Our flight to PC was leaving from Bocas airport at 3:40 pm, which meant we had half a day to spend at leisure. After making sure the sea was calm to travel, we called Bolo and arranged for a half day trip to Starfish Beach on the other side of Isla Colon. We checked out, dropped the luggage at The Red Frog Office in Bocas, and were on our way cruising to the beach. The ride there was a little bumpy and took about half hour. There is also a bus from Bocas that takes about 45 min. and offers a cheaper transportation alternative.
It’s a neat beach, and you can see starfish underwater just walking along the shoreline. There are plenty of beach chairs and small restaurants (more like little shacks) all serving pretty much the same menu of grilled chicken, fried fish and boiled shrimp. There are a few shacks where you can order fresh pina coladas, drinks and tropical smoothies.
There was a noticeable number of security guards walking around, actually, not just on Starfish beach, we saw a lot of security in towns of Bocas and Boquete.
It’s a great beach to visit for half day, the water is shallow, though with a deep drop a few feet in.
We were at the airport, in our swim suits at 2:50 p.m. for our 3:40 flight, changed in the bathrooms (very dirty and gross), went through security and waited for another hour as our flight was delayed. The airport is one questionably clean room with a tiny overpriced souvenir shop.
It’s a 45 min. flight from Bocas to Panama City. I arranged for someone to meet us at the airport and drive to Hard Rock Hotel, an impressive hotel in the center of city. We stayed in a two bedroom suite. The girls shared a bed, Zach slept on the pullout sofa in the living room, and we had the master bedroom. The room was on the 38th floor with great views of the city. We dropped the luggage, took much needed showers after a day of swimming in salt water and traveling, and headed to dinner at 81/2 in Casca Viejo (Old City).
We used Uber to get there and back and didn’t have any issues. Dinner was delicious – we shared some starters of ceviche, mashed fried plantains with salmon tartar, sautéd mushrooms and mini hamburger with caramelized onions, and tuna tartar. For dessert, we split coconut crusted, fried pineapple with ice cream, and mini chocolate lava cakes for the kids. Everything from the ambiance to food presentation was up to par, including a check which made us feel like we are back in the capital.