hostel review: mamallena, panama city

$13 per night per person, 8-bed mixed dorm with shared bathroom, 14th December 2014


Full of young people either killing time before boarding their boat to Colombia via the San Blas Islands or recovering from the crossing. 



Mamallena is not in a good location. it is a decent walk from most of Panama City's attractions, and in a less than desirable area. Do not arrive here on foot after dark. 


Best bit

Because of an overnight bus, we arrived at Mamallena's around 6.30 a.m. where, despite the time, we invited to have a free pancake breakfast and check-in to our dorm. The hostel is also a great source of information for trips, tours and activities in Panama.


Worst bit

The dorms are small and cramped, and in cool weather or rain, there are not enough social areas for the sheer number of guests this hostel houses.


Value for money

One of the cheaper hostels in Panama City, but probably best spending a dollar or so more a night and taking one of the more centrally located ones.


Recommended for

If you want to arrange your San Blas adventure with Mamallena (they are one of the big suppliers of tours), then it may well be worth staying here for ease. However, if you want to make it to Colombia or the San Blas on your own and for a fraction of the cost, here's our guide



Kitchen, free breakfast, wi-fi, computers, English spoken, tourist information, 24hr reception and security, small lockers, pets, lockers, garden, laundry.


Rating: 6


panama city can be expensive, so what should a budget backpacker do? We have five suggestions that won't break the bank!