The Best Hostels in Cancún, Mexico, for Budget Travelers

Cancún doesn’t have to be expensive – just book a stay at one of its best hostels
Cancún doesn’t have to be expensive – just book a stay at one of its best hostels | Courtesy of Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone / Expedia
Photo of Sam Murray
Desk Editor29 December 2017

Book a budget-friendly hostel in Cancún to connect with an international crowd of backpackers – conversation flows nicely after a reggaeton-soundtracked happy hour or come-together meal at the local taquería.

Yes, Cancún is party central and home to the Spring Breakers, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead, save your pesos for the things that really matter – a visit to Chichén Itzá, swimming with whale sharks or diving in cenotes, perhaps. The Mexican city on the Caribbean coast presents plenty of opportunities to cut back: margarita deals, cheap street food and these excellent wallet-friendly hostels.

Mayan Monkey Hotel and Hostel Cancun

Hostel
Map View
Courtesy of Mayan Monkey Hotel and Hostel Cancun / Expedia
Mayan Monkey is a step up from your run-of-the-mill backpacker bolthole, particularly in the private rooms or shared dorms where you’ll find stylish light woods and floor-to-ceiling views over neighboring Nichupté Lagoon. An inviting dipping pool sits on a stilted deck overlooking those same waters, along with a bar where you can congregate for the daily happy hour. Undoubtedly, the party will continue to the bars and clubs – but the Hotel Zone location means you can slink off early if you want.
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Nomads Hostel and Bar Cancun

Hostel
Map View
Courtesy of Nomads Hotel / Expedia
Embracing the here-to-mingle vibe, Nomads is the place to make buddies on the backpacker trail. The action takes place on the rooftop, where you’ll discover a pool and shaded bar area – local cervezas and tequila will most likely oil the conversation as you move into the evening. The dorms come in a modern light wood, with female-only and mixed rooms available. For peace, book a private room, which comes with a complimentary bottle of wine.

The Yellow Capsule

Hostel
Map View
Courtesy of the Yellow Capsule / Expedia
Capsule living comes to Cancún at this sci-fi hostel. You’ll stay in spaceship pods, all white with bright lighting. But most of your time will be spent in the common areas – the open-air terrace lit by romantic string lighting is the highlight. A stay comes with breakfast plus coffee throughout the day, and you’ll get a shuttle to the airport when it’s time to head home.
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Hostel Natura Cancún

Hostel
Map View
Courtesy of Hostel Natura / Expedia
With a decor to match the name, Hostel Natura plays on a Maya jungle theme; the frontage has a patio under the shade of abundant greenery, with a rooftop chillout area above. Rooms come with nature-based murals and serviceable bunks. And true nature is found across the road at Nichupté Lagoon, while the Hotel Zone location means you can party into the early hours without traveling too far.

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  • Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone

    Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Selina Cancun Laguna Hotel Zone / Expedia
    A lagoon-like outdoor pool is the place to gather during the day at this hotel-hostel hybrid, forgetting the excesses of the night before while chilling on a chaise lounge or under the shade of a thatched-roof hut known as a palapa. Relax further on the yoga deck, in the library or with a massage in the wellness center. As the evening draws in, glam up before heading to the on-site restaurant, which serves Yucatécan cuisine and zesty margaritas. The dorms – called community rooms – sleep between four and eight, or you can opt for a private room.

    Hotel Margaritas

    Budget Hotel, Hotel
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    You might not expect to get a pool at a budget hostel, but Hotel Margaritas confounds expectations. Book a single, double, triple or quad room, or settle into a dorm. It’s right near the Cancún nightlife, so you won’t be stuck for things to do, and there is a common room where you can battle your hangover if you can’t face the pool.

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    Maya Cha'an GuestHouse

    Hotel, Guesthouse
    Map View
    Courtesy of Maya Cha'an Guesthouse / Expedia
    Sleep under a traditional thatched roof at this great budget hostel. There is an amazing terrace that you don’t often see in properties in this price range, and the whole place is light and clean. Maya Cha’an GuestHouse proves that budget accommodation doesn’t have to be dingy. You can expect all of the standard amenities such as Wi-Fi, lockers and a kitchen as well.
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    The Mermaid Hostel Downtown

    Hostel
    Map View
    Courtesy of the Mermaid Hostel Downtown / Expedia
    Another downtown option, this hostel is the more affordable sister to the the Mermaid Hostel Beach. Guests will be within easy reach of the bus station, restaurants and bars of downtown, and the buses to the beach leave from just one block away. Stay here rather than at the beach, and you’ll get a taste of how Cancún is for locals, rather than tourists.

    This is an updated version of an article originally written by Jack Guy.

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