The Private Island Paradise of Bocas del Toro

The Private Island Paradise of Bocas del Toro

Situated on its private island within the captivating Bocas del Toro archipelago, Nayara Bocas del Toro is a luxury retreat seamlessly integrated with its natural surroundings. Intersecting three distinct ecosystems — coral reefs, mangrove forest, and tropical lowland rainforest — the islands of Bocas del Toro boast an abundance of biodiversity, earning the archipelago the moniker “Galapagos of the Caribbean.”

There, the beauty of the natural world awaits you, with opportunities for sea kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, sailing, surfing, and, of course, scuba diving. 

The crystal-clear waters of Bocas, renowned for their clarity, invite you to swim with dolphins, turtles, and starfish in Starfish Bay. On land, explore the numerous islands with breathtaking vistas on multiple hiking trails, go birdwatching for beautiful and elegant species, or set out on evening tours to discover the mysteries of nocturnal creatures.

Join us as we explore a little more about this one-of-a-kind private island retreat, including its creation as a Balinese-inspired romantic escape, the beauty and value of this island retreat, getting here across the water, and the creation of the first-ever aerial beach.


A Balinese-Inspired Romantic Escape


Nayara Bocas del Toro is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort, which caters to couples with a focus on relaxation and comfort. When you finish your day in one of the world’s most precious aquatic habitats — be that out exploring or lounging and recuperating in your overwater villa — the experience is just beginning. 

From there, immerse yourself in unique dining experiences at our restaurants, including the Elephant House, a century-old Balinese building transplanted to our private island where you can dine on locally caught seafood while savoring the perfect wine pairing as the sun sets over the horizon.

Today, couples flock to Nayara Bocas del Toro due to our prestigious reputation, including accolades such as being named one of AFAR’s Best New Hotels in the World, Town & Country’s Best Beach Hotels of the World, and Forbes’ Best All-Inclusive Resorts. And they return because the experience we offer leaves lasting memories and changes to their sense of well-being.


Finding Peace Surrounded by the Ocean

Key to the beauty of Nayara Bocas del Toro is the fact that the resort is on a secluded island, surrounded on all sides by the revitalizing essence of the ocean enveloping you. Far from the disturbances of noise, air, and light pollution, this isolated paradise invites you to embrace a more primal lifestyle, seamlessly harmonizing with nature and the elements while ensuring top-tier comfort.

Ingredients for every meal are drawn from the islands, the sea, and the abundant surroundings, and each private villa provides a tranquil escape to connect with the natural world at your own pace. Whether you’re basking in the sunset watching tropical fish swim beneath your feet, setting out to explore on a kayak or standup paddle board, or savoring a fresh-made cocktail delivered to your villa under the stars, you have the opportunity to release your worries and return to a purer state of presence and existence.


Bocas Town, A Private Paradise in Reach of Panama City

Bocas Del Toro, Panama, is a hidden gem slowly being unveiled to the world. With some of the best beaches in the world, turquoise waters that shimmer like jewels, and a charming small-town vibe, Bocas Del Toro has captivated both the local population of Panama and the hearts of travelers from around Latin America and the world. In fact, Conde Nast Traveler’s May 2023 issue recognized Bocas Del Toro as one of “The 50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the World.”


Getting to Nayara Bocas Del Toro

Nayara Bocas del Toro is located on Frangipani Island, a smaller island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, just a short (20-minute) boat ride from the town of Bocas del Toro. There are nine islands in the Bocas del Toro island chain (counting the inhabitable larger islands), and on your private boat ride you’ll get to take in all of the rich life that inhabits these protected areas, guided by your personal boat captain.

From there, Nayara Bocas del Toro awaits, and once you set foot on the island, everything you need is within walking distance or swimming/kayaking distance, including one of the marvels of property — the manmade Kupu Kupu Beach.


The Creation of the World’s First Aerial Beach

In order to capture the magic of Kupu Kupu Beach, we wanted to share this story from one of the project’s visionaries Dan Behm.

“Imagine walking down a ten-foot-wide wooden boardwalk lined with palm trees and tropical flowers. Soon a beach and tiki bar come into view. As you get closer you take in the beautiful white sand beach with palm trees swaying in the breeze. There are plenty of lounge chairs with small cocktail tables and the deep blue waters of the Caribbean beyond. You step directly from the boardwalk onto the beach and feel the sand between your toes.

You start to explore, and you’re caught by surprise as you realize that this is no ordinary beach. Straight ahead are tiled steps with railings leading from the beach into the ocean. The steps are wide at the top and gradually narrow as you approach the water. Under the water isn’t more sand, but rather a platform. The entry to the water is like entering a swimming pool, only the ocean is your pool. It seemed so “real” only moments ago, but this is something different, something special!

