Hostel reviews

The purpose of this page is to provide honest and independent reviews of places I stayed during my trips.

I don’t write good reviews in exchange for special privileges. This is why when I’m in certain place I usually act as an incognito reviewer. I like to leave my business cards here and there, but I do it at the end of my stay.

I try to make sure that my reviews are as objective as possible. This is why I keep in mind that there are several factors that can influence your stay, such as other travellers at the hostel or current mood. It’s hard to pick the right hostel, some of them are not as good as advertised and some of them are actually hidden jewels. Many of them are owned by expats, which for some may be the advantage but it would be nice to know if staying in such place will actually support a local family.

Here are some things that are common for all hostels:

  • I was staying mainly in dorms. If it was a private room stay I will mark it.
  • Most of the hostels offers basic breakfasts such as toasts, butter, jam and coffee. I will only write about breakfasts if it was outstanding or really bad.

If you have further questions about certain places I will be happy to answer.

“America Del Sur”, Buenos Aires, Argentina, website
Upscale place worth it’s price but depends what kind of experience you are looking for. Modern style, newly painted with super quiet elevators, lots of glass here and there. Bathroom with shower in my 4 person dorm. Lots of light.

Stay: 5 nights, March 2013
Location: 15 minute walk to the touristic centre
Staff: Friendly, helfpul, local
Would stay again: yes, but might look for something less fancy next time

“Tanguera”, Buenos Aires, Argentina, website
I’m sorry I have to write this, but after a stay in “America Del Sur” I had to move there (I didn’t book another night early enough) and it felt like old, big, dark house with hospital feel. Bathrooms were amazing though. Kitchen and public areas not impressive. The price is like 3/4 of the “America Del Sur”, but with this extra 1/4 you get so much more value!

Stay: 1 night. March 2013
Location: 15 minute walk to the touristic centre
Staff: Do their job
Would stay again: if no other options

“Yakush”, Ushuaia, Argentina, website
Felt like a mountain hostel. Built with wood, awesome public space under the attic. Showers and bathrooms not impressed me though – far away and felt like swimming pool facilities. Window in a dorm which I stayed had a view on the main street, might not be the case for other dorms. Super friendly receptionist really put an effort to show me how to make yerba mate.

Stay: 3 nights, March 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local
Would stay again: for sure

“Hostal al Fin del Mundo”, Punta Arenas, Chile, website
It felt homey, but the kitchen was really small and to get to get to the bathroom you had to get through there – not so comfortable. Dorm could be bigger. Breakfast was supposed to be served, but nobody showed up, they returned some money for that though.

Stay: 1 night, March 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Neutral, local
Would stay again: if no other options

“Casa Lili”, Puerto Natales, Chile
Not perfect but I guess this is what you get for the price. Sofas, TVs, computers seem to be “used enough”, you can try to challenge you cooking skills on an old, metal stove. Feels homey. My dorm had only a window in roof. You can pitch a tent in a backyard for cheaper.

Stay: 2 nights, March 2013
Location: Reasonable
Staff: Friendly, local
Would stay again: yes

“Los Troncos”, Bariloche, Argentina, website
Quite fancy, comfortable, spacious and bright. Not cheap though. Big and clean kitchen is just calling you to cook something and there is enough space for at least three cooks at the same time! Seems like there is a good selection of music at all times.

Stay: 5 nights, April 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local
Would stay again: yes

“Santiago Backpackers”, Santiago de Chile, Chile, website
When I first saw the pictures on the internet it looked really nice, interior was finished with wood, it felt bright and lively. In reality it was too dark and dull. Big and loud TV in couch area doesn’t go along with quiet time. On the flip side, there is lots of space inside, the kitchen is little bit above average and you get yoghurt and fruits for the breakfast.

Stay: 3 nights, April 2013
Location: Quite good
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local
Would stay again: would rather look for a new place

Hostelling International San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, website
I have no idea how such a basic place like this could be a Hostelling International member. The only thing that comes to my mind is because of it’s unique charm. Sleeping conditions in those micro dorms are really basic, the showers and toilets are “shack style”. Patio, which is the only social space is not big as well but it’s located in the centre and gathers all the travellers. The hostel is located on the main street.

Stay: 3 nights, April 2013
Location: Perfect
Staff: Do their job, local
Would stay again: I might sound crazy but yes. You could use some research for more of comfort though.

Alquimia Hostel, Salta, Argentina, website
I stayed here only one night ant it was low season so the place was quite empty. All the rest seemed fine so I hope that lack of atmosphere was only caused by a lack of people.

