7 of the Best Waterfront Bars in Bocas del Toro

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7 of the Best Waterfront Bars in Bocas del Toro

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Prior to my arrival in Bocas, I'd read all about the islands' array of beautiful beaches. What I wasn't expecting was the variety of waterfront bars and restaurants. You'll have a hard time deciding which is your favourite, but to help you here is a handful of some of the very best - whether you're desperate for a smoothie or just want to watch sunset over a quiet beer.

Mamallena

A firm favourite with Habla Ya's students and teachers alike. It's one of the closest bars to the school, but that's not why it's so popular. Opened in 2016, it's quickly become one of the coolest places in town. It's also a fine hostel and provides a free breakfast for its guests. The spacious bar, pool table and easy going music make it a wonderful place to watch the fish from the deck. Alternatively, if your Spanish homework has left you feeling frazzled, you can jump in and join the marine life!

The Bookstore Bar

Formerly known as Loco Dave's after its colourful owner, The Bookstore has a wonderful laid-back counter-culture atmosphere that draws an eclectic group of Bocas residents and tourists. If you don't have plans for your evening, head to The Bookstore and you're sure to meet some interesting characters eager to chat. Even if you don't fancy a chinwag, the bar has an excellent wooden veranda overlooking the ocean, where you can watch the boats come and go. The food and drink are cheap and the bar is close to Habla Ya. What more excuse do you need to try something a little different?


La Buga

This restaurant/bar has a long, wooden promenade stretching out over the water. It is part of the La Buga Dive Centre, with customers receiving a discount when they dine here. The colourful chairs, fairy lights and thatched canopy lend a sense of fun to the place. The Surf's Up smoothie is highly recommended!

Paki Point

If you do make it past Skully's, you'll quickly come to Paki Point. The wooden sun loungers make this one of the best spots in Bocas to watch surfers strut their stuff. If you weren't tempted to learn how to surf before, you'll be inspired to after visiting here.


Aqua Lounge

A quick $1 water taxi trip from Bocas Town will get you to this bar on Isla Carenero. The water swings and diving platforms above the sea have helped to establish its reputation as a great place to hang out. Aqua Lounge is the third stop on Bocas' famous Filthy Friday party event that sees those attending visit bars on three separate islands. Independently, it also hosts weekly beer pong tournaments on Mondays. If you prefer to stay dry and organised fun isn't your thing, you can simply enjoy the bar's surprisingly good food and drinks menu.

Bibi's on the Beach

Also on Isla Carenero, 'Bibi's' is a perennial favourite for sunbathers returning from Black Rock Beach. The bar recently built a large extension to its deck, so there is now more space to dry off while sipping cocktails on sun loungers after enjoying a swim in the ocean straight from the bar.

Blue Coconut

No list of Bocas del Toro's best waterfront bars would be complete without mentioning Blue Coconut. Located on Isla Solarte, it's further out than other bars mentioned on this list, but the $5 journey is worth it. Built on stilts over the water, it's the perfect place to snorkel, enjoy a cocktail and wonder where it all went so right.

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Search our blog if you're visiting Panama! From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while in our country! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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