Satellite Photo of Central America

How Costa Rica came to be

Three million years ago, Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica, was on the bottom of the ocean, along with the rest of what would become Central America. And then three tectonic plates got into a shoving match. Violent tectonic upheaval forced one above the other, with a third jostling for position, and Central America rose above the waves for the first time between 1 and 3 million years ago.

This created a thin little isthmus between North and South America — an improbable land link that allowed a vast variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects to migrate between North and South America. The first evidence of human settlement in Costa Rica comes from around 12,000 years ago (10,000 BC)

Costa Rica became one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, rivaling central Africa or the heart of the Amazon. Representing just 0.03% of the world’s total landmass, Costa Rica boasts 5% of its biodiversity — meaning that of every 20 creatures on earth, one of them lives here. The collision of two continents became a melting pot for flora and fauna.

Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica: The perfect coastline

In Flamingo, it was our good luck that such a beautiful coastline emerged from the ocean. Flamingo’s most striking feature is the prestigeous North Ridge — a green, steep peninsula about 1 kilometer long, jutting into the Pacific Ocean and pointing like a bony finger at the uninhabited Isla Plata.

North Ridge of Flamingo
North Ridge of Flamingo

The steepness of the hills here didn’t make road-building or home construction easy, but it ensured spectacular ocean views. To the north, the ridge looks out on the picturesque Potrero Bay and Potrero Beach, and to the south, it overlooks Brasilito Bay and Flamingo Beach. Casa Las Brisas is built on the southern facing side of the North Ridge, with commanding views of the mountains and a stunning 180 degree panoramic view of the Pacific, with perfect sunsets every night.

As good fortune would have it, right at the base of this peninsula was a sheltered bay that turned out to be the perfect space to build a marina. A successful marina operated here from the early 1990s until 2003, when it ran afoul of government authorities for disputed reasons. Today a new, state-of-the-art marina is under construction that will be open by the end of 2021 and be welcoming yachts by mid-2022. For more details read my blog post on The Flamingo Marina.

Adapted from an article written for Special Places of Costa Rica by Karl Kahler, author of “Frommer’s Costa Rica 2017”.

Playa Flamingo
Playa Flamingo

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