El Machico Hostel Boquete is the kind of place you end up staying longer than planned… find out why you should put aside your schedule and settle in for some fresh air, hiking & R&R in the mountains of Panama.
El Machico Hostel Boquete: Location
El Machico Hostel is situated 4kms from downtown Boquete – an easy walk, bus or cab ride away (more details at the bottom of the post).
Boquete is one of the top places to visit in Panama.
It’s in a safe & quiet neighbourhood, surrounded by trees & mountains. When the skies are clear, you can see the peak of Volcan Baru from the front of the hostel.
There’s a small convenience store in the area selling basic vegetables, pasta, snacks, etc . The bus stop is also here, a 5 minute walk away from El Machico hostel.
El Machico Hostel Boquete: Check-in
From the moment you open the beautiful wrought iron doors, you’ll realize that El Machico Hostel is something special.
Here at DIY Travel HQ on first impressions, the hostel looks fresh, colourful & very clean. The feature wall is painted with greetings in the languages of the world, which is really welcoming when you first arrive in any new place – see the cover photo!
And when you check-in at reception, you feel the warmth of European hospitality.
El Machico Hostel in Boquete is owned & managed by the same team behind the popular El Machico in Panama City, Cesare & Katia. Previously, they also ran a bed & breakfast in Bocas del Toro, before seeking a sea change… in the mountains of Chiriqui 🙂
Cesare & Katia are from Italy, where a “machico” means a cool person – in Spanish, it translates to magician, but what’s in a name?! Either way, we like it!
In the reception lobby, there’s a large sofa & coffee table, sprawled with maps & information on Boquete. The wooden bookshelf holds novels, magazines & board games which guests are free to use during their stay.
There’s also a drinks fridge with water, beer & soft drink. Basic necessities like pasta, toothpaste & locks are also for sale, in case you don’t feel like going out or the shops are closed.
El Machico Hostel Boquete: Rooms
We here at DIY Travel HQ stayed in a dorm room at El Machico Hostel, which was immaculate. With metal bunk beds, blue curtains & a window opening on to the gardens, it was simple but airy & clean.
The wow factor was in the sheets – we’ve never stayed in a dorm where every bed had different, patterned sheets AND blankets! It really added a bright touch to the room & characterized our stay at El Machico Hostel, where we felt like individuals & not just another backpacker passing through.
The dorm room featured an ensuite bathroom, which was spacious, clean & modern. The shower was amazing, with REAL hot water & excellent water pressure – these were probably the best showers we’ve had in Central America, and that’s including hotels. So if you are in need of a good one, check-in to El Machico, it’s worth it for the shower alone!
El Machico Hostel also offers private rooms. The complete room options are:
- 6 & 8 bed mixed dorms from $13.00
- 4 bed female dorm from $16.00
- Double, triple, quadruple private rooms from $45.00
El Machico Hostel Boquete: Lounge
El Machico Hostel Boquete features a shared lounge & TV room with a Playstation 3 console & games.
There’s a long sofa & armchairs, against another feature wall painted with the words “Don’t tell me how educated you are! Tell me how much you have travelled!” What do you think of this quote? We think travel makes you well-rounded but formal education & self-education are also important. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments…
Along the opposite wall, there’s a long wooden bench with metal high chairs, with plenty of outlets – perfect for working or surfing online.
El Machico Hostel Boquete: Kitchen & Breakfast
Before Cesare & Katia took over, the property was a boutique hotel. In renovating it to El Machico Hostel Boquete, one of the biggest changes was the addition of the outdoor kitchen.
There’s a fridge, oven & microwave with all the cutlery & crockery you might need – it’s a pleasure to cook in a space that is not only well stocked but also new & clean.
There’s a wooden table in the middle with more bench-style seating along the wall, overlooking the gardens.
The main kitchen area opens out to a patio with more dining options, surrounded by nature.
There are no windows but it’s the space is completely covered. The temperature drops sharply at night in Boquete but it was never chilly in the kitchen.
Nevertheless, the perfect time to enjoy the kitchen & outdoor dining is in the morning. El Machico Hostel offers a complimentary breakfast, which you make yourself. It includes:
- Chocolate syrup
- Italian Tostini bread
There’s no better way to start your day in the highlands of Panama!
El Machico Hostel Boquete: Gardens
El Machico Hostel Boquete is situated on a large property, with a huge backyard brimming with green grass, towering trees & pretty plants. Vegetation thrives in Boquete’s rich soil & here, there’s much to explore – make sure you take the time to stop & smell the roses, literally.
There are also large, stylish outdoor table settings, with colourful beanbags scattered around the garden.
It’s a beautiful, relaxing setting to enjoy the good life, whatever that may be for you. We loved having lunch under the shade of trees & then reading in the comfy bean bags under the rays of the sun.
Things to See & Do in Boquete
- Volcan Baru – Climb Panama’s only volcano & highest point
- Sendero Los Quetzales – Search for quetzals on Panama’s most scenic hike
- White-Water Rafting – Tackle the rivers that flow from Volcan Baru
- Los Pozos de Caldera – Soak in hot springs
- Boquete Tree Trek – Zip line, rappel & Tarzan swing through the forest
- Coffee tours – Discover the process from bean to brew
- Learn Spanish – Go from “Hola” to “Que pasa”!
How to Get to Boquete & El Machico Hostel Bouquet
All local transportation to/from Boquete run via David, every 30 minutes in both directions. The trip takes approximately 1 hour & costs $1.75.
Shuttles between Boquete & Bocas del Toro cost $30.00 & depart several times a day.
To El Machico Hostel Boquete
A taxi between Boquete & El Machico costs $2.00 + $0.50 for each additional person. The trip takes 5 minutes
A local bus/mini-van departs from Nelly supermarket (5 mins walk from El Machico) to Boquete town centre every 40 minutes. The fare is $0.75.
El Machico is 4kms from downtown Boquete – walking takes approximately 40 minutes.
Know Before You Go
Address: Volcancita W Road, Bajo Boquete, Panama
Prices: Dorms $13.00-$16.00, Private Rooms from $45.00
Read El Machico Hostel Boquete’s Tripadvisor reviews here
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*** The Final Word: Make El Machico Hostel Boquete your home away from home in Panama! ***
“Don’t tell me how educated you are! Tell me how much you have travelled!” – Agree or disagree?
* We enjoyed a complimentary stay at El Machico Hostel Boquete – thank you to Cesare & Katia for hosting us. We only recommend great value accommodation that we believe our readers would enjoy & as always, all opinions are our own.
Visited in February 2017