This Panamanian island chain in the Caribbean Sea is full of colour, fun and a whole lot of chilled out, beach-based stuff for all you people out there who love lounging around next to the sea. For instance, it’s the birthplace of a strange sport called ‘deep boarding’. We’ll let you google that one.

Plenty of nature – from marine life to jungle critters – also means that this is a paradise for people who wanna see what Bocas del Toro’s natural side has to offer.

It’s known for its beaches and nature, sure, but it’s also known for its partying side. Being backpacker friendly, there are a ton of places to stay, so it’s difficult to know where you should be staying on this paradise island.

Don’t worry though. We’ve gone through the best hostels in Bocas del Toro (and categorized ’em, too!) to help you find the hostel that suits you the most.

So don’t waste time! Peep our handy list below and see what Bocas del Toro has to offer…

Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Bocas del Toro

Best Hostels in Bocas del Toro

Backpacking Panama is definitely a unique experience. You can make this even better by stopping over in Bocas del Toro. Since this island is so backpacker-friendly, you’ll find heaps of affordable hostels. We’ve picked out the best ones for you below.

boat near bocas del toro panama

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Palmar Beach Hostel – Best Overall Hostel in Bocas del Toro

Palmar Beach Hostel Bocos del Toro
Palmar Beach Hostel is our pick for best overall hostel in Bocas del Toro

So, this is pretty much right on the beach so you can expect cool beachy shiz like bonfires, lounging in the sun all day, swinging in hammocks. You know the drill. Combined with clean and comfy dorms, it’s our top pick for the best hostel in Bocas del Toro.

There’s a restaurant on site that serves up a load of different reasonably priced, tasty dishes, so you don’t even have to go anywhere to get fed (great for hangovers, eh?). And there’s no rough-around-the-edges beach vibe here: the bunks are sick (stairs instead of ladders, USB sockets, etc. etc.) and the staff are amazing. Good stuff.

Selina Bocas del Toro – Best Party Hostel in Bocas del Toro

Selina Barcos del Toro Bocos del Toro
Selina Barcos del Toro is our pick for best party hostel in Bocas del Toro

Another top hostel place to stay in Bocas del Toro is Selina Red Frog. It’s literally right on the beach, so you can just wake up and dive straight into the Caribbean! This place is all yoga classes and beach bums by day; by night, it’s pretty much the best party hostel in Bocas del Toro.

It’s painted in fun bright colours and features swings, private rooms, balconies. Plus it cultivates a young, carefree atmosphere which is just perfect for staying up late and partying hard. Events almost every night make it so you can never get bored, either.

Selina Red Frog – Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Bocas del Toro

Selina Red Frog Bocos del Toro
Selina Red Frog is our pick for best hostel for solo travelers in Bocas del Toro

Well, this really is the best hostel for solo travelers in Bocas del Toro. The staff are really helpful, which is great if you’re on your own and unsure about stuff – nothing worse than that sometimes. It’s got a friendly atmosphere, too.

Again, it’s got a great location right next to the beach, a restaurant that serves up great food, and this top hostel in Bocas del Toro keeps a great balance between decent social events and chill-out time in the pool area. Yes, POOL AREA. Suits us just fine.

Twin Fin Hostels – Best Hostel for Couples in Bocas del Toro

Twin Fin Hostel Bocos del Toro
Twin Fin Hostels is our pick for best hostel for couples in Bocas del Toro

Chilled out vibes with a relaxing back garden: yep, it’s the best hostel for couples in Bocas del Toro. You can swing around in the hammock all day long and have a few free cups of coffee whilst you just… chill out with your partner.

There’s enough room at this Bocas del Toro backpackers hostel that you never feel too cramped, or that you’re being watched (or judged) by anyone. It’s all about a friendly atmosphere, friendly guests – plus there are some very nice private rooms on offer here.

Bamuda Lodge – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Bocas del Toro

Bamuda Lodge Bocos del Toro
Bamuda Lodge is our pick for best hostel for digital nomads in Bocas del Toro

If you’re looking for the best hostel for digital nomads in Bocas del Toro, well, this is it. Whoever told you that it wasn’t possible to answer emails and run a blog (or whatever it is you do) in paradise was COMPLETELY WRONG. This place is awesome for getting some work done.

There’s a big pool and a shady terrace complete with tables and chairs – and the Wi-Fi reaches this area! Sea views help with that, y’know, completely idyllic feeling of living the dream, too. Basically a super chill place to remote work. Oh – it’s near the beach, too. (And the jungle!)