Stay: 1 nights, April 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, local
Would stay again: With such a choice would look for something different

Casablanca, Tarija, Bolivia (no website although can be found through one of many hostel booking sites)
Tarija doesn’t have a strong selection of hostels and most probably Casa Blanca is the only one there. There is not so much to choose from but the place is worth recommending. The hostel has friendly atmosphere, easygoing owner and homey feel. During my stay the place didn’t have Wi-Fi (which might be the advantage), one computer with internet was available though. No lockers, but really secure. Good place to socialise, go on a side trip or train your Spanish skills.

Stay: 6 nights, May 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, local
Would stay again: Yes

Kultur Berlin, Sucre, Bolivia, website
The main problem with this place is that it lacks a proper kitchen with a dining room. The one that is available is small and located in one of dorms. Besides that the hostel is big, clean and has an amazing dorm in the attic. The cleaning lady makes you bed every morning.

Stay: 3 nights, May 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Travellers
Would stay again: Yes

Jodanga, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, website
“Luxury” hostel with upscale feel. Recently renovated but quite far to anything. Good breakfast with eggs made in different styles. Basically everything there is above the standard.

Stay: 4 nights, May 2013
Location: Longer walk to bus station or the centre
Staff: Locals
Would stay again: Yes

Oso Hostel, Groveland, Yosemite, USA, website
Located in a small town close to Yosemite National Park. Has a nice feel, it’ s located in wooden house by the road. The kitchen is well equipped, shower and bathroom is clean and welcoming.

Stay: 2 nights, October 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Locals
Would stay again: Yes

International Adventure Hostel, San Diego, USA website
It’s a place worth checking out. It’s a party hostel, but you can get some good rest there as well and it has a homey feel. There is a free dinner most of the days, you can go on a cheap adventure tour, such as Mexico trip, booze cruise or rifle shooting which makes uninteresting location (San Diego) not so boring. Hostel owners really seem to put their heart in what they are doing. There is one thing though, website picture shows that there are two acoustic guitars, in reality there is only one with strings ripped off. Hope that changes.

Stay: 4 nights, October 2013
Location: Could be a little bit closer to the centre
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local and travellers
Would stay again: Yes

Raices y Brazos, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, website
Really interesting place. Gringo owned new age hostel, formerly a restaurant (but hopefully once more in the future), yoga venue and whoever knows what more. Beautiful place to rest your body and mind. Raices y Brazos goes through some kind of transformation and unfortunately seems like the owner doesn’t have enough time to take care of it.

Stay: 8 nights, November 2013
Location: Not good, long walk from the coast
Staff: Friendly, helpful, travellers
Would stay again: Yes

Hostel Tequila, Guadalajara, Mexico, website
Lots of space, Wi-Fi doesn’t work everywhere though. The breakfast is little bit above the standard. Dorms don’t have windows and they aren’t soundproof so you can hear people partying during the night. Not the best place to rest, but what can you expect from a place with “tequila” in name?

Stay: 7 nights, November 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local
Would stay again: If no other options

Hospedarte Chapultepec, Guadalajara, Mexico, website
Dorms and bathroom were small. In contrary social room and garden are nice and if I would need to find a thing to complain it would be only a spanish class going on the whole morning. There is a classic guitar there and surprisingly it is in tune. Foosball table worth using only if desperate – the surface is far away from flat (if you need to beat somebody pick the red team).

Stay: 1 night, November 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local
Would stay again: Not 100% sure

Mundo Joven Catedral, Mexico City, Mexico, website
Great location. It’s a party place, but the party goes on mainly on the bar or the terrace so you may not be affected. Computer area is far away from dorms (there is a caffeteria in the same building) and Wi-Fi is spotty and not reliable. Breakfast served on a 6th floor has a great view on cathedral and touristic centre, but food itself is not as good as advertised (for example, there is no bread even there is a butter and jam, there are lot’s of eggs, beans and tacos though). They give 5ht night for free.

Stay: 4 nights, November 2013
Location: Great
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local
Would stay again: Would use some better Wi-Fi and social area

Casa De Don Pablo Hostel, Oaxaca, Mexico, website
A hostel run by Mexicans. Breakfast is served by super friendly lady which will bring you food to the table and clean your dished, as your mama would do. Dorm’s are not impressive, there is little window to the patio side and whole place lacks compatible power sockets. Good idea to support business run by Mexicans though. Got 4th night for free (but without breakfast).

Stay: 4 nights, November 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local
Would stay again: Yes

Osa Mariposa, Puerto Escondido, Mexico, website
I was quite disappointed to learn that the place doesn’t have a kitchen to use. It has a restaurant though, you can get a breakfast or a dinner, which I am guessing is an important part of Osa Mariposas business model. Not for those on a budget.

