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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Best place to stay in bocas-Hands down!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Pukalani Hostal

Best prices for -
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
Pukalani Hostal
San Diego, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best place to stay in bocas-Hands down!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2012

This hotel is a perfect getaway from the bustling town of Bocas. I have stayed many places on the island, but since I found this hotel I will look no further in the future! There is a gorgeous, well-maintained swimming pool for those hot days. Ideal for kids, adventurists and surfers. There is a surfing break (Paunch), walking distance away. After surfing, you can chill out in the pool and have a cocktail (there is a bar right next to the pool) no other hotel offers that! The hotel is located right on the beach, so while you sleep you can hear the waves. There is a really cool bohio built on the water, so you can walk out and relax or play some of the games they have out there! The bohio has a romantic feel (made me what to be there with my partner). I stayed in a single room, but they also have VERY affordable dormitories as well (I think it was like $10-$15?). The owners of the hotel are amazing, helpful, and hilarious people, they are fun to hang out with and are very knowledgable about the island. Their son is an avid surfer, so it is definitely surfer friendly (they also rent boards). They rent bikes too so you can bike to town, or they will give you a lift when they are going to town, as well as a shuttle. It is a one-stop place to get anything you need for your adventures. They keep the hostel really nice and clean. (unlike many hostels), it is the kind of hotel that you want to hang out at, not just sleep. It is a place for laid back people, there are no super late parties (for that you can go to town!), but offers some fun pre-drinking at the bar (tequila shots anyone?). I enjoyed getting that extra rest (that you can't get at hotels in town) so I could enjoy my days on the island. Bluff beach is not too far from this place, it is gorgeous! I stayed here for about a week, and I had the most relaxing, fun time! One day here will make you want to stay forever!

Room Tip: The best rooms are the ones right by the water! You open your door, and the ocean is 3 steps away! Y...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tereza H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

158 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    94
    19
    16
    8
    21
See reviews for
12
25
23
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2012

After searching for many hostels in town we decided to stay in Pukalani. First off, it shouldn't be called a hostel it's more of a resort. The family that runs it is lovely and speaks English as well. They go out of their way to accommodate you and try to meet your needs. The husband is a pro surfer and knows the area very well and can point you in the right direction for whatever it is you are looking for. You won't find nicer people in Bocas. The pool here is clean, inviting and was very relaxing for the night time swims which was one of the best parts. It's located between the town and the best beaches in the area. One of the them is Bluff Beach. This place has amazing food, a beautiful dock, pool table, BBQ, cable and the rooms are pristine. Wifi as well. You can rent bikes and go to town within ten minutes or less. We liked it so much that we decided to stay longer then planned. It's away from all the craziness in town which gives you a sense of quitenes and paradise. If we come back to Bocas this is our place. A home away from home. Air conditioning, a mini fridge, hot showers, comfy beds and you can find privacy even if the hotel is full. Overall this place has a great vibe and you can tell the owners priority is to make your time here the best it can be. There is three scheduled shuttles a day which makes it even more convienant for you when you get off the boat in town otherwise there are cabs that charge two dollars a person. We loved it here and we know you will too! Take a moment to look at the pictures we posted!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Suntanama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2012

Me and my friend were traveling in central and south america for 3 months. So this was our first experience with hostels, we tried loads of them in 7 different countries and Pukalani is without a doubt the best of them! Everything was super clean, good air-conditioner, excellent food, nice swimming pool and many many many other things.... Last but not least the owners are fantastic and they really want to do everything for you. Everything. They became our friends...and you know it is not because of the business that they try to be nice to their costumers, they are really fantastic people! The hostel is not located down town but they can drive you down town on special hours and you can also get a bike there which was very nice. I would for sure recommend this hostel for everybody!! Although this is not a "party-hostel" it is a lot of fun there! Of course they have a bar but at the same time you get a good night sleep (which is not so normal on many hostels). I visited a few hostels in Bocas on my stay there, cause I had some friends on other hostels and I really felt how Pukalani was the #1 high quality...

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hildurskula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2012

My friend and I moved to Pukalani Hostel after being robbed in Bocas because we had heard great things about it. It is about 5 minutes from town by taxi, costing $2 per person each way or you could rent a bike and ride into town. Seeing how it was away from the chaos of town, we felt much safer and more relaxed. The family that owns and runs the hostel were absolutely lovely and very helpful in my not so ideal situation of just having all my valuables etc stolen. The pool was lovely and when we arrived, it was being cleaned by the owner's very good looking and pleasant son. Everything was cleaned and well maintained and overall, they made me feel very welcome and I would return if I make it back to Bocas! Thank you for everything!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2012

I had a very bad experience with the staff here. I would give them zero stars if I could! Both the owner and his wife were very rude, repeatedly lying to me and being generally very unaccommodating.

In addition, the location of this place is terrible. It is about a 15-minute drive out of town, and although they advertise a "free shuttle," this is not really true as it only goes three times a day (7 am, noon, and 7 pm). Their website states that it is a 60 cent taxi ride, but this isn't true, it is 2-3 dollars per person, one way.

I'd really recommend staying somewhere in town, or going to one of the resorts on Bustamante Island if you want to be away from it all.

Room Tip: Find another hostel!
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ksd8y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

The hostel is owned by a local family and managed by the mother and her sons.
Since the moment we arrived (june-off season) the lady made us feel unwanted to say the least, like as we were asking for charity.
During our entire stay, i didn't see any smile or any interest in us what so ever.
The only thing i remember her saying is:
"no glasses near the pool, no smoking, pay me-i need to close the reception".
Every thing we needed even if it was basic, we had to ask for, and the worst is we were Answered with an angry face.

Overall, the hostel is beautiful and well located, but it doesn't worth coming and feeling "unwanted", and believe me- that's an understatement.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank danking990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2012

Terrible attitude on the owner's behalf.
Didn't enjoy our stay only because of that.

There is a pool wich dosen't get cleaned very often.
Dirty shower with electric heater that dosen't work, beds are crooked and not comfortable.

All that would have been ok if the attitude was normal but the owner and her son are the most unplesent pepole i've met so far in my trip.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank EyalEyal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Bocas Town
1.6 mi away
Tropical Suites Hotel
Tropical Suites Hotel
#1 of 13 in Bocas Town
4.5 of 5 bubbles 515 reviews
1.7 mi away
Hotel Bocas del Toro
Hotel Bocas del Toro
#2 of 13 in Bocas Town
4.5 of 5 bubbles 380 reviews
4.1 mi away
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & S...
#1 of 3 in Isla Bastimentos
4.5 of 5 bubbles 487 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.4 mi away
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
2.8 mi away
Island Plantation
Island Plantation
#1 of 5 in Bluff Beach
5.0 of 5 bubbles 205 reviews
3.5 mi away
Bambuda Lodge
Bambuda Lodge
#1 of 2 in Isla Solarte
4.5 of 5 bubbles 332 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Pukalani Hostal? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Pukalani Hostal

Property: Pukalani Hostal
Address: Playa Mango, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Bocas Town
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with HostelWorld so you can book your Pukalani Hostal 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:
Pukalani Hostal Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing