The Beauty of Saigon and Overwater Bungalows in Bocas del Toro

This post may contain affiliate links. That simply means that I may receive a commission at zero cost to you when you choose to use the links I provided. Thank you for your continued support and for reading my site.

Those in search of a new overwater bungalow experience – head to Saigon in Panama.

That’s right – it’s the neighborhood in Saigon which is about 15-20 minutes away from Bocas Town in Bocas del Toro.

*Do not mix this up with Saigon in Vietnam. It happens when I have mentioned this place to others!

Now, this is what I am talking about.

Like I have said before and I will say it again – not every overwater bungalow stay is expensive. Staying at one in Panama is very cost effective! The experience is more homey and local also if that is what you are looking for.


Saigon is not in Bocas Town, but about a 15-20 minute walk away. By car, it may be 5-10 minutes depending on traffic. If you have visited Bocas and went to Ismito Beach, the town is literally across the street.

Many locals live there, therefore it is not popular for hotels.

There are bed and breakfast within the town, which is hidden from the main street. You won’t see it unless you walk into this cozy town on the bay. It is dirt roads, so it if rains make sure you have sneakers or comfortable shoes on.

The Overwater Bungalows

The place I chose to stay in was Koko Cabins.

It is small and family owned. At least, it was a the time I stayed there but I am aware they have been trying to sell the hotel.

You have a choice of staying in the main house with the family – private rooms.

Or – you can opt for one of the six overwater bungalows!

Prices range from low 100’s to upper 100’s.

*As I am trying to check the prices, I believe they may have sold or are in renovation stage at the moment!

The cabins are lovely and they are pretty much like tiny homes – but bigger than the tiny homes you see on HGTV.

All bungalows come with kitchens and a porch. They are more on the rustic beach style than luxury, however if you’re staying on the water I felt luxurious!

I loved that they are spread apart. You can go swimming in the bay and there is a lookout spot at the end of the dock. The water is calm, however it has a more green tint to it. Therefore, snorkeling is not as good as it could be.

The Locals

The families that reside in Saigon are super nice. You will see them in the streets hanging their laundry, getting food ready for their home, doing yard work, and kids playing in the streets. Everyone says hello and I never felt weird or scared. It felt super safe and the locals are friends with the business owners who run the bed and breakfasts. It’s like one big happy family!

More pics from my overwater bungalow experience and the full story:

Have you stayed at Koko Cabins?