The island did not have a beach. That is one of the first things I noticed. Nayara Bocas del Toro is an idyllic Caribbean resort with tantalizing breezes, stunning architecture, and tasteful art. But no beach. The water surrounding the island is warm, crystal clear, and inviting. But no beach.

A man-made beach built on the shoreline was not an option. It would disrupt the mangrove and ocean floor. In Europe, they are experimenting with floating beaches. A floating beach did seem like a real possibility until you consider the price, which was prohibitive and required so much maintenance as to be a non-starter. The only option, it seemed, was to build a beach on stilts over the water. Surely someone had done it before, we thought. But as we researched, we found that no, this was something new. And thus began our journey.”


The Challenges and Triumph of Creating an Aerial Beach

The possibility of being the world’s first aerial beach added a sense of intrigue to the project, and we reached out to our audience to see if this was a project worth undertaking. Our audience agreed that a beach would truly elevate the Nayara Bocas del Toro experience, but there was skepticism as to how realistic the idea was. It was a world first after all.

Regardless, our audience responded with their desires, and some practical challenges. For example, the beach had to:

  • Look and feel like a real beach

  • Have beautiful white Caribbean sand

  • Have an easy and natural way to get into the water

  • Have large palm trees, but not in pots

  • Have a bathroom and shower nearby

  • Have adequate drainage so that the water can dry after a rain

  • Have easy access without steps

  • Have an attractive bar and grill on the beach

  • Have the correct elevation to accommodate the daily and seasonal tide changes

  • Have enough room and stability for twenty to thirty people

  • Have space to be enlarged in the future

  • Have adequate breezes for our sunbathers

  • Be in an area with deep water so there would be no obstructions for swimming

It was no easy task, but for our team of designers and engineers, designing with these myriad constraints in mind was a welcome challenge.

We picked a spectacular spot on the island bay, in the same area where our luxury over-water villas are situated. Then we had our architects and engineers get to work on designing our “sandbox” beach on stilts. It took over a year, but the designs were completed, and the result is something unlike anything else on Earth.


Welcoming Guests to Kupu Kupu Beach!

We have named our aerial beach Kupu Kupu Beach, and the area is approximately ninety feet long by twenty feet wide. The Tipsy Bar, with a stylish curving wood shake roof, provides seating for eight. Our chairs on the beach accommodate twenty. In addition, there’s a ten-foot-wide wooden boardwalk along the entire length of the beach which allows for a “food truck” to stop by, and finally, four tables with umbrellas and sixteen chairs on one end of the beach.

The engineering challenges continued as we added life and adaptation to the local environment. There are four large palm trees on the beach, lit for evening ambiance which appear to be growing out of the sand like on a real beach. But instead, they’re planted in large tanks below the surface of the beach to contain the roots, and carefully monitored and nurtured to remain healthy. 

Other additions make this a delightful marvel too. For example, the cement surface below the beach is slightly sloped and includes ninety separate drains to keep the sand dry. The drains are covered with a geotextile that lets the rainwater through but not the sand, meaning Cuca Beach has not disrupted the surrounding environment.


A Bridge Between Aerial Beach and the Aquatic World

Providing swimmers access to the water in a way that feels natural was our largest challenge. We did not want our guests to struggle with climbing in and out of the water on ladders. So, we decided on stairs leading to a platform submerged in the water. The intent is to make it feel like you are walking into a swimming pool.

In addition, we added a platform midway between the beach surface and the water, accessible by the stairs, so our guests have a place to sit and hang their feet in the water. The beach itself needed to be high enough above the surface of the water to accommodate the tides without flooding.  This platform also provides a convenient surface to place snorkel masks and fins when getting in and out of the water.

Experiencing Nayara Bocas del Toro from any perspective is a beautiful experience, one that brings you closer to nature, yourself, and true relaxation and presence. But even better is the ability to kick back oceanside with a refreshing cocktail, nap in a pleasant breeze, and then take a dip in the eternally warm Caribbean to snorkel when you hear word of a visiting pod of dolphins or a school of tropical fish.

It’s a vision of what life can be, and we look forward to sharing it with you.


When It Comes to Panama, Bocas Del Toro Can’t Be Beat

We’re firm believers that Bocas del Toro is one of the most special and worthwhile destinations to visit in the entire world. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have chosen it as a home to share with you. And within the “Galapagos of the Caribbean,” we’ve been honored to contribute our perspective on luxury hotels, one refined first in Costa Rica and then throughout Latin America.

Even with extensive photos and writings, it’s hard to capture the beauty of this paradise in the Caribbean Islands. For that reason, we invite you to join us and see for yourself what this private island paradise has to offer.

To get started, reach out to us at You can also give us a call at (800) 637-9095 or contact our Resort Direct line at +507-833-8362. Our dedicated team is eager to provide you with further assistance and answer any questions you may have.