We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Decent place to stay.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bocas Bound Hostel

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Save
You added Bocas Bound Hostel to your Saves list
Bocas Bound Hostel
On A Hill Above Red Frog Beach | 15 min water taxi from Bocas Town, Isla Bastimentos, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Decent place to stay.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

It's a nice place to stay if you're in Bocas del Toro. Isla Bastimentos has great beaches and is a lot quieter than the main island.
The restaurant and lounge area is nice, the food is fairly priced and tastes good the service good be a bit better. You can use the shared kitchen but it lacks kooking supplies.
The dorms have a lots of beds, which make the bathroom (cold water showers) go filthy in a second on an busy day. But they take care of it immediately if you tell them.
To bad they close the bar early. There are not a lot of other options in the neighborhood to have a drink. So after the bar closes you're on your own.

But overall a decent place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

164 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    71
    30
    27
    19
    17
See reviews for
12
46
31
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

The best budget option if you do not like camping.
Rooms comfortably and reasonable value, can be noisy depending on your neighbours.
The resort is a concrete abomination however. Sterile and no atmosphere or real communal area for the guests to mix. Broken computer and ripped pool table. Drinks and food are expensive.
I spent all my evenings at Palmar.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

The good: The food is great and very affordable, as are the drinks. The showers have hot water that didn't run out. The common area has a pool table and a ping pong table, which our 11-year old loved. She also loved the zipline tour, though I just about died of fright on it. It was professionally done, so I have to blame it on, oh, I guess... being 100 FEET UP in the air, maybe!!! And last but not least, the sloths- they are amazing animals.

The bad: The rooms have AC which cannot be turned off. Presumably this is the lazy and non-environmentally friendly method that Management uses to address perceived humidity issues (even though the climate did not feel humid in the least). The rooms were hence noisy and COLD- not something you want when you've come down to the tropics from Canada in January. Luckily our AC stopped functioning (darn!) after we called Maintenance to have them address the AC's rattle that would have kept us up all night.

The ugly: The ethics of both off-site field trips we signed up for was questionable. Our first was the Cave tour. The activity itself was amazing, but it was pretty clear that the local landowner, who is also the guide during the expedition, is not being compensated fairly for the use of his property. The resort charged about 35$ per person (i.e. expensive), and yet when we got there we were told that we needed to pay 5$ to the landowner. Upon our return to the hostel I asked why this cost was not included upfront, and I was told that it's because sometimes the landowner isn't there, so in those instances the tourists don't need to pay the 5$! It's pretty bad that this local family is not getting a decent portion of the 35$ paid by every visitor. I relayed my concerns about this to a Manager (the hostel is affiliated with Red Frog Villas); if enough people complain maybe they'll change their policy.

Our second outing was the Crawl Cay- Dolphin Bay boat trip. Although the snorkeling was very disappointing, it was the dolphin watching that I took issue with. It did not respect marine mammal watching guidelines by any stretch of the imagination: there were at least a dozen motor boats at a time, running tight circles around the dolphin pod. The underwater noise must have been horrendous. I strongly recommend that you not support this practice by avoiding a trip to Dolphin Bay.

Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

After two months of travelling this was the first dorm I have stayed in that had air-con at no extra cost. it was bliss! Also, although the dorm rooms are big they are sectioned off in groups of 4 and we were all spread out in the room so everyone got their own little section - plenty of space and privacy. Really good value - I was charged $6 for the first night and $11 for any subsequent nights. Also got a small free breakfast which was enough for me - 3 slices of home-baked bread, toasted, with jam and fruit (pineapple, banana, watermelon). It is a very quiet hostel - at least when I was there - so if you want to relax this is the place to come. If you want to party, stay in Bocas. The food available at the hostel was ok (sandwiches, spaghetti, pizza, burritos etc) and they have a guest kitchen but make sure you stock up on food before you get there as there are no supermarkets nearby.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at Bocas Bound after spending a few days at Bocas Town and not being overly impressed.The place is super-cheap by Panamanian standards - they have special deals where every third night is discounted or you getting a cheaper price for extended stays.

Our private double room but was basic but clean and fine. There was no window to the outside so it was a little dark but we saw that before we agreed to stay so it wasn't a problem. We honestly only used the room to sleep in as the huge open air common area was perfect for chilling out in - it had comfy couches, a ping pong table, lots of board games and a decent book exchange. One night they played a decent movie on a big projecter which was great.

The provided breakfast was fine - often I paid a dollar or two extra to have some eggs added to it to make it more substantial. The rest of the food from the restaurant was simple but tasty and not too badly priced.

I enjoyed the 5/10 minute walk to the beach - although it got a little muddy! Basically this place is perfect if you just want some chilled out beach time - it's not a party place if that's what you're looking for.

My only qualm was with the service. There were one or two people working there who were helpful and absolute gems - however some of the other members of staff were extremely unhelpful and unfriendly. Several times I would go to the counter to order some food and be blatantly ignored by them for 5 minutes. When they would finally come over they would glare at me and were very abrupt. It made me feel bad each time I ordered some food! I understand that lots of the staff are volunteers and they could get overwhelmed by lots of guest during the busy season - but it was pretty quiet when we were there. And really - it costs nothing to smile occassionally!

