Chimanga Hostel in Puerto Varas, Chile

Puerto Varas in Chile is at the border to Patagonia. If you want to visit Chile’s magical south, you have to pass through here. That said, this is already the Northern part of Patagonia. To experience nature, you can easily stay several days in this little, sleepy town on the shore of the Llanquihue Lake. And if you want your stay to be comfortable, you should definitely check out the Chimanga Hostel in Puerto Varas, Chile.

This cozy hostel in the very center of Puerto Varas is managed by a German-Chilean couple. As you will see, this is a common combination in Puerto Varas, which was founded by German settlers and still retains the charme of a little town near a lake in Germany’s black forest.

Everything is very clean, neat and well-organized. You even get your own basket with a nametag for the fridge. The fridge is located inside the big, well-equipped, public kitchen, near the dining room with cable TV.

Even if you don’t want to prepare your own food here, you will want to stop by for the free breakfast every morning. It’s not a poor man’s breakfast, but rather the real deal, with fresh yoghurt, cereals, milk, orange juice, coffee, tea, bread, cheese and slices of sausage.

Chimanga’s Lounge

After revitalizing your spirits with this big breakfast, you should explore Puerto Varas’ big outdoors. At Chimanga’s front desk, you can book all kinds of tours: trekking, horse-riding, kayaking, rafting, canyoning and their specialty- fly-fishing.

When coming to Puerto Varas, you should bring sunshine with you, as in every outdoorsy place. But in case of bad weather, relax in front of the hot stove in Chimanga’s little lounge. If the books, magazines, travel guides and the guitar fail to entertain you, just book a massage in the hostel’s spa.

One room in Chimanga hostel

Services:

  • WiFi
  • Internet Computers
  • Shared kitchen
  • Spa and Massages
  • Cable TV
  • Free and wholesome breakfast
  • Tours and information
  • Bicycle Hire
  • Luggage Storage
  • 24h access by security code

Address: San Pedro 410, Puerto Varas, Chile

Directions: in the very center, 1 block from the town hall

Phone: 056-65-75-5659 and 056-9-94-917126

Email: info@chimangahostel.cl

Website: www.chimangahostel.cl

Tour Website: www.chimangaexpediciones.cl

Tour booking

Prices:

  • Single with private bathroom – 22,000 Chilean Pesos / person
  • Twin with private bathroom – 16,000 Chilean Pesos / person
  • 4 beds with private bathroom – 12,000 Chilean Pesos / person
  • Dormitory male only/female only with private bathroom – 10,000 Chilean Pesos / person

In the low season from May to October, prices are 20% reduced.

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Hotel Casa Barcelona in Granada, Nicaragua

Hotel Casa Barcelona - Granada, Nicaragua

Ah, Hotel Casa Barcelona! What a gem!  I really did not know what I would find in Granada, Nicaragua. Would it be nice? Dirty? Safe? Dangerous? Tranquil? Busy? What I ended up finding (a little to my surprise) was an exceptionally amazing place perfect for resting, relaxing and taking in the true beauty of Nicaragua. Immediately when I arrived I was greeted by two amazing women who offered me a drink (which I gladly accepted). “How was your trip?” “Did you find it here okay?”, they asked. We talked for a while as I told them about my recent travels and as they told me the story about Hotel Casa Barcelona. “It is meant to feel like home,” one of the women said. As I settled in to my cozy room surrounded by amazing gardens, I indeed began to feel at home.

My time at Hotel Casa Barcelona was short and, therefore, I don’t have many experiences to tell. To be quite honest, I spent my night there sleeping, watching TV (at the time, I had not watched TV in over a month), and soaking in the beauty of the garden. While I did not get the chance to try it, their dinner menu (located in each room) is fairly expansive, and the food is both fairly priced and very delicious looking. I did get a chance to try some different, fresh squeezed juices and they were positively delicious!

The next morning I had to catch a very early bus but even in one short night, I truly felt at home. It was a much-needed break from the life of backpacking and I would highly recommend Hotel Casa Barcelona in Granada, Nicaragua to any person looking for a piece of home while traveling abroad.

Services:

Free tourist information.

Beautiful gardens.

Dinner/food available for purchase.

Lockers provided in dorms. Secure outside gate.

Recommended for:

Those wishing to relax/revitalize.

Couples.

Older travelers (they have great beds!)

CONTACT INFO:

Website: http://www.hotelcasabarcelona.com/

Phone: (505) 2552 7438 – Cellular: (505) 8880 4075

Email: info@hotelcasabarcelona.com

Location:  Hotel Casa Barcelona is located in a small residential area of Granada. No matter where you are coming from, you’ll want to go to the center of town and find the Mercado. Because the hotel is in a residential area, it can be a bit hard even though it’s only about five minutes from the Mercado. If you have problems finding it, just ask someone where (most locals know where a lot of hotels/hostels are and will be able to help you with ease). Staying in residential neighborhoods can sometimes be scary or confusing, but the neighborhood of Hotel Casa Barcelona is very nice and secure and the people are all very friendly.

When taking a taxi around or out of Granada, it is cheapest to obtain a taxi yourself. For example, taking the taxi in connection with the hotel to the bus station costs about $5 whereas a taxi caught and taken by yourself costs about $.50.

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My room.  Beautiful and very homey!

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Outside of the rooms.

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Lock…safe and secure!

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Double room.  Love the towel swans!

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Another double room!

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Dorms.  Definitely not your typical dorm!

Hostal donde German 2 in Pucon, Chile

Pucon is a city in the great outdoors of Chile. Like at every place where nature is the main draw, you always hope for good weather!  That said, there is probably no better place in Pocun to be stuck on a rainy day than Hostal donde German 2.

The hostel is managed by the always smiling German. He speaks some English and runs a new and very modern place. It’s certainly not uncomfortably modern, however. Lots of homey wood furnishings make you feel super cozy. The hostel is unbelievably clean, especially the huge kitchen. Here, you can find everything you could think of for your cooking needs along with free coffee and tea.

But you don’t want to drink that coffee or tea in the kitchen. You want to hit the comfy living room with a big fireplace which makes you never wanna leave, especially if the weather isn’t that great. The furthest you would want to go is 5 meters away to the TV corner. But don’t get lost on the way; this place is really spacious!

Living room with fireplace

Hostal donde German isn’t only a great place to spend a rainy day. It’s an even better place to spend a sunny day. Stroll around the garden, stock up on some sunshine on the sunloungers or dip into the swimming pool.

Of course, if you want to get out on the lake, into the national park or go see the Villarica Volcano up close, just ask knowledgeable German. Or let him organize you a tour in his tour agency. Or just rent a bike to get out even if it’s only so you can look forward to coming back to your hostel.

garden with swimming pool

Services:

  • Blazing fast WiFi
  • Shared kitchen
  • Garden
  • Swimming Pool
  • Cable TV
  • Free tea and coffee
  • Tours and information
  • Laundry Service
  • Luggage Storage

Address: Brasil 645, Pucon, Chile

Directions: 2 blocks from the bus station and 3 from center

Phone: 056-45-442444

Email: info@dondegerman.cl

Website: www.dondegerman.cl/

Prices:

  • Single with shared bathroom – 25,000 Chilean Pesos / person
  • Twin/Double/Triple with shared bathroom – 13,000 Chilean Pesos / person
  • 4 bed with private bathroom – 14,000 Chilean Pesos / person
  • Dormitory with private bathroom – 12,000 Chilean Pesos / person

In the low season from May to October prices are reduced 30%.

Adventure Brew Hostel in La Paz Bolivia

A free beer every night? In your hostel? That might be a common thing in Hanoi, with it’s Bia Hoi – fresh beer. But you can get fresh beer and the same bitter-sweet deal in the heart of South America:

in the Adventure Brew Hostel in La Paz, Bolivia.

The Adventure Brew

But you don’t have to be a beer fan to enjoy your stay in one of La Paz’s backpacker institutions, although it definitely helps. The Adventure Brew is a social hostel, with 140 beds, a common TV, DVD and Internet areas, a ping pong table, a pool table and not to forget, both a skybar and an underground bar, serving their own micro-brewed Saya beer.

And if you don’t find old or new friends at those places, you can try the common breakfast area with all-you-can-eat pancakes or you can always just book a tour of the Death Road through the in-house tour agency.

If you’re already traveling with a companion, that’s great, too. They have a whole separate building for people who are not so fond of dorm-style accommodation. There you can get your own private double or triple room with your own private bathroom.

View from skybar with microbrewed beer

The hostel is located right next to the bus station and a 10 minute walk from La Paz’s main square and tourist area. The view from the skybar or rooftop terrace is very nice, especially at night. The location is unbeatable for catching a bus, but it’s still central enough for walking everywhere. La Paz is a very lively city and there’s always something going on near the main square.

