Starfish Beach (“Playa Estrella”) is located on Isla Colon, the main island of Bocas Del Toro. This picturesque beach is secluded with very calm waves. It’s a perfect beach for younger kids as there were no waves. But that’s where the solitude ends! It was recommended as a great spot for Saturdays to get a feel for the local vibe and culture.
Picture this: Kids running up and down the beach, dogs skipping along, a couple DJs with booming speakers spinning everything from Reggaeton, Tipico (Panamanian music) and everything in between, rustic no-frills bars and restaurants, and all sorts of interesting people watching. After the initial shock wore off, it was a beautiful sensory overload and quite incredible to watch the cacophony of life that is Starfish Beach! Sadly we did not see any star fish during our trip.
How to get there
We were in Bocas town, Isla Colon, so we took a water taxi directly to Starfish beach. This took about 25 minutes and it cost $5 per person. The further you walk away from the main Bocas town strip, the cheaper it costs. We walked past the main bus stop and took the water taxi at the water port by Selinas hostel.
Here’s a typical water taxi from Bocas Town. Yes, expect all kinds of “goods” to come along for the ride! lol. The taxi will likely wait till they get a full house before they leave. It fills up pretty quick so you’ll only have to wait for a few minutes.
Loved these mini thatched houses on our way to Starfish Beach.
Pulling up to Starfish beach on a Saturday morning around 10.30am and the beach was already buzzing with life!
Surprisingly, we were able to find a little quiet nook, not too far from one of the bars to set up shop.
Life in progress on Starfish Beach.
Active Lobster fishing even though it’s banned from March 1- June 30th 😦
Despite all the activity, there were welcomed moments of serenity to be enjoyed.
This little guy was quite the pro effortlessly maneuvering his water taxi!
There’s a steady stream of water taxis ready to negotiate a ride back!
- Another option to get to Starfish beach is to take a 30 or so minute bus ($2.50) or taxi ($15) to Bocas Del Drago beach and then walk 15 minutes or take a $1 water taxi to Starfish beach.
- The water taxis will try to get you to pay for a $10 round trip fare; so $5 each way. The catch is that their return time is set in stone and much later in the day. We wanted the flexibility of leaving whenever we wanted. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with any of the waiting water taxis. We ended up paying $8 per person on the return, negotiated down from about $15 per person.
- The toilets are pretty gross and costs 50 cents to use. There is a young boy that collects the money. The toilet comes equipped with toilet paper but was not flushable nor was there running water. Maybe it was a bad day! So bring hand sanitizer/wet wipes and yes, you’ll need to wash your hands in the ocean.
- Food and drinks are very much available for purchase and were reasonably priced.
- Don’t forget your sunblock! That Panamanian sun will get you!
Thank you for coming along on my adventures!