Welcome to another Peru hostel roundup! Previously I’ve reviewed accommodation options in Iquitos, Lima, and Huacachina, and dedicated another edition entirely to Cusco. This week, I’m introducing my favorite Peruvian party hostel as well as the best hostel breakfast I had in the country.
I may not have been a fan of the Wild Rovers in Cusco, but did I ever love their Arequipa outpost. For the most part, I stayed in fairly low-key hostels throughout Peru. This was my one break from the routine with an all-out, take-no-prisoners party hostel. And I loved it.
Arequipa has an extremely lively and wild bar (it’s called Wild Rovers, after all)… think dancing on the bar and bartenders pouring shots down your throat. However, it’s a small and intimate setting that allows for quick friendships to form. I made more friends in three nights here than I did in the previous three weeks through Peru.
But what is a hell-raising bar without a place to recover the next morning? The pool at Wild Rovers is perfect for hangover lounging and ordering comfort food from the delicious and reasonably priced menu. While the lack of a kitchen was a bummer, the quesadillas on the bar menu smoothed things over for me.
There were serious issues with Wild Rovers — so many that the fact that I still loved it shows it’s an overall great hostel. (1) There are no towels provided with private rooms, and there are none even available for rent. This was the only time I encountered this in 20+ hostel stays in the country. (2) Showers and wifi are both weak. (3) There are no outlets in this hostel! One double outlet in the courtyard provides power for 3-4 entire dorm rooms. There is an “outlet locker” in the lobby where you can put your phone or other small device in a small locked safe during the day, but laptops won’t fit. So if you need to charge a laptop your choices are to sit against the wall in the courtyard or get a private room.
And for the ladies, a tip — regardless of what dorm you’re in, you can go upstairs and use the women’s only bathroom. It has by far the best and most private shower in the hostel.
Contact: Alfonso Ugarte 111, Arequipa / (51) 54 212 830
Amenities: Pool, basic daily breakfast, restaurant, bar, wifi and computer use
Pros: Lively bar and relaxing pool area, great location
Cons: Wifi does not reach all rooms, no kitchen, lack of outlets, no towels for rent
Room tip: For unknown reasons, private rooms cannot be booked via Hostelworld — only through Wild Rover’s own website.
Price: Fourteen bed dorms are $7, twelve bed dorms are $8, six bed dorms are $9, four bed mixed and female dorms are $11. Private rooms with shared bathrooms are $24
Book Here: Wild Rovers
Puno is the stop on Peru’s Gringo Trail most lacking in hostel options. Not one of the major hostel chains (Flying Dog, Wild Rovers, Kokopelli’s, Loki, etc.) has an outpost here. I guess what I’m trying to get at here is this — pickins’ are slim.
While Quechuas Backpackers is certainly the pick of the bunch, it lacks a hostel atmosphere. The only common areas are the small check-in area, a computer nook under the stairs, and a dining room (and as there is no kitchen access this is only really used for breakfast.)
On the upside, Quechuas had a rare perk — a small gym! Really it’s just three workout machines crammed in a nook, but I was thrilled. Also, they had the best hostel breakfast I had in Peru. In addition to the usual bread, butter, jam, and tea, they had fresh fruit and yogurt, and ham, cheese and avocado. Major score!
Contact: Jr. Santiago Giraldo Nro 177, Puno / (51) 352194
Amenities: Daily breakfast, wifi and computer use, small gym
Pros: Good location, impressive breakfast, ability to work out
Cons: No area for socializing, lacks charm
Room tip: Ask for a room on a lower floor to avoid schlepping up and down the stairs
Price: Eight bed ensuite dorms are $10, six bed ensuite female dorms are $10, four bed ensuite dorms are $11. Private rooms with ensuite bathrooms from $25.
Book Here: Quechuas Backpackers
For my second hostel stay in Lima, I knew I wanted something more lively than my original choice — Ekeko hostel. I was traveling with a group of guys and it was their final weekend, so they wanted to party! On my first stop in Lima I admired the central location of the three Flying Dog hostels scattered around Kennedy Park in Miraflores, so we decided to give one a try.
We consulted the Flying Dog website to determine the differences between the three, and based on their description of the “Hostel B&B” (as opposed to the “Hostel” and “Hostel Backpackers” — are you confused yet?) as the “place to party,” we booked in. Unfortunately for the three nights we stayed there, the bar was as empty as it is in these photos. There was a great all-you-can-drink deal for 40 soles (about $14USD) which the boys certainly took advantage of, but it wasn’t the social atmosphere we were looking for.
We might have just chalked it up to low season had we not checked out the other two hostels and found them bustling and full of life and energy! There is nothing wrong with this particular Flying Dog outpost — but they need to label it more correctly on their website, because a party place it is not.
Contact: Calle Lima 457, Parque Kennedy, Miraflores / (51) 444 5753
Amenities: Full kitchen, daily breakfast, bar, wifi and computer use
Pros: Great location, good wifi, nice movie-watching lounge area
Cons: Not a “party place” as billed, not very social
Price: Dorms are $12, private double rooms with shared bath are $29, private double rooms with private bath are $38, private triple rooms are $42 and private quadruple rooms are $52.
Book Here: Flying Dog
Stay tuned for reviews of hostels in Huanchaco and Mancora!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Super Sale Alert! The always rockin’ course is having a sale this week! This is the online course that helped me make Meihoukai in Wanderland what it is today, and the first thing I recommend to those who write to me for advice. It changed the way I looked at travel blogging and helped me move it from a hobby to a business. The member’s group gives me daily inspiration, feedback, and assistance (and a heavy dose of humor!) This is truly the warmest community in travel blogging, and all memberships are on sale now. Click and use the code “TBS2014″ to 25% off memberships! Sale starts ends at 11:59 PM on Friday, January 10 and is valid only for the single payment option. See you in the forums!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This post was made possible by Hostelworld and the generous hospitality of Quechuas Backpackers and Flying Dog. I personally arranged and paid for my spontaneous stay at Wild Rover’s. The content of my reviews was not influenced in any way by these partnerships — as always, you have my honesty above all else.