Peru is set up well for tourism when it comes to accommodation and transport. With a decent accommodation (that includes wifi, hot showers and breakfast) and good food and traveling around in local buses you can easily survive at 30$/day. Although I will tell you where to find cheaper accommodation too, and what all you you will have to trade for low costs.
Budget plan: how much will you be spending in Peru
So here is a high level budget break up:
Hostel/comfortable accommodation: 10$/dorm bed/night + breakfast (may also include free city tours)
Hostel/ cheap accommodation: 2-6 /night (no breakfast, no wi-fi, hot shower may be optional)
Activities and tourism: All activities booked through an agency can be negotiated on:
- Sand dune tour and Sandboarding at Huacachina
- Trek to Colca Canyon, Arequipa (although you can do it on your own too)
- Trek to El Misti, Arequipa
- Trek to Machu Pichhu, Cusco (although you can do it on your own too)
- Amazonas package
Hostels in Peru
I will give you a review of both kinds of accommodation: hostels as well as hospidajes. Some of these are those that I have stayed in, while there are some that I visited (while picking up people for the city tours).
But in no case will I write or review a hostel that I have not been to.
If you are a first time backpacker, this is NOT the place for you. If you are a regular backpacker, it doesn’t matter – but there are better places that you can find in the same cost – in better areas of the city and with a better atmosphere. It is an old building turned hostel right in downtown Lima and that is the only plus point of this place. It is dark dingy and listless. For a hostel in the main square of the capital city, I expected it to be more upbeat and modern – when I say modern I mean the staff, who could have been more tech enabled.
The bed linen is not something that change everyday. The washrooms are clean though and there IS hot shower. I will warn you though that the showers are like gym showers with curtains.
Quick overview: 10-12$/night (dorm bed), includes wi-fi, hot showers, breakfast. About 30 minutes from the airport.
Pariwana is a hostel chain in Peru with hostels in Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. They have great, friendly staff and a great atmosphere to mix up with the other backpackers. I will highly recommend this place if Lima is your first stop for South America. There is a free city tour, plus some great icebreaker activities in the evening. I met some of the best people here – and some of them – I am still in touch with.
The place is spic and span, washrooms are clean and they have a second security locker at the reception where you can store your passport and cash, instead of carrying it with you.
Quick overview: 10-12$/night (dorm bed), includes wi-fi, hot showers, breakfast, free city tour, free dance classes in the evening and a good atmosphere for meet and greet. 30 minutes from the airport (in Miraflores, great neighborhood)
Loki is the party hostel of Peru and Bolivia. If you are that teenager who is traveling with friends or wants to make friends for the rest of the trip, Loki may be the place with you. However, this was not the place for me. Whether it is strangers banging each other on the dorm bed above, or spilled beer or just loud party noise, its not the place to rest and prepare for the next day.
Quick overview: 10-12$/night (dorm bed), includes wi-fi, hot showers, breakfast and a good atmosphere for meet and greet. In the main square in both cities. Great neighborhood. Party hostel!
Bothy’s is a small hostel. The dorms are not necessarily the best options, but you can find a private room for the same cost (10-12$), which is great. People keep to themselves and only meet/greet briefly at the reception – rest of it being very private to the travelers. Good place if you are taking some time to be by yourself. Its very close to the main square. Make sure you go for a walk around the hostel and it will remind you of the undulating roads of San Fransisco.
Quick overview: 10-12$/night (private room), includes wi-fi, hot showers, breakfast and a great view of the El Misti from the terrace. 15 minutes cab/shared taxi away from the bus stop. Oh and there is a pool table where you can chill out with your friends!
Hospidaje Brabant, Nasca
Remember I told you the difference between a hospidaje and a hostel. Well, this hospidaje was a little better. So it is a family run hostel by a man called Jesus, and his kids are usually there at the hostel spending some time with their dad. Good, english speaking staff. Although they are misleading on some of their ads on tripadvisor and hostelworld – as they claim to have a nice terrace with hammocks – when actually there are none! Also, there is no kitchen for you to cook your own meals – but they do claim that they have it. If these are not deal breakers, I would totally recommend Brabant.
Quick overview: 10-12$/night (dorm bed), includes wi-fi and hot showers, safe locality, very close to the Nasca bus stop, does not include breakfast.
These were some of the good hostels. Make sure you read about one of my horrific experiences at Ica Wasi hostel in Ica. Make it a point to read reviews of hostels before booking them, especially if you are a solo female traveler.