We hit up two beaches during our stay in Bocas Del Toro: One that we could drive to and one that we had to take a boat to.
The first one was called Playa Estrella (Starfish Beach), and Lonely Planet told us it was about the only nice beach on Bocas del Toro Province. We hailed a cab in town at the south end of the province and negotiated a price to deliver us along a pothole-laden road to the far north shore.
It took us the better part of an hour, as I recall, which gave the driver plenty of time to ask how we intended to get home. Evidently taxis FROM the beach back to Bocas are pretty hard to come by. Thankfully, he would be coming back to the north shore later that day, and so we arranged a pick up time towards the end of the day.
The upside of this situation is that we knew we would have a ride back. The downside is that I was never really truly able to relax. With a set end-time for your day, my mind was constantly preoccupied with the time – and I would regularly check my phone to make sure I wasn’t running late for the appointed taxi trip.
That’s not conducive to relaxing beach time.
You know what else isn’t conducive to relaxing beach time? Loud party music!
From the spot where the taxi dropped us off, we hired a water taxi to take us on a quick jaunt around a bend of the island and directly onto Starfish beach.
On dropping us off, it was clear that this spot was popular with the locals and the blaring music from each of the food stands that lined the beach made it obvious that each business was trying to outdo the one next to it.
The result was a cacophony of Latin rhythms.
We grabbed a couple of chaise lounges and tried our best to relax. A couple of beers each, and a short swim soon helped us get into the mood, but a quiet beach would have been much more enjoyable.
We headed back to our hotel around dinnertime, and were greeted by a beautiful sunset on the secluded waterfront dock just inside our hotel’s gate! What a great way to relax after a non-relaxing (but still fun) day at the beach.
our plan for the next day held hope that we would see a more secluded, less tumultuous beach. More on that later.
For now, here are a few of the photos from Playa Estrella.