Every dorm bed comes with it’s own light, a power plug and a safety locker. The wifi is fast and reliable, in the bar, in your room, as well as on the rooftop terrace. There’s hot water all day long.

The Adventure Brew Skybar

Services:

  • Free pancake breakfast
  • Free microbrew beer
  • Fast Food cafeteria
  • WiFi
  • Internet Computers
  • Shared kitchen
  • Book exchange
  • Bars
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Cable TV
  • Security Lockers
  • 24 Hour Security and Reception
  • Tours and information
  • Laundry Service
  • Luggage Storage

Address: Avenida Montes 503, La Paz, Bolivia

Directions: right at the main street, close to the bus station

Phone: (591-2) 291-5896

Email: theadventurebrewhostel@gmail.com

Website: www.theadventurebrewhostel.com

Dorm Beds from 46 Bolivianos

Prices:

  • 20 Bed Mixed Dorm – 46 Bolivianos
  • 12 Bed Mixed Dorm – 46 Bolivianos
  • 10 Bed Mixed Dorm – 49 Bolivianos
  • 8 Bed Mixed Dorm – 49 Bolivianos
  • 8 Bed Dorm with private bathroom – 60 Bolivianos
  • 4 Bed Dorm with private bathroom – 70 Bolivianos
  • Twin/Double with private bathroom – 160 Bolivianos / room
  • Triple with private bathroom – 210 Bolivianos / room

Hostel Pangea in San Jose, Costa Rica

ImageImageAs the taxi stopped and I looked up at what seemed to be a pile of tin marked “Hostel Pangea” I thought, “Oh, God, what have I got myself into?!”  My opinion changed, however, as soon as I opened the door.  I was immediately welcomed by bright colorful paintings covering every wall and a friendly staff greeting me excitingly.  “Hello, Ms. Pack,” they said, “How are you?  How was your trip?”   A nice, smiling man quickly and efficiently worked to find my reservation, give my keys, and answer any questions I had.  “If you need anything else,”  he said, “please let us know.”

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I continued to be impressed as I discovered my room and the rest of the facilities.  The rooms were very secure with key-card access only, and the beds and bath areas were very nice and clean.  Hostel Pangea at first seems small, but it didn’t take me long to find the many rooms and areas including a swimming pool, large bar, and many computers.  Not to mention, they had a great area for charging devices and a theater room as well!

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Possibly the best thing about Hostel Pangea is how secure it is.  My first night there, a friend from San Jose stayed with me, so we spent most of the night hanging out at the bar and exploring San Jose.  When we went out, we experienced no problems catching taxis or having taxis take us back.  ALL taxi drivers know about the hostel.  Additionally, when you come into the hostel, you’re immediately greeted by a friendly guard who checks your wrist band to make sure no strangers are coming into the facilities.  The staff takes many precautions to make sure guests feel safe, and the entire time I was there, I never felt that I or my belongings were ever in jeopardy.  Being a single traveler, this is of utmost importance.

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ImageI highly recommend Hostel Pangea to any traveler making a stop in San Jose.  The staff is great, the accommodations are exceptional, and, very importantly, it’s safe.  Hostel Pangea is definitely worth a night’s stay!

Prices:

Dorm Price – $13 ($1 + $5 for key and locker deposits)

Services:

Lockers for valuables

Free Wi-Fi and computer access

Free Tourist/Local Information Available

Bar/Restaurant- meals for about $6 US (the food is GREAT!)

Airport Shuttle – $11 (shared)

GETTING THERE/GETTING AROUND:

If you’re coming from the TicaBus station, take a taxi.  It should cost about 4,000 Colones ($8 US).

If you’re coming from the Juan Santamaría International Airport, take the TUASSA bus (450 colones or $1 US) and then a taxi (about 3,000 colones or $6 US for taxi to hostel).

If you decide to go out, you have many options available to you.  There are a variety of clubs and bars nearby depending on your taste/style.  No trip should cost you more than 3,000 colones ($6 US) or so.  To get a taxi, just go out to one of the main streets and hail one.  It’s cheaper than calling and super easy.

CONTACT INFO:

http://hostelpangea.com/

ONE LAST NOTE:

I really do have say this about the staff, they are amazing.  Sometimes (as I am sure you avid backpackers know) hostel workers may try to coerce you to get bigger rooms, or take more expensive taxis, or basically just spend more money at their hostel.  At Hostel Pangea, I never felt like the staff was trying to “just make a buck” off of me.  I really felt like that staff genuinely cared about people and they even offered me information on how to save money!  So awesome!

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