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Where to Stay in Cusco- On a Budget

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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 anything like me, planning a place to stay got lost in the shuffle. In between all the excitement of sorting through the many activities Cusco has to offer, accommodation became an after thought.
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.
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, especially in comparison with other cities in South America, I was really, really impressed, by the hostels in Cusco.
Most hostels in Cusco offer similar amenities including free breakfast, hot showers, awesome locations and free WIFI. Many are also built into old picturesque Spanish-style colonial buildings with large indoor courtyards. But 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!

Pariwana Hostel

STAY HERE IF: you’re looking to make fast friends

Just steps away from bustling Plaza San Francisco, you’ll find the entrance to Pariwana Hostel. 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 likeminded wanderers, Pariwana is definitely the place for you!
Facilities: Free Breakfast ✓ Kitchen Bar Restaurant Wifi In-house Tour/Travel Desk Laundry Service ✓ ATM ✓
Book your stay at Pariwana Hostel Cusco.
Pariwana 1

Intro Hostel

STAY HERE 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/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.
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.
Intro 1

Milhouse Hostel

STAY HERE 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 mood. Its many versatile spaces make it an attractive place to stay for many types of travelers. The causal outside courtyard, armed with table tennis, beanbag chairs and hammocks is a great spot to hang out and chat with 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!
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  

STAY HERE IF: you belong among the party people

Looking for your long lost fellow party animals? You’re sure to find them here. Wild Rover gets pretty rowdy and throws 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, claiming to host some of the craziest parties in Cusco.
I didn’t actually stay here, but that didn’t stop me from partying at Wild Rover. All I had to do was sign in at reception and they happily sent me in the direction of the bar. I came for a few drinks on a Wednesday night and 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.

Wild Rover
My only evidence from a wild night at Wild Rover.

Advice for Staying in Hostels in Cusco:

  • 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.
  • Ear Plugs– 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 ear plugs, 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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"Where to Stay in Cusco- on a #budget." You don't have to break the bank for a comfortable, safe and fun place to stay in #Cusco! Find the perfect fit for you with my guide!
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.
This post contains affiliate links.

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