Celtic Cross ( Sucre, Bolivia)
This is an Irish owned hostel but is actually now managed by German and South African guys. It is also a 10 minute walk to the center of Sucre. Darragh and Raquel are the owners and left their legacy in very capable hands. It’s very homely, clean, offers round the clock hot showers and has a very relaxed atmosphere. They also have 2 kitchens for those of you keen on cooking your own dinners. The courtyard is a great place to hang out and meet other backpackers, particularly other backpackers taking Spanish classes. This is a great place to learn Spanish, they offer good deals on both accommodation & Spanish classes. There is nothing they won’t do to make your stay more enjoyable. Make sure you get to know the managers who always hang out in the courtyard, we found their advice invaluable. They also cook an awesome barbeque on the weekends complete with steak, garlic bread, salad, chips and wings too!
Universal Travellers Lodge (Bariloche, Argentina)
This is about a 15 minute walk to the center of Bariloche. We spent the Christmas here and the owner Ruben created a real family atmosphere in his home. Rubens story is that he came to Argentina on his skateboard and a few bucks in his pocket and ended up setting up his own hostel in Bariloche. He owns and lives in the Universal Travellers Lodge and treats everyone like one of the family. He operates a work away program which is good for those who want to work a few hours in exchange for a bed. He organizes rock-climbing, canoeing and snowboarding trips where he personally is the guide along with his buddy Joe. If you don’t want to cook, they offer a dinner service which was about 7 pesos per person. We took this option on Christmas Eve where Ruben organized a Secret Santa. Christmas night after everyone received their Secret Santa presents Ruben and most of the hostel went to a nearby pub, which was a great substitute for all who were missing the family atmosphere from home. Universal Travellers Lodge has a hot tub which is a great place to chill out. Do not visit Bariloche without staying with these guys, but book in advance this place is in demand!
Sabatico Travelers Hostel (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
The family owned Sabatico Travelers Hostel, Buenos Aires, was one of the first hostels we stayed in and we still consider it one of the best. We arrived at 8am however check-in wasn’t until 11. The first thing they said to us was “welcome to your new home” and offered us a great breakfast which as we know is a great way to start the day. For breakfast every morning it’s not just bread and jam but eggs and croissants too. There was always a welcomed treat like Dulce leche biscuits or a sliced banana mix with an array of teas, coffee and hot chocolate. The breakfast area is small so even if you are not staying in a dorm you get to meet most of the guests. Sabatico Travelers Hostel staff also loaned us a mobile phone charger, adapter and a bus pass! The owners are very informative and always willing to help you out. Every Friday they have an “Asado” on their roof top which again is a great way to meet new people. Don’t miss out on their rooftop BBQs you won’t have a better opportunity to meet people! Location is very central too. We highly recommend staying with these guys for an unforgettable experience.
Kopepelli (Cusco, Peru)
Kokopelli is a secret gem that was recommended to us by Milhouse Hotel in Cusco. The price is very reasonable and it is only one block away from Plaza de Armas. It has a really nice bar equipped with a pool table, small balcony areas to chill out on overlooking the bustling Cusco streets. Kokopelli (Cusco) also offer a wide range of delicious food. Throughout this huge hostel you will find an array of bean bags and sofa beds to chill out on so there are plenty of places to unwind as well as nice garden area if you want to soak up some sun. The best thing about this hostel was the comfort of their beds. It offers spacious dorms and warm comfortable beds which is exactly what you need for a night in Cusco particularly during raining season or just after a 3 or 5 day trek. You can also book your excursions from this hostel but we recommended shopping around for better prices.
Mercederes Backpackers (Arequipa, Peru)
This hostel is small but quaint and is right in the heart of Arequipa. “Lesly is lovely” here, the girl on reception that welcomes every guest with a smile and who is always on hand to offer great advice. Between Lesly and Juan Carlos´s breakfast we ended up staying here for an extra 4 nights. Mercederes Backpackers have a roof top terrace for breakfast or in the evening chill on a hammock overlooking the city. Weather permitting you will also have a beautiful view of the snow capped mountain ranges & volcano. Inclusive is a delicious breakfast where you can choose between pancakes (with dulce leche and banana) or eggs scrambled or fried with fresh rolls, butter and jam! The staff couldn’t be more helpful here; Juan Carlos even left a pancake in the microwave for us when we were watching a morning soccer match in the living room. (see full review here). The time we stayed there were some issues with Wi-Fi and cold showers however all fixed by the time we left. This is a nice place to stay for a few days in Arequipa and offers good value. If you have any issues at all they will always be very eager to help.
Hostel Pucon Sur (Pucon, Chile)
The Wild Rover Trio! (Bolivia and Peru)
Other Hostels worth a mention
Milhouse (Beunos Aires & Cusco) – A great place to meet people
Chill Inn (Mendoza) – Right in the heart of all the bars and resturaunts
41 Below (Bariloche) – Really nice breakfast
Pudu (Bariloche) – Incredible view of the lake, very Bohemian vibe
Hospedaje Los Nietos (El Calafate) – A private apartment for the price of a dorm
Hostel Domingo (Santiago, Chile) – At the bottom of San Christobal hill, the zoo and Bellavista. Friendly staff
Verde Limon (Valparasio) – Great kitchen area & location. Good place to meet people. Street artists perform every night right outside on the square, be sure to spend at least 1 night hanging out with them
KulturBerlin (Sucre) – Attached to one of the best bars in town. Good location. Nice food
La Dolce Vita (Sucre) – Quiet with friendly owners
Arthy’s Guesthouse (La Paz) – One of the quieter places in La Paz
Dragon Fly (Cusco) – Relaxed and chilled out hostel. Small and homely
Mana Hostel (Lima) – Eric on reception is so friendly, it also has a working Nintendo Game Console! Eggs for breakfast!