We have stayed at a number of places as we travelled the world. A few of them were places we wouldn’t recommend going back to – see our review of Wow Guesthouse in Singapore and Fortville Guesthouse in Bangkok for examples – but a number of them have been really good finds.
Although we are a couple, we usually stayed in dorms to save money in more expensive places like Australia and took advantage of private rooms in Asia or South America. Here are some other things we often looked for:
Hot water showers
Clean and reasonably well maintained
Usually not a party hostel
As long term backpackers, we avoid expensive hotels and luxury spa type resorts. If you are looking for such places, you won’t find them here. But we have travelled throughout the world finding good value for our money. That’s not the say we always find the cheapest place at all times. Instead, we look for the best budget value for our hard earned dollars. On occasion, this has meant that we have stayed away from the backpacker havens and gringo lands and indeed sometimes purposefully avoided the cliche districts to get a better feel of a place.
We’ve done the research and have visited every single one of the places below personally.
We have put together these quick reviews to help other backpackers who are looking for good value and would appreciate saving some time.
For bookings, we usually went with HostelBookers as they are a cheap and convenient option. Indeed you’ll find most of the places below have strong ratings on Hostelbookers, often deservedly so. We have linked our reviews to the appropriate HostelBooker page to help you if you so choose to go that route. We hope you find these reviews helpful.
Beautiful old building. Great location and fair price. Kitchen is a bit small and the fridges are packed at all times but that's pretty much par for the course. If not here, then the Nunnery just down the street are both recommended.
Good value, nice pool and friendly staff. Pool, ping pong table and pool table are included. Friendly people, free sausage night, but a bit far from town, which means taking the free city shuttle. Price is competitive and wine tour is great. Recommended.
Close to the beach, good value and helpful reommendations for sailing and diving. Gave us one free night stay for booking a tour. Recommended for a quiet night and good value for private rooms. Not a party hostel so look elsewhere if that's your interest.
Good value in a town that has a million options, none of them particularly appealing. $11.50 for a private double with private shower and hot water. Includes wifi and toast/jam/tea breakfast that's good for what it is. Worth staying one night. No more.
Private double room from $19 a night. Free wifi but no breakfast. Hot shower and near to the center of town. Not memorable place however and certainly not great value. Would suggest trying the Buenos Aires Hostel if visiting Cochabamba instead.
Better than average value at $9 a bed in a shared 6 dorm. Friendly host. Good kitchen and nearby food shopping options. Location is great and close to the core. A bit run down in the rooms and no A/C but plenty of fans to help. Free drink on arrival. Recommended for good value and location.
Overall, the price is reasonable, the room is in good but basic condition and the location is great if you don't care about the bar scene and just want to be close to the metro. Recommended for non-party goers.
Fantastic location right on the main square. Great facilities, friendly staff and a good price make this the best option in town for sure. Honestly, there is no reason not to stay here when visiting Popayan. Highly recommended.
Slightly out of town but not an issue given the size of the town. Very friendly family that were extremely helpful and super friendly. Good price. Overall, if looking for a quiet spot, this is the one for you. Recommended.
Great location in the downtown Quito area and close to the Tram and bus lines in the old city. Good value at $8.50 for a bed in 6 person dorm. Huge and functional kitchen, wifi and happy hour at 5:30! Not located in the "new" quito district however and not as well served with bars and restaurants. Recommended if you would like to save money but don't mind being outside of the typical backpacker "hotspot".
$7.50 for a bed in a six person dorm is good value for Banos. Private pool and rooftop patio are nice. Wifi and decent beds. Good location but that's easy in such a small town. Friendly staff but basic kitchen with a lack of supplies that's off limits for breakfast. Good value but nothing exceptional overall.
$16 US for a private double with shared bathroom. The hostel looks brand new due to recent renovations. Great kitchen, nearby food options and strong wifi make this an easy recommendation when you visit Cuenca.
Centrally located and not particularly expensive. Worn out facilities and wifi that's barely usable. Friendly staff can't make up for the shortcomings however. Unless you need a cheap room, I would suggest looking elsewhere when visiting Loja.
Simple place with a really nice staff. Small town so everything is close by. $20 for a private double with en-suite is OK price. Kind of cold at nights however and shower wasn't anything special. But good for a night or two if visiting the market. But no longer than that.
A bit of a luxury place. 15 minute walk to the water and not much eating options around. But the rooms are super luxury and the people are nice. Recommended if you don't mind walking or taking taxi daily.
Very popular and OK value. Weak wifi on second floor. Avoid in-house tours as they are expensive. Good bed and great location however. Overall, recommended if you are looking for a comfortable place and don't mind spending a bit more for it. Budget concious, look elsewhere..
Incredible price for the location. Super easy to get into town. Friendly and helpful people. Gets a bit chilly at nights but for the location and value, you simply can't beat it. Highly recommended for those looking to save money.
Incredible view. A bit out of town but easily walked along the main road or by bus. Very reasonable rates, especiallly in off season. Paid Wifi, cabins with full kitchen and fridge make this a recommended place to stay for us.
A bit pricey at about $24 US a night for a private double. Nice place however. Includes wifi but no kitchen. Useful if you are stopping off on your way to some place else but given the price, I wouldn't recommend a long stay. Nor would the town of Piura recommend one either.
Probably the best value in Lima at $6 USD a bed. Friendly owner and great kitchen. Not in the typical backpacker location however so if you are looking to be with the other backpackers, look elsewhere. Otherwise, if you are looking for great value in LIma in a fun place, this one is recommended.
Private doubles for 11$ USD is great value. Also, fantastically comfortable bed! Hot water only between 10am and 3pm. Great location but no kitchen. If lookiing to save money in Arequipa, this is the place. If looking for luxury, this is not it but a great value and recommended for that reason alone.
Great price, huge sprawling facility with Wifi, great kitchen, helpful manager, leather couched TV room, hot water. Also includes breakfast of fresh bread, pancakes and tea. Not in the San Blas district means you do have a 10 minute walk into town. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Highly recommended.
Very good price at $7.50 for a 6 person dorm. Hot water is consistent and good. Friendly owner and decent kitchen. Free breakfast and wifi throughout the hostel. Overall, not much reason not to stay here for a couple of nights while you visit lake Titicaca.
$22 USD a night is good value for a private double room with ensuite bath. Great location without actually being on the Khao San road with all of it's noise and insanity. Friendly owners but the value here is what will bring you in. Shop around. You won't be disappointed.
Good value, close to the night market but not close to the things you want to see when visiting Sukhothai. Still, the sights aren't hard to get to by local bus and given that you'll really only want to stick around for a night or two at most, it's good value for your time.
Very good value at about $10 USD a night for a private double room with ensuite bathroom but not close to the action and a little limited in terms of the nearby food options. Unless you are looking for the cheapest option around and don't mind walking, try somewhere else closer to the centre.
We got an exceptional deal and paid about $65 USD a night for what was basically a heavenly place. Exceptional food. Incredible views. Wonderful pool. Lovely people that go out of their way to make your stay exceptional. I doubt you'll get the same price as we did but even if you pay regular price, Nirvana resort is worth it. Highly recommended.
We’re a married couple who quit our jobs to seek out new adventures and vistas on a round-the-world trip. We love meeting new people and sharing experiences and travel stories from our life on the road.
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