This is the only list you will ever need for the most epic, best hostels in Guatemala. The hostels that every traveller is talking about.
In Guatemala, perhaps more than in any other Central or South American country, hostels can be a destination of their own. And hostels in Guatemala can be truly amazing. Those are the hostels that everyone talks about, the ones in which you will meet friends that you will continue to meet during your travel in Guatemala. And beyond that, believe me!
Guatemala is incredibly beautiful. Lush, green, volcanic, dramatic and spectacular. Long roads between the remote towns, isolated world wonders, charming colonial towns full of ruins destroyed by earthquakes and remnants of its dramatic past, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, vibrant indigenous cultures, kind people with a great sense of humour and of course, the most delicious chocolate in the world! Also a magical sense of searching for something more profound.
This is Guatemala. This is how I remember it. And I must say hostels in Guatemala can be equally magical.
The hostel scene is something else in Guatemala. There are some average ones. But the rest of them are epic, and this is where the travellers meet. Guatemala isn’t a large country and there is a typical backpacker route, so you most likely meet the same people again.
More than once.
And hostels are where it all happens. So make sure you choose well and join the great Guatemala backpacking adventure for what is! I present to you:
Hotelito Perdido Rio Dulce / Best Hostels in Guatemala
If you are looking for a sustainable escape to the river jungle while meeting other travellers, eating homemade bread and yoghurt and travelling on a kayak along Rio Dulce – Hotelito Perdido is your place!
This part of Guatemala is still a bit off the beaten path and the majority of travellers pass by on their way to Honduras or Belize. I loved Rio Dulce and I think it’s a beautiful part of Guatemala that should be visited.
El Hotelito Perdido is a little jungle hideaway located in the middle of Rio Dulce National Park. You can only get there by boat from either Rio Dulce or Livingston. The owner produces the most incredible chocolate I have ever eaten!
It features jungle-style rooms and dorms, a great restaurant serving homemade bread and yoghurt, a bar, and an exotic garden, and it’s located right by the river great for kayak trips. Pack the mosquito repellent!
Hostel Casa Perico / Best Hostels in Guatemala
Falling asleep in Casa Perico is an experience of its own. The sound of the jungle is simply incredible.
I spent one night there and I would go again at any time! Right in the middle of the jungle, accessible only by boat, you will find a great and welcoming hostel. The rooms are spread across the jungle garden and at night you can hear the sound of the jungle-like you probably never heard before.
The food in the restaurant is to die for and the service is great! A place to chill, forget the world and meet some cool people! They offer both private rooms and dorms, an on-site restaurant and bar as well as tours and in hostel entertainment.
Casa Perico is definitely a destination hostel and many backpackers come by just to spend a few days in the jungle.
Just like the above, Casa Perico is located near Rio Dulce. You can book some experiences from the hostel reception or just chill in a hammock with a cold beer. Because why not?
Hotel La Casa Rosada / Best Hostels in Guatemala
My home away from home. I spent a month volunteering in this hostel and made friends that I continued meeting throughout my travels.
There’s something really magical about this place. Not only the impressive loft dorm room with the most amazing views of sunrise, the jetty going into to lake, hammocks and delicious food. It’s the type of travellers that this hostel is attracting (in some mysterious way) and the wonderful staff that makes it a place that will bring you in and won’t let go. So many backpackers extended their stay! You won’t want to leave!
Casa Rosada is located in Garifuna town of Livingston, set right by the river and Caribbean coast offering the ultimate backpacking, chill vibe. Plenty of space to relax, an awesome dorm room, a great atmosphere, and the most interesting town in Guatemala – trust me, you don’t want to miss it!
There is no communal kitchen, which probably is the only downside of this place, but you will find plenty of affordable restaurants and street food in town.
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Los Amigos Flores / Tikal / Best Hostels in Guatemala
Los Amigos is one of the best hostels in Guatemala and one of the best hostels I have ever stayed in, period. It’s called the secret garden of Flores!
It’s a stunning and originally decorated hostel in Flores offering dorms and privates and probably the most amazing kitchen I have ever cooked in. The decoration is out of this world. I was walking around taking photos so one day I decorate my own beach house this way (dream on!)
There is a great vibe in the hostel and it’s clearly a destination hostel for those visiting Flores and Tikal. The food is also second to none! You could easily stay there for days – the wifi is great, in case you wanted to work, you can cater for yourself or eat in the restaurant, it is centrally located and you can book all your excursions and transport onward directly with them.
The jungle dorm room was very rustic, but the rest of the hostel is magical!
