopy tour is mainly the location where the activities take place. Zip Lining involves riding a steel cable between two points generally at heights over spectacular sceneries. The word canopy refers to the tallest trees in jungles. So Zip Lining in Costa Rica encompasses soaring over deep gorges as well as the treetops of the jungle below.

Our very first experience was at Bourinquen Thermal Resort, just north of Liberia near Rincon de la Viejo Volcano. A unique experience! Start with a horseback ride to the first platform and fly over the treetops, zipping across the canyon and in front of the breathtaking Borinquen Waterfall. This Canopy has 15 platforms and 12 cables and is quite spectacular.

Another favorite much closer to our beach house is The Congo Trail which features 10 cables, and 3 hanging bridges, with distances ranging from 50 to 400 meters. You’ll soar through the treetops, reaching heights of up to 30 meters above the forest floor. It’s suitable for adventurous kids and adults. The professional guides fit you with all the necessary safety equipment, including harnesses and helmets, and provide you with a detailed safety briefing before you begin your adventure. There is also a certified Monkey Sanctuary and ATV tours on site.

Fitness Center in the Marina

Fitness Center in the Marina

Finally Flamingo has a gym conveniently located right down the hill from Casa Las Brisas in Marina Flamingo! Just want a quick workout, take a Zumba class, join for a week? They have memberships tailored to whatever you need. Flamingo Fitness is now open!

They offer gym memberships for independent workouts, semi-private training sessions for more personalized attention in a small group, large group classes both in the gym and in the Marina Lobby, 1on 1 personal training, and teen strength training programs to complement sports and empower younger individuals. Whatever your fitness goals, they have the right service for you.

Flamingo Fitness has a beautiful air conditioned marina setting with private bathroom and shower! Not a class person? No problem! Work out on your own schedule and enjoy the cardio area, free weights, machines, racks, TRX and more.

Just visiting? Purchase a Day or Weekly Pass. Here for a few months or all year? Check out all their packages, choose your start date, schedule time to pause if you travel, etc. For more details check out flamingofitnesscr.com.

Horseback Riding Adventures

Horseback Riding Adventures

Guanacaste, Costa Rica is cowboy country. Everywhere you go, you’ll see cattle, sheep, goats, farmland and wildlife. Taking a horseback ride allows you to view this world from a different perspective. Keep your eyes open for various species of tropical birds, reptiles, and even monkeys that inhabit the region. Ride the hidden back roads and gorgeous beaches that make up the Gold Coast of Guanacaste.

Pause along the way to swim and snorkel, or take pictures of the beautiful flowers and wildlife you encounter on your ride. Horses are matched up to riders’ ages and experience level, and the guides are well trained to ensure you have a wonderful experience while focused one your safety at all times. It’s an adventure the whole family will never forget.

At Borinquen Lodge near Rincon de la Viejo, you can enjoy an exciting journey through the mountains and pastures , with beautiful panoramic views of the volcano, mountain ranges and the Northern Pacific coast. Ride trails through the forest to waterfalls; you can hike go on horseback. There is no other way to experience authentic and rural Costa Rica, you will be immediately immersed in a unique cultural experience. 

Craft Breweries in the Area

Craft Breweries in the Area

For years, Costa Rica was the land of Imperial and Pilsen, but in the past few years, new microbreweries have been popping up all over the country. Craft-beer culture has taken over in Costa Rica. There are dozens of small home and local breweries producing a wide assortment of different beers. Some are even incorporating ingredients such as pineapple, mango, coconut, and cacao, all native to Costa Rica. Trying a traditional Costa Rican beer during your visit is a must, but we highly recommend that you give some of the craft beers a go too!

BOA “Brother’s of Ale” Brewing

BOA Brewery is strategically located between Play Flamingo and Playa Tamarindo. BOA is served at many local restaurants and bars and strives to grow organically and in a way that maintains strict levels of quality control from raw ingredients to that deliciousness in your glass.

For the most authentic experience, we encourage you to stop by and visit the brewery at the Clubhouse near Huacas. Here you can try their complete range of styles of beer while relaxing in the outdoor patio, tasting area, and restaurant! They have an awesome covered patio with misters to keep you cool while having a delicious lunch, sample various beers or cocktails, and play a lively game of corn hole!

Potrero Brewing Company

Potrero is a beach town located just two kilometers north of Casa Las Brisas. It has tons of great restaurants, coffeeshops and bars. It’s also home to Potrero Brewing Co which has a wide diversity of good beer from clean and crisp lagers to dark porters and stouts to big American-style IPAs. Their tap wall usually has 10-12 beers on tap as well as many others in cans. They also offer non-alcohol options for those that don’t drink beer, or wines and cocktails if that is what you are in the mood for.