La Guayana Hostel – Best Cheap Hostel in Bocas del Toro

La Guayana Hostel Bocos del Toro
La Guayana Hostel is our pick for best cheap hostel in Bocas del Toro

A family atmosphere, so it’s not gonna be a party place, this is a highly recommended hostel in Bocas del Toro if you’re looking for value for money. You get a lot: powerful air con in the dorms, UNLIMITED pancake breakfast (plus tea/coffee), plus the room rates themselves are decent.

Further cementing it as the best cheap hostel in Bocas del Toro are the communal kitchens (yes, plural) to save you money on eating out. Plus it may be a little far from town, but staying somewhere at this budget Bocas del Toro hostel more than makes up for that.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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Caribe – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Bocas del Toro

Caribe Hostel Bocos del Toro
Caribe is our pick for best hostel with a private room in Bocas del Toro

Sometimes you just want a lil’ bit of space for yourself, and this place offers JUST that. The best hostel with a private room in Bocas del Toro, this place offers super clean white sheets, big comfy beds and… basic decor, but you’re near the beach, so who cares?

Each room comes with en-suite bathrooms and air con, so it really feels like you’re staying in a budget hotel – but for a literal snip of the price. It’s a little bit of a walk out of town, but that just means that this slice of beach is more peaceful.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Best Hostels In Bocas del Toro

Aqua Lounge

Aqua Lounge Hostel Bocos del Toro
Aqua Lounge

Think massive sunloungers, a big sundeck, crazy good sunsets – it’s a bit of a kooky old place, but it’s definitely a cool hostel in Bocas del Toro. It’s sorta… like a party boat (swings over the water and all that kinda stuff) except it’s a hostel on dry land. Neat.

This budget hostel in Bocas del Toro is a great place to chill out in the daytime – as much as it is a decent place to have crazy party times with backpacking peeps like yourself. The local bar crawl – Filthy Friday – officially ends at this hostel, so, well… we hope you like partying.

Skully’s House

Skullys House Hostel Bocos del Toro
Skullys House

It’s a newly built place and if you don’t wanna party and you wanna get away from the crowds, here is your little slice of solace. Located on a white sandy beach with its own pool, this top hostel in Bocas del Toro does have quite rustic dorms but then again, you’re on the beach, so…

Shared kitchen means you won’t get stung at local restaurant prices. And a perk is free eggs, fresh bread, coffee and pancakes, meaning it’s a pretty good shout for anyone looking for a budget hostel in Bocas del Toro, too. At the time of writing, they have a cat (with kittens) and a dog.

Coconut Hostel

Coconut Hostel Bocas del Toro
Coconut Hostel

Hey, a hostel named Coconut that’s near the beach on an island, how original. Sorry, that’s mean. It’s really just a pretty solid budget hostel in Bocas del Toro. It’s actually in Bocas Town, meaning the beach isn’t just on the doorstep, but that’s fine.

It’s fine because it is, after all, set in the action of the town, meaning you’re not restricted to only beachy places if you can’t be bothered to walk too far from a beachside hostel. Oh and the free breakfast here is a definite plus.

What to Pack for your Bocas del Toro Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

Why you should travel to Bocas del Toro

Wow, so those were the best hostels in Bocas del Toro.

Who knew you’d be able to find so much budget accommodation literally located on the beach? That’s the sort of thing you usually pay an arm and a leg for if you’re in a hotel!

But here it’s all pretty affordable. And when it comes to fun, you’ll be able to find some super lively bars and party hostels spread around the island so you’ll never get bored.

And if you can’t choose from all the top hostels in Bocas del Toro? No worries! We recommend Palmar Beach Lodge – our top pick for the best overall hostel in Bocas del Toro.

Palmar Beach Hostel Bocos del Toro
Palmar Beach Lodge

FAQ about Hostels in Bocas del Toro

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Bocas del Toro.

How much does a hostel cost in Bocas del Toro?

Depending on the location and type of room, on average, the price starts at $15 – $19+ per night.

What are the best hostels in Bocas del Toro for couples?

Swing around in the hammock or stay in a very nice private room for an all-day chill out with your partner in Twin Fin Hostels.

What are the best hostels in Bocas del Toro near the airport?

If you need to stay near the airport, Pineapple House is just 1 minute by foot from Bocas del Toro Isla Colon International Airport.

Travel Safety Tips for Bocas del Toro

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

More Epic Hostels in Panama and Central America

Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Bocas del Toro.

Planning an epic trip all across Panama or even Central America itself?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Central America, check out:

Over to you

By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Bocas del Toro has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Bocas del Toro and Panama?

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