Bolivia is pretty cheap, which means quality accommodation falls within reach of even the most modest budgets. And for the youthful and adventurous backpacker keen to meet fellow kindred spirits, there’s no better place to stay than a gringo-orientated backpacker hostel. Let’s take a look at the best of the best throughout the country.
Backpackers looking to get loose need look no further than Wild Rover, Bolivia’s premier party hostel. Nightly wild parties are the norm here, as hundreds of raucous revelers congregate at its in-house Irish bar to drink and dance the night away. Aside from the crazy parties, the hostel boasts excellent facilities such as permanently hot showers, spotless bathrooms, super soft beds with warm duvets and an excellent restaurant serving all your favorite comfort food from home.
In La Paz but not after a rowdy all night drink-a-thon? Then the more subdued Greenhouse hostel is the perfect alternative. A relative newcomer to La Paz’ hosteling scene, Greenhouse is set in an elegant building in the bohemian Sopocachi neighborhood and offers all the necessary amenities for guests to enjoy a comfortable stay. Better still, the owner promotes guest interaction by encouraging travelers to meet in the evening so they can cook a meal and enjoy some local wine together.
Built out of an old colonial mansion in the heart of the city’s historical center, Running Chaski has been remodeled in recent years to provide the latest mod-cons while still retaining a distinct colonial charm. The hostel is widely considered Cochabamba’s best for its beautiful interior and sociable vibe, not to mention a myriad of facilities such as a fully equipped kitchen, chill-out room with home cinema, leafy central garden and cozy bar.
The best of Tarija without a doubt, Casa Blanca is pretty fancy for a backpackers hostel to say the least. This old colonial house is decorated in a distinctly modern style, brimming with colorful pop-art paintings and quirky designs. The social aspect focuses around group BBQ nights which take advantage of the region’s excellent beef and wine. What’s more, their delicious onsite pastry shop is the perfect place for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
An old time favorite, Jodanga hostel has been welcoming backpackers to Santa Cruz for over a decade. The hostel remains popular for its well-maintained facilities, the center point being a sizable swimming pool which gets packed full of travelers on those sweltering summer days. Clean, modern and with a friendly youthful vibe, Jodanga is the best option for backpackers in the city.
The top pick for backpackers in chilled out Samaipata, Andoriña Hostal has definitely got a bit of a hippy vibe. Thanks to its reading library, book exchange, painting courses and laid back common spaces with unbeatable views of the valley, it’s the perfect place to kick back and relax in Samaipata. Their bountiful and healthy (free) breakfast is a hit, and the hostel also gives a little back through participation in various community-based projects.
Located in peaceful surroundings just five minutes from the center of town, Hostal Chawi is popular for its beautiful garden and excellent views of the valley below. This well-maintained locale with top quality amenities is the only true hostel in town, featuring numerous dorm rooms that primarily cater to international backpackers. Its social aspect centers around a mouthwatering communal breakfast which includes omelettes, pancakes, local coffee and juices.
Sucre has many fine hostels, but the fanciest of the lot has got to be Casarte Takubamba. Converted from a massive former family home, the hostel boasts a lavish balcony with sweeping city views, a huge garden area for communal BBQ’s, immaculately maintained rooms and even an in-house art gallery. Budget travelers looking for a sophisticated stay won’t find anything better.
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Las Olas, Copacabana
Not strictly a backpackers hostel, but it’s not too expensive and this place is just too cool not to mention. Las Olas has eight surreal and individually designed cabins overlooking the lake, each designed to resemble anything from a giant snail to a teepee or a turtle. With a pleasant sunny garden full of deck chairs and hammocks, free WiFi and unbeatable lake views, it’s the perfect options for backpackers happy to splurge (US$50 double).
Overlooking the river in the center of town, El Curichal is a hit for its friendly sociable vibe. With a huge swimming pool adjacent to a lively bar, it’s the perfect place to meet other travelers and plan your next jungle adventure. As is the norm in the Bolivian Amazon, there are plenty of hammocks to while away the afternoon in too.