Bocas del Toro’s Starfish Beach

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Playa Estrella, better known as Starfish Beach, is an area and village on Isla Colon in Bocas del Toro.  The beach is situated in a rather difficult place to get to from Bocas Town, as one must take a boat or find transportation to this part of the island.   A bus does go close to there, but after waiting and waiting, we decided to just hire a taxi for the day (which costs us around $40 roundtrip).  The taxi dropped us off in Bocas del Drago and we caught a boat for $1 over to Starfish Beach.


 Bocas del Drago is known for having some of the best beaches on the entire island.  The surf is known to be a little rough at times, which I certainly did not experience), but the scenery and views undoubtedly make up for it.  Starfish Beach was extremely clear the entire time we were there.


 We were there in early October and the beach was not very crowded.  They had chairs and rafts and kayaks for rent although I don’t really remember seeing anyone on them.  The beach also had a few open-air beach shacks made into bars and restaurants.  It was true island life.


 Here are some photos from our trip out to Bocas del Drago:








If you’re reading this because you have a future trip planned, please don’t be an idiot and take the starfish out of the water.  You wouldn’t believe how many people thought it would be cute to pick them up out of the water and take photos with them.  It’s not cute; it’s pathetic.

Have you ever been to Bocas del Toro and any of its beaches?

13 thoughts on “Bocas del Toro’s Starfish Beach

  1. Megan @ Mapping Megan says:

    Amazing photos! I can’t believe how inexpensive it is to get to Paradise! We’re heading to Panama this coming May so will factor this into our itinerary. Thanks!

  2. Shaun says:

    I really enjoyed my time in Panama. The plan was to get to Bocas Del Toro but was sidetracked hanging out with other expats, taking surf lessons in El Palmar and hitting up Nitro City (I still got a scar on my ankle)

    It’s a thoughtless thing to do. I love nature and hate seeing any animal mistreated. At least they try to preserve the beach instead of exploit it.

  3. Jane says:

    A nightmarish memory from my childhood: My parents and I stayed at a fancy hotel on the Florida Gulf coast (my dad was attending a conference). The people in the room below us collected a LOT of starfish… and left them on their balcony to die a slow, agonizing, twisting death. It really did give me nightmares at the time.

    • Megan says:

      Nooooo! This almost brought tears to my eyes. :( How in the world can people think it is ok to do this and take animals out of their natural habitats? Wait….people do this everyday with zoos. Sigh….I just need to stop before I get too nasty :):)

  4. Sylvia says:

    No! Are you serious???!! People can be so thoughtless! x-( Poor starfishes! Beautiful pictures though! I. Need. A. Beach. Now!

    • Megan says:

      girl just search #bocasdeldrago on instagram and you’d be amazing at all the idiots who picked them up and took photos. in fact, ive even seen travel bloggers on here who have been there and done the same. im so embarrassed for them.

      i need a beach pronto. i was supposed to go to dublin and belfast in two weeks but im seriously considering going elsewhere. like, reallllllly considering. and spain is high on the list lol.

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