Panama resort adds aerial beach and bar

Balinese inspired on-water getaway Bocas Bali in Panama, designed by Architect Andres Brenes, now boasts the world’s first aerial beach.

24 April 2022


The elevated Kupu-Kupu Beach was created for guests to lounge on sand above the waves, accessible via its quartz-tiled stairs. The construction process used traditional methods to avoid disturbing the island’s natural mangroves and coral.

The resort, which is only open to guests 16 years and over, is located on Frangipani Island among the islands of the Bocas Del Toro Archipelago. Guests arrive from Miami via a three-hour direct flight to Panama City, a one-hour regional flight to Bocas Del Toro and a 15-minute boat ride to Bocas Bali.

The 16 custom overwater villas and 100-year-old Elephant House restaurant were hand-crafted in Bali, Indonesia and shipped to their current location.

“We have the most picturesque private island retreat at Bocas Bali and the only thing missing was the beach,” said Dan Behm, owner and founder of Bocas Bali.

“We wanted to create an experience in a class by itself that pays homage to the incomparable natural setting, while providing our guests the luxury of a private beach experience on our exclusive island.


“We don’t want to be everything to everyone, but we really have something special and it’s undeniable from the moment our guests arrive at Bocas Bali.”

The custom-built, on-water villas on stilts were constructed using natural materials to mimic the landscape.

The rooms come with plush white bedding, floor-to-ceiling windows and elegant soapstone murals hand-carved by artisans. Some have dipping pools, while others feature windows overlooking the ocean beneath.

The dining experience at The Elephant House and The Coral Cafe comprises local, farm-fresh ingredients and regional seafood sourced from fishermen, with herbs and vegetables plucked from the on-site greenhouse, whipped up into innovative dishes by Executive Chef Joseph Archbold.

Bocas Bali’s turquoise waters are abound in diverse marine life and there’s also an inviting clubhouse pool for sunbathing and cooling off.

Bocas Bali is 100 percent off the grid, relying on catchment basins which store 250,000 litres of rainwater, eco-friendly waste water treatment and solar arrays for power.

Within sight and just a short boat ride away, Bocas Town, with its lively restaurants and bars, is a hub of activity in a cluster of islands, where residents and visitors cruise the waterways between islands on colourful panga boats.

Accommodation is priced at around US$900 to $1,100 per night.



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