The Best Hostels for Backpackers in Guatemala

Greengos Hotel is an ecofriendly retreat suitable for those on a tight budget
Greengo's Hotel is an ecofriendly retreat suitable for those on a tight budget | Courtesy of Greengo's Hotel / Expedia
Sorrel Moseley-Williams

Writer

Affordable accommodation is abundant in Guatemala, where dorms and doubles come kitted out with handwoven textiles and scenic views of lakes and volcanoes. Here are the top hostels in Guatemala – all bookable on Culture Trip.

From the Unesco-listed colonial-era casas of Antigua to the laid-back lodges of Lake Atitlán, there are plenty of places to stay (and play) in Guatemala. This backpacker-ready Central American nation is all geared up with a heady mix of dashing good looks, daring activities and design-forward hostels that take you to the heart of the country – while also hitting a budget-friendly price point. So, whether you’re after an ecofriendly retreat in Semuc Champey National Park or a stylish restaurant with rooms in the southwest highlands, we’ve picked the best bases for cost-conscious travelers in Guatemala.

1. Casa Rustica

Hostel

Casa Rustica
Courtesy of Casa Rustica / Expedia

In the colonial heart of Unesco-lauded Antigua, Hotel Casa Rustica is conveniently located a short walk from the bus station and one block from Parque Central. Vibrant colors stitched into traditional Guatemalan bedspreads and wall hangings make up the palette in the cozy and peaceful rooms; communal spaces include the flourishing gardens and the roof terrace, sporting fantastic views of the nearby volcanoes.

2. Hostal Antigua

Hostel

Hostal Antigua
Courtesy of Hostal Antigua / Expedia
In the center of the colonial city of Antigua, Hostal Antigua is conveniently located just a block from the cathedral and Parque Central. It’s run by friendly staff, and traditional Guatemalan furniture and textiles complete the look across this seven-room hostel. Though costs are kept low, all rooms are ensuite. Enjoy breakfast on the blooming rooftop terrace, accompanied by views of the volcanoes. Free coffee flows all day long, too.

3. Iguana Perdida

Hostel

Iguana Perdida
Courtesy of Iguana Perdida / Expedia

Wannabe divers will love staying at ecologically friendly Iguana Perdida in Santa Cruz La Laguna, home to the only diving school by Lake Atitlán. After arriving by boat, a 15-minute ride from the mainland, bunk down in one of the private doubles, cabana-style log cabins, or mixed dorms sleeping up to eight. Our favorite is the open-air treehouse dorm for a next-level backpacker base. The restaurant is open all day, with dinner a family-style affair.

4. Greengo's Hotel

Hotel

Greengos Hotel pool
Courtesy of Greengo's Hotel / Expedia

Just a 10-minute walk from the waterfalls and pools in Semuc Champey National Park, Greengo’s is surrounded by jungle and mountains. An ecofriendly retreat for those on a budget, it has rooms ranging from vibrantly painted ensuite log cabins to mixed dorms that can accommodate up to nine people. There’s also a swimming pool and jacuzzi; other communal spaces include a bar and restaurant. Ask about free transfers from Lanquín.

5. Quetzalroo Boutique Hostel

Hostel

Quetzalroo Boutique Hostel
Courtesy of Quetzalroo Boutique Hostel / Expedia

Quetzalroo – the name is a portmanteau of the national bird of Guatemala, the quetzal, and the Australian kangaroo – is found in the Zona Viva district of Guatemala City and is only a seven-minute drive from the international airport. Rooms range between colorful singles with exposed red-brick walls to cozy mixed bunk-style dorms that can accommodate up to six people. Shared spaces include a well-equipped kitchen and a vibrantly painted lounge.

6. Dreamcatcher Hostel

Hostel, Lodge

Dreamcatcher Hostel
Courtesy of Dreamcatcher Hostel / Expedia

Monkey fans should swing for this ecolodge in the jungle of Río Dulce, as it has an on-site monkey reserve. Surrounded by nature and the snaking Leon Creek – the only way in is by boat – Dreamcatcher has diverse accommodation options, including a dorm for eight plus log cabins with wooden decks overlooking the lake. Of note is the restaurant with an open-plan kitchen and organic cuisine.

7. casa I'X

Hotel

Casa IX
Courtesy of casa I'X / Expedia

Found in the historical center of Quetzaltenango in the western highlands, casa I’X has a great location a short walk from Parque Centro América and Espíritu Santo cathedral. It’s a family-run establishment and an ecofriendly approach includes upcycling wooden pallets as bed frames, headboards and bedside tables. Common areas include the rooftop terrace and a well-equipped kitchen; there’s also a cafe serving fantastic local coffee.

8. Hotel Casa Chapultepec

Hostel

Hotel Casa Chapultepec
Courtesy of Hotel Casa Chapultepec / Expedia

In the highland city of Cobán, a short drive from Las Victorias National Park, Casa Chapultepec makes for a cozy stay. Well-illuminated rooms are decorated with traditional textiles; some share bathrooms, while some dorms include triple bunk beds. Enjoy an American-style or à la carte breakfast in the flourishing garden, on the terrace or at the restaurant. Shared spaces include a well-kitted-out communal kitchen and lounge.

9. Los Amigos

Hostel

Los Amigos terrace
Courtesy of Los Amigos / Expedia

After arriving by boat to Isla de Flores, home to the Tikal Mayan ruins, book into the fun-loving Los Amigos. It’s surrounded by wildlife such as howler monkeys and toucans, and after a long day visiting the temple you can relax in the tropical garden before dinner. Other shared spaces include the soundproofed bar, restaurant and kitchen. Book into a luxury king-size double with jungle views; more modest budgets will rest well on orthopaedic mattresses in the eight-person bunk dorm – use the savings to splash out on a massage at the wellness center.

10. Mikaso Hotel y Restaurante

Hostel

Mikaso Hotel y Restaurante
Courtesy of Mikaso Hotel y Restaurante / Expedia

Lake-edge, colonial-style Mikaso makes for a great budget base in San Pedro La Laguna. All 15 double rooms and the two airy dorms overlook the shores of Lake Atitlán; the best views can be taken in from one of the two hot tubs on the terrace. Other shared spaces include the kitchen, pool room and the restaurant, the latter of which specializes in wood-fired pizzas.

11. Hostal Los Volcanes

Hostel

Hostal los Volcanes
Courtesy of Hostal Los Volcanes / Expedia

Hostal Los Volcanes is just six blocks from the international airport, so it’s a conveniently located crash pad when you arrive in Guatemala City. Clean and tidy rooms are decorated with traditional Guatemalan furniture, artworks and tropical murals. Shared spaces include the interior patio with a fountain, a charming spot to enjoy breakfast.

Selene Nelson contributed additional reporting to this article.

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