Hospedaje Casco Viejo



Hostelz.com's Review

Casco Viejo is basic, sure -- but sometimes basic is good. In this case being basic allows it to undercut its competitors on price while still creating a comfortable stay in a city where it can be expensive to stay.

The Location

The hostel is pretty central in Panama City's old town. It's a short walk to the water and its beautiful nightime cityscape, several good restaurants, and the local party hostel, which non-guests can drink at, but for a premium price. A taxi to the bus station will cost you, but the airport is a little further outside the city. As with anywhere in Panama City, don't walk around alone at night as plenty of muggings have occurred in this area.

Rooms and Bathrooms

All rooms are large and spacious, with the large dorms having a choice of bunks and singles. The beds are steel-tube-framed, with ladders on every bunk -- something that is surprisingly rare in hostels -- and all sheets and pillows provided. There are also free towels if you ask for them and steel lockers for every bed. Many rooms on the first floor have large balconies, which are great for relaxing or having a sociable drink in the evening. It is by no means a party hostel, but being at the bottom end of the price range, it tends to attract a sociable crowd.

There are three bathrooms, all separate, which means privacy but often means you can be waiting for one to become free. There is plenty of room to hang stuff and change (if they are all free, the downstairs shower is the best).

Common Spaces

There are not a great deal of common areas in Casco Viejo but there is a decent sized kitchen for cooking meals and a courtyard where the free breakfast of bread, jam, peanut butter, and bananas is laid out. On top of this there is a small seating area in reception where the one computer is kept. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel.


If you're looking for a cheap place to stay in Panama City, Casco Viejo comes highly recommended. It is basic but it is clean, comfortable, and close to the action and party hostels. The staff are friendly and will help you out with whatever advice you need for your stay in Panama.
by Sam Grocott
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
November 2011


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Hospedaje Casco Viejo" at Calle 8a con Avenida A. Casa 8-31.)


Calle 8a con Avenida A. Casa 8-31, San Felipe, Panama City, Old Quarter, Panama
8.951555, -79.535152
(507) 211 2027
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

A nice area, but bad security and bad staff attitudes!
This hostel is located in the quaint Casco Viejo area of Panama City -- by far the nicest part of town, with loads of beautiful old colonial buildings; some still crumbling, others newly renovated. Hospedaje Casco Viejo was in the process of having its "beautification" when we stayed -- and I'm quite surprised they let out our room, and didn't decide just to keep it closed ... The room itself wasn't bad -- small, clean, plenty of power sockets, and a fan (which was very useful, as our room [7B] is basically a heat trap! Not sure if this was due to hot weather in March, or because there's a laundry area just along the corridor downstairs). Our room, along with another -- 7A -- was in a "separate wing" of the hostel; this meant it was through the tiny kitchen/corridor, down a very small walkway which was full of builder's materials, bricks, and open paint cans that we had to clamber over, then up a ladder-staircase. From early morning until late afternoon every day, the builders were at the bottom of our "entrance ladder" doing work in that part of the building and making a lot of noise. They were also working on the reception area and common area during our stay, which meant ladders up, dust sheets everywhere, and electrical wiring being fitted. Basically a building site! But I probably would have overlooked the mess and noise if the staff were at all apologetic or helpful, which they were not. They claimed we were told about the works in advance, but we definitely weren't. Also, one morning, a random man -- apparently some guy who'd walked in off the street because the builders had all the doors open -- walked into my room whilst I was in there getting changed. The door wasn't locked, but he'd still somehow been allowed to walk into the building, and climb the ladder up to my room without anyone stopping him! I shouted and he left pretty quickly. When we mentioned this to the member of staff on duty, she got very defensive and said it was "one of those things," and basically said the building work had to take priority. So overall -- not bad (although hot) rooms, good location; showers are cold, but wifi is good; and the hostel may well be nice once the renovations are done. But be very wary of security, and don't expect much help from the staff!
Age 32, UK
Great Hostel
We had a private room. We arrived at 6 in the morning as we took the night bus in and they still let us check into our room at that time! We also made a mistake on the initial booking with dates and they let us change them without a fuss. Great staff. Very helpful. Breakfast was good too, crunchy peanut butter or jam on toast with a coffee.
Fae Reid
Age 26, UK
Great hostel
big spacious dorms with good ventilation and a nice veranda. The bathrooms not so clean but ok for those used to the backpacker life. Private rooms also, quite nice and very cheap. Nice staff who helped us with all kinds of arrangement. For example we found a place to stay in San Blas with a guy named Elias Perez through the hostel. We will definitely recommend both this hostel and the place we stayed in San Blas. And the location is perfect for walking around in the charming old part of Panama city.
  A good place to stay for the adventure/budget traveler in an amazing and very old and poor neighborhood filled with real people, incredible spanish colonial architecture and major Panama history. For $12 i got a private room with a cold water shower that was clean and secure. even though there was no outside window in my room the air was stirred by an adequate ceiling fan. The host/owner Ricardo Garces has done a great job with renovation. There is a modern common kitchen and nice courtyard area, and TV and computer with internet in the lobby/entranceway. the hostel is right next to the church that houses the famous Altar de Oro and offers mass everyday. Restaurants and stores are few and far between but coming along with the discovery and restoration/development of Casco Viejo and San Felipe. Ricardo does the updating of reservations himself and responds with a confirmation email. Twenty-four hour door access is available and Ricardo can arrange a taxi for that pre-dawn trip to Tocumen Airport if you need it. They don't take credit cards. You can have your laundry done for you by a local person who picks up and delivers. The beds are good by Panamanian standards and fairly new as the place has only been open a year. enjoy!
bob applegate

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