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Bocas Town is Party Central for the archipelago, but there are plenty of low-key venues for a quiet drink, and the town's laid-back, friendly atmosphere creates an environment that encourages meeting fellow travelers and locals. Nearly every bar and restaurant offers happy hour for 2 hours, generally sometime between 4 and 8pm, with beer priced as low as 50¢ (25p). Iguana Bar and Surf Club, on Calle 1, is the best all-around bar, with a cool surfer theme and a wood-hewn, comfy ambience that's good for conversation and suitable for all ages, though late in the evening the party can pick up. Buena Vista is the old-school expat hangout, with a long wooden bar, lapping seafront, and decent cocktails. The open-air waterfront bar Barco Hundido (Shipwreck Bar), on Calle 1, is the all-out party zone with late nights and dancing that culminate with one or two drunk guys jumping into the water on a dare. The bar often has live DJs or bands with a cover charge. Mondo Taitu, on Avenida G, caters to 20-something surfers and backpackers, and has cheap drinks and good music late into the night. The awful-sounding Blue Nasty Mermaid, on Main Street at Avenida A, has a happy hour from 4 to 6pm and, to keep you going, another from 10 to 11pm; they also have open-mic nights and a sand-floor seating area over the water.

Note: During high season, the Sunset Cruise, a yellow and purple banana boat, leaves from the Barco Hundido Bar. This is one of the most fun ways to see the sunset over the Caribbean Ocean. For $2 (£1), you get to party with and interact with other tourists of all ages, while drinking rum and coke, pina coladas, beer, or just about any drink of your choice from the onboard bar. If you're a solo traveler, this is a great way to meet fellow travelers and have a great time.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.