Hotelier Dan Behm thought the only thing missing from his luxury private Bocas Bali resort was a white sand beach. Thus, he built one, a “floating” beach called Kupu-Kupu on the exclusive Frangipani Island in Bocas Del Toro.

The former tech exec wanted a beach that would not negatively affect the mangroves, coral, or surrounding sea life. He then turned to Panama City’s project management firm Marazul and local contractors Jose Murillo and Erika B to achieve the world’s first “elevated beach,” the Kapu-Kapu.

The beach is named after the Indonesian word for “butterfly. It measures 90 feet long by 20 feet wide and boasts a silhouette of the abovementioned insect. Accessible via a 10-foot-wide wooden boardwalk, the beach has the all-important velvety white sand, lounge chairs, and lush palm trees all around. It even has an idyllic watering hole called the “Tipsy Bar,” which serves cocktails or light bites. Similar to any beach experience, guests at Bocas Bali can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, and other water activities at the resort.

The only difference with the Kupu-Kupu beach at Bocas Bali is the series of quartz-tiled stairs on the edge. They cascade down into the 30-foot deep crystalline waters and allow beachgoers to gently enter the waters just like when taking a dip in the pool. 

Aside from the Kupu-Kupu beach, the Bocas Bali resort features 16 custom overwater villas that have rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. Some boast dipping pools and others overlook the ocean below. Guests can even find a shared 70-foot freshwater pool on the island. 

The Bocas Bali resort is completely off-grid but runs on solar power. It also uses an eco-friendly wastewater treatment system to purify rainwater for consumption.

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Images courtesy of Bocas Bali