The Best Budget Hostels in Cusco, Peru

There are many fantastic budget options when it comes to staying in beautiful Cusco
There are many fantastic budget options when it comes to staying in beautiful Cusco | © Sorin Colac / Alamy Stock Photo
Justin McDonnell

Many will know Cusco as the stopping-off point on the way to Machu Picchu, but the Peruvian city is a Unesco World Heritage site in its own right and the historical capital of Peru. Here are its best budget hostels, whether you’re looking for a rest ahead of your big trek, or a place to party the night away.

Cusco offers backpackers heading to Machu Picchu a well-beaten path of old-world antiquity and modern hospitality venues. In the historic capital of the Incan Empire, hostels and budget hotels abound to serve the throngs of trekking tourists preparing to scale the majestic Andes and the Unesco-listed cultural site that towers over all. There’s plenty of competition for budget hostels in Cusco – some double up as gin bars, while others also act as affordable wellness retreats. Here’s our guide to the best.

1. Selina Plaza de Armas Cusco


The outdoor tepees at Selina Plaza de Armas Cusco are made from upcycled and organic materials.
Courtesy of Selina Plaza de Armas Cusco / Expedia

Plaza de Armas is located on Cusco’s Central Plaza and features the only gin bar in the city, as well as a decent restaurant specialising in Western and Peruvian dishes. The hostel does a thriving trade with locals as well as tourists, but what really sets it apart is the collection of outdoor tipis, which provide an urban glamping experience in the heart of the city. The modern yurts are made from upcycled concrete tubes and organic materials, decorated with locally curated artwork and hotel-quality beds.

2. Hostal Samananchis


Triple bed room at Hostal Samananchis in Cusco, Peru.
Courtesy of Hostal Samananchis / Expedia

Hostal Samananchis enjoys a pristine location in the Andes, near hot springs and Machu Picchu itself. Perfectly convenient (many travellers prefer skipping the tourist-laden town of Ollantaytambo, a maze of bars and souvenir markets), the Samananchis offers modest rooms, with everything you’d expect from a budget hostel of this calibre. The rooms are equipped with a desk, a TV, a private bathroom, bed linen, towels and a wardrobe. Prices include a continental breakfast.

3. The Grasshopper Hostel


The stone walled exterior of The Grasshopper Hostel in Cusco, Peru.
Courtesy of The Grasshopper Hostel / Expedia

The Grasshopper is just two blocks away from the dizzying expanse of must-see San Pedro Market, a psychedelic swirl of handcrafted textiles, gleaming fruit and veg, and the hanging carcasses of land and sea creatures. The hostel offers you a laid-back hostel from which to experience it, with hand-painted artwork and a cute garden for open-air barbecue nights – plus group outings to nearby sights. The Central Plaza isn’t far away, either.

4. Amaru Hostal

Hostel, Hotel

Dining table laid with breakfast foods at the Amaru Hostel in Cusco, with large windows offering impressive city and mountain views.
Courtesy of Amaru Hostal / Expedia
At the heart of Cusco’s San Blas district, perched on a hill of polished stone, this traditional Cuscan-style hostel is a lovely place to spend a few days. A colonial-era courtyard filled with mountain flowers and hummingbirds is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coca-leaf tea. Rustic-style rooms feature wooden flooring and traditional accents. Service is warm and welcoming, and a decent breakfast that goes beyond the usual continental style is served each morning.

5. Kokopelli

Hostel, Hotel

Guests relaxing on plush armchairs in the courtyard of the Kokopelli Hostel in Cusco.
Courtesy of Kokopelli / Expedia

Just a few blocks from the gleaming Plaza de Armas, this colonial-style villa takes its name from the Kokopelli, a fertility god depicted with a humpback and carrying feathers. Hand-painted murals on the walls continue the hostel’s theme, while landscaped gardens, a communal lodge and a quaint, compact bar make this one of Cusco’s more romantic offerings when it comes to budget hostels.

6. Mama Simona


Cosy double room at Mama Simona Hostel in Cusco, Peru.
Courtesy of Mama Simona / Expedia

Decorated in bright, bold colours with a decent-sized communal area and a well-stocked – albeit small – kitchen, Mama Simona is a no-frills hostel centrally located near the city’s main plaza. Offering dorms and private bedrooms, the hostel’s beds are comfy, staff are friendly and the price is cheap and (relatively) cheerful. Although some travellers complain about the lack of vibe, there are swathes of bars just around the corner.

7. Pariwana Hostel Cusco


Bartender preparing mojitos at the Pariwana Hostel in Cusco.
Courtesy of Pariwana Hostel Cusco / Expedia

Voted Peru’s best hostel in 2019, Pariwana has everything you need for a memorable stay. Deftly catering to young-ish backpackers, the on-site bar buzzes with travellers enjoying pisco sours and exchanging travel tips. Daytime activities include yoga classes in the garden and hanging out in the friendly communal areas. As the night draws in, things get wilder, with bar crawls, karaoke and drinking games – set in the hostel’s private, Colonial-era courtyard. Dorm rooms are clean and spacious but don’t expect quiet nights.

8. Magicpacker Hostel


A woman looking out to the courtyard at Magicpacker Hostel in Cusco, Peru.
Courtesy of Magicpacker Hostel / Expedia

Magicpacker provides a cozy, easy-going stay right in the centre of Cusco, with a large courtyard and a shaded area where you can relax on a bean bag. Set minutes away from the wild, bustling marketplace of San Pedro and just 10 minutes from the Central Plaza, this hostel offers great value for money. The dormitories are clean and comfortable, and breakfast is included in the price. Staff are friendly and approachable – and keen to offer up suggestions for nearby bars and restaurants.

9. Wild Rover

Hostel, Hotel

Guests partying at the Wild Rover Hostel in Cusco, Peru.
Courtesy of Wild Rover / Expedia

The name may give it away, but Wild Rover isn’t for the faint-hearted. Here, the emphasis is on partying, which happens all night long. With a reputation for throwing the best tourist parties in the city, it’s perhaps better to think of the Wild Rover as a backpacker drinking resort instead of a gentle place to lay your head after a day out on the trail. If you’re keen to catch up on the game, all major sports are screened on large TVs – and the bar is capacious enough to hold big, roaring crowds. Set five blocks from the Central Plaza, the new-build is located in front of the Plazoleta Santa Ana and there are great views of the city.

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Harry Stewart.

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