Folks enjoy the Bahía de Navidad sunset colors in Barra during the happy hours at Restaurant Seamaster, Hotel Alondra top-floor bar, or the Casa Chips restaurant-bar, half a block south of the Hotel Barra de Navidad.
The same is true at the beachside Restaurant Maya and Restaurant Dorado at Hotel Club Náutico in Melaque. You can prepare for sunset during the afternoons (Dec.–Feb. mostly) at the very congenial 4–6 p.m. happy hour around the swim-up bar at Barra’s Hotel Sands. Lovers of pure tranquility, on the other hand, enjoy the breeze and sunset view from the end of Barra’s rock jetty.
Perhaps the friendliest bar in Barra or Melaque is Piper Lover (tel. 315/355-6747, 4 p.m.–2 a.m. daily), owned by a man whose father loved his Piper Cub airplane. Here you can cool off and kick back, enjoying the breeze and the swish of the waves outside the bar’s air upstairs palapa perch. Find it at the south, sandbar end of Avenida López de Legazpi in Barra.
If discoing is your thing, huge speakers begin thumping away, lights flash, and the fogs ooze from the ceilings around 10 p.m. at disco El Galeón (tel. 315/355-5018) of the Hotel Sands in Barra (young local crowd) and at La Tanga (Gómez Farías, tel. 315/355-5472, 9 p.m.–2 a.m. in season, entrance $7) across the street from Hotel Club Náutico in Melaque (mixed young and older, local and tourist crowd). Hours vary seasonally; call for details.