Having travelled around Peru for 3 months of this year, laid my hat in 34 different towns or cities throughout the country, stayed in 36 different hostels or hospedajes (as they’re often referred to over here, although the term refers to more of a guesthouse than a hostel per sé), and slept in 38 different beds, I think I am reasonably qualified to write this guide.
I have learned to understand what is the norm as regards accommodation in this country, and therefore to recognise when the facilities, services, staff, or comfort of a particular hostel surpasses this.
I have become familiar with “suicide showers” and rejoiced every time I peered into the bathroom at a new hostel that didn’t have one.
I have fought with glacially slow wifi, intermittently-working wifi, and wifi that doesn’t work at all (despite the hostel claiming to have it). The problem with a lot of smaller, more remote towns in Peru, is that there are only a limited number of incoming lines. So, although you are connected to the wifi router and there’s a really strong signal (i.e you’re sat right next to it), the wifi router won’t connect to the server, therefore having the same outcome as no wifi connection at all.
I’ve slept in hard beds, soft beds, saggy beds, snuggly beds, cold beds, wooden beds, concrete beds, huge beds and tiny beds.
I’ve eaten like a king at breakfast completely free of charge and I’ve paid for stale bread and cold coffee.
I’ve paid a lot for small, dark, uncomfortable rooms, and paid very little for relative luxury.
To be completely honest, I have generally been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the accommodation in Peru, but there are always those places that stand out from the rest, whether it be value for money, exceptional service, or an unbeatable vibe.
So, for all of you who are currently travelling in Peru, or are planning to at any point in the future, look no further than here. Ok, so I don’t have everywhere in Peru covered (despite high expectations, some hostels just didn’t cut it at the end of the day) but here’s a nice little selection for you to choose from.
Address: Calle Piura 209, Máncora
Location: Located at one end of the ‘resort’ (which basically consists of a few streets), on the road that runs parallel to the beach, Kokopelli is within easy reach of all the best restaurants in Máncora. Ok so you can’t roll out of bed and fall on to the beach, but you could probably crawl there!
Amenities: Free breakfast (eggs (which usually come scrambled in Peru), bread, coffee, and juice), pool, bar, plenty of chill-out areas including hammocks, computer use, wifi, games room, luggage storage, towels, surf lessons, 24-hour reception.
Pros: Tastefully decorated modern and spacious rooms, hot showers, friendly, relaxed vibe, great place to meet other travellers, regular happy hours at the bar, friendly and helpful staff (one of the guys even came down to the bus station with us to help us book our onward ticket), resident dog and a couple of cats.
Cons: Wifi only worked intermittently, and didn’t work in our room. Also, the music at the bar doesn’t get switched off until around 3am (later at the weekends), which is fine if you pack your earplugs like I did, but could be a problem otherwise. Ask for a room away from the bar!
Price: Ok, so this place wasn’t cheap. We maxed out our budget of £10pp/pn by paying 100 soles (£20.82) for a matrimonial room with private bathroom. Dorms are a little cheaper.
Address: Ekeko Hostel, Garcia Calderon 274, Miraflores, Lima
Location: It’s in a residential area of Miraflores, yet still within walking distance of Parque Kennedy (takes around 20 minutes)
Amenities: Breakfast included (bread, and tea/coffee), wifi, computer use, games, spacious kitchen, indoor and outdoor chill-out areas, large dining table, lockers, luggage storage, book exchange, towels, bicycle hire.
Pros: Incredibly helpful staff, friendly and relaxed vibe (partly due to the size of the hostel; it’s incredibly small – just 5 rooms), hot showers.
Cons: Wifi did not work in our room.
Price: Pretty good value for money (read: cheap) for Lima. We scored a private double which overlooked the sunny courtyard for 90 soles (£18.77) per night.
Where to book: Only with Hostelworld at the moment it seems.
The Northern Highlands
Address: Jirón 2 de Mayo 639, Chachapoyas
Location: Chachapoyas is pretty small but you can’t get much more central than this, just one block from the Plaza de Armas, and a few minutes on foot to the central market.
Amenities: Fully-equipped kitchen, wifi, tour booking facilities, bicycle hire.
Pros: The couple who run the hostel are both lovely, and will help in whatever way they can, hot showers, spacious rooms.
Cons: The wifi. Oh the wifi! Probably the worst I experienced in Peru. However, in the hostel’s defence, we only found one place in Chachapoyas (Cafe Fusiones) that was marginally better. Breakfast was also not included, however you can pick something up incredibly cheaply at the nearby market.
Price: Really reasonable – 60 soles per night (£12.51) for a matrimonial room with private bathroom.
Where to book: Hostelworld
La Casa de Seizo
Address: Carretera a los Baños Termales de San Mateo, Moyobamba
Location: Around 5 kilometres outside Moyobamba, but literally next door to the hot springs and a 5 minute walk to Waqanki Orchid Centre (two of the main attractions in the town)
Amenities: Meals available on site, huge garden/grounds that you are free to roam around in.
Pros: The owners will make you feel immediately welcome and treat you like family, which – if you’ve read my article about my experiences here – you’ll know that this in itself is reason enough to stay here.
Cons: The wifi – or lack of it. Lonely Planet states that there is wifi here, which is technically true. However, it involves connecting via Seizo’s mobile phone, so firstly you have to ask him to switch it on, and secondly because everyone here is trying to connect through the same ‘hot spot’ the connection speed and strength of the signal is diabolical. To give you some idea of how diabolical, it took me several attempts to send a simple two line email. Breakfast not included but for 10 soles we were provided with an absolute feast!
Price: We paid 80 soles per night (£17.13) for a matrimonial room with private bathroom.
