One of the most important things of planning a trip is finding the right places to stay. For Peru this is no different. Staying at the right places can make all the difference. The right location makes it easier to visit the local highlights, find nice places to eat or have a drink and it is easier to move around. Even more important for independent travelers looking to meet new people: the best hostels in Peru will help you meet the right people to share your adventures with. So to help you find these best hostels in Peru I decided to write this article. Not only listing a few cool hostels, but also explaining the difference between the different major hostel chains in Peru and why you should pick which.
– Hostel chains of Peru –
As you undoubtedly know Peru is a major backpacker destination. And rightfully so. With its dramatic nature from desert to rain forests, from green fields to snow capped mountain peaks, the country is a feast to the eyes. It is also cheap to travel, the people are friendly and the Spanish Peruvians speak is one of the easiest accents to understand. When I traveled Peru it immediately became one of my favourite backpacking destinations in the world, probably only rivaled by its next door neighbour Bolivia.
The benefits of a hostel chain
Being such a backpacker mecca has led to a true explosion of hostels in the country. Some hostels fared so well that they formed chains throughout the country. The benefits of a good hostel chain are plenty. A chain with multiple hostels in Peru gives discounts if you stay at multiple locations, organises cheap trips between those locations and generally has a consistent vibe and sort of people it tries to attract, giving you more certainty to find the kind of hostel you are looking for.
Hostal or Hostel?
Something that can cause some confusion in Spanish speaking countries, Peru included, is the use of the word ‘Hostal’ or ‘Hospedaje’ which both mean guesthouse or bed and breakfast. A ‘Hostal’ is most often a family-run small scale guesthouse. It might have dorms available, but is generally speaking not the kind of social backpackers often described as ‘hostel’.
So which hostel chain offers what, and which one should you choose to find the best hostels in Peru for your taste?
Starting out with Kokopelli because it is my favourite chain of hostels in Peru. They have hostels in Cusco, Lima and Paracas. I stayed in them all and loved them to bits. The cool thing about Kokopelli is that they are amazingly social places with social activities organised every night but at the same time have very comfortable and quiet ‘sleeping pods’ which guarantee a good night’s rest. There are always a few people that want to party on until dawn which is perfectly facilitated by the staff that will take you to either a club or bar or to the best parties of the real party hostels in Peru: Loki and Wild Rover.
All sleeping pods have full-size lockers built into the bunks so you can store your backpack in them and because these lockers have power plugs on the inside you can also safely charge your phone any time during the day or night.
Staying at one Kokopelli gives you a 10% discount on a stay at one of the other two locations. Kokopelli is definitely not a budget hostel but it provides excellent value for money and should not be skipped. My favourite of the three locations? Probably Paracas. It got an amazing seaside location and a huge outdoors social area with a pool to hang around, drink beers and meet other people.
Loki is one of the two big party hostel chains in Peru, together with Wild Rover, and I view Loki the better of the two. They have hostels in Lima, Cusco, Mancora and Santa Teresa (near Machu Picchu).
If you are looking for crazy nights out, beer pong without a shirt on and taking fire shots, stay here. I absolutely loved Loki La Paz (in Bolivia) which maybe makes my view on Loki in general a bit biased but while Loki is definitely about party the dorms are actually quite comfortable as well. You’ll probably need earplugs to sleep but the party vibes are good. People are inclusive and the staff does its best to gives you the best time there is. Favourite in Peru has got to be Loki Mancora which has a very cool outdoors pool area and is probably the best place to stay in town.
Pariwana is a more relaxed and chilled out chain but still very sociable. They have hostels in Lima and Cusco. The hostels are definitely sociable and a bit comparable to Kokopelli, except for the bunks that are slightly less comfortable. Pariwana Cusco is the relaxed one of the two where people grab some beers from the local shop and gather around ‘that one dude with the guitar’. Pariwana Lima is more lively and got more of a party vibe going on. You’ll definitely meet new people and probably have a good nights rest here as well. Of the two I’d pick Pariwana Lima.
Dragonfly is even more chilled than Pariwana and also a bit more alternative. People chill out, the vibes are mellow and relaxed and the place is social but in a ‘hanging around and play some cards or chat’ kind of way, no party hardy. The dorms are clean but not too fancy which helps the chain keep prices low. They have hostels in Arequipa, Cusco and Lima.
The Point Hostel
The Point Hostel has hostels in Lima, Cusco and Mancora. The beds are comfortable and they organise social activities every night of the week. If you want to meet some people but didn’t come to party The Point can be great, but do not expect the most amazing hostel you ever stayed in. The Point Hostel in Lima is located in Barranco which, contrary to what they try to make you believe, is not the greatest location to stay in in Lima. Better located is their establishment in Cusco.
Flying dog is one of the bigger hostel chains for they have hostels in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa, Iquitos and Urubamba. For me flying dog is fine but nothing special. Their rooms are clean but nothing fancy. They do some social activities but nothing too excited. The Flying Dog Hostel in Miraflores (they have three in Lima) has a great location.
Wild Rover, along with Loki, is the wildest hostel chain in Peru. They are located in Arequipa and Cusco and are known for their never ending parties and attract a crowd with the same objectives. You will undoubtedly have great and long parties but most probably also little shut eye. Compared to Loki the dorms are a bit more basic but I guess you won’t notice the difference while your intoxicated. The typical Wild Rover crowd exists 80% out of young binge drinkers from the UK. If you like senseless conversations in noisy, smokey bars and doing belly shots from slightly overweight backpackers, Wild Rover is at your service.