Volcano Brewing Company

Their story: In 2001 we went on a surfing adventure, driving a bus from San Diego to Costa Rica in search of epic waves and the PURA VIDA life. We found paradise in a sleepy surf town called Tamarindo. Life was almost perfect, but unfortunately Costa Rica did not have any pale ale. We started Volcano Brewing Company so we could share quality craft beer with thirsty surfers and wandering travelers from around the world. Enjoy their vast selection on the beach in the tasting room, El Vaquero and Eat @ Joe’s.

Costa Rica voted “Most Desirable” country in 2022

Costa Rica voted “Most Desirable” country in 2022

Costa Rica was awarded the recognition as the “most desirable” country in 2022 during the twenty-first installment of the Wanderlust Travel Awards. These awards are given by the renowned British magazine Wanderlust in London.

Costa Rica was also recognized for being a pioneer in ecotourism and possessing an “extraordinary tropical forest”. Also for the exuberance of its coasts and for being home to more than 500,000 species that include sloths, toucans, sea turtles and many others.

By obtaining the main prize of the night with the gold category as “best desirable country”, Costa Rica outvoted other finalist destinations. Among them were Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, Peru, South Africa and Jordan.

Wanderlust is the UK’s oldest and most established travel magazine. It is also recognized for being at the forefront of sustainable travel for almost thirty years. 

Monkeys🐒

Palo Verde Capuchin

There are four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica, with the Howler being the most common around our coastal area in Guanacaste. We frequently hear them before actually seeing them, hence their very aptly name of “Howler”. They generally travel in groups or clans, swingling in the trees, hanging upside down munching on leaves or carefully running along fences or power lines. If you are driving and see people standing on the side of the road staring up and pointing or taking pictures, it’s likely there are a group of monkeys in the canopy above. 

Mama and baby Howlers
Mama and baby Howlers

The other species commonly seen in our area is the very cute white-faced Capuchin monkey. We’ve seen them while playing golf and on the Palo Verde river trip. They are very social and will jump right on the boat and take bananas gently out of your hand. For a more extensive read on the Capuchins, click on the article from the Tico Times below:

Massages on the Terrace at Casa Las Brisas

Massages at Casa las Brisas

There are many masseuses that set up along the beach road in Playa Flamingo, but to be truly pampered and relaxed on your vacation, it’s easy to schedule massages at Casa Las Brisas or over at the Casita.

We have used Orfa Massage for over a decade; she and her staff are outstanding. They bring everything and set up wherever you prefer, but the upper terrace or along the promenade is ideal; private and shaded, and you hear the waves crashing on the beach below. 

They are all licensed, professional massage therapists. They can schedule up to three guests per hour. You choose the level of pressure and it will be one of the best, most relaxing massages you’ve ever had.  We provide spa robes for your use during your stay. Her contact info is found in our Resource Book at the house. 

Why it’s Great to Visit in the Green Season

Double Rainbow over the Norh Ridge

Guanacaste is known as “dry tropical forest,” with the “dry” indicating that it doesn’t rain here as much as it normally does in other tropical regions. It can be cool and wet up in the mountains but 92 and sunny at the beach. Much of the cattle ranching is in this part of the country.  The bougainvillea thrives!

December through April is called “summer” where there is literally not a drop of rain, while the Green season from May through early November is called “winter.” Temps are milder but never get below 70, with highs in the 80’s. Perfect beach weather! There is no spring and there is no fall.

I love the rain. It sounds awesome, with fat droplets hitting the palm fronds. It smells earthy and fresh. The first downpour washes everything clean – every leaf in the jungle. The rain also prompts fresh growth, making new plants spring up everywhere. A few good rains and everything greens up instantly; hence the Green Season. Our gardener once told us that all you have to do is spit a seed in the ground and something will grow! 

One interesting feature of the Costa Rica rain is that it almost always occurs late in the afternoon or overnight. This means the mornings and early afternoons are sunny and have glorious blue skies. Even in the height of the rainy season in September and October, everyone can go about most or all of their day without getting wet. Play golf, go for a sail, surf, take a hike, go zip lining, lay around the pool, take a walk on the beach.

Sometimes it’s raining across the bay but sunny and dry over at Casa Las Brisas. It’s great fun to watch the storm move across the water and frequently miss our beach house completely. There are also awesome light shows where the lightning bolts snake across the sky sideways, upwards, or straight down, with the rumble of thunder in the distance; just stunning. 

