So, you’ve booked your flight to Cusco. You’ve sorted through all the treks and tours, got your trip to Machu Picchu planned to a T, researched all the ruins, and even booked a tour of the Sacred Valley. You’ve put in the prep work, explored all your options, and thought out every last detail. But wait, now, where to stay? If you’re on a budget, look no further than this post. These are the best hostels in Cusco.
If you’re anything like me, planning where to stay in Cusco got lost somewhere in the shuffle. In between all the excitement of sorting through the many adventure activities Cusco has to offer, your accommodation became an afterthought.
Your wallet is probably also feeling extra light after putting down deposits on all the pricey tours, treks and trips you’ve got in the works. But don’t worry! Contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to dish out the dough for a fun, safe, and comfortable place to stay in the tourism capital of Peru.
There are some great hostels available in Cusco!
During my winter break this past month, I used Cusco as a home base to explore different areas in the region and was fortunate enough to spend time in four very different hostels. I’ve been traveling around for a while now and have stayed in many types of hostels in different countries all over the world. And, I have to say, I was really, really impressed, by the hostels in Cusco, especially in comparison with hostels in other cities in South America.
Most hostels in Cusco offer similar amenities including free breakfast, hot showers, central locations, and free WIFI. Many are also built into old picturesque Spanish-style colonial buildings with large indoor courtyards. So, with so many to choose from, all with like facilities and comforts, where should you stay?
Below I’ve outlined which hostels are right for which types of travelers based on my own personal experience, so that you can decide which is the best fit for you!
This post contains affiliate links to Cusco hostels on Hostel World. If you book a hostel after reading this post, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting Lauren on Location!
Stay at Pariwana Hostel if you’re looking to make fast friends.
Pariwana is in the perfect location, just steps away from bustling Plaza San Francisco, and a 5 minute walk from Cusco’s main square in the centre, Plaza de Armas. Pariwana seems to radiate a sort of friendly social energy. If you go in willing and open to talk to new people, it won’t be long before you’ve made a few new friends.
With well thought out common areas and activities planned for every night of the week, (drinking games, poker nights, dance classes, trivia competitions, and more) there’s no shortage of opportunities to chat and mingle with other travelers. If you’re flying solo or simply looking to connect with some like-minded wanderers, Pariwana is definitely the place for you!
Pariwana Hostel Facilities: Free Breakfast ✓ Kitchen ✓ Bar ✓ Restaurant ✓ Wifi ✓ In-house Tour/Travel Desk ✓ Laundry Service ✓ ATM ✓
Book your stay at Pariwana Hostel Cusco.
Intro Cusco Hostel
Stay at Intro Hostel if you’re hoping to kick back and relax.
Intro Hostel is the perfect place to rest and recharge pre or post-Peru adventure tours and treks. This hostel doesn’t have much of a party atmosphere, which, at times, may be exactly what you want and need.
I stayed here after my 5 day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, worn out, sleep-deprived and in need of a good hot shower and long undisturbed slumber. Thankfully, Intro Hostel was right up my recuperation alley. With a small isolated bar area, laid-back communal courtyard, and overall calm environment, it’s a great place to relax, take it easy and get ready for your next adventure.
Intro Hostel Cusco Facilities: Free Breakfast ✓ Kitchen X Bar ✓ Restaurant ✓ Wifi ✓ In-house Tour/Travel Desk ✓ Laundry Service X ATM X
Book your stay with Intro Hostels Cusco.
The Milhouse Hostel Cusco
Stay at Milhouse if you’re looking for a hostel with a good balance.
Milhouse Hostel in Cusco offers an awesome mix of a party scene and a relaxing atmosphere. Its many versatile spaces make it an attractive place to stay for many different types of travelers.
Their causal outside courtyard, armed with table tennis, beanbag chairs, and hammocks, is a great spot to hang out and chat with new friends or enjoy a good read, while the third-floor bar is the place to indulge in drink specials, unwind and socialize.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded hostel offering a small taste of it all, Milhouse is a great bet!
Milhouse’s Facilities: Free Breakfast ✓ Kitchen X Bar ✓ Restaurant ✓ Wifi ✓ In-house Tour/Travel Desk ✓ Laundry Service X ATM X
Book your stay at Milhouse Hostel Cusco.
