Starfish Beach Bocas del Toro – paradise sea stars, clear water and white sand
Have you ever heard of Bocas del Toro islands? The bull’s mouth, as translated from Spanish, are definitely nicer than their name suggests and in my opinion truly belong to the list of the places to visit in Panama. There’s a few ways to get to the islands.
Personally, I took a van my first time from Puerto Viejo, and then a boat. My second time I had to take a few buses and a boat from Osa Peninsula, the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. My third time it was again from Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica.
Already since my first time in Bocas del Toro back in May 2012 when I finally tried my first class of yoga in Bocas, I knew I just had to spend a day at the famous Starfish Beach. But during my first days there I just didn’t find time as I was enjoying my big Deluxe Suite at the Palma Royale hotel.
Then I revisited Bocas del Toro in 2014 and realized there were no more excuses possible.
At a yoga class I met Rodney who was visiting his family in Bocas and we planned a day trip to the Starfish Beach, called Playa Estrella in Spanish. Other travelers already informed me that the way to the beach is pretty hilly so unless you are in a good shape and want to get a workout as well, they did not recommend us to rent bicycles. I thought that to go there would be fine but then on the way back at sunset time not so much any more.
So in the end, we rented a scooter to make it easier. Also, the weather was unpredictable those days (check out more facts about Bocas del Toro) and sometimes it was sunny and out of the blue dark grey clouds came up and it poured down. And I definitely did not want to experience this on a bicycle. So my comfort won over adventure that day and I lazily sat down on the back seat behind Rodney and let him do all the work riding me safely through the island.
And it was too hilly for me to bike, that’s for sure. But the ever green rainforest all around was more than cool to look at.
We also passed a few villages on the way and managed not to fall off the scooter (there are some parts of the road there that are a bit damaged and a number of curves.)
I was super happy once we reached the parking lot at Boca del Drago. From there you can take a boat or walk to the Starfish Beach itself. There is a restaurant here at Boca del Drago, and also there at Starfish Beach, too, in case you forgot to bring food and mostly drinks, as it can get very hot and humid.
The only thing I did not enjoy at Starfish Beach Bocas del Toro was the little sand flies and a sort of mosquitoes whose bites were pretty big on my skin. Anyway, at least it made me stay inside the sea most of the time … swimming, floating, checking out the starfish …
Right, the beach was initially named after loads of starfish in the sea but unfortunately, they are slowly disappearing. Just please remember to watch your step and also not to take them out of the sea water as they die after 3 seconds in the air.
I could not enjoy the Starfish Beach Bocas del Toro without a fresh coconut water. I had 2 or 3 of them until they closed.
And the funniest thing? I brought lunch to the beach from Bocas Blended in town and they stored my salad in a coffee cup which had a lid saying solo traveler. I had a great laugh when I saw it as I got the same for the first time back in Las Vegas. What a coincidence 🙂