Bocas del Toro is another piece Panamanian paradise that you shouldn’t skip. From parties to beautiful Caribbean beaches and wild life, there’s a ton to do and see!
A trip to Starfish beach
We stayed in Bocas Town, and from here it’s pretty easy to get to Starfish beach. There are 3 ways to visit: with a tour, by boat, or by bus and a short walk. The cheapest way is by far the bus, at $2,50 per person, each way (so, $5 return per person). It’s about an hour drive, as they were fully redoing the road that goes to the north side of the island it all went a bit slower than expected.
You’ll be dropped in front of Playa Boca del Drago, from where you walk around 20 to 30 minutes along the coast. It was a great little walk, especially when we spotted 2 ‘lil sloths hanging around in the trees!
Starfish beach is one of the few (sort of) organised beaches in Bocas del Toro with restaurants and some beach chairs. Prices are pretty good, if I remember correctly a beer was $2.
Of course (what’s in a name…), you can see starfish in the water here! The water is very clear, so it’s very easy to spot them, just look for something bright orange on the bottom. Just make sure you don’t step on them by accident!
Chill on the beach of Carenero Island
Another budget thing to do is a visit to Carenero Island. It lays right in front of Bocas Town, only a 2 minute (if not shorter) boatride away! For $1 a person each way you’ll be taken to the Aqua Lounge, from where you can start the walk to the beach on the other side of the island. It takes around 30 minutes, you simply follow the coastline in the direction of ‘Vista Azul Lodge and Beach’. You’ll pass some less than impressive beaches on the way, but don’t let that discourage you. Once you’ve made it to Vista Azul Lodge, just keep walking a little bit more and find a nice shady spot on the beach. And enjoy!
Visit Zapatillos Island
We visited Zapatillos Island on a day tour (that also took us snorkeling and to see dolphins and starfish). The day tour itself wasn’t fantastic, unfortunately, but our stop on Isla Zapatillos was amazing! White sandy beaches lined with palm trees… it’s paradise!
We stayed only for a couple of hours, which gives you enough time to walk around the island, and relax a bit. Butttt, if you could stay longer and don’t mind just being on a tropical island for the day, I’m sure you could figure out a way.
Party the day away on Filthy Friday
Filthy Friday gives a pub crawl a whole new meaning… Instead of a regular old pub crawl, it’s an island crawl! The party starts at 11 AM in Bocas Town at Brother’s, but soon after everybody will be ferried off to the Blue Coconut bar, and after that the Aqua Lounge. If you’re not completely dead after, you could even stay for the after party.
A tickets costs $40 (I know, not cheap lol), but it includes all the transport, free shots in all the bars and a goodie bag that includes a tank top. Personally, I thought it was worth it, we had a great time!
Panama really surprised me!