Hostal Boquete (Calle 4a Sur, tel. 720-2573, US$33–38 s/d), near the west bank of the Río Caldera and just north of the bridge spanning it, offers 15 basic but cheerful rooms with private bath and cable TV. The place is under new management and was renovated recently. It has a picturesque location on the banks of the Río Caldera, with a view of the fairgrounds on the east bank.
Note that even if you could get a room here during a festival , you probably wouldn’t want to—the music blasting across the river from the fairgrounds would render you deaf in seconds. There’s a riverside deck with a small restaurant (most items around US$5). This place is popular with gringo travelers on a budget.
The 40-room Hotel Los Fundadores (Avenida Central, tel. 720-1298, starts at US$27.50 s/d) is a Boquete  stalwart. It’s on the left side of Avenida Central just before downtown; its faux Arthurian-castle facade is hard to miss. Rooms here are small, drab, and well past their prime, but a babbling creek runs right through the middle of the building, which makes up for a lot. Rates are US$27.50 s/d for a room with two single beds, US$33 s/d for a queen-sized bed, and US$55 s/d for a king.
Hostel Mamallena (tel. 720-1260, www.mamallena.com , starts at US$11 pp dorm rooms, US$33 s/d private rooms, including pancake breakfast) is the sister of the hostel of the same name in Panama City. This one is in a two-story wooden building that dates from the 1950s and has tons of charm. It’s right on the south side of the town plaza.
It offers 23 dormitory beds with new and clean shared bathrooms, of different sizes and shapes. There’s free Wi-Fi and computers for guest use. It’s managed by friendly people who speak Spanish and English and have voluminous amounts of local information to share and can set up a number of low-price tours, including a popular visit to a small local coffee farm. Advice and access to a thick binder is available to anyone who passes by.
This is a great addition to the local backpacker scene, and it should get even better once the hostel gains control of the rather noisy bar next door and turns the volume down.