On the eighth of February, 2017, an exciting new accommodation option opened up in Bocas Town, Bocas del Toro, Panama. It’s rustic, minimalist, stylish and funky, and it’s called Twin Fin Hostel.
When you walk in to the hostel from either of its inviting entrances, you find yourself intrigued and wanting to see more. On one side, you’ll find a lovely outdoor beer garden, with a small bar offering cheap, ice cold beverages on a hot day. On the other side, you’ll find reception, where a member of the small, personable team will welcome you with a smile. The staff are all passionate and knowledgeable about their workplace and the vibrant town in which it is located, and are happy to answer any questions you might have.
Scattered around the brand-new hostel are gorgeous artworks, many by artist Ernesto Mago (find him on Instagram: @ernesto.mago). Adding to the funky feel of this nifty little place is the blue-white-brown colour scheme, reminding you of your proximity to the incredible Caribbean Sea just a short walk away.
Upstairs, you’ll find a deck with a sitting area, a library, and a fully equipped kitchen. Once they’ve added a few more comfy seats to the equation you’ll have a perfect upstairs chill-out space for guests. You’ll also find the dormitories on this level, with 3-bed, 4-bed and 8-bed options. They’re working on providing private rooms soon, so stay tuned for that development.
The rooms are simple, with fans and windows for cooling, and plenty of room for your backpacks. One big bonus is that they don’t only provide bunk beds – they also have twin beds in the rooms, so if you’re lucky, you might be able to grab one of these for your stay, and enjoy the comfort of not having to worry about a bunk-mate.
Almost all of the dorm rooms have lockers, varying in size. In the bigger dorms with more beds, the lockers are big enough for a small backpack or laptop and other valuables; in the smaller dorms there’s room for a camera, passport and purse. You should bring your own lock for these lockers – though there are a few available to borrow, there aren’t enough for everyone.
The three bathrooms don’t have hot water, but most people don’t find that to be much of an issue in a place as warm and humid as Bocas del Toro. On the plus side, you can enjoy fast, reliable wifi throughout the property, and breakfast is included with every booking! For your convenience, I asked what breakfast was, and you won’t be disappointed – pancakes, fruit and coffee every morning from 8am to 10am! There’s night-time security for your safety, and the hostel even allows you to have guests join you in their beer garden! Beers are super cheap at only USD$1.50 each, and in the near future the hostel is looking to stock more drink options in their bar. On top of all of this, you can even get your laundry done right on the premises, for only USD$5 per load.
The whole property is large, open, bright and airy, which means you can’t help but feel happy and relaxed no matter where you spend your time. There are plenty of common areas to hang out in, which provides every opportunity to meet fellow backpackers and strike up conversation about your travels; plus, there’s a bike rental place right across the road (though it’s not the cheapest, so you might want to ask around before renting).
The hostel is still working out a few kinks that come with being so new, including making sure breakfast is ready on time, and improving their sound proofing. At the moment, because of the rustic design, it’s easy to hear other guests walking around no matter where in the property you are. Make sure you bring earplugs to ensure this isn’t a concern for you – there are plenty of reasons to stay for these few small sacrifices!
The centre of Bocas Town is a short walk away, where you’ll find restaurants, shops, a park, the bank, and transport to anywhere you want to go; but Twin Fin is far enough away from the hubbub that you don’t have to worry about missing out on a good night’s sleep because of all of the noise.
Twin Fin’s ratings are currently sitting above 9/10 on booking.com – visit them and find out why!
The best way to book at Twin Fin Hostel is to send them a message on their Facebook page, or you can also check them out on booking.com.
A bed in their 8-bed dorm will cost you USD$13 per person per night.
To stay in their 4-bed dorm you will be paying USD$15 per person per night.
If you want more privacy, you can stay in their 3-bed dorm for USD$17 per person per night.
Each of these options includes breakfast.
Check In: From 11am
Check Out: 10am
A: Avenida Norte, entre la Calle 4ta y la Calle 5ta Isla Colon, Bocas Town, Panama
P: +507 760-8134
Disclaimer: I did not personally stay at Twin Fin; but I did spend time there speaking to one of the managers, Nina; and interviewed two of my good friends who stayed two nights. I was treated to a tour of the hostel and given answers to every question I asked. I did not receive any form of compensation for writing this article; I simply wanted to help out a new hostel in this beautiful part of the world.