The Best Hostels Near Amador Causeway, Panama City

Monument to Simon Bolivar in the old town of Panama City
Monument to Simon Bolivar in the old town of Panama City | © Leonid Andronov / Alamy Stock Photo

When it comes to planning a trip to Panama City, all roads point to the Amador Causeway. Built from rock that was excavated during the construction of the Panama Canal, the Amador Causeway, also called the Causeway Islands, forms a tiny archipelago off the mainland in Panama Bay. Its top attractions include the Biomuseo and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Marine Exhibition Center. Visiting this area needn’t be expensive. Find an affordable stay, with our curated list of the best hostels near Panama City’s Amador Causeway.

1. Ibrais Hostal

Hostel

Ibrais Hostal
Courtesy of Ibrais Hostal / Expedia

You won’t be crammed into bunk beds at Ibrais Hostal. Instead, you’ll be given one of several tidy, no-frills rooms with much more privacy. This hostel is located in the Cangrejo district – named after the Spanish word for crab, and famous for its nightlife. It’s also just a block away from the metro line that will take you to Panama’s historic Casco Viejo or, with a transfer, all the way down to the Causeway Islands.

2. Hotel Magnolia Inn

Boutique Hotel, Hostel, Hotel

Hotel Magnolia Inn
Courtesy of Hotel Magnolia Inn / Expedia

Not many hostels can brag about their digs the way Magnolia Inn can. Located in a sky-blue, French colonial mansion in the heart of the historic Casco Viejo neighborhood, the Magnolia Inn is both a 16-room hotel and a six-dorm hostel. It’s in a great central location and within walking distance of sights such as the Presidential Palace, the National Theater and the Metropolitan Cathedral.

3. Selina Casco Viejo

Hostel

Selina Casco Viejo Panama City
Courtesy of Selina Casco Viejo / Expedia

From the edge of the terrace at Selina Casco Viejo you’ll be able to spot skaters coasting down the Amador, cargo ships passing through the Panama Canal and tour groups milling about the Casco Viejo itself. In addition to budget-friendly accommodation, this hostel hosts a co-working space and an underground club, so you’ll be kept busy both day and night. If you’re not here to work or party, you can always retire to the library, see what’s playing in the movie room or sign up for upcoming activities such as cooking workshops and architecture walks.

4. Mamallena Backpackers

Hostel

Mamallena Backpackers
Courtesy of Mamallena Backpackers / Booking.com

You get more for your money at Mamallena Backpackers hostel, with free tea, coffee and pancakes available all day, every day. The two-story blue house in the Perejil neighborhood also treats its guests to boat trips to the San Blas Islands, or Cartagena in neighboring Colombia. There’s air conditioning in every room (a rarity in some hostels) and a 24-hour reception, so there’s always someone around to cater to your needs.

5. Hostel Casa 33

Hostel

Hostel Casa 33
Courtesy of Hostel Casa 33 / Expedia

For travelers seeking a bit of privacy after weeks of sleeping in dorms, a stay in one of the pod-style beds at the Hostel Casa 33 may be just the thing. The hostel is a renovated two-story, colonial-style home built in the 1940s – one of the few that have survived as towering skyscrapers and posh apartments continue to appear throughout the area. A number of Panama’s top attractions are within walking distance, but if you’re looking to make it out to the Amador and back, you can rent a bicycle for the day at the front desk.

6. Zebulo Hostel

Hostel

Zebulo Hostel promises good vibes and a comfortable stay in the heart of Panama City, just two minutes’ walk from Via Argentina station. Inside, mixed dorms with comfortable mattresses and air conditioning provide a good night’s sleep, and lockers are available in the lobby. There are also three private rooms with a higher price tag. Perks include a jacuzzi, badminton net, ping-pong table and 24-hour reception.

7. Hotel Magnolia Inn

Boutique Hotel, Hostel, Hotel

Magnolia Inn is both a boutique hotel and a hostel. This favored resting place for travelers is a French colonial mansion that has been restored to showcase its historic charm and original character. Choose between air conditioning or fan-cooled rooms, the latter being in a former ballroom with a piano at one end. Free wifi and orthopedic beds await you, plus there’s a bright, communal kitchen overlooking Casco Viejo below.

8. Sofia's Bed and Breakfast Hostal Boutique

Hostel

Sofias B&B Hostal Boutique
Courtesy of Sofia's Bed and Breakfast Hostal Boutique / Expedia

There’s a small handful of rooms at Sofia’s B&B, a low-roofed, yellow house that feels like an authentic Panamanian home. It’s a great spot if you want to stay near the Amador Causeway and Panama City’s hotspots, it’s only one block away from El Dorado Mall and a short walk from the leafy La Gloria park, known for its hidden viewpoint overlooking the city.

9. Zebulo Hostel

Hostel

Zebulo Hostel
Courtesy of Zebulo Hostel / Expedia

While Zebulo may have an unassuming exterior, you’ll quickly be enveloped in the multicolored murals and inviting atmosphere once you’re inside. Grab some bunkmates to play badminton or board games indoors, or venture out of the commercial Obarrio district where Zebulo is located to take the four-hour bike tour down the Cinta Costera to the Casco Viejo and the Amador Causeway.

10. Los Mostros Hostel

Hostel

Los Mostros Hostel
Courtesy of Los Mostros Hostel / Expedia

You’ll be in the middle of the action at Los Mostros, a hostel in the Obarrio district just steps away from the designer-filled Soho City Center mall and the twisting, dizzying F&F Tower. Back at the hostel, there’s plenty to do, whether playing ping-pong with your travel buddies or diving into the backyard pool to cool off from the Panamanian heat.

11. Bodhi Panama City

Hostel

Bodhi Panama City
Courtesy of Bodhi Panama City / Expedia

Bodhi Panama City is hidden away at the base of the hill that’s home to the Reserva Cerro Ancón – a nature reserve that offers unbeatable skyline views and wildlife encounters with toucans, sloths and monkeys. At the hostel, wake up with a yoga class on the terrace, or channel your inner artist in the art room – a creative space set up by Burwigan, a social and environmental project leading the local fight against climate change.

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Brittney Schering.

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