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.

Best Overall Hostel in Bocas del Toro – Palmar Beach Hostel

Palmar Beach Hostel Bocos del Toro
Palmar Beach Hostel is our pick for best overall hostel in Bocas del Toro
  • $$
  • Free Shuttle Bus
  • It’s On The Beach
  • Bar

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.

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

Selina Barcos del Toro Bocos del Toro
Selina Barcos del Toro is our pick for best party hostel in Bocas del Toro
  • $$
  • No Curfew
  • Bar
  • Pool Table

Another top hostel in Bocas del Toro that’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.

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

Selina Red Frog Bocos del Toro
Selina Red Frog is our pick for best hostel for solo travelers in Bocas del Toro
  • $$
  • Games Room
  • Bar
  • Swimming Pool

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.

Best Cheap Hostel in Bocas del Toro – La Guayana Hostel

La Guayana Hostel Bocos del Toro
La Guayana Hostel is our pick for best cheap hostel in Bocas del Toro
  • $
  • Communal Kitchen(s)
  • Free Breakfast
  • Cafe

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.

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

Twin Fin Hostel Bocos del Toro
Twin Fin Hostels is our pick for best hostel for couples in Bocas del Toro
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • 24 Hour Security
  • Bar

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.

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

Bamuda Lodge Bocos del Toro
Bamuda Lodge is our pick for best hostel for digital nomads in Bocas del Toro
  • $$$
  • Swimming Pool
  • Snorkel Hire
  • Kayak Rent

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!)

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

Caribe Hostel Bocos del Toro
Caribe is our pick for best hostel with a private room in Bocas del Toro
  • $
  • Bar
  • Free Breakfast
  • 24 Hour Security

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.

Things DO go missing sometimes…

lock iconPsst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!

More Best Hostels In Bocas del Toro

Aqua Lounge

Aqua Lounge Hostel Bocos del Toro
Aqua Lounge
  • $
  • Swimming Pool
  • Bar
  • Very Party

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
  • $$
  • Swimming Pool
  • Pool Table
  • Bar & Restaurant

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
  • $$
  • Shuttle Bus
  • Free Breakfast
  • Laundry Facilities

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.

The Best Travel Backpack?!
Nomatic 30L Travel Bag

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

What to Pack for your Bocas del Toro Hostel

We don’t often travel without these essentials.

Playing Cards

1. Playing Cards: Name your ideal night: I’m for a few cheap beers and some card games. Oh, and you don’t even have to be drinking to enjoy a game – having cards with you traveling definitely helps out on those long airplane or beach days! Make sure to snag a waterproof deck to protect from the pool, ocean or Chang.

best toiletry bag for one bag travel

2. Active Roots Toiletry Bag: Keep your bath-and-beauty items organized and in the right place with this water-resistant bag. With large compartments, mesh and enclosed clear sections, you can fit everything you might need inside. Hang it up or let it stand on its own – this bag is a must-have for dorm-lifers.


3. Power Bank: Showing up to a new city, after a 14-hour bus ride, with a dead phone and no directions to your hostel is a half-awake, messy nightmare. Putting a good power bank in your pack is the best and easiest way to keep your important electronics charged up for those long travel and sightseeing days.

Luggage Travel Lock

4. Padlock: Theft happens in hostels, so keep a padlock to clip on your locker. This padlock can also double to keep your pack shut while in-transit. No need for keys (which can easily be lost or stolen too), you just have to remember a three-digit number to unlock your travel essentials.

Travel Pillow

5. TRTL Travel Pillow: Get rid of the red eyes and yawning with this TRTL travel pillow. It’s not just a normal neck pillow (I mean, look at it!), the ergonomic design gives your neck and head so much comfortable support that you’ll actually be able to have some decent rest.  Super easy to carry and clean, it takes up so little space compared to a traditional travel pillow.

AR Towel

6. Active Roots Microfiber Towel: Quick-drying, lightweight, super soft and compact – the Active Roots Microfiber Towel is essential for every backpacker. No need to use the scabby towels your hostel may or may not provide! Use it for drying off, as a yoga towel or even as a picnic blanket – the options don’t stop here. Made of antibacterial material, you don’t have to worry about your towel starting to smell unpleasant either after lots of use.

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

Travel Safety Tips for Bocas del Toro

And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

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!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps keep the site going.