Panama’s Top 10 Affordable Hostels for Backpackers

Panama’s Top 10 Affordable Hostels for Backpackers

Panama, the narrow land bridge connecting North and South America, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. The country is a backpacker’s paradise, with its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and bustling cities. For budget-conscious travelers, Panama boasts an array of affordable hostels that provide comfortable lodging without breaking the bank. Here are the top 10 affordable hostels for backpackers in Panama.

1. Luna’s Castle Hostel, Panama City

Location: Casco Viejo, Panama City

Description: Nestled in the heart of the historic district of Casco Viejo, Luna’s Castle Hostel is a favorite among backpackers. The hostel boasts a colonial-era building with a quirky, bohemian vibe. Guests can enjoy free pancake breakfasts, a lively bar, and stunning views of the Panama City skyline.

Price Range: $12-$20 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, communal kitchen, bar, movie room, and laundry facilities.

2. Hostel Mamallena, Boquete

Location: Boquete, Chiriquí Province

Description: Situated in the serene highlands of Boquete, Hostel Mamallena is a cozy, laid-back hostel perfect for nature lovers. The hostel offers a peaceful garden, hammocks, and a communal kitchen. It’s an ideal base for exploring Boquete’s hiking trails, hot springs, and coffee plantations.

Price Range: $10-$18 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, communal kitchen, garden, and tour booking assistance.

3. Hacienda Venecia Hostel, Boquete

Location: Boquete, Chiriquí Province

Description: Set on a sprawling coffee farm, Hacienda Venecia Hostel provides a unique experience for backpackers. Guests can learn about coffee production, enjoy fresh brews, and relax in the beautiful surroundings. The hostel has both dormitories and private rooms.

Price Range: $12-$22 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, communal kitchen, swimming pool, coffee tours, and laundry facilities.

4. Selina Bocas del Toro, Bocas Town

Location: Bocas Town, Isla Colón

Description: Selina Bocas del Toro is part of the popular Selina hostel chain, offering stylish, affordable accommodations in a prime location. The hostel features a waterfront bar, yoga classes, and a coworking space, making it ideal for digital nomads and travelers seeking a social atmosphere.

Price Range: $15-$25 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, bar, restaurant, coworking space, yoga classes, and tours.

5. Palmar Beach Lodge, Isla Bastimentos

Location: Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro

Description: For those looking to stay right on the beach, Palmar Beach Lodge is a fantastic choice. Located on Red Frog Beach, this eco-friendly hostel offers a rustic, jungle experience with modern comforts. Guests can enjoy yoga classes, water sports, and delicious meals at the on-site restaurant.

Price Range: $18-$30 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, restaurant, bar, yoga classes, water sports equipment, and tour booking.

6. Hostel Villa Vento Surf, Santa Catalina

Location: Santa Catalina, Veraguas Province

Description: A haven for surfers and beach lovers, Hostel Villa Vento Surf is located in the laid-back town of Santa Catalina. The hostel offers surfboard rentals, lessons, and easy access to some of the best waves in Panama. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great spot for meeting fellow travelers.

Price Range: $10-$15 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, communal kitchen, swimming pool, surfboard rentals, and lessons.

7. Bambuda Castle, Boquete

Location: Boquete, Chiriquí Province

Description: True to its name, Bambuda Castle is a unique, castle-themed hostel set in the picturesque hills of Boquete. The hostel offers a mix of dorms and private rooms, along with a hot tub, swimming pool, and a restaurant. It’s a perfect base for exploring the surrounding nature trails and waterfalls.

Price Range: $15-$25 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, hot tub, and garden.

8. Lost and Found Hostel, Chiriquí Highlands

Location: Chiriquí Highlands, near Boquete

Description: Perched in the cloud forest of the Chiriquí Highlands, Lost and Found Hostel is a hidden gem for adventurers. The hostel offers stunning views, hiking trails, and a treasure hunt game that takes guests through the surrounding forest. It’s an off-the-beaten-path experience for those looking to connect with nature.

Price Range: $10-$18 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, communal kitchen, bar, hiking trails, and treasure hunt game.

9. El Machico Hostel, Panama City

Location: Marbella, Panama City

Description: El Machico Hostel is a modern, clean, and friendly hostel located in the upscale Marbella neighborhood of Panama City. The hostel features a swimming pool, free breakfast, and organized social events. It’s a great place to stay for exploring the city’s attractions and nightlife.

Price Range: $12-$20 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, breakfast included, swimming pool, communal kitchen, and social events.

10. Hostel Lunas Castle, Bocas del Toro

Location: Bocas Town, Isla Colón

Description: Another great option in Bocas del Toro, Hostel Lunas Castle offers a lively atmosphere with beachfront views. The hostel features a large communal area, an on-site bar, and various water-based activities. It’s a social hub for backpackers looking to experience the vibrant nightlife of Bocas Town.

Price Range: $12-$22 per night

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, bar, communal kitchen, and water sports equipment.

How to Recreate the Experience

For those who have visited Panama and wish to recreate the amazing hostel experience, here are some tips:

1. Create a Cozy Space: Transform your living space into a cozy, hostel-like environment by adding comfortable seating, warm lighting, and travel-themed decor.

2. Hostel Meals: Recreate the communal kitchen experience by cooking simple, budget-friendly meals that are often shared in hostels. Pancakes, pasta dishes, and local specialties are great options.

3. Social Events: Host social events like movie nights, game nights, or potluck dinners to bring together friends and family, much like the social activities organized in hostels.

4. Stay Connected: Use video calls or social media to stay in touch with fellow travelers you met during your trip. Sharing travel stories and planning future adventures can keep the spirit of travel alive.

5. Explore Locally: Discover nearby nature trails, parks, and cultural sites to mimic the adventure of exploring a new destination. You might be surprised at the hidden gems in your own backyard.


Q: Are these hostels safe for solo travelers?

A: Yes, most of these hostels are safe for solo travelers. They typically have secure lockers, 24-hour reception, and are located in safe neighborhoods. It’s always a good idea to read reviews and check for safety features before booking.

Q: Is it necessary to book in advance?

A: While some hostels may have availability for walk-ins, it’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. This ensures you have a guaranteed place to stay and can choose your preferred room type.

Q: Are there age restrictions at these hostels?

A: Most hostels cater to travelers of all ages, but some may have age restrictions, particularly for dormitory rooms. It’s best to check the hostel’s policy before booking.

Q: What should I pack for a hostel stay in Panama?

A: Essentials include a lightweight backpack, comfortable clothing, a swimsuit, toiletries, a reusable water bottle, a travel towel, a power adapter, and a padlock for securing your belongings.

Q: Can I work remotely from these hostels?

A: Many hostels, especially those like Selina Bocas del Toro, offer coworking spaces and reliable Wi-Fi, making them suitable for digital nomads. Be sure to check the amenities before booking if you plan to work remotely.

In conclusion, Panama offers a diverse range of affordable hostels for backpackers, each providing a unique experience that caters to different travel styles. Whether you’re seeking the vibrant city life of Panama City, the serene landscapes of Boquete, or the beach vibes of Bocas del Toro, there’s a hostel to suit your needs. By following the tips and FAQ provided, you can recreate the unforgettable experience of staying in Panama’s top hostels. Happy travels!

Share via
Copy link