Playa Estrella

Our final excursion in Bocas del Toro was to their famous Playa Estrella, or Starfish Beach. A 25 minute bus and a 10 minute boat ride gets you there.

The beach definitely lives up to its name. The locals are proud of their resource and protect it well. If you take the starfish out of the water you get a whistle blown at you.

The snorkeling was pretty murky. The best place to look around was along the mangroves. It was super creepy snorkeling in and out amongst the roots of the mangroves. Can't say I loved that.

So Starfish Beach was only so so. It was cool to swim with starfish and watch them moved around, like being in a giant touch tank. But the beach would better named needle beach. There was some kind of microscopic needle sharp things that invaded our swimsuits and it was prickly and uncomfortable. We didn't stay too long anyway because we wanted to get back for the World Cup final game which we watched with a group of Spaniards at a beach bar back near our place.

Final thoughts on a Bocas? To be truthful it was a backpacker dump. There was trash everywhere and it was gross. The place was a total pit. I probably would have loved it when I was 20 but now that I have my eyes open I see that it is well past it's prime as a pristine island. The beaches are so not great and the prices are high. Our accommodation was rough. Very rough. And for what we paid? Not a good value at all. It was certainly better than staying in the town though which was loud, dirty, and teeming with backpackers. We paid a lot of money to sleep on foam mattresses than compressed to the floor so it was like sleeping on a plank of wood, but it was cheaper than any place in town unless we were willing to get a dorm bed which we were not.

We took a few good trips, Zapatillas and La Gruta would be counted as great. Hooking up with the Jacobsens was a highlight and we loved hanging out with them. Jack and Maya were really well matched with Peter and Emma and it was nice to see them bonding with them. The company made bocas bearable to be honest!!!

So we are glad to be on the road and now need a vacation from that part of our vacation.

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