Stay: 3 nights, November 2013
Location: Could be better
Staff: Friendly, helpful, US
Would stay again: If no other option

Cabañas Buena Onda, Puerto Escondido, Mexico, no website, +52 954 582 1663 or you will have to show up on La Punta beach and ask for the hostel
Not that expensive and located on the beach, couple of minutes walk from La Punta surf spot (which can be seen from the hostel). It’s possible to pitch a tent or rent 2 person cabaña for little bit more than a dorm. Good vibe, but the facilities were rather basic. The place could use some more security (lockers not recommended to use, possible to leave your valuables at the reception though).

Stay: 6 nights, December 2013
Location: Good (close to La Punta, but far from the city centre)
Staff: Friendly, helpful, French
Would stay again: Yes

Puerta Vieja, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico, website
Quite fancy with lot of space (patios) but during my stay was quite chilly. Awesome 10 person dorm located on the attic, it has big windows and amazing views, you should ask for that. The place has one of the best hostel breakfast I ever had, you can choose between pancakes and other dish, which changes daily (eg. eggs, tacos). Oh yeah, and did I mention PlayStation 3?

Stay: 4 nights, December 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, helpful, local and travellers
Would stay again: Yes

Yaxkin, Palenque, Mexico, website
Cheap but good hostel. Nice social area, lots of space outside.

Stay: 1 night, December 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Local, friendly
Would stay again: Yes

Mama’s Home, Tulum, Mexico
Typical average hostel. The kitchen is OK but could be better. Hostel owner, Mama, serves different breakfast every day, the quality is often average though.

Stay: 6 nights, December 2013
Location: Good, but it’s in the town, not on the beach
Staff: Local
Would stay again: Yes
Biker friendly: Yes

Seaside Guesthouse, Belize City, Belize
The hostel is a typical one floor wooden house. It’s little bit dirty and sleazy, but with a friendly vibe and the manager is lovely person. Kitchen is quite small though.

Stay: 5 nights, December 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Local
Would stay again: Yes
Biker friendly: Yes

Las Gardenias Tikal, Guatemala
Although I couldn’t get a spot there (showed up without reservation) I was treated really well – I got a free bed in unfinished section of the hotel! Big ups!

Stay: 1 nights, December 2013
Location: Good
Staff: Friendly, Caring, Local
Would stay again: Yes
Biker friendly: Yes

Hotel Estacion Gerona Bed and Breakfast, Guatemala City, Guatemala
It’s a cheap hostel located in poor neighbourhood, close to the buses and old downtown but far away from the bars and clubs. The place isn’t typical backpacker hostel and it lacks the atmosphere. I would say that is OK if you are passing by or on a really low budget.

Stay: 3 nights, December 2013/January 2014
Location: Could be better
Staff: Friendly, local
Would stay again: I’d rather look for something more social, in better area, more expensive though
Biker friendly: Small motorbikes only


Hostel Miguel, San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

Hard to find, overpriced (kind of sleazy), little bit far away from the action, without many people but the only one on Hostel World (and other sites) I could find and book though. Good breakfast, the first one that actually could fill me up. And you have to know that I usually eat really big breakfast. It’s a good place if you look for a hideout though.

Stay: 2 nights, January 2014
Location: Could be better
Staff: African expats, friendly
Would stay again: Depends on the “social mood”
Biker friendly: Yes

Casa Verde, Santa Ana, El Salvador, website
Good quality hostel with a pool, nice kitchen, free coffee and lots of space. It’s the best equipped hostel I’ve ever seen, starting from the kitchen ending on a dorm.

Stay: 3 nights, January 2014
Location: Good
Staff: The owner is local
Would stay again: Yes
Biker friendly: Yes

La Sombra, El Tunco beach, El Salvador
The doorms are not so good (dark, hot, lots of mosquitoes) but for a dollar more you can get a shared 2 person private room (without bathroom). The fridge usually lacks space, but the kitchen is enough and you can start every day with free coffee. The hostel is little bit to small to hide, but that’s not the big party place. Pool with a wooden deck is there for you to enjoy a book.

Stay: 19 nights (!), January 2014
Location: Good
Staff: Local
Would stay again: Yes
Biker friendly: Yes

Cumbres del Volcan, San Salvador, El Salvador, website
Good neighbourhood, close to some cheap and good food, well equipped (guitar, keyboard, DVD collection) and a perfect kitchen. Good working conditions, inexpensive, feels like home,

Stay: 10 nights, January 2014
Location: Good
Staff: The owner is an expat, the staff is local
Would stay again: Yes
Biker friendly: Yes

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