These budget-friendly bases in the second-largest city in Peru offer friendly vibes and front-row seats to the Unesco-listed old town and the volcanic landscape beyond – and they’re bookable on Culture Trip.
Historic Arequipa is one of Peru’s crown jewels, with boundless baroque buildings and the grand Plaza de Armas in the heart of the historic center – arguably one of the most picturesque central squares in South America. The peaks of three volcanoes watch over the city, and many of the buildings here are made of sillar, a chalky white volcanic stone. Experience it all with a stay at one of these top hostels.
Beer pong, DJ sets and pop-up flea markets are just some of the happenings in the sociable courtyard space at the Lion AQP Hostel. It’s set in a relaxed, historic building made of sillar in the laid-back Yanahuara district. You can live it up here at a boozy fiesta before winding down in one of the many chilled nooks and crannies at the hostel.
Hostal Solar de Arequipa is, as the name suggests, something of a suntrap. The terrace is a particularly balmy spot for catching rays while tucking into your wholesome buffet breakfast, which includes cereals, fruit juice, yogurt and a trusty cup of joe. It’s a nonchalant place, ideal for relaxing after a day trip to Colca Canyon or rafting in the rapids of the Chili river – both trips can be organized by the hostel staff.
The bright, powder-blue colonial building of Las Mercedes Hostal Residencial is hard to miss. Just a few blocks from Plaza de Armas, this is a great base for exploring the historic delights of the city. The twee, flowery gardens at the hostel are a sweet spot for sitting in the sun and resting after exploring sights such as the nearby Bolognesi Bridge and the MUSA (Museo Santuarios Andinos), which has a 16th-century frozen mummy among the exhibits.
When it gets late, this is the hostel at which everyone ends up. It’s renowned as one of the best party hostels in Arequipa, which means the amenities often get overlooked. But, aside from party hostel classics such as a pool table, ping-pong table and a well-stocked bar, you’ll find a swimming pool, and quality dorms and private rooms at affordable prices.
They claim it’s a hostel, but La Casa de Margott feels like more than that. The rooms are more akin to those of a hotel or nice hospedaje (lodging house), and the prices reflect that. Here you feel as if you’ve got your own apartment in Arequipa, which says a lot about the place. With a unique, brick interior and tasteful decoration, it’s a nice change of pace from your prototypical hostel.
Backpackers are drawn to budget-friendly Peter’s Hostel because of the great prices and quality facilities. It has five six-bed dorms (one is female-only) and five private rooms, plus a communal living space. There’s even a rooftop bar serving cocktails and plenty of beer. Better yet, Plaza de Armas is just a block away.
The team behind Mango Hostel treats guests to free breakfast and coffee – and what’s not to like about a free breakfast? Private rooms have a TV, while dorm rooms are standard and clean. The rooftop terrace is the place to be after a long day of hiking; lie on one of the hammocks and enjoy the beauty of Arequipa as the sun goes down.
There’s a pool table, a welcoming bar, and plenty of couches on which to chill at Flying Dog. There are budget dorms, and boutique hotel-worthy private rooms. It’s a bit further from the city center than most, but the extra five minutes are worth the quality on offer here.
Chilled, stylish, ecofriendly. There’s a lot to love about Econunay: it has a rooftop with hammocks and views over the city and volcanoes; there’s a small bar area for when you fancy a Peruvian cocktail; and a handy book exchange. Rooms are basic yet comfortable, with both dorms and private rooms available, and hot showers are powered by solar panels.
Straddling the line between hotel and high-end hostel, Las Torres de Ugarte has an excellent location near the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries and the Plaza de Armas. Groups can stay in quadruple rooms with an ensuite, and there’s daily housekeeping and free luggage storage.
Laura Field contributed additional reporting to this article.
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