Utopia Eco Hostel Lanquin / Best Hostels in Guatemala
Utopia is the place where the jungle hostel meets a yoga retreat. This is where you go to ‘detox from technology, escape the noise, and find refuge in paradise’ as they say. They even have long-term packages in case you wanted to escape it all for a while.
At night everyone eats together, so it’s very easy to make friends and the restaurant serves delicious vegetarian dishes prepared with their own grown fruits and vegetables. You fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle and during the day you can visit Semuc Champey or take other fun tours.
There is no communal kitchen, so meals are served in the restaurant. They offer dormitories, private rooms and cabanas. Not the cheapest option, I have to admit, but it’s worth it!
Maya Papaya Antigua / Best Hostels in Guatemala
Maya Papaya is said to be one of the best hostels in Guatemala and certainly one of the best choices in Antigua. Maya Papaya is a beautiful social hostel. A luxury experience made for backpackers’ wallets. In fact, half of the people on my Lanquin/Antigua transfer were staying there.
You will enjoy a delicious free traditional breakfast and a free coffee (the real stuff). The dorms are fantastic, and the bar serves great cocktails at night with a very good happy hour deal.
There is a well-equipped communal kitchen and plenty of space to chill and socialise, including a Netflix room. But most importantly, it’s probably the best hostel to be in Antigua if you want to make friends. It’s not a party hostel and it’s very suitable for digital nomads but the atmosphere is very social. You won’t regret staying there.
Ojala Antigua / Best Hostels in Guatemala
Ojala’s owners like the same people who own… Maya Papaya. No wonder they managed to open another great hostel!
Ojala is particularly great for digital nomads with high internet speed on offer. Its interiors and garden are beautifully decorated with plenty of space for chilling, hammocks, a terrace and a great chilled vibe. They offer both dormitories and private rooms. All dorm beds have a privacy curtain, light, electric plug and a shelf.
Just like in Maya Papaya, breakfast and very good coffee are included in the price of the stay. The one bad thing about the hostel is the price of dorm rooms. But if the price is not an issue for you and you are looking for a stunning and peaceful hostel to spend time in – Ojala is the one.
Tropicana Hostel Antigua / Best Hostels in Guatemala
Tropicana Hostel should be your choice if you are looking for the best party hostel in Antigua Guatemala.
There is a lot to like about this place. It’s very affordable, has a swimming pool, terrace, gym area, a bar and a great restaurant at backpacker prices. Most importantly, it’s the place to be if you are looking to make friends and have some fun.
There are dorms (crazy triple!!) and private rooms, free breakfast included, as well as coffee and water, and many tours on offer as they run their own tour agency as well.
The Purpose Hostel Antigua / Best Hostels in Guatemala
You may have noticed by now that many of the best hostels in Guatemala are located in Antigua. And Purpose Hostel is one of them. It has been a destination hostel for many backpackers for a couple of years now and is firmly standing its ground.
The Purpose Hostel is one of the best hostels in Guatemala for solo travellers. There is plenty of space to chill and meet other travellers. They have an awesome rooftop terrace, desks with comfortable office chairs and a great friendly vibe. The kitchen is a bit poor with no sink so cooking there will be a bit of a problem. Included in the price are filtered water, coffee and tea, and they offer both dorms and private rooms.
As the name suggests it’s a hostel with a purpose. The hostel serves as the training facility and community skill centre, and the owners are very much engaged in the local community and you can do so as well while staying there.
La Iguana Perdida Lake Atitlan
The moment I arrived in Guatemala, I heard about this hostel from other travellers. The fact that this hostel is located right on the beautiful shores of Lake Atitlan is already a great selling point. This hostel is now legendary.
It’s a true oasis located in the quiet village of Santa Cruz la Laguna. If you want to experience a tranquil lake getaway in a social hostel – this is your place.
The Iguana Perdida offers all types of accommodation. Starting from dorms all the way to private rooms and cabanas. It’s a wonderful, rustic and authentic experience.
There is no communal kitchen, but meals can be purchased in the restaurant and they serve a delicious family meal in the evening – a great way to meet other travellers. The hostel is also very social, yet it’s not a party place. A sweet spot.
The Iguana is also home to the only diving school on Lake Atitlan. But if diving isn’t your thing, you can relax in the hammock or by the lake, take part in yoga classes, enjoy kayaking, and hiking trails, or just do nothing.
Mandalas Hostal San Pedro Lake Atitlan
Mandala Hostal is a budget-friendly place to stay in San Pedro on Lake Atitlan. If you want to strategically locate yourself in the city where you can find all the amenities and easily travel around and stay in a social and budget-friendly hostel – Mandala is for you.
