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You probably don’t normally associate the words “stylish” or “boutique” with hostels, but for the modern millennial traveler, a dirty dorm bunk bed isn’t going to cut it anymore. People are looking for stylish spaces that ignite creativity where they can meet other like-minded travelers, while at the same time still being affordable.

Why Stay At A Hostel?

Save Money: When I travel, I hardly spend any time in the room so I just don’t see the point in needing hotel amenities. Instead of paying $100/night at a hotel I can pay $10-$20 at a hostel and put the extra money towards eating out, drinking, shopping, and getting to know the city. And if you’re traveling with another person get a private room because this is often the same price / person as staying in a dorm so it’s basically the same thing as a hotel.

Meet People: No need to go to the bar alone! Especially if you’re traveling solo, staying at a hostel is the best way to meet other people and form new friendships.

Ratings: With accommodation websites like and it really takes the guesswork out of whether you are going to experience the next hostel horror story. Browse through ratings and photos to find the perfect place for you.

So if you’re ready to try out a hostel for your next trip to Panama, here are 10 boutique hostels to consider…

Selina Hostel – Playa Venao

Selina Hostel Playa Venao

Selina is a recently opened hostel chain in Panama that has made staying in a hostel the best experience ever. They have locations in Playa Venao, Pedasi, Bocas del Toro and Casco Viejo (coming soon) and offer transportation between locations so you can easily hop from one to the other. Their oceanfront location at Playa Venao has 19 unique rooms and offers a variety of activities such as surf & SUP lessons to board rentals, adventure tours, yoga classes, outdoor pool, restaurant and bar, and a thriving nightlife scene.

From $16/night | BOOK NOW


Bubba’s House – Bocas del Toro

Bubba's House

Built in a deck above the sea, Bubba’s House offers its guests free WiFi access and a restaurant specialized in international-style dishes. The property offers stunning views of the seafront. The functional and simple rooms are bright and decorated in light colors. They feature air conditioning and the private bathrooms include free toiletries. Bubba’s House also has a bar and a snack bar, live music on Mondays, a restaurant with happy hours. Activities such as surf tours and lessons, water sports rentals are available at the property. Other facilities offered at the property include a shared lounge, a tour desk, and laundry facilities.

From $16/night | BOOK NOW


Bodhi Hostel – El Valle de Anton

Bodhi Hostel

Offering a restaurant, Bodhi Hostel & Lounge is located in El Valle and features free WiFi access in all areas, a garden and barbecue facilities. There is a full kitchen with a microwave and an oven. Other facilities offered at the property include a shared lounge, a games room and a tour desk. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including cycling, fishing and hiking.

From $15/Night | BOOK NOW


Luna’s Castle

Lunas Castle

If I had to pick a favorite hostel of mine in Panama City it would be Luna’s Castle. It’s located at the entrance of Casco Viejo so you’re surrounded by Panama City’s top bars and restaurants, and you have the city’s coolest underground bar located downstairs. Also, one of the most popular spots to stay for backpackers so it’s great spot to meet people.

From $13/Night | BOOK NOW


Selina Hostel – Bocas del Toro

Selina Bocas del Toro

Offering a juice bar and a restaurant, Selina Hostel’s Bocas del Toro location is located in Bocas Town on Isla Colon, the main island of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. You can enjoy views of the sea from the restaurant, bar or lounge area. Selina offers beds in shared dorms with access to a communal patio, terrace and seating area. There is also a fully equipped shared kitchen. A private dock is available and guests can take day tours from there. Surfboards, SUP boards or skateboards are available for rent.

From $16/Night | BOOK NOW


Magnolia Inn – Casco Viejo


This is a luxury hostel and hotel located in the heart of Casco Viejo and it’s best for if you want an affordable and nice hostel to stay in Casco Viejo without a party atmosphere. Each bed even has its own plug and wall lamp! Starting at $15/night

From $15/Night | BOOK NOW


Selina Hostel – Pedasí

Selina Hostel Pedasi

Selina’s Pedasi location is located in the tropical town of Pedasi and just a 5-minute drive from the beach. They offer free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, a bar and restaurant and an outdoor pool with gardens. All dormitory rooms come with air conditioning, en-suite shared bathroom, and personal lockers.

From $13/Night | BOOK NOW


Bambuda Lodge – Bocas del Toro


Bambuda Lodge is located in the tropical rainforest in Bocas del Toro. The property features a coral reef off its dock and a swimming pool with an on-site bar and music all day long. WiFi access is available for guests. The property offers individual beds in dormitories or private rooms.  At Bambuda Solarte you will find a small gym and kayaks for rent, free snorkeling equipment is available for guests and there is a water taxi from the island available for USD 5 each way.

From $16/Night | BOOK NOW


Arte Hostal – Boquete

Arte Hostal

Featuring free WiFi and a terrace, Arte Hostal offers pet-friendly accommodation in Boquete. A terrace or patio are featured in certain rooms. Every room is equipped with a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower.

From $13/Night | BOOK NOW


El Machico Hostel – Panama City


Located in the Marbella district in Panama City, El Machico Hostel boasts a swimming pool and free WiFi throughout the property. The rooms are equipped with a shared bathroom, air conditioning, hairdryer, cable TV, bed linens and PlayStation.

From $15/Night | BOOK NOW


Experience Panama


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 10+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. I now rotate between living in Panama City, Bogotá, and Lima. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!

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