When you think of a hostel, what probably comes to mind is a dark, dingy, cockroach ridden cesspit. In some places that isn’t so far from the truth, but the hostel scene in Mexico is HUGE, and as a result Mexico has some of the most impressive hostels I’ve ever stayed in.
In order to help any backpacker travelling to Mexico, I’ve reviewed a variety of the hostels I stayed in. Bear in mind that I like hostels with more of a quirky, individual vibe that attract interesting travellers with stories to share…
Poc Na hostel, Isla Mujeres.
This hostel is on the beach. Enough said. I absolutely loved this hostel– I stayed in a fab dorm where I met two girls as soon as I arrived with whom I instantly bonded and we went on to have the most fun few days and nights together.
This Mexican hostel even has its own beach bar which is the most happening place on the island so you don’t need to pay for taxis or get lost in the dark trying to find a bar- the party comes to you!
At night huge turtles come up to the nearby beach to nest, when I say huge I mean gigantic! Watching them kick up the sand was quite a sight.
During the day the hostel is close to the most stunning clear blue waters, and powdery sandy beaches. There’s plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.
Although it is more of a party place at night, if you want your sleep that’s fine too- the dorms are set away from the bar so your sleep won’t be disturbed by the music. The hostel has breakfast included, although its breakfast isn’t the best (toast and coffee). It has a restaurant on site, a dive school, yoga classes and massages. It is a little pricey for a hostel but definitely worth it with a chilled, fun vibe.
Room for improvement: Individual powerpoint for beds, female only dorms and a better breakfast.
Best for: Partying on the beach by night and swimming by day.
Read my post about Isla Mujeres here.
2. Posada del Abuelito, San Cristobal de las Casas.
This was such a cute hostel. Cozy, quaint and charming, with female only dorms too- yay. I met a really interesting bunch of people at this hostel. Being a small, intimate hostel its perfect to meet other travellers whether over the breakfast table, or out in the garden. Breakfast is included with great coffee and fresh fruit.
It’s not a party hostel, quite the opposite, but you’ll likely meet people to go out and explore the nightlife of San Cristobal with. Be warned, it is a bit of a walk away from the centre- make sure you download maps.me on your phone as it’s easy to get lost through these cobbled, winding streets.
I booked this for two nights because the famous Puerto Vieja hostel was full, but when I moved to Puerto Vieja, I instantly regretted it (full of annoying, loud backpackers, and the dorms were huge and unclean.) If you have to stay somewhere else then go to Iguana hostel.
Room for improvement: More tables for breakfast.
Best for: Getting a great night’s sleep in the clean comfy beds in a quiet location.
3. Hostel la Candelaria, Valladolid.
This hostel in the small town of Valladolid, a launchpad for the nearby seven wonder of the world Chichen Itza was adorable, with super friendly staff who were willing to go the extra mile. Each night they had different activities and meals. I paid a small fee to cook and eat vegetarian burritos, which was a great way to get to know the others and a fun evening.
The hostel has bikes to use for free so that you can explore the local area including the cenotes. I actually ended up losing the key to my bike lock (don’t ask me how), but the manager was really good about it- they are so friendly here possibly the friendliest staff out of all of the hostels I stayed in.
Read more about my stay in Valladolid, and trip to the nearby Chichen Itza here.
4. Casa Losodeli, Puerto Escondido
Price point: Excellent
This family run hostel is perfect for a spot of recuperation. It seems to attract quite a few solo female travellers, maybe for that reason. It has female only dorms which is a big plus for me as I much prefer staying in these where possible. It has a lovely pool that is great for relaxing by, and plenty of outdoor tables and seating to chat to other travellers, or sit in a hammock and relax with a good book.
It has a bar, and you can also bring in your own drinks. However there is a quiet policy by midnight which is a little annoying as makes you feel a little like a school child, but great if you’re wanting to get some sleep. Another issue is that breakfast isn’t included. The area it is located in is not very central, but its within walking distance of the famous picture perfect Carrizallilo cove beach which is definitely worth a visit or two, just prepare yourself for the climb up the steps on the way back!
Room for improvement: Provide breakfast.
Best for: Relaxation
5. Experiencia hostel, la Punta Zicatela
Price point: High for a hostel
My favourite area in Puerto Escondido was the La Punta, Zicatela- this is the cool surfers area. As a result its highly sought after and expensive to stay here. I rocked up without booking and found a place at Experiencia hostel. The hostel itself is very basic, it is more a resting place for surfers.
They have female only dorms which is a huge plus, but the location is the main draw. However, they don’t do breakfast but there is a small kitchen and plenty of nearby shops and restaurants. I didn’t book ahead – I turned up and found this place. If I had booked ahead I’d have probably picked somewhere else with more facilities, but the area is amazing- if in Puerto Escondido I definitely recommend spending at least part of your stay at La Punta, Zicatela.
Room for improvement: Better staffing and provide breakfast.
Best for: Watching the surfers
Read my post here for things to do in Puerto Escondido, one of my favourite destinations in Mexico.
6. The Yak Lake House, Lake Bacalar.
Price point: High for a hostel
A super clean, super efficient hostel, with a great breakfast and a fantastic location by the lake. Its the sort of place to bring a book and not do much else. Run with military efficiency its more like a hotel. It attracts an older, more sensible crowd, and the vibe as a consequence can be a little stilted.
Alternative option: Green Monkey hostel for a more chilled vibe.
Room for improvement: the staff need to chill and prices could be lowered, particularly for activities offered.
Best for: clean freaks, flashpackers and mature travellers who enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Hostels I didn’t enjoy:
This is just my personal experience and opinion:
Puerta Vieja hostel, San Cristobal de las Casas. This hostel was recommended to me a few times and so I had high expectations but it turned out to be one of the hostels I least enjoyed. Filled with lairy backpackers this really wasn’t my scene. The dorms were huge, messy and dirty. A light wasn’t working in the dorm and despite me complaining twice nothing was done which meant that as soon as it got dark I couldn’t see a thing. The staff were pretty unhelpful.
I really struggled to find decent hostels in Mexico City. I was recommended the Suites DF hostel, however I was given a room which was tiny, filthy, didn’t have wifi, had moody female backpackers in the room and was incredibly noisy- the room I was in looked out over a road and I literally could not get any sleep. After a long bus ride I was not happy and cut my booking short checking out the next day.
The next night I paid a bit more to stay in more of a hotel in the Roma district which was lovely and I caught up on some much needed sleep, but I didn’t want to pay what it cost and so moved yet again to Capsule hostel. This was fine but very anti social- there were no meeting points, and the showers were situated down a corridor past the reception..awkward! I also locked myself in the toilet and had to bang to be let out! Err yeah. So I didn’t love any of the hostels I stayed at in Mexico City which I think hindered my enjoyment of Mexico City as a whole.
What are your recommendations for places to stay in Mexico?
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Have a great day!
Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.