Mandala Hostal offers dorms and privates, a rooftop terrace and a big communal kitchen. Right next door you will find Mr Mullets, San Pedro’s party hostel. I was quite surprised to find that San Pedro didn’t have the best hostels in Guatemala. It’s such a great town in a stunning location, yet the best accommodation I found there were not the hostels.
But if you are determined to make it a hostel stay while in San Pedro and don’t fancy a super party hostel like Mr Mullet – Mandala should be your choice.
Dreamboat Hostel Panajachel Lake Atitlan
Dreamboat is a social hostel located in the town where everything starts and ends – Panajachel.
If you want to locate yourself close to all amenities and near transport on Lake Atitlan, Panajachel is the town and Dreamboat is the best hostel in Panajachel. It has an excellent common area, a well-equipped kitchen, a swimming pool and heaps of activities. Great place to make friends and have fun.
What this hostel is most famous for is its great and friendly staff. If you are in Pana, Dreamboat is the place to be. They offer both dormitories and privates, free coffee in the morning, on site bar and restaurant, a kitchen and daily activities. And it’s certainly a good value for money, too.
The Driftwood Surfer El Paredon
For a long time, the Driftwood Surfer has been a favorite backpacker hostel in El Paredon. If you are visiting this stunning beach town and want to be where everyone is, head over to this hostel. It’s also the main party hostel in town, so if you are coming to El Paredon to party – that’s your place.
There is everything you might need to make your stay awesome. Great social pool, two bars offering a happy hour, a restaurant, surfing classes and a very social vibe. It’s located right on the beach and offers all the possible lounging facilities. You can choose between the dorm and private rooms and take part in many activities offered including surf lessons or releasing turtles into the sea.
Keep in mind that it gets nosy and the vibe is pretty young, so if you are looking for a more chilled vibe, choose the Mellow Hostel instead.
Mellow Hostel El Paredon
Mellow hostel in the surfing village of El Paredon is a bit of Bali on the Guatemalan coast and one of the best hostels in Guatemala.
It’s beautifully designed by a couple of travelers and you can tell it was built with love. It’s a fantastic hostel offering incredible value for money. Located just 5 minutes from one of the best surfing beaches in Central America, this hostel offers incredible space for chilling.
They have a massive garden, great pool, loft, awesome bar and restaurants and plenty of hammocks. They have a variety of accommodations on-site, from really cool dormitories to tipis and private suites. There are plenty of in-hostel activities to choose from like yoga or surfing classes or poker nights. It’s a bit of a beach resort built for backpackers – a great concept.
That’s it my friends! That’s my personal list of the best hostels in Guatemala.
If you want to add your own pick please share it with us in the comments below. Or if you don’t agree or would like to share your own experience, please do share!
I will look forward to your comments.
Until then… happy travelling and stay free!
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Are you wondering how to spend an amazing time in Antigua Guatemala on a budget? In this article, I will tell you how!
And if you are planning your first solo trip, visit this post where I provide all the tips and hacks for solo travellers and backpackers.
My favourite Travel Resources
- For most of my accommodation management, I use Bookings.com and Hostel World. With both booking platforms, you will often get free cancellation and access to tones of reviews. Read them! You will also get the most extensive selection of all types of accommodation. I hardly ever look elsewhere. If you are travelling in Asia – Agoda is definitely worth checking out!
- Make sure you download Google Maps and, on the first day, download an offline map of your location. This way, even without the internet or Wi-Fi, you will be able to get to your destination.
Moovit is also an excellent and very underrated travel and journey planning app. It works great in many countries and will show you all possible routes by public transport, including the timetables.
12Go — Great for tickets for trains, buses, ferries and charters in Southeast Asia! The best way to buy your ticket for overnight Bangkok train! Rome2rio – Another great journey planning app. If your way of travel is mainly public transport – you will use this app for sure!
- I carry two debit cards with me. Given I don’t have a permanent country of residence, Revolut and TransferWise work fantastic. In case one gets frozen, stolen or simply lost, I have a backup. The great thing about both cards is that you can freeze them straight from your phone and transfer money between them in case you need to. You will also get a great exchange rate and create separate foreign currency accounts.
- I booked most my tours via either Get Your Guide or Viator. I also use TripAdvisor when I spot a good deal. You can also book locally, but I advise you to ask around and follow the local recommendations. For cooking classes and workshops, consider checking out Eatwith.
For more travel tips and recourses, visit Pati’s Travel Tips page!