Where to book: Currently it’s not on any of the booking websites. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospedaje Los Jasmines
Address: Amazonias 775, Cajamarca
Location: Perfect. Smack bang in the middle of Cajarmarca’s historical centre, literally one block from the Plaza de Armas, and surrounded by shops and cafes/resturants.
Amenities: Attached cafe that serves real coffee and reasonably priced food (including breakfasts), communal courtyard, wifi
Pros: Absolutely beautiful guesthouse. Rooms are located around a courtyard garden with a further garden at the back. Truly feels like a haven of tranquility. It’s also great to wake up and smell real coffee brewing in the attached cafe. Rooms are spacious, comfortable and clean with hot water showers. Wifi is fast but only works in communal areas and attached cafe.
Cons: The room price was at the upper end of our budget and breakfast wasn’t included.
Price: We paid 80 soles per night (£17.13) for a matrimonial room with private bathroom.
Where to book: Direct with the guesthouse here
Address: Jr. San Pablo de la Cruz 517, Tarapoto
Location: At one end of town and slightly uphill but still only a couple of minutes walk to cafes and restaurants and about 5 minutes down to the main square. In my opinion this is the nicest end of town to be located at.
Amenities: Roof Terrace, wifi, tour-booking facilities, luggage storage, laundry service, 24-hour reception.
Pros: The roof terrace offers stunning views of the surrounding jungle, and the breakfast – which is served on the roof terrace – is probably one of the best I’ve eaten in Peru (although you do have to pay 15 soles for it). The rooms are bright, spacious and clean, onsite laundry service saves you a lot of time and hassle, wifi functionality is one of the best I’ve experienced in Peru. I could upload photos to Flickr from the comfort of my own room!
Cons: Breakfast is not included in the price, which makes this hospesaje a little on the expensive side. The matriarchal owner can be a little overbearing.
Price: We paid 75 soles per night (£15.64)
Where to book: Booking.com
The Central Highlands
Address: Jr. Ortencia Santagadea 830, Soleadad Alta, Huaraz
Location: A few minutes walk from the church Señor de Soleadad, it’s all uphill from the centre of Huaraz (which is about a 15 minute walk) but this does mean that there’s some spectacular views from the roof terrace.
Amenities: Roof terrace, tour booking facilities, laundry service, wifi, computer use, free breakfast (something different everyday – bread and avocado, eggs, pancakes – accompanied by tea and coffee)
Pros: The price (see below) – easily the best value for money hostel we’ve stayed at throughout the whole of Peru, hot, powerful showers, the incredible view from the roof terrace, the relaxed vibe (it’s more like staying in someone’s home rather than a hostel). Wifi works well but only in certain areas of the hostel.
Cons: Even though there’s a tour desk, there was hardly ever anyone about to ask about tours or treks. We book ours with Quechuandes. Lack of common areas – aside from the roof terrace (where the wifi doesn’t work), everyone tends to gather around the sole computer in the building (where the router is).
Price: 30 soles (£6.42) for a matrimonial room with private bathroom. Bargain of the century! No wonder we stayed for 6 nights.
Where to book: Direct with the hostel here
The Sacred Valley
Address: Calle Ceniza 364, Barrio de San Pedro, Cusco.
Location: Tucked away in the pleasant neighbourhood of San Pedro, but just 5-10 minutes walk to the Plaza de Armas and 5 minutes further to the arty/bohemian district of San Blas.
Amenities: Free breakfast (bread, tea and coffee. Eggs available upon request for a small fee), wifi, computer use, 24-hour reception, fully-equipped kitchen, chill-out/common areas, free tea/coffee throughout the day, luggage storage, lockers, book exchange, photocopy/printing service, towels, loan of heaters, hairdryers, alarm clocks, guitar, tour desk on site, 10% off at local restaurants.
Pros: Range of available facilities/services, beautiful rooms, comfortable common areas, hot showers, super helpful staff, fast wifi (when it worked) and it also works in the rooms surrounding the inner courtyard.
Cons: Wifi didn’t always work, we had to ask the staff to reset it on several occasions. The kitchen is a little small.
Price: £18.60 for a matrimonial room with private bathroom, £16.88 for a matrimonial room with shared bathroom, and dorms start from £6.98 per person.
Address: Avenida Ocobamba, S/N Camino a Willoq, Altura Puente Jancarachaca, Ollantaytambo
Location: A 5-10 minute walk along the river to the Plaza de Armas, or you can walk through Ollantaytambo’s maze of cobbled streets.
Amenities: Free breakfast (bread, tea and coffee. Eggs available upon request for a small fee), wifi, computer use, 24-hour reception, fully-equipped kitchen, chill-out/common areas, free tea/coffee throughout the day. Also luggage storage/lockers should be available now, they were being constructed when we visited in June 2014.
Pros: Beautiful setting alongside the river amid lush gardens complete with hammocks, spacious, well-equipped kitchen, helpful staff, charming rooms – most of which have a mountain view.
Cons: The wifi. It did work for general internet browsing but downloads/uploads, don’t even think about it. In the hostel’s defence, nowhere in Ollantaytambo was any better.
Price: We paid £18 for a matrimonial room with private bathroom. 4-bed dorms are also available for £6 per person
Where to book: At the moment the only booking partner is Booking.com
For a full review of both Mama Simona hostels please see my previous article, The Welcoming Refuge of Mama Simona.
If you’d like more information about any of the accommodation I’ve listed or about the towns/cities they are located within, please shoot me an email or leave a comment at the end of this post.
Are there any others you would add to the list?
This is part of the #SundayTraveler link up, the spot to be to get the lowdown on all things travel.