Nestled in the heart of Central America, Panama offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and modern appeal. Beyond its famed canal, Panama is home to cosmopolitan cities, lush jungle escapes, and Caribbean resort towns dotted along the coast. And for travelers seeking a slice of paradise, overwater bungalows in Panama are a great alternative to resorts in the Maldives or Tahiti. In this article, I’ve listed the 11 best overwater bungalows in Panama that are only a short flight from The States.
Best Overwater Bungalows in Panama
I’ve compiled the 11 best overwater bungalows in Panama below. From luxury eco-resorts to boutique backpacker lodges, here are your best overwater stays in Panama.
QUICK PICKS: 3 BEST OVERWATER BUNGALOWS IN PANAMA
Don’t have time to read the whole article? No problem! Here are the three best overwater bungalows in Panama.
ACCOMMODATION COMPARISON TABLE
Below, you’ll find the best overwater bungalows in Panama with a table showing current rates. I’ve sorted them by price. The rates listed are per night and are subject to change.
|Nayara Bocas del Toro||$1200|
|Azul Over-the-Water Resort||$340|
|Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge||$300|
|Urraca Private Island||$270|
|Faro del Colibri||$140|
|Aqui Hoy Cabañas||$140|
|Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge||$110|
|Viceroy Bocas Del Toro||TBD|
Best Overwater Bungalows in Panama
Panama is home to several overwater bungalow resorts in the tropical destination of Bocas del Toro. Built between beaches, mangroves, and the azure sea, these resorts possess a unique Caribbean charm that sets them apart from the typical overwater resort. Ranging from private pool villas to backpacker digs at only $30/night, here’s the full list of Panama’s overwater bungalows.
Nayara Bocas del Toro
Nayara Bocas del Toro is a luxury resort located on Frangipani Island, a 20-minute water shuttle from Bocas Town. Nayara boasts spectacular overwater rooms that provide guests with direct access to the pristine waters below. Its Overwater Pool Villas are the only overwater bungalows in Panama with private pools. Other overwater suites offer oversized glass panels to admire the marine life below. Resort amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, floating beach, fitness center, and garden. There’s a daily breakfast with American, vegetarian, or vegan options, as well as two restaurants providing exceptional dining. A dedicated tour desk is also on hand to organize activities and adventures around the rich mangroves, jungles, and reefs surrounding the island. With its perfect blend of indulgent amenities and Caribbean charm, Nayara Bocas del Toro is easily one of the best overwater bungalows in Panama.
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
For those seeking the best overwater bungalows in Panama, look no further than Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge. This eco-conscious retreat features spacious bungalows perched above crystal-clear waters. Each bungalow boasts a private terrace where guests can relax in hammocks or swim in the clear water below. Guests can immerse themselves in their natural surroundings by exploring the coral reef or cruising through the mangrove forests. Best of all, the lodge’s commitment to sustainability is evident through its use of renewable energy and eco-friendly practices. Considering its unique island charm and sustainable values, Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge is the perfect overwater getaway for nature lovers.
Azul Over-the-Water Resort
If you’re in search of a charming overwater villa in Panama, you won’t want to miss Azul Over-the-Water Resort (also known as Azul Paradise). With only 10 cozy bungalows stilted above the turquoise lagoon, this Caribbean getaway offers an intimate experience. Each bungalow comes with direct ocean access, a glass floor panel, a private sundeck, and an inviting overwater hammock. Whether you’re up for island hiking, a mangrove cruise in search of sloths, or trying your hand at paddleboarding, Azul provides the perfect island escape. We’ve personally experienced the magic of this place, and it truly is paradise.
Sol Bungalows is one of the newest additions to Panama’s breathtaking Bocas del Toro region, and only 5 minutes by boat to Bocas Town. The resort features vibrant Afro-Caribbean decor, adding a unique twist to the classic overwater concept. That said, this rustic resort still boasts the usual overwater amenities like rooms with direct lagoon access, glass floor panels, outdoor showers, and overwater hammocks. Guests can enjoy spa treatments or water sports like surfing and snorkeling. Moreover, there are a variety of activities to explore, including mangrove tours, jungle hikes, and visits to Bocas Town. Sol Bungalows is also an eco-friendly choice as it relies on solar energy and rainwater catchment, making it a sustainable way to enjoy the Caribbean coastline. It’s a great way to enjoy a locally styled overwater bungalow in Panama.
Urraca Private Island
Urraca Private Island is a sustainable eco-lodge built over the water off a private island. Each of its rooms is an overwater bungalow with a private deck, terrace, and ocean views. Unique touches include a saltwater pool and the dozen rescued monkeys who call Urraca home. Guests can enjoy activities like local fishing tours, jungle treks, snorkeling, island hopping, and traditional Ngäbe cooking classes. Most of all, guests praise the outstanding hospitality for making this charming eco-resort shine. It’s a great pick for boutique overwater bungalows in Panama.
Faro del Colibri
Faro del Colibri is a rustic resort set over the sea at Carenero Island, just 3 minutes from Bocas town by boat. Faro del Colibri features cozy bungalows stilted over water, all offering a sea view balcony. Guests can enjoy a private beach area, as well as complimentary buffet breakfast served daily. The onsite restaurant serves local cuisine, with international fare available a short walk away. Guests love the marine life viewings directly from their rooms, as well as the wonderful service all around. For an overwater bungalow in Panama that won’t break the bank, Faro del Colibri is an excellent choice.
Aqui Hoy Cabañas
Aqui Hoy Cabañas is a serene escape just 10 minutes by water taxi from Bocas Town. Each room features a terrace with beautiful views of Bocas Bay. The rooms are spacious and comfortably appointed, with hammocks strung over the balconies. Meanwhile, the resort amenities include a garden, a terrace, and an overwater restaurant and bar. Tours and activities are also available to book, including hikes, snorkeling tours, and island hopping. Carenero Beach is also a short walk away. For a no-frills overwater bungalow experience, Aqui Hoy Cabañas is a wonderful pick.
Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge
Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge is an exceptional island retreat in Bocas del Toro. This eco-friendly resort is built on stilts above crystal-clear waters, offering guests an immersive experience in nature. The rustic chic bungalows, crafted from sustainable materials, are among the most environmentally friendly overwater bungalows you’ll find in Panama. Guests can admire the underwater world through glass floor panels, savor delicious seafood, or explore the surrounding mangroves and coral reefs. Whether you’re diving in the local reef or discovering the nearby national park, Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge is a unique paradise with beautiful overwater bungalows in Panama.
Cosmic Crab is a charming beachfront resort just a one-minute boat ride from Isla Colon. The lodge is decidedly Caribbean, with pastel decor and plantation-style architecture. Overwater rooms open up to a beautiful sea view, with plenty of family cabins and group accommodations on land. The overwater restaurant serves delicious local fare and makes for an amazing sunset viewpoint. Guests can also enjoy a variety of water sports and tours, including jet skiing, scuba diving, and power boating. Finally, the resort is next door to friendly local neighborhoods, making it a great place to base for cultural immersion. In short, it’s a great value way to enjoy an overwater stay in Bocas del Toro.
El Clandestino is a rustic hidden gem with overwater bungalows in a remote part of Bocas del Toro. Overwater rooms feature private terraces, open-air baths, and tranquil sea views. The wooden-style bath and wide verandas are a wonderful touch, providing guests with a sense of connection to nature. The resort also features an overwater restaurant, lounge, bar, and garden. Breakfast is served continental, vegetarian, or halal, with dolphins and stingrays usually visible from the restaurant. Guest can also paddleboard, snorkel, or canoe to explore the rich marine ecosystem and mangrove forests. From its intimate setting to its pristine surroundings, El Clandestino is a hidden paradise with some of the most charming overwater bungalows in Panama.
Viceroy Bocas Del Toro
Viceroy Bocas Del Toro is the last resort to make the list, as an ultra-luxe property in the making. Set to open in 2026, the finished property will feature 42 overwater villas and 186 guestrooms in total. The world-renowned Viceroy hospitality group promises to deliver an extraordinary experience, with amenities including numerous pools, a spa, a fitness center, and wellness facilities. Once open, it may very well be among the best overwater bungalows in the Caribbean.
Best Time to Visit Panama
Panama, given its tropical location, has two primary seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. If you favor sunnier beach days and don’t mind a bit more company, the dry season is for you. If you lean towards a quieter trip with a lush environment, don’t mind a bit of rain, and are possibly looking for better deals, consider the rainy season.
Dry Season Travel in Panama
Dry Season (December to April): This is the most popular time to visit Panama, including Bocas del Toro. The weather is sunny, and there’s less rain, making it ideal for outdoor activities, beach days, and sightseeing. However, it’s also the peak tourist season, so you can expect more people and higher prices.
Bocas del Toro is an archipelago, and during the dry months, the sea conditions are usually calmer. It’s a great time for boating, snorkeling, and exploring the various islands. Beaches like Starfish Beach and Red Frog Beach are especially appealing during these months.
Wet Season Travel in Panama
Rainy Season (May to November): While there’s a higher chance of rain during these months, the showers are typically short and intense, leaving much of the day dry. The upside is that the landscape is more lush and vibrant, and there are fewer tourists, which can make for a more relaxed visit.
Bocas del Toro can receive more rainfall than other parts of Panama however. We visited during the rainy season, and actually left Bocas del Toro early as it was raining more than expected. We traveled to Boquete instead and loved hiking in cloud forests. Traveling throughout the rest of Panama during the rainy season was a non-issue.
Things to do in Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro, located on the Caribbean coast of Panama, is an archipelago comprising a vibrant blend of Afro-Caribbean, indigenous, and Latin cultures. The region is celebrated for its stunning beaches, diverse marine life, and lush tropical forests. Here are some top activities and attractions to explore alongside Panama’s best overwater bungalows:
Bocas Town: Experience the lively local culture, restaurants, and shops.
Island Hopping: Tour the main islands like Isla Colón and Isla Bastimentos.
Beaches: Relax at popular spots like Starfish Beach and Red Frog Beach.
Water Activities: Dive into snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing at renowned locations.
Bastimentos National Marine Park: Explore diverse ecosystems from mangroves to coral reefs.
Cacao Plantation Tour: Discover the chocolate-making process.
Bioluminescent Bay Tour: Witness the magical glow in the waters during darker moon phases.
Dolphin Watching: Spot playful dolphins in Dolphin Bay.
Bat Caves Exploration: Take a guided tour in the caves of Isla Bastimentos.
That’s it for my ultimate guide on the best overwater bungalows in Panama! Whether you’re seeking a romantic luxury resort or an eclectic Caribbean hideaway, hopefully, you’ve found exactly what you were looking for. And if you’re interested in exploring more of Panama, you can read one of my guides below.
HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT MY OTHER PANAMA GUIDES
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- 6 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS IN PANAMA: The guide for thrill-seekers and adrenaline hunters.
- 37 AMAZING HIKES IN PANAMA: All of the best hiking trails. Many you’ve never heard of!
- 18 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN BOQUETE: Hiking, waterfalls, and volcanoes.
- 12 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN EL VALLE DE ANTON: My favorite place to base in Panama.
- 10 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN SANTA CATALINA: Surf, hike, swim, kayak, and explore.
I hope you enjoy my guides and have a great time exploring Panama!