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“In the heart of Bocas, not a place for peace and quiet”
Review of Calipso Hostel

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Calipso Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“In the heart of Bocas, not a place for peace and quiet”
Reviewed 18 September 2013

First, the good:
The staff is super friendly and helpful.
The rooms have been updated with nice tiles, etc. in the bathroom.
It is centrally located (if that's what you want)
A/C in the rooms

Now, the bad:
There isn't really a chill place to hang out. There are crowded folding chairs downstairs, and the upstairs balcony is really an extension of the rooms there, so not really common areas.
The rooms are not sufficient to hang out, and given that there is no other area, you're pretty cramped. That's fine if you're out doing tours all day and then at the bar and just need a place to crash. But if you actually want to hang out for a a day or two, it's not a good option.
It is centrally located, but a short walk leads to much more chill areas. Again, if you're not looking for peace and quiet, have at it.

When I booked (which was super easy) they didn't have a private room so they put us in a dorm room to have for ourselves for the same price. The room (#3) was a terrible, dank, dungeon-y place that was worth nowhere near the $35 they charged for it. I wouldn't have paid $5 to stay in that room.

The following night we were put in a proper room that was dramatically better, but still, there was nowhere to hang out.

Basically, if you just want a place to sleep and need A/C, this is not a bad option. If you want a private room and a relaxing place, look elsewhere.

Room Tip: Upstairs is much better. It's a very humid place and room #3 is to be avoided unless you have a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mike v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
panamajoules, Owner at Calipso Hostel, responded to this review, 20 September 2013
Hi Mike,

You do give a quite accurate description about our hostel. On our website in fact we advertise about being a very convenient place (centrally located, close to everything) for people to enjoy where you’ll get a good night’s sleep after experiencing everything that Bocas has to offer (both during the day and during the night), and a good place to meet people from all over the world with whom you'll be able to explore Bocas... but...

We never intend to mislead that at the hostel itself is where we want our guests to spend most of their time. Upon arrival at the hostel and having a tour, we convey this info as well.

Bocas del Toro is such a stunning place with so many things to do, it would be a shame to spend the most of your time in a hostel. Our guests do hang out in the mornings at breakfast and plan their day with other guests and then warm up with some drinks at night before going out, but I would never say we intend for our guests to just stay at the hostel all day long.

We're really sorry that you had these expectations about our hostel but we're not that type of hostel.
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213 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed there for two nights in two different rooms: a dorm that was offered as a private room and a double room.

The rooms were kind of improvised: the "windows" give you a view of a wall 30 centimeters away from your nose, the bathrooms were very dark (which didn't help since there's little lightning in the rooms) and the towels they gave us were raggedy.

People at the front desk were nice and helpful, but the guy in charge of the hostel (the owner?), unlike most of the people at Bocas del Toro, wasn't really friendly. At exactly 10 am, the maple syrup was taken from my girlfriend's hands and we were reminded that checkout was at 11.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DanyiP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
panamajoules, Owner at Calipso Hostel, responded to this review, 20 September 2013
We're really sorry that you felt this way DanyiP. The only reason we ask every morning if guests will continue to stay is to see if they want to keep their space or we can offer it someone else and if guests communicate to us that they're leaving, then just like the normal procedure of any hostel, we remind them the time of the check out. We're really sorry this upset you, it was never our intention.
In regards to the syrup, we never do it as described. None of us are rude in that way. When breakfast time is over and guests are still using certain ingredients we ask if anyone wants anymore and in your case, your girlfriend said she did, we offered her more, she took more and then we put the ingredients away.
And we do have to say that all bathrooms have proper light and in fact this is something we have worked on as we have added more lights and puts signs that display where the switches are.
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Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
Reviewed 10 September 2013

My friend and I went to Bocas for a week. The first two days we stayed at a hotel, but wanted something more fun and with other people so we went walking around to find a hostel to stay instead. Túngara immediately paid our attention with the good atmosphere and El Rawry behind the desk. Him and his colleagues were really nice and helpful and we enjoyed every minute of our stay (we were in 6 people mixed dorms). We highly recommend Túngara for people that like to go out and meeting others, but also for couples since it's possible to rent private rooms as well. Thumbs up :-)

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MalanDj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2013

We got a 4bedroom for 2adults and 2kids very cheap. They answered all our questions and helped with everything. We feeled like home. It is also very centrallocated. Selfmade breakfast included. Nice place to start a lot of trips.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
1 review
Reviewed 17 July 2013

great experience at the Tungara Hostel. Bocas was slightly different than Boquete but it was definitely worth going there if you like the beach-surf-relax and - party vibe for the change. The hostel was okay and the crew definitely had skills to advise everybody and they knew how to treat their guests properly. Thanks to Carlos the owner and Mario the security guard. I would like to give my special thanks to Rawry.... Many thanks for the amazing time honey!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lea H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boquete, Panama
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 10 July 2013

I stayed here for an entire month for the duration of my spanish lessons at Habla Ya and during that month, Tungara absolutely felt like home. Its clean and inexpensive, but the best part about it are the people who work there. To the guys who work there.... Thank you!! You are all amazing and awesome and I already miss you all :)

Room Tip: The private rooms are perfect if you are traveling in groups of 2 or 3! Definitely worth it.
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Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank taliaelise54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2013 via mobile

Rawry is friendly, Carlos is the twist ;) Very informative and friendly but strict. Safe place, good airconditionig, lockers and kitchen. Judith and Arcelia are the best... place was clean all the time ( carlosrule) Other guests were nice...good vibes, nice evenings with Sergio and Rawry. Warning: Mario's coffee is strrrrrrong ;) Wifi was out for a little while... that happens in bocas, most matresses were good, some werent. Hans ( not Hens) was there, sexytime! Best budgetplace in Bocas. NAGAMIST

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bas-Sophie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Calipso Hostel

Property: Calipso Hostel
Address: 3rd Street, between E and Central Avenue | Across the Municipal Building, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 01010, Panama (Formerly Tungara Hostel)
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 40 Speciality Lodging in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Calipso Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Colon Island's Main Street, Calipso Hostel is right where all the action takes place but with enough distance from the main bars and clubs allowing you to have a pleasant night's sleep. With 6 dorm rooms and 3 private rooms, all of which are air conditioned and have their own private bathroom, this youth hostel has a welcoming international backpacker vibe. Beds in a dorm room go from $10 per night and private rooms go from $35 per night. The hostel has free wifi internet, an ample balcony, a common kitchen and 24 hour reception service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Calipso Hostel Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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