Via España, Panama City, Panama
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Mamallena Backpackers Panama City Reviews
Mamallena Backpackers Jun 19, 2011
Panama City is a weird place for having such a poverty right next to incredible opulence and richness. Mamallena Hostel is located in the area right next to worst neighborhoods and close to new high-rises of the modern Panama City. Immediate surrounding area is not that dangerous, but walking at night is not really recommended and should not be practiced. Early morning is ok to run around, walk trough Av. Espana’s cheep store fronts, or to the path around bay (maybe even buy some fish at the fish market) on the way to the Casco Antiguo.
Hostel is very safe, surrounded with barb wire, double metal gates and 24h security. Time to time there also cops coming to the reception to see if everything is ok.
Three community areas are nice and spacious. Entrance to the hostel is on the second floor, and you get in the first community area that is TV room, has nice balcony and it is connected to large kitchen. Breakfast is included, and it is available WHOLE DAY in the form of pancakes with syrup. Kitchen is a bit crowded sometimes (especially when girls are cooking) and some people do not clean their plates, but there is lady helping around and cleaning after people that still need mom. Also on the second floor there is large covered terrace where most of the people hang in hammocks or just chilling at the many tables. On the bottom floor there is garden with grill and nice benches. Grill is new, clean, large and works perfect, easily the best feature of this hostel . Most of the private rooms are located there and bunch of restrooms, showers and washing machines. To wash in the hostel is only $1.5 in quarters for large load, so use the opportunity to clean up while you can…
Bathrooms are clean, and aside of community bathrooms, dorms have their own inside the room. One of their selling points is that you can throw toilet paper in the bowl (those that travel trough Central America know what I am talking about). Dorm is for 12 on bunk beds, fairly spacious and runs very loud air-conditioning at night (If you are cold from it, you can ask for blanket)
TV room has extensive movie library and few couches to lay on. Small exchange library is also available, and many games from poker to chess are also placed there.
Bus connection is pretty good, and colorful buses cost 25-35 cents to the most of the city. There is also city bus that is air-conditioned and very clean, but they charge $1.25 in one direction. Taxis are kind of cheap, but it is always hustle to talk to them about price to whatever place you need to go. From hostel to bus terminal is around $3.
It is solid place to stay, not too expensive (I was paying $8 for dorm) but I did not like vibe or the surrounding area. There is one hostel in Casco Antiguo that is way cooler and nicer, and I did not go there only because I had friends staying in Mamallena.
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