The Best Budget Hostels and Hotels to Book in Iquique, Chile
Iquique sits behind a huge dune in Northern Chile | © Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Beachy pleasures by the Pacific? Check in at one of these great-value properties – bookable with Culture Trip – and wave hello to oceans of fun, food and fiesta-ing.
With a spectacular dune and mountain backdrop and beach hotels and hostels overlooking long swathes of sand pounded by blue Pacific waves, Iquique is the most popular beach resort in Northern Chile. Sea temperatures are Californian cold, but Iquique sits on the edge of the driest desert on Earth, so there’s sunshine every day of the year, and the town has tons of adventure options for intrepid travelers – from surfing and sandboarding to desert-sky star-gazing.
Backpacker’s Hostel Iquique
Courtesy of Backpacker's Hostel Iquique / Booking.com
Backpacker’s Hostel Iquique stands in a plum location: right off Playa Cavancha, with good-value restaurants, cafes and shops just outside the lobby. Bus stops are a five-minute walk away. Mixed- and single-sex dorms are decorated in a light color palette and come with laminate floors and wooden bunks (note that there aren’t privacy curtains). There are also boxy singles and more spacious doubles, decorated with tribal art; some have floor-to-ceiling windows. But the hostel’s stand-out feature is its rooftop balcony lounge, with basket chairs, tables and wonderful beach and ocean views.
B3 might not be beachside (even though the sand is just a short walk away), but it has a pool and a balmy sun deck. Doubles as well as four- and eight-bed dorms (none of which are gender-segregated) are simple – with white palettes and wooden beds or bunks squeezed tightly in – and there’s a communal locker room for your peace of mind. Best of all, the hostel is in Iquique’s nightlife quarter, with bars bang on the doorstep. There’s even a karaoke machine in the hostel itself, so you probably won’t spend much time sleeping.
El Faro Hostal
With much-loved Playa Cavancha only a five-minute walk away, El Faro Hostal is in a great location. Step out, and you’ve got stacks of restaurants, supermarkets and shops right there, as well a bus stop opposite. Unlike other hostels in Iquique, which can feel cramped, El Faro has plenty of space – with a large patio garden and a cozy bar-restaurant. Large, airy doubles come in soothing shades of white and cream, and family rooms have the advantage of ensuite bathrooms. There’s a shared kitchen and no party bar (so stays are quiet), and prices include breakfast.
Courtesy of NH Iquique / Booking.com
There are plenty of reasons to upgrade from a hostel to the moderately priced Hotel NH. Bedrooms hit the spot, in contemporary cream colors, with plenty of storage space and ensuites with walk-in showers. There’s a pool overlooking the Pacific, and stays include generous breakfasts. The hotel sits south of the city on the rocky coastline. Humble Playa Huaiquique is close by, with a smattering of facilities. The city center and the best beaches are a 10-minute drive away.
Courtesy of Gran Cavancha Hotel & Apartment / Booking.com | Courtesy of Gran Cavancha Hotel & Apartment / Booking.com
What Gran Cavancha lacks in luxury it more than makes up for with location: you’re just a stroll from Cavancha Beach, with restaurants just beyond the lobby. It also scores points for its large ensuite rooms decorated in dark-wood laminates, creams and greys – some come with kitchenettes. The real reason to stay here is for the views. West-facing rooms look out over the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows, and the rooftop pool offers a sweeping view of the city skyline and the half-moon bay, as well as the distant mountains.
The best things about this business tower? The location and the ocean views from the west-facing rooms. The hotel sits on a quiet street, with many restaurants and bars nearby, a block from Playa Brava, just south of the city center (which can be reached by cab in a matter of minutes). Ensuite rooms are airport-hotel crisp and clean – we’re talking beige carpets, heavy drape curtains and modest workstations. And, if you don’t want to fire up your laptop, you can head up to the little rooftop pool.
Courtesy of Terrado Cavancha / Booking.com
This is the Iquique budget beachside that ticks all the boxes. It’s in a great location overlooking Cavancha, the most coveted stretch of sand in the city. It has modern ensuite rooms – flooded with light from wall-high glass – and cute little dining tables, too. Thumbs up for the great restaurant, serving delicious fresh ceviche. And the views are wonderful – sit on the bed in one of the corner suites on floor 18, or lounge by the rooftop pool cocktail in hand, and watch the sun sink blood-orange-red into the Pacific.
Courtesy of Hotel Playa Brava / Booking.com
Overlooking long, broad Playa Brava, just south of Downtown Iquique, this small hotel bridges the gap between guesthouse and half-hostel. Doubles, family rooms and quadruples (with bunks) come in bright egg yolk yellows and with attractive, indigenous-made textiles on the walls; some rooms have ocean views. There’s plenty of shared social space, including a modest kids’ playroom, and a decent breakfast is included in the price. There’s a shared kitchen and an airport transfer option. And the hotel is one of the few in Iquique to recycle.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally written by Will Lees.
These recommendations were updated on October 6, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.