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“Great value, Friendly staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tungara Calipso Hostel

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Tungara Calipso Hostel
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3rd Street, between E and Central Avenue | Across the Municipal Building, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 01010, Panama   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ukiah, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great value, Friendly staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2012

I had a wonderful stay at the old Calypso, new Tungara Hotel/hostel. The new owners were busily painting and refurbishing this well located hotel in Bocas. All new mattresses was just one of the many improvements they were making. I was there in April - when Bocas took the national title in baseball! What fun that was!
Tungara Hotel and hostel has air conditioning in every room. Private baths, - even the dorms have their own bathrooms. Television, wi fi, a convenient community kitchen, balconies. It is a cut above the nearby hostels. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. I stayed in one of the private rooms. Double bed plus a bunk bed, bath, shelves and dresser. Air-conditioning of course! Roomy, clean comfortable, no bites or anything like that. Thank you Tungara Hotel! You made my trip a pleasure.
PS I was in Bocas to study spanish. The staff was very helpful that way too.

Room Tip: I like the private rooms with balconies, though the ones inside are a bit quieter, if sleep is the m...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    19
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    12
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas, United States
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

We see a lot of mixed reviews for this Hostel which is now called Tungara Hostel. After a horrible stay at Hostel Luego we moved over here at 7:30am and they allowed us to store our belongings before they even cleaned the room while we went on a catamaran trip. Everything was super clean, the beds were brand new and super comfortable, and they had a/c that was so cold we woke up cold and turned it of. Ironic having just been up most of the night sweating buckets at Hostel Luego that we found it too cold here..lol The staff were friendly and awesome. We would stay again. Great location for the hostel. The rooms are in a quiet area of the hostel so you can actually get some sleep even if theres partying going on in the front of the hostel. Bathroom with hot water, clean and great.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

We stayed here for one night only. The room was number 6 or 7, upstairs double bed with bunk and ensuite with no external windows or natural light. My girlfriend got bitten the worst, legs and back, myself mostly legs. See the picture. What more can I say. We didn't notice until we sat on the water taxi back to the mainland and realised how bad it was. At first we thought it was mosquitos.

Room Tip: If you have no choice and have to stay here, do not go in the double room upstairs with no windows o...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
panamajoules, Owner at Tungara Calipso Hostel, responded to this review, June 7, 2012
Hola Dunthenun,

We really sad to hear about what happened to you and mad at ourselves for not being quick enough to take care of the bed bug situation. What can we say besides being really sorry and really embarrassed? We are really, really sorry.

We took over this property on March 1st of 2012, and since then we have been replacing mattresses and pillows as fast as we can. As of now, all of the private rooms have bed bug free mattresses (we have discarded more than 30 of them) and many of the dorm rooms as well. Those that we haven't been able to replace yet, we have spent hours and hours going through them and applying special medicines to get rid of unwanted visitors.

Every penny that the hostel receives right now, we're putting it back into the hostel to bring it back to be a quality budget lodging option.

The two bedrooms that didn't have windows, we have opened windows so that they have natural light and ventilation as well.

Besides the above, we have dismantled many beds, and treated all of the wood after fumigation to ensure the bed bugs don't come back.

We're really sorry, and we're working around the clock and completely remodeling the hostel and renaming it to Tungara Hostel. Once the process is finished (in about a couple of weeks we hope) we will publish photos on our blog and we're sure that situations as those that have happened to you will never ever happen again.

My sincere apologies, and if you are ever back in Bocas, please do pay us a visit to see for yourself the change, and we'll put you up in our best room and do our best to make up for the very bad experience you had.

Julio Santamaria
Co-Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

It's like the Red Bull of hostels in Bocas Del Toro. There are others that tast the same but there is still only one and nothing compares to it .
You stay up late in this town weather your out the next day or not.That just happens here. You need a good bug free sleep no matter how many hours you get and in Calipso you can get that .
I can't believe how good I slept.
Calypso is the only hostel I've ever been in with en-suites in the dorms, air-con as well as new beds. It just has a good vibe and you know it when you get there cause the staff are hospitable and friendly. One girl borrowed a set of speakers for her i pod.
It doesnt get any better than here and your right in the heart of it all. The place is built well, so you are not bothered by noise from other rooms and outside.
There is even a second level balcony looking over the main drag if you prefer not to be distracted by all the girls walking by saying hello to the staff.
This should be your first stop to check and see if they have a room or a bed if you haven't already booked on line .
I stayed 5 nights when I only intended on staying 2.

Room Tip: Most rooms had new beds. Check to see if you have one.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

We spend ther tow night and we like it very much. The owner is one of nice men that we meet in Bocas, he heve a lot of pation to every body and he gave us goose advis to travel around. You can make your own pancakes in the morning for free. The kitchen and the rooms are nice and clen.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2012

In my travels of the world, I have never been so disgusted with any establishment like the calipso hostel in Bocas town, Panama. After 5 or 6 phone calls to make sure of arrangements and speaking with a man named Ramon who seemed to be the manager (?), my friend and I arrived on an unfortunate day. It was Carnival time in Panama and the hostel was located a few feet from one of the nosiest locations you can imagine. The stage for incredibly loud music was never mentioned by Ramon. On the last phone call to him before spending 5 hours of overland journey, he instructed us to give him a phone call from the water taxi location in the mainland city of Almirante and he would come and get us in a few minutes.
When we made the phone call, we were informed he had more pressing matters to handle. No problem since you're on Island time in this location and we got our own water taxi. Upon arrival at the hostel Ramon was to busy to talk with us so one of his assistants showed us a real dive of a room with one small double bed. The whole place was filthy. Since I was traveling with another man (I'm a man also) we had talked about that fact on each of the prior phone calls requesting separate beds. The assistant guy took us a bit farther away from the noise location to another hotel with a single bed and no air conditioner or fan in a HOT room and the price had gone from $ 20 a night to $55 a night.
We told this guy to go straight to hell and found a good, quiet hostel on a nearby island and we were treated most fairly all around there..
Don't book a room at this dive unless you can handle poor service from A to Z.

Room Tip: Do your homework well before going to Bocas town
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartmouth, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012 via mobile

the dirtiest, dankest hostel I've ever seen. the room was so stuffy, even though there was air conditioning. the mattresses were mildewy and really dirty, not to mention paper thin. the sheets we were given looked like they'd been through a war. there was mold on my pillow. after attempting to sleep in those conditions for about an hour, we left and found somewhere else to stay. much nicer, perfectly clean and almost the same price for a private room as calipso's nasty dorms. the only good thing I can say about them is that the man at the desk did give us our money back when we checked out after an hour. we honestly didn't even care if we got a refund, we just couldn't stay there.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tungara Calipso Hostel

Address: 3rd Street, between E and Central Avenue | Across the Municipal Building, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 01010, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Colon Island's Main Street, Tungara Calipso Hostel is right where all the action takes place but with enough distance from the main bars and clubs allowing you to have a pleasant night's sleep. With 7 dorm rooms and 3 private rooms, all of which are air conditioned and have their own private bathroom, this youth hostel has a welcoming international backpacker vibe. Beds in a dorm room go from $15 per night and private rooms go from $45 per night. The hostel has free wifi internet, an ample balcony, a common kitchen, 24 hour reception service and free breakfast. As of March 2012, Tungara Calipso Hostel is under new management and its quality has been upgraded. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tungara Calipso Hostel Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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