Pension Balboa – A Dive Hotel in Puerto Armuelles

white bus parked in front of hotel, Pension Balboa
A tolerable hotel for a night or two

Pension Balboa is a dive.

However, if you are an experienced traveler used to 3rd world accommodations, then it is fine.  

For most tourists, I really cannot recommend it. 


It is on the 2nd story of a commercial building.   There is a bar, a pool hall, a small grocery store, and the hotel owner’s residence underneath it.

An open air walkway circles the hotel.  That is the most pleasant part of the hotel.  If it were nicer, this balcony/walkway would be a wonderful place to watch the ocean and enjoy its breeze.

The staff are friendly and will change your sheets and clean your room every other day.

About 8 years ago, my family and I stayed here – twice.  The old woman and her husband who ran it were delightful.  But the beds were terrible. I mean truly awful.  The bed sagged radically in the middle as soon as we laid down. It was as if the mattress was tucking us into a mattress sandwich.

Overall, though it was fine.  Although, if the Heavenly’s Hotel or Tsunami Inn had been available then, we would have stayed there.


It is in a great spot in downtown Puerto Armuelles.  It is near the waterfront park, the bus station, and restaurants.

Although, it is right above a bar, I don’t remember noise from the bar being an issue while we stayed there.

Learn about hotels in Puerto Armuelles Panama

Where to eat in Puerto Armuelles


They have rooms with bathrooms and rooms with a bathroom down the hall.
The bathrooms are not nice.

However, you can rent a room with a bathroom down the hall for only $7.50.
So for the price, it really isn’t bad.

Contact Info

  • Panama Phone
    • 770-9145 (FYI Panama’s country code is 507)
  • Website: As you can imagine, this hotel does not have a web site.

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Have you stayed at Pension Balboa?

Would you do it again?

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2 Comments on "Pension Balboa – A Dive Hotel in Puerto Armuelles"

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Is there air-conditioning?