Name: Casa Verde
Location: Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Budget: Mid-range Hostel
$34 for Private with two double beds
Vibe: Chilled out zone for water babies who like to take things easy
“You’re on Bocas now, everyone takes things easy”
Best Point: Being right on the water, the room and the food
Worst Point: NOTHING, I loved this place
I have no time for your jibberish, should I stay here: YES, YES, YES!
Do you remember when I wrote: “There are some hostels which are nice, some are even beautiful, some are horrific and some are a little slice of home”? Well, Casa Verde nestled right on the tropical waters that surround Bocas Del Toro blew the ‘beautiful’ category right out of the water. I had heard of the hostel from fellow travel blogger, Alex of Alex in Wanderland who visited Bocas a few months before I was due to arrive; I had fallen for the hostel by the time I had finished with her post, I knew I had to stay there. Lauren and I booked up to stay there a few weeks after reading Alex’s post, this was still approximately six weeks before our trip, it was a good idea to pre-book as the Hostel gets fully booked pretty quickly.
Upon our arrival to Bocas I was already in love, a tropical island in the Caribbean? Yes please! But my glee was nothing compared to what was to come, upon arrival to Casa Verde my early love for Bocas flourished. The hostel was wooden clad and brightly painted from out front, with a side entrance, leading backpackers round to the back of the hostel where you would find the ocean and a bar area built right on top of it. At reception we were welcomed by the friendliest receptionist which I have ever met, we were greeted like old friends finally coming home. As stated before; two guys that we met also travelling through from Puerto Viejo were also wooed by the tales of Casa Verde and had decided to stay there with us. Upon asking the receptionist if it was possible for them to get beds, it appeared the only way was for the two guys to take the dorm beds and for Lauren and myself to get upgraded to a luxury room with two double beds, the window facing the warm, glistening Caribbean ocean. All for no extra cost, don’t ask me how it worked, but Lauren and I didn’t complain.
The room was amazing, it was clean and bright, the double beds were extremely comfortable, there was the obligatory hostel fan and even a mini-fridge to keep our essentials (make-up and beer) cool. We threw our bags down and made our way down to the bar and the chill out area, which happened to be two docks joined together by a restaurant area in the middle, along the edge of the docks there were hammocks hanging over the water. To top things off there are also tubes supplied by the hostel on the side of the docks ready for travellers to use in the water. Everything about the chill out zone was perfect; it was really nicely laid out so you could talk to other travellers, whilst the sun dapples light on the docks surrounding you.
Behind the hostel the Caribbean water was used as our playground, here we saw a stingray, starfish and a wealth of other beautiful fish; it provided much better snorkelling than that we were offered on the boat trip, the water was crystal clear and positively inviting, it was mostly calm apart from when boats rolled past, in which case it provided a lot of fun in the tubes on the waves that followed.
Not only was it beautiful, but the service was generally amazing, we sat down for a few minutes before Rauld, a hostel rep came over to tell us all that Bocas had to offer and what we could do there, including our amazing boat trip to the remote tropical island, the staff were all really good natured, each happy to laugh and joke with us. But, one of the biggest highlights for me was the food, it was absolutely outstanding, I can highly recommend the Fish Tacos and The Vegetarian Black Bean Burger, oh my heavens, in my years of not eating (mammal) meat, I have never had a burger like it. I would also suggest that you have it with a side of the fiery Bocas Homemade Hot Sauce, as a spice fiend, this took the meal to the next level. Be warned about this though, it is HOT. But, really, it isn’t something to be missed completely, give it a go.
By night the hostel has live music being played, which was amazing. Mostly acoustic with Caribbean vibes to it, it’s a perfect spot for some sun downers. As the golden sun slips into the water Bocas comes alive, from the Hostel you can head to a variety of bars from Iguana a few doors down, to Aqua Lounge which was a taxi boat ride away (conveniently from the dock at the back of the hostel for a few dollars per person). Aqua Lounge is has big parties on Wednesdays and Saturdays, these parties are a lot of fun, music pumping out as you party over the ocean, there are swings that you can go on that go over the water. Just a word for the wise, make sure you waterproof everything before you go, they don’t call it Aqua Lounge for nothing, the chances are, you will get wet.
You will have the time of your life at Bocas, I can’t recommend Casa Verde enough, it is in the perfect location to chill out and party.