(Panama Gringo) Backpacking Central America? Make sure you put Bambu Hostel on your list of places to stop. It’s a backpackers resort with a deluxe in-ground pool and Mayan-Style rancho bar and landscaped garden. The perfect kind of place to relax for cheap after trudging through the country. Plus, it is perfectly safe, located in a middle class neighborhood in the San Mateo District of David-City, Panama.
Over the course of the year Bambu sees all kinds of backpackers and international travelers from all corners of the world. Gregg Lapkin and Mike Esterson, seasoned travelers and hostel owners like to meet everyone passing through the hostel, and make you feel right at home.
Don’t believe everything you read in the guidebooks. David is fun! It has everything that a weary traveler could need to recharge the batteries, fine dining, casinos, movie theatres, inexpensive shopping, world class nightclubs and discos, festivals, and, within 45 minutes, awesome mountains, oceans and Costa Rica. (Come on, who doesn’t love Costa Rica?)
Lonely Planet, which however you feel about it has good recommendations, included Bambu Hostel in the Panama Edition, released in Oct 2010 saying:
“This chill house is an ideal spot for backpackers up for a little rock n roll. Run by a NYC musician, its two dorms have hot water showers. Double privates with low-slung beds sport cable TV and air-con. Ping pong tournaments may get serious, but the best feature is the sprawling, manicured garden that commands relaxation, with a sparkling swimming pool and the requisite hammocks.”
Is a Lonely Planet recommendation not good enough for you? Check out other reviews of Bambu on HostelWorld.com
To get to Bambu Hostel from the bus station in David grab a taxi to Calle Virgincita, San Mateo abajo frente de bar ‘Polo.’ (It’s easier if you speak Spanish, of course, but this is a complete explanation your driver will understand.) Don’t pay more than $2 or $2.50 for the fair.
If you are walking into David from Supermercado ‘99′ on Sur F (F South street) walk past Supermercado ‘99′ towards the Pan Am Highway, at Gas station stay to left. At Santa Rosa sugar Factory take a left, walk till you see a small market on left and a small park with religious statue on right, that is Calle Virgincita look for our giant sign! We are the fourth house on the left.
While you can check out the prices and info on the web-site here are the basics:
- Mixed Dorm with ceiling fan: $8
- Double Private w/shared bathroom full sized bed and A/C $25
- Double Private in suite bath, deluxe queen-sized mattress and A/C $30
- Dorm with AC and cable TV $12.
And, while you have to add a 10% room tax to that, you do get tons of other stuff for free, unlike most hostels, which are bare bones, Bambu really does a lot for its travelers. Check out this list of awesome free facilities and services:
- Free Coffee/Tea
- Free wireless wifi and computers on DSL lines
- Free Pillow, and bedding
- Free Lockers
- Free Cable TV/DVD
- Free parking
- Deluxe in ground Swimming Pool
- Outdoor seating area in garden
- Mayan Style Rancho Bar with Hammocks
- English, Spanish and Cantonese Speaking Staff
- 24 Hour Hot Showers
- Ping Pong
- Community Kitchen fully equipped with spices etc.
- Laundry Service ($4)
For more information go to http://www.bambuhostel or you can contact the owners Mike or Gregg by calling 507-730-2961.