So if there is an occasional downpour, you find a hammock, sit on our covered terrace or curl up and take a nap. You read a book, a magazine, play some cards, some backgammon, you check Instagram. Also a perfect time to find an open air bar serving up cold Imperials, a local brew or an icy tropical cocktail. Embrace it; Pura Vida!

Waterfall Tours in Guanacaste

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

There are numerous gorgeous waterfalls with guided tours in the area around Liberia and Rincon de la Vieja: about 90 minutes from Casa Las Brisas in Playa Flamingo. Some are relatively easy to access and others are more challenging and would take up most of your day.

*The Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, pictured above, is located near the town of Bagaces, just a half hour south of Liberia and its international airport (LIR). It’s a short drive off the Pan American Highway (Route 1) and less than a two-hour trip from Playa Flamingo and other beach towns in Guanacaste. These majestic falls are also a convenient stop for those traveling from Arenal or Monteverde to those beautiful beaches of Guanacaste’s Gold Coast. 

Another draw of the Llanos de Cortez is that it is relatively easy to access. The parking area, which is just an open lot, gets you very close to the waterfall. From there, it is a short 5 minute hike down.

Once you reach the bottom of the trail, you’ll see why Llanos de Cortez is considered to be one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful waterfalls. The falls are wide and wispy, with thin streams of water tumbling along the mossy rocks. Rocky cliffs are visible through the transparent cascade. To add to the grandeur, thick forest surrounds the falls with many birds and sometimes even monkeys bellowing from the trees.

At the base of the falls is a nice pool that is good for swimming or wading, and there is a sandy area to just hang out and relax. 

*Near Rincon de la Vieja, four waterfalls flow, and all of them have pools where you can swim. Getting to the waterfalls is an adventure on its own – either by hiking or horseback riding. The Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Center organizes waterfall tours. Below are two waterfall tours depending on your time and level of adventure. 

Victoria Waterfall

Victoria Waterfall
Victoria Waterfall

The 115-foot (35-meter) Victoria Waterfall on the Rio Negro (Black River) is where the river tubing trips start their adventure downriver. The surrounding canyon has unique vegetation and topography, and you can swim in the pool at the waterfall’s base.

How to get there: A 45-minute each-way horseback ride on a scenic trail, and a short, steep descent to the waterfall; or a one hour each-way scenic hike on the same trail.

Oropéndola Waterfall

Oropéndola Waterfall
Oropéndola Waterfall

Located near the Las Pailas entrance to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, the Oropéndola Waterfall plunges an impressive 82 feet (25 meters) in a beautiful canyon of the Rio Blanco (White River). The sparkling turquoise pool below makes for a refreshing swim.

How to get there: A 45-minute each-way horseback ride on a scenic trail, and short walk to the waterfall; or a 1.5 hour each-way scenic hike; or a 15-minute drive and short walk.

Catarata La Leona Waterfall
Catarata La Leona Waterfall

*If you’re looking for a unique, challenging and adventurous waterfall hike in Costa Rica, then you have to visit Catarata La Leona. La Leona waterfall is a small blue waterfall hidden deep in the canyons and caves of a gorgeous blue river. It requires hiking through a series of canyons and crossing rivers numerous times.

Catarata La Leona is not big but being hidden inside a cave made it all more special, especially considering we had to swim, climb and trek through the forest and rivers to get there! The Catarata La Leona hike takes around 3 hours total.

 Best Time to Go

Peak dry season (January through April). The paths are dry, there isn’t any mud and no real strong river current. If you go during rainy season, you have to be more prepared for mud and a stronger current. Friends went end of January 2021 and the water level never went over their heads and the current wasn’t strong.

One of our friends went beginning of December, right at the end of the rainy season and she said the road was in awful conditions and the current was incredibly strong. They had to wear lifejackets.

Who Can Do The Catarata La Leona Hike?

As you can tell, this hike is not for the faint of heart which means you can’t be claustrophobic or acrophobic, you need to know how to swim and you need to be in decent shape. The actual distance is not long but it isn’t on a straight forward well maintained path. No ankle or knee problems, you must be able to walk on natural paths.

Luckily, there are several trails the guide can take you. There is the straightforward path that still requires the river crossing a couple times but does not take you through the caves or canyons. We saw a couple groups on this trail, mainly those with kids and older guests. Families can definitely do this tour. They will also give lifejackets to anyone who wants one and to kids and when the current is stronger.

Flamingo Marina Update

Flamingo Marina

Progress continues on the Flamingo Marina. It’s really taking shape and getting closer to opening in January 2022; located in the sheltered inlet of Potrero Bay leading into Flamingo. Casa las Brisas is located just up the hill on the prestigious North Ridge peninsula overlooking beautiful Playa Flamingo. A sport fishing paradise🐬