A friend and I are trying to find a good place to stay in Panama city. We would like to stay at casa de carmen but they haven't answered our emails. Any advice on similar cost places? We would like somewhere we can stay for a few nights at the beginning and end of our trip. We won't be renting a car so close in to bus stations etc is also improtant
there is a hostel called Mammallena in Via Espana which is ok. Its a bit cramped but on the plus side its very social and is within walking distance of all the action.
I stayed in Casa del Carmen as well, as it was more comfortable and less claustrophobic than Mamallena. Its a bit more money but worth it. Me and my friend basically just turned up at Casa del Carmen so it may be worth just going there by taxi to see whether they have vacancies. Taxis are very cheap in Panama city, you could try calling as well.
keep in mind a lot of hostels in central america don't take reservations and might not respond often to emails, so casa del carmen might still be an option even if you don't have it guaranteed ahead of time.
I agree with JungleJano that hostels in Central America often won't reply to your emails and still have vacancies when you show up on the doorstep. I also remembered an old thread on hostels in Panama city, maybe it is of any help for you.
Thanks, Casa cecilia got back to us so that is good. I have heard the taxi mafia is very bad in Panama city and they will only take you to hotels they are commissioned with I hope Cecilia is one of them. Thanks for the advice.