Mamallena Backpackers




The Review

Mamallena Backpackers is a large and very social hostel located in Panama City. The owners have thought of everything and the effort really shows in its splendor. Everything from pool parties, BBQs, party boats, and sailing trips are offered at backpackers prices.

The Location

The hostel is located in bustling Panama City, in a relatively central location. Short taxi rides or buses can be taken to any of the sights and sounds that attracts visitors to the city. The hostel is located only a five-minute walk from a large walking street that has tons of great and cheap shopping as well as any service you may require.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are spacious and clean with comfortable beds and come with air conditioning that is on from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., so sleeping is comfortable. The dorms only have six beds each, so they are spacious and tidy. The maids clean every day and remake the beds each morning. The dorms also come with a full en suite bathroom. There are also random bathrooms and showers all over the hostel, making the chances of waiting a thing of the past.

Common Spaces

The common areas are where Mamallena's really shines -- spaces include a large garden complete with chairs, hammocks, tables, and Wi-Fi that comes with a pool perfect for cooling off from the hot sun. There are also two other large rooms with all the comforts of home such as Wi-Fi, television with DVD player, book exchange (they will also buy books for three beers), a large selection of games, couches, hammocks, and a beer-pong table for drinking games. The kitchen is medium sized, but very well equipped with stove, oven, refrigerator, and microwave. The hostel also has complimentary coffee and pancake mix available twenty-four hours a day, which is perfect if you're catching an early shuttle.


Mamallena's is a very large and social hostel that makes traveling around Panama City and the region a breeze. They have books with detailed information on everything from supermarkets to museums to casinos and, of course, the canal. They plan trips, such as their infamous Saturday night party boat in the harbor, sailing trips to San Blas Islands, and jungle treks. The reception staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and they all speak English and Spanish (the manager also speaks French).
by Fro Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Mamallena Backpackers" at Casa 7-62, Calle Primera.)


Casa 7-62, Calle Primera, Perejil, Panama City, Old Quarter, Panama
8.973762, -79.536467 (accuracy not guaranteed)
(507) 6676 6163
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How is Mamallena Backpackers rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
(790 ratings)
(24 ratings)
Not listed on HostelsClub.
(3 ratings)
85% Guest Reviews

Stay Away
This hostel like many others is just alright if you don't have questions to ask or requests. If you want to know about different things, first they offer wrong and misleading information, when they try to be helpful. Otherwise, if you need any information, that childlike and honestly immature owner Stuart makes sure he squeezes every penny out of you. And then there is Will who have the all the charm of a cricket bat. God, you don't want to stay here. Trust me, you DO NOT.
Useless, jerk of an owner
The hostel itself was ok. Bed was comfortable and dorm was clean and air conditioned. Clean too, though it smelled really bad. But any question you had for the staff, and especially the pompous little British nerd of an owner (who didn't even speak rudimentary Spanish!!!)? You could pretty much count in it being unanswered or answered rudely. For example, I wanted to take a boat through the San Blas Islands to Colombia and they said they could arrange it. After 2 days of waiting for them and constantly hearing "nope, there are NO boats going right now, I started searching on my own and found about a half dozen in the following days making that trip. In other words, the owner just couldn't be bothered to make a call or two or check online. The laziness and rudeness of the owner REALLY left a bad taste in my mouth so i'd recommend another place on that alone.
Unfriendly staff
Sent a few emails to the staff of this hostel on which I got completely useless replies. People that are not interested in helping travelers should not work in a hostel.
Ok but not the best.
The price was not the same as advertised, the area is not so good (i was mugged within ten feet of the entrance), and the owner is no help at all.
us of a
Excellent place to crash, hang out, plan.
the location is now different than shown here (as of 9/08 -- about a mile away at via espania and calle 37). one cab took us to the old place but from what we heard this place is even better. we stayed here five nights to start and end our panama vaca in December '08. booked san blas trip through them too. the prices are great, spacious common areas, four fast free computers, cheap cold drinks, beer, and snacks, free pancakes and coffee, staff is always cleaning, very helpful and knowledgeable about city/country/tours, an excellent atmosphere. Eight more private rooms are under construction. downstairs showers and commodes are new. taxi rides less than $4 most everywhere. 25-cent bus at the corner. the building is off the busy main street. not an especially scenic area but seemed safe except late at night. no rests/bars without a cab, but we'd go back here in a flash. it's a clean, comfortable, friendly, well-run operation. great job Stuart!
Very Good Standard Hostel
Steward the new Owner is an Australian guy and he keep the reputation of Australia alive in PANAMA. Professional but not pretentious. Friendly but not rude. Reliable and Knowledgeable. Just one out point. The portrait of dying people in the wall is a bit devastating in the decoration. Two points to fix to make it the best place. The slow Pentium II 25 mhz is museum and a killer. Coffee is non drinkable unless you like ulcer.
erick khazz
  Take care when you reserve here. We made reservations, but on arrival in the evening we were told that they didn't actually have any room, despite reservations, and we were bundled into a taxi and sent off to another hostel that is a kilometer further from the center of town.
  Loved this place even came back for a stay. really friendly staff, nice terrace, aircon rooms. Just can recommend it for a stay in Panama City.
Jan Gutzeit

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