It is easy to take a nice direct bus from San José, Costa Rica all the way to Panama City but there is much to enjoy before Panama City as it is far south. I opted to go only as far as David, Panama’s second largest city, and see some of the north en route down.
This is the view from my lounge chair as I say and wrote one day.
This is the back yard of Bambu Hostel – low-cost accomodation in David, Panama.
Bambu is a hostel — casual and budget accomodations. There are some private rooms with and without private baths for $25/$30. There is an indoor 6-bed (3-bunk) dormitory with a bathroom (not shower) for $11.
The lowest cost accommodation ($9) is the hut-style dormitory they call the “Jungle Lodge” out back. You see it pictured above. This is partial open-air, 10-bed (5-bunk) room in which each bed has a mosquito net. There is no bathroom though. You come down the steep stairs and walk along the pool to the main house for a toilet. (The guys are particularly fine with this.) However, there are roosters and hens that make themselves known, so this dorm is a place where ear plugs will help you sleep past dawn. (Sounds of roosters are not uncommon in Central America but building walls typically minimize them.)
To the right in my photo above, you see the bar. It is a nice place to hang out in the evening. As you see, it is poolside.
If you are seeking luxury, this is not the right choice for your stay in David. If you are a backpacker or a casual traveler looking for basic lodging with hot showers, a relaxing vibe, a pool, and a kitchen you need not use due to fantastic cheap food close by – then this is a good choice.