Panama’s hotels are as diverse as its geography. Panama City has as much glamour and glitz as New York, without the high prices. You can find 5-star hotels in the heart of the city or venture into the smaller neighbourhoods where former canal barracks have been converted into guesthouses. In terms of an authentic Panama experience, the historic Casco Viejo district offers the charm of times past with the modern amenities of today. Because tourism is so new to the area, accommodation is largely limited to the fleet of short-term rentals in Los Cuatro Tulipanes.
In Bocas del Toro there are island-style cabanas and small hotels, some of which are literally on the water (like the cabanas in Bali). In Chiriqui province, in the western lowlands, there are small hotels on some of the outer islands and an ecological reserve in Chorcha where you can spend the night in hammocks with the monkeys. In the western highlands, around Boquete, there are hostels for $5 a night and 5-star hotels for $300 a night or more. There are no skyscrapers here, but small charming hotels and very artistic casitas. David Panama, the capital of Chiriqui province, has become a destination and hub for backpackers travelling from Panama City to Bocas Del Toro and Costa Rica.