I met a few travelers after we left the place who had also stayed there and said the exact same thing. Bocas Bound - great, cheap place - just a shame about a few of the staff. It's still definitely worth a stay though!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Oz
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

Hey, had an awes 4 nights here, friendly reception and sweet free breakfast in morning. Was pretty quiet at night, so heading to cute beach bar down road , no dramas. Cheap dorms, willing to cut price down if u stay longer. Best beaches of bocas on this island. Outdoor kitchen is a bit [--] re: enough pots, equipment...but, other option is to pay for way overpriced restaurant food. So makes u get bit creative , def wod return here!

Room Tip: Dorms are for 12,but partitioned for bit of privacy. Lots of room in showers
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

This place is good for one thing only, it's the only affordable hostel to stay at near red frog beach. The beds are comfortable but you have to pay 5$ to get your sheets changed. The private double room is tiny. They also have air conditioning which you can't control and is freezing. It goes through 3 rooms that are all open at the top (to share the air con) so you can hear your neighbors clear as day. They include breakfast (2 pieces of toast and some overly ripe bananas cut up). I'm allergic to wheat which they couldn't care less about and did nothing to accommodate to this allergy. The rest of the food was like eating at a hospital. Every time I asked for something or ordered something, it felt like I was a huge pain and was annoying to the staff. There was one staff member from Argentina who was new and very nice and the rest you'd be lucky to get a smile out of them. They have a kitchen for guests to use which includes one knife, 2 frying pans, one pot, and 2 mixing bowels that people use when cooking in the oven. There are 4 tiny burners for the smallest oven in the world which means that if you want to use it you have to either start cooking at 4:30pm or wait until after 9:30pm due to the traffic of guests in the kitchen. Bathrooms seemed to be cleaned every other day if that. I hate this place and the only reason I stayed here is because it's near the beach. They did offer ping pong, and pool and played good music which was the up side to this place.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raven55, Manager at Bocas Bound Hostel, responded to this review, May 17, 2012
Dear Guest,

Appreciate your comments on your short stay here at Bocas Bound. This is great information for us to be aware of all the different types of guest that travel through here. It seems you may be new to traveling in Panama or TA. Majority of our guest have reservations, plan, and prepare before arrival. We tend to see guest (walk-ins) not enjoy their self quite as much compared to guest who are ready to unplug and live the island life.
Let us address your complaints so travelers have a fair idea on what to expect.
Hostels do no change sheets daily, if you request this, there is a $4 charge. We gladly do this for free every 7 nights when our guest request. (hostels cant be profitable to change sheets daily for free.)
Our Semi-Private Doubles have a great special now for $22 a night which includes a personal fan, circulating A/C air, hot water, free breakfast, and a 8 minute walk from the famous Red Frog Beach. $11 a person is a great value which separates ourselves from other hostels. Especially our short distance to the multiple pristine beaches is a big plus. The independent restaurant Kayukos can't afford to accommodate everyone personal request. You have other breakfast options you can purchase if your not a fan of the free breakfast.
The good feedback you gave for the Argentina staff member is of Bocas Bound. The other staff at the Restaurant is not supervised or controlled by Bocas Bound. I'll pass on the feedback to the restaurant, but we are confused when guest let a different business organization influence their review of their experience at Bocas Bound Hostel?
We are aware of the space improvements we need in our free community kitchen and we are working on relocating the kitchen to handle more bodies. (keep in mind we can hold over 130 backpackers). We have all the basic kitchen utensils to cook a full breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's challenging to have controls on these utensils when guest typically take these items to their rooms (even though its not allowed).
We are confident that you did not have the opportunity to stay in any other accommodations in Bocas Del Toro, for then you would understand the great value you were receiving for your stay. Thank you for your personal feedback, but we are sure your "lack of service" does not paint a fair picture for a 1-2 star ranking? We hope your experience didn’t get in the way of enjoying the beautiful island of Isla Bastimetnos!

Bocas Bound Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Bocas Bound Hostel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Bocas Bound Hostel

Address: On A Hill Above Red Frog Beach | 15 min water taxi from Bocas Town, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a living rainforest, on a Caribbean island, Bocas Bound is the place to stay and visit in Bocas del Toro. Bocas Bound provides immediate access to surfing, rain forest hikes, kayaking, and beautiful beaches. Bocas Bound is an exotic destination in Bocas del Toro that attracts back-packers, surfers, and cost-conscious families looking for a place that is extraordinarily different from a typical Bocas hotel. Trails from your doorstep lead you through dense jungle to breathtaking beaches and hidden coves. The nightly chorus of nature will cause you to truly appreciate Isla Bastimentos.* 8 min walk to Red Frog Beach * Beach Activity Center* Hiking Trails and Canopy Zipline* 15 minute water taxi to Bocas Town* Air-conditioned rooms* Full Restaurant Bar and Lounge * Community kitchen * Free Breakfast & Coffee. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with HostelBookers so you can book your Bocas Bound Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Bocas Bound Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Bocas Bound Hostel Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Bocas Bound Hostel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.