The Top Hostels for "Flashpackers" in South America

Get a flavor of the city with a stay at Masaya Quito hostel
Get a flavor of the city with a stay at Masaya Quito hostel | Courtesy of Masaya Quito / Expedia
Photo of Laura Field
29 June 2021

Yoga decks, rooftop decks and DJ decks are all on the menu at these cut-price, cut-above places to stay in Bolivia, Brazil and beyond.

Have a budget to adhere to, but can’t shake off your fondness for the finer things in life? The beauty of South America is you can have it all – lush surroundings and views, and the attention to detail and comfort of a hotel, all without breaking the bank. From spas to rooftop bars, here’s our selection of South America’s fanciest budget-friendly hostels for flashpackers, all bookable with Culture Trip.

The Nest, Bolivia

Map View
The Nest, Bolivia_b_242815032
Courtesy of The Nest La Paz /

The Nest, tucked into the rolling Andean mountains of La Paz, is a hole-in-the-wall boutique hostel that offers all the trimmings of a flashpacker’s lavish dreams, without the hefty price tag. Rooms are stylishly decorated with woven Altiplano textiles – some set up private doubles, or more industrial-style dorms – with views over the undulating Bolivian capital. However, where you’ll want to be is on the relaxed rooftop restaurant and terrace overlooking the city, supping up a sweet mojito.

Viajero Hostel Tayrona, Colombia

Map View
Viajero Hostel Tayrona, Colombia_e3c31f89
Courtesy of Viajero Tayrona Hostel and Ecohabs / Expedia

Viajero Hostel Tayrona is a boutique hotel meets sociable hostel on Colombia’s Caribbean coast – close to the surf of Santa Marta and mangrove-tangled Tayrona National Park. With free daily activities including yoga and dance classes, volleyball sessions, beachside movie nights and bonfires, the only challenge will be fitting in all your plans. There are also hammocks on the palm-dotted beach, a pool perfect for dipping while sipping piña coladas and a soothing massage service with the soundtrack of crashing waves.

Masaya, Ecuador

Independent Hotel
Map View
Masaya Quito_97cf5501
Courtesy of Masaya Quito / Expedia

In the heart of Ecuadorian capital Quito’s enchanting historic center lies the colossal white colonial house of Masaya. The place’s size ensures every room and common area is luminous and spacious. Pair that with a plush contemporary design and you have the flashiest of hostels. Wedge yourself into a beanbag in the garden to wind down after a day visiting nearby sights like the impressive, colonnaded Plaza Grande and imposing Basílica del Voto Nacional (the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas).

La Brisa Loca, Colombia

Resort, Hostel
Map View
La Brisa Loca, Colombia_78f87e03
Courtesy of La Brisa Loca - Hostel / Expedia
La Brisa Loca Hostel sits in a vibrant orange colonial-style building in Santa Marta, a sizzling city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. A free welcome beer will ease you into your stay and the free on-tap coffee will keep you energized. The expansive rooftop and its accompanying Rum Junkies bar is an ideal spot for chilling by day or partying by night at a buzzing DJ-spun fiesta.

Supertramp Hostel, Peru

Map View
Supertramp Hostel, Peru_18388baa
Courtesy of Supertramp Hostel Machupicchu / Expedia
In Cusco, the former capital of the Inca empire, you’ll find the artsy, bohemian Supertramp Hostel. Eclectic street-art murals and bright, colorful rooms with wooden floorboards make you feel instantly at ease. Set just on the edge of town, you’re a short walk from the impressive Plaza de Armas and the angular Inca ruins of Sacsayhuamán. The hostel’s impressive terrace is flanked by stone arch ruins of its own and looks out over wow-worthy views of Cusco and the surrounding Andes.

Rincón Familiar, Ecuador

Rincón Familiar, Ecuador_c84dc4f9
Courtesy of Rincón Familiar Hostel Boutique / Expedia
Rincón Familiar is a boutique hostel set in the heart of Quito. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to a sense of grandeur without the bank account taking a hit – its baroque building complete with two indoor patios, pillars and a view out to the Virgen del Panecillo lookout point. Just a few blocks from Plaza Grande, Rincón Familiar is the perfect setting for a laid-back visit to Ecuador’s historic capital.
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  • Medellín Vibes Hostel, Colombia

    Medellín Vibes Hostel, Colombia_f67e8c85
    Courtesy of Medellín Vibes Hostel / Expedia
    Medellín Vibes Hostel exudes – you guessed it – pretty inviting vibes. Set in the swanky neighborhood of El Poblado, brimming with lively cocktail bars and cosmopolitan restaurants offering everything from ceviche to bao buns, this hostel has its own plush pool – a definite plus for when the City of Eternal Spring’s temperatures rise to those more akin to summer. The rooms range from dorms to private doubles, are delicately decorated in neutral tones, making for a stylish stay.
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    Magicpacker Hostel, Peru

    Magicpacker Hostel, Peru_323acaa2
    Courtesy of Magicpacker Hostel / Expedia
    Kick back in an enveloping beanbag or take a swing at some table tennis at the sociable Magicpacker Hostel in Cusco. Its colonial house setting is a welcoming space, ideal for chit-chatting with fellow wanderers in the central courtyard. Full of color in quirky murals and vibrant bedspreads, Magicpacker Hostel is a fine place to wind down after browsing the San Pedro Market or disembarking after a PeruRail train adventure through the Andes.
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    Elementos Búzios Hostel, Brazil

    Elementos Búzios Hostel, Brazil_8b74849c
    Courtesy of Elementos Buzios Hostel / Expedia

    Elements Búzios Hostel is the place for flashpackers to set up shop in the Rio state beachside town of Búzios – a fishing village turned smart resort after a Sixties-era visit from a certain Ms Bardot. Wake up in the comfy, luminous rooms before strolling to sandy, surf-washed Geribá beach, right on your doorstep. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, swan around or sear your own meat on the hostel’s churrasqueira (barbecue), you’re sure to find your spot at this wallet-friendly retreat.

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    Selina Palermo Soho, Argentina

    Selina Palermo Soho, Argentina_dc58a91b
    Courtesy of Selina Palermo / Expedia
    Selina Palermo Soho sits in the cultural center of the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, in a neighborhood stacked with elegant fashion boutiques, buzzing cocktail bars and steakhouses. At the is-this-really-a-hostel hostel, you’ll find pastel-hued rooms adorned with Crosby record players, hanging plants and artisanal lampshades. The rooftop deck, complete with a well-stocked bar and live-music offerings, will have you pushing back your check-out date.
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    Selina Pucón, Chile

    Selina Pucón, Chile_6a20c4ee
    Courtesy of Selina Plaza Pucón / Expedia

    In the heart of Chile’s Los Lagos region (Lake District), watched over by the snow-dusted Villarrica Volcano, is Selina Pucón. This colorful yet calming house has a nook and cranny for every type of flashpacker, whether it’s a spot on the yoga deck or a seat in the indoor movie room. A sense of zen runs throughout with the graphic art on the walls to the sunshine-yellow loungers framing the pool. But you’re here for outdoor adventure – and luckily, Selina delivers by hooking you up with hiking, kayaking and rafting through Pucón’s natural surroundings.

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    These recommendations were updated on June 29, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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