Playa Los Suecos

Playa Los Suecos is a place with many names. It’s also called “The Malpais Secret Beach” or Punta Murcielago. It’s one of the most beautiful spots on the Nicoya peninsula, and a favorite of visiting photographers because it’s so photogenic.

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A White Sand Beach in Malpais?

This spot has one of the whitest sand beaches in the area, due to the large amount of shells that break up into small bits and wash up here. And white sand makes for beautiful, turquoise water.


I have to say that Playa Los Suecos is the best snorkeling spot that I’ve found in the area. Las Manchas in Montezuma can also be amazing, but it’s more consistent here, and I’ve seen more large animals such as a huge stingray and sea turtles. One of the reasons it’s probably so good here is that it’s right next to Cabo Blanco‘s protected marine reserve.

Bat Caves

The bat cave of Malpais

When you arrive, you’ll find a huge rock jutting out into the sea. If you climb around to the front of it when the tide is low/medium, you’ll find a huge cave filled with bats (don’t worry, they’re not vampire bats!) Over 100 species of bats live in Costa Rica, and you can see them on any given night flying around eating mosquitoes and other bugs. If you want to see a huge amount of them at once, this is the spot, and this cave is what gave this area it’s name on the map “Punta Murcielago” (Murcielago is Spanish for bat.)

Tide Pools

This is the best spot in the peninsula also for tide pool exploration, but only on very rare super-low tides. Consult a tide chart for the area: tide chart Ideally the tide should be in the negative numbers, at its lowest, when you’re there. At this time you’ll be able to walk far out onto a peninsula of underwater rock, and you’ll find many tidepools filled with sealife that you’d normally never be able to see. Here are some photos of what can be seen: Malpais Tidepool Animals. If you’re really lucky you may even sea a “sea swallow“, which is a rare type of Nudibranch that can be seen here on occasion.

Great Stuff

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