Bonus Hostel: Wild Rover Hostel Cusco
Stay at the Wild Rover if you belong among the party people.
Looking for your long lost fellow party animals? You’re sure to find them here. Wild Rover Backpackers can get pretty rowdy and is known to throw down every night of the week. So, if your goal is to eat-sleep-rave-repeat, this just may be the perfect fit for you. They pride themselves on their in-house “authentic” Irish bar, kick-ass attractive staff, and nightly 2-for-1 happy hour specials.
The Wild Rover is a top party hostel in Cusco, claiming to host some of the craziest parties in town.
I didn’t actually stay here, but that didn’t stop me from frequenting the bar at Wild Rover. All I had to do was sign in at reception and they happily sent me in the direction of the festivities.
After a few drinks on a Wednesday night, I have to say, it didn’t even feel like I was in a hostel. Happy hour finished and the next thing I knew my face was painted, the bartenders were dishing out free shots and there was a line of giddy drunken dancers atop the bar. 🤷♀️
Book your stay at Wild Rover Cusco.
Other Awesome Hostels to look into in Cusco:
I did not personally stay at these hostels, but they have great reviews from other Cusco backpackers:
Nao Victoria Hostel – 9.7 Rating on Hostel World!
A review from Hostelworld: “We loved our stay NOA Victoria. The staff is amazing and gave us excellent travel advice. The rooms are very cozy and warm, with privacy curtains and personal lights/chargers. Showers were warm and the entire place looks like a castle. It’s a bit sleepy which is a nice escape from the party hostels in Cusco.”
Kokopelli Hostel Cusco – 9.3 Rating on Hostel World!
A review from Hostel World: “This place is hands down the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in. From fun activities every night in the bar to the attention to cleanliness and unfailingly helpful, caring staff, I will 100% be returning to Kokopelli my next time in Cusco. Hell, I’d even live here if I could. Even the cheapest, fullest room felt like luxury. The breakfast was delicious and the garden is a beautiful spot to sit and chill after a busy morning sightseeing.”
Inka Wild Hostel – 9.1 Rating on Hostel World!
A review from Hostel World: “Inka Wild was great! Loved the atmosphere and the staff, everyone was very helpful and nice!”
Supertramp Hostel Cusco – 8.7 Rating on Hostel World!
A review from Hostel World: “Supertramp has an amazing view and a very cool space to hang out at. Once you get used to the elevation getting around the city isn’t a problem. The staff was helpful for whatever we needed and very friendly. The dorm room was quiet and the beds were comfy and private.”
Advice for Staying in Hostels in Cusco:
Check hostel prices
The nightly prices in hostels around Cusco fluctuate a lot, especially during high season. Be sure to check the cost breakdown per night, as on the weekends the popular hostels are usually more expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can mix and match hostels, and move around a bit.
Bring a lock
A lot of the hostels don’t lock the dorm room doors, so make sure to bring along a lock to keep your valuables, such as your passport, guarded and safe.
Drink lots of bottled water
If you’re headed to Cusco, I’m sure you’ve already heard about altitude sickness. Staying hydrated and not overexerting yourself in the first few days is the easiest way to avoid this uncomfortable situation. At the first sign of symptoms, tell someone at the front desk of your hostel. Hostel workers have no doubt dealt with this before and will often have coca tea or other remedies available.
Bring Warm Sleepwear
Although usually warm or temperate during the day, temperatures in Cusco plummet at night. Most hostel rooms do not have heat and while warm blankets will be available, I also suggest bringing sufficiently warm PJs.
No matter where you choose to stay, the city of Cusco is known for a pretty wild party scene and potential noisy neighbors are a very real possibility. Many travelers are also using Cusco as a base or stopover to start different treks and activities that leave before the crack of dawn. Either way, you’re bound to have dorm-mates on all kinds of sleep schedules in Cusco, so it’s a good idea to bring along some earplugs, just in case.
Do you usually stay in hostels when you travel? If so, what do you look for when choosing one?
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Disclaimer: I received a free stay at Pariwana, Intro Hostels and Milhouse Cusco for purposes of this post. Still, as always, all opinions expressed are my own. I would only recommend something that I genuinely felt would benefit my readers.