The Best Hostels in Ecuador

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Day 230: Cuenca, Ecuador

So many people were interested in my recommendations for Colombian hostels that I wanted to share my picks for the three best hostels in Ecuador.

In general hostels are less expensive than Colombia but more expensive than Peru. Cuenca is the most expensive city but still a bargain.

Hostels are peculiar in Ecuador, more often like guesthouses they haven’t catered to the backpacker crowd for decades like other neighboring countries. This also means there are a handful of mostly foreign owned hostels in the guidebooks and on booking sites but the best ones often don’t have a web site and count on word of mouth.

Best Hostels in Ecuador

la casa cuencana, cuenca

La Casa Cuencana

When I first came to Cuenca with my mother and sister we stayed at a hostel that also had a bar; it was unbearably noisy until midnight and my mother did not sleep.

I was lucky to find La Casa Cuencana during Independence Day and ended up staying several weeks as there was a large kitchen, which isn’t always available in Ecuador.

Bonus points:
– The most comfortable beds I’ve slept in yet, I think they have pillow top mattresses
– The dorms aren’t bunkbeds, yay you’re not crammed in like a sardine
– They run organized cultural tours, such as mine with sugar cane farmer Rogelio
– They can speak English, a little French and German if you need it; or if you’re like me they’ll speak Spanish slowly so you can learn.

Read Reviews on TripAdvisor.Turkish Bath

Hostel Chimenea

Banos is a small town with lots to amuse tourists with but we lucked out on Hostel Chimenea as it’s a small hostel that just opened.

It’s Spanish-only, as with most places in Banos but even my mother and sister were able to communicate with hand signals. What makes this hostel stand out is that there’s practically a spa inside for bargain prices.

Bonus points:
– In-ground pool
– Hot tub
Turkish baths
– Hostel kitchen

Read Reviews on TripAdvisor.

Otavalo Hostel

Hostel Valle de Amanecer

It was especially difficult finding a hostel online in Otavalo, despite being on the tourist trail, only expensive hotels seem to appear in searches. However, my friend Liz of Where are Liz and Adrian was able to provide a great recommendation and my family loved the cottage feeling of this hostel. The only downside was there was no wifi but that has changed and now there is free wifi.

Bonus points:
– A block away from Otavalo market and not far from the Otavalo Animal Market
– Free breakfast
– Walking distance from bus station

Read Reviews on TripAdvisor.



Join the Conversation

  1. interesting 🙂
    i want to visit Ecuador one day 🙂

  2. Ayngelina Author says:

    You know it hadn’t occurred to me! I can’t remember the exact prices but in general decent hostels in Ecuador are going to cost $8-10 per person.

    Unlike some other countries they do charge per person and I’ve been told it’s because it factors in the water etc.

    Of course you can always get much cheaper but believe me you notice the difference.

  3. Globetrottergirls says:

    Great recommendations, all three hostels look excellent! We will definitely keep these hostels in mind for next year – personal recommendations are always so much better than out-of-date guidebooks 😉

  4. Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World says:

    I really enjoy these hostel reviews. What do you think about including the prices on the post?

  5. Great info, Ayngelina. It’s always good to get first hand accounts like this and the price is excellent!

  6. Ayngelina Author says:


    You are right that is probably one of the best that I had never visited. But I did hear great things from everyone who went there.

  7. Ayngelina Author says:


    LOL yes they are definitely basic accommodations. Ecuador doesn’t have the flash of countries when it comes to hostels but all of these were clean, safe and with hot water – not something you always get!

  8. Claire (Travel Funny Travel Light) says:

    Vilcabamba Vilcabamba Vilcabama. There, I said it. You should go 😉 Hostel Izhcayluma.

  9. I like the Amanecer one but otherwise it all looks pretty basic to me. I wonder where the glamour granny might want to stay. Maybe in the hot tub!!

  10. The turkish bath photos (those are the ones with your head sticking out, right?) are hilarious!! too funny

  11. Migrationology says:

    Great! I like that balcony at the hotel in Otavalo. Will keep these in mind for next time I’m in Ecuador!

  12. These look great. I’m all about staying at the one with the Turkish baths!

  13. Camels & Chocolate says:

    Wow, hostels have gotten far nicer since my days of hosteling (about five to seven years ago). And I’m surprised South America has such nice budget accommodation, too!

  14. Casa Cuencana looks so cute! And pillowtop mattresses??? Sign me up!

  15. Lorna - the roamantics says:

    turkish baths at hostel prices?! count me in!

  16. This is great, thanks for the tips. I think i need to check those Turkish baths=)

  17. Thanks for these Ecuador lodging tips! These places look great – so cozy and quaint!

  18. My body could use a good Turkish bath…minus the cold water :S

  19. Find myself wanting to go all kinds of new to me places every single time I visit here, Miz Ayngelina 🙂

  20. Michael Figueiredo says:

    I like that you have unofficially started a series about the Best Hostels in Latin America. (Your photo of the Hotel Chiminea looks like a magicians trick!)

  21. I may get to Ecuador for a while. When I do, I’m sure I’ll remember to come back and find this again. In fact I just bookmarked it. Great information.

  22. Zablon Mukuba says:

    Now i know where i will be staying when am in Ecuador

  23. Laurel @Expat in Germany says:

    Very helpful info. We found that while staying in Ecuador the hotels we stayed in varied a lot in quality and price so this is good info!

  24. Great share girl. They do look very clean and nice! I didn’t know Ecuador’s hostel is mroe expensive than Peru.

  25. Looks like every tourist will enjoy the beauty of nature while staying in Ecuador. I also like the last picture, seems like you will surely find the place very relaxing.

  26. Jewel Mooney says:

    Looks like every tourist will enjoy the beauty of nature while staying in Ecuador. I also like the last picture, seems like you will surely find the place very relaxing.

  27. I’m loving these hostel recommendation posts. Much better getting them word of mouth from someone who’s actually been there. 😀

  28. Pingback: Travel Tips: Ecuador | Lengthy Travel
  29. Katie Featherstone says:

    These all sound great. My favourite was Casa Aida in Northern Ecuador- lovely atmosphere, up in a tiny village in the mountains. 🙂

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