My advice, if that wasn’t clear already, is not to book at Wild Rover. If your curious about their parties, just go there at night. When you’re done partying you will be thanking me while you sneak into your way more comfortable and quieter dorm is a hostel close-by. Wild Rover boasts about its sound-proof bar, but sadly the same isn’t true for the bunches of drunk backpackers lingering around the dorms at night. If you must are really curious about Wild Rover, book at their hostel in Cusco. It is brand new and I must admit that it looks awesome. How it looks? Have another look at the cover picture of this article;).
– The 9 best hostels in Peru –
While there are definite benefits of staying at multiple hostels of the same chain, as I summed up in above, there are also a few stand alone hostels that I view as some of best hostels in Peru. The following list includes the best of both to make the top 9 of the best hostels in Peru.
1. Kokopelli Hostel Paracas
Booking Rating: 8.6 / HostelWorld Rating: 9.1
As a hostel, I view Kokopelli Hostel in Paracas as the best hostel in Peru. The place is clean, the dorms have comfortable sleeping pods with full size backpack lockers with power plugs inside, they have a pool and an awesome outdoor bar with Foosball and table tennis. The hostel is located right next to the beach and has its own swimming pool and on top of that it is also only a few minutes walk to the bus station of Paracas. If you are including Paracas in your itinerary, stay at Kokopelli.
2. Kokopelli Hostel Cusco
Booking Rating: 8.8 / HostelWorld Rating: 9.3
Kokopelli Hostel Cusco is another one of the best hostels in Peru. The same comfortable sleeping pods as Kokopelli Paracas, a good bar and a nice garden to relax in. They also have an in-house tour agency that arranges trips and trekkings which ensures you have a great group to hike to Machu Picchu with. Oh and come pasta night they hire a chef to cook three different kinds of pasta and it is damn tasty.
3. Banana’s Adventure Hostel Huacachina
Booking Rating: 8.7 / HostelWorld Rating: 9.2
Banana’s Adventure Hostel is located in Huacachina, the little oasis town a few hours south of Lima in the middle of the Peruvian desert. In the sun-scorched desert Banana’s has the perfect leafy green shaded outdoor area to cope with the heat of the day. Their poolside outdoor bar also serves great food and with a night’s stay comes a free sand boarding trip. Obviously this free trip is reflected in the room rate but in Huacachina Banana’s is simply the best place to stay at, winning with a landslide.
4. Kokopelli Hostel Lima
Booking Rating: 8.2 / HostelWorld Rating: 8.7
The least favoured on Booking.com of the three hostels even though I don’t really know why. The hostel is perfectly located in the heart of Miraflores, the rooftop bar is great and the beds are comfortable and clean. The reception can help you with planning your whole Peru trip, also the parts where they don’t have a hostel. This shows to me that they actually care.
5. Pachamama Homestay Cabanaconde
Booking Rating: 8.7 / HostelWorld Rating: N/A
Pachama Homestay in Cabanaconde, in the Colca Canyon valley is listed not because they are the most social place or because they have the most comfortable beds but because they provide an unique opportunity and the best way to visit the Colca Canyon and see the condors at Cruz Del Condor.
If you stay at Pachamama you can partake in Condor spotting down-hill mountain biking, where a minibus takes you up to Cruz del Condor to see the massive birds up close and you cruise down back into the valley on a downhill mountainbike. Fun, adventurous and the best way to see the valley and the condors up close. On top of this it is just a good hostel with friendly staff, and a cozy common room.
6. Loki Hostel Mancora
Booking Rating: 8.4 / HostelWorld Rating: 8.5
Loki Hostel in Mancora has arguably the best outdoor area in town. A big swimming pool next to an awesome outdoor bar and dorms with little balconies overlooking it all. People visit Mancora for its beachy vibes, and Loki del Mar certainly delivers.
7. Pariwana Hostel Lima
Booking Rating: 9.1 / HostelWorld Rating: 9.4
Another one of the best hostels in Peru because it has good vibes, comfy beds and a perfect location. The staff works hard to put up banger social activities and I haven’t heard anyone saying they didn’t like their stay here.
8. Cozy Hostel Puno
Booking Rating: 8.4 / HostelWorld Rating: 8.4
Cozy Hostel in Puno feels like a haven in hostile territory. I must admit that I didn’t like the town of Puno at all. When I checked in at Cozy Hostel I finally found a good thing in town. Cozy Hostel isn’t fancy or incredibly social but they have a cozy living room where everybody gathers after sundown because a.) there is nothing else to do in Puno, and b.) the nights are freezing. But this makes for cozy movie-nights, card games and meet ups. The breakfast they serve is also one of the best I encountered in Peru so Cozy Hostel is definitely worth checking out when you go visit Puno.
9. Mercaderes Backpackers Hostel Arequipa
Booking Rating: 8.3 / HostelWorld Rating: 8.7
The last of the 9 best hostels in Peru is Mercaderes Backpackers. Mercaderes Backpackers, dubbed MB Backpackers is without a doubt the best located hostel in Arequipa. Its in the middle of all the bustle, and only a few meters away from the Plaza des Armas. They have a nice rooftop where you can bring your own booze and socialise and the hostel is surprisingly affortable for what they offer.
|Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which means I make a small commission if you book one of the hostels but at no additional cost to you. This in no way influences the way I think about these places but helps me keep this website up and running. Thank you for your support!|