Over the weekends or holidays, most people love to relax at home or visit the beaches and parks to enjoy the scenery as they unwind. Whichever place you want to relax at, you may want certain structures to shield you from the scorching sun, or in some instances rain. For a homeowner, you may have so many structure choices. In this article, we will compare two structures, the palapa and the gazebo.

So what is a palapa and gazebo, and which one would be ideal for you? Both the palapa and gazebo are outdoor structures with a roof, which act as a hade and relaxation points.

This article gives more insight into a palapa and gazebo as well as other related questions. Keep with us to stay informed.



A palapa (see Amazon) is an outdoor structure with a thatched roof and open sides. It may be round or rectangular. The round one will have one supporting pole at the center, while the rectangular one has four supporting pillars at the four corners. Usually, there are no walls, and the structure will look just like an umbrella.

The roof is usually made of dried palm tree leaves.

Palapas are most common in the tropics where vacationers would love to enjoy the warm weather while protecting themselves from sunburns.

Palapas have several other names depending on the area. Some people call them thatched gazebo, Bohios, Chickees, Tiki huts

Palapas are mainly used for sheltering from the scorching sun. Mostly, they are found at the beaches, bars, and restaurants. You can also build one in your backyard, and make it an escape plan whenever you want to enjoy the outdoor scenery. You can sit under it and laugh off with your friends as you enjoy a cold drink out in the open.


A gazebo

A gazebo is an outdoor structure that stands independently. It is usually made in an octagon shape, and sometimes the hexagonal shape can work. It is made of metal or wood, and a roof at the top. Inside, there is some seating area.

The walls are open all round, but you can also elect short pieces of wood or metal all around, which elect halfway to the roof.

Other names that can refer to a gazebo depending on the region and culture include Alhambra, kiosk, belvedere, rotunda, shed, and many others.

A gazebo can act as a focal point of the home, as it is aesthetically pleasing especially if built professionally.

The gazebo, just like the palapa, is a good relaxation point, as it will shield you from the hot sun, while allowing you to enjoy the scenery in your home, or ant place you may be at.

Comparison between a Gazebo and Palapa

If you are weighing what to construct in your home, again it is good to consider the functionality.

The palapa is quick to construct, as you will only need the central pillar and a thatched roof. The structure has a tightly woven roof to protect your face from sunburns. However, it will not keep insects away. Therefore, if you are at the beach, you may want to carry along an insect repellant.

Additionally, in case of heavy downpour, the roof may not shield you, as the leaves are not tight enough to block rain from penetrating through.

Note that the palapa thatching is flammable, and you should be careful when dealing with open fire such as candles or when smoking cigars.

A gazebo, on the other hand, may take a little longer to construct. However, the good thing is that it can be said to be more concrete and safer given that it stands on more pillars than a palapa. Additionally, it can shield you from rain, apart from providing a shade from the sun.

Overall, both structures are quite functional and useful in their intended purposes. You can get a professional to build a beautiful palapa or gazebo or you can also do it yourself with a little help, and the results will still be amazing.

Related Questions

What are the benefits of a palapa?

Most people are attracted by palapas because they are easier to maintain, they are made of natural materials, and what is more, is that they provide that tropical feeling. Who wouldn’t want the feeling of being on a tropical vacation right in the backyard?

Which is the ideal location to build a palapa at home?

If you wish to construct a palapa at your home, you have several ideal locations to do so ranging from the pool decks, lawn areas, patio are4as, play areas, outdoor kitchens, and outdoor enclosures. All you have to do is ensure there is enough space to fit one.  

See Also:
Veranda VS Gazebo (Here’s The Difference)

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