Where to stay when travelling through South America
If you are planning a backpacking trip around South America, you are probably already looking at accommodation. Your accomodation is your base, so it is ideal if it is located close to all of the key attractions while not eating too much of your budget. Booking accommodation tends to be the biggest travel expense, and time-consuming task when going on a trip. There are plenty of websites, and accommodation search engines to utilise but some are more trustworthy than others. I always tend to veer on the side of caution, so when booking a place to stay, I only use Booking.com as it is secure, and easy to navigate.
I’m sure you are already familiar with Booking.com as it is the world's leading online accommodation provider, it operates across 220+ countries. It allows you to filter between 5-star boutique hotels, quant guesthouses, apartments and hostels to name just a few. It is the one-stop-shop for all your accommodation needs. When booking accomodation for 2 months in South America, spanning 5 countries the features I loved when using Booking.com were:
With such a large selection of properties world-wide, there is greater competition, meaning a best price guarantee;
A 'book now, pay later' service is offered;
24/7 customer service through an easy to use App;
You can get free cancelation offered throughout the site;
Loyalty is rewarded to their customers through discounts, secret deals and rewards.
I have received a tonne of messages over the last two months with questions relating to our accommodation in South America. We have stayed in everything from hostels, to villas and apartments. I have put together a list of my favourite accommodation we stayed in below and linked them to their Booking.com page:
With a 9.0 rating on Booking.com, this hotel did not disappoint. Each bedroom was equipped with a private bathroom and was decorated to represent a specific musical genera. Our room was decked out to pay homage to Queen and offered fantastic downhill views. The hotel also had superb Wifi, which unfortunately is not always a given when travelling in South America. The breakfast was extremely tasty with enough offered to fill you until lunch time and it was extremely clean and modern. It was extremely reasonable in terms in price and the cherry on the cake was that it was situated in a fantastic location. Receiving a rating of 9.6 for its location on Booking.com - What more could you ask for?
During our island hoping in the Galapagos, we based ourselves out of Patty Hospedaje which enabled us to leave our big 20kg bags in a secure location without the hassle of pulling them on and off boats. Our host Patty was amazing. She helped organise all of our boats to and from the different islands and gave us free bikes each day to explore Santa Cruz. When on a tight budget, saving 10 dollars on a bike each day meant we were able to do all the activities on our bucket list. The accommodation is about a 20 minute walk from the port which wasn’t ideal after getting off a boat feeling nauseous and dizzy but fortunately the taxis only cost $1.50 so it wasn’t a major inconvenience. If planning on doing a DIY island hop of the Galapagos, Patty Hospedaje with its overall rating of 9.0 on Booking.com is a must stay location.
Another winner from Ecuador. This accommodation comes highly rated due to its location, being only 500 m from El Ejido Park. The ITSAHOME Apartment offered a washing machine which may not seem like it’s a big deal. But when travelling for two months and having to go without clothes weekly due to them being in the laundrette, having access to a washing machine was a dream. The apartment was clean and bright witch excellent cooking facilities. The beds was comfortable, Wifi was strong and with 24 hour security, it always felt safe. It currently has a rating of 8.7 on Booking.com but I believe personally that it should have the 9.0 rating.
We loved these apartments so much we booked into them twice. We did two stents in Cusco- before and after the Salkantay trek to Machu Pichu. The apartments were about a 10 minute walk from Plaza De Armas, close enough the action but just far enough not to be disturbed by the touristic headaches. To be honest, the real reason for returning to the apartments was not its location or facilities, it was our host Jóse. He was so delightful to deal with, I looked forward to meeting him every morning so I could get my obligatory kiss on both cheeks. On our second stay in the apartment, we didn’t get back to Cusco until nearly 1am. We were exhausted but Jóse was there to assist with our bags and bring us to our comfortable room. The host is rated as 9.5 on Booking.com, however, he was 10 in my eyes.
There are no five star hotels to be found in San Pedro de Atacama town centre so if you are looking for something comfortable, clean and with exceptional service, then Hostal Mamatierra is your go to accommodation. With its hammocks and delicious pancakes served at breakfast, we were happy and full going on our excursions each day. If we had to leave the hostel early for tours, a packed lunch was made to ensure we didn’t go hungry,a nice added touch. We booked a private room here but dorms are also available and from what we heard they were of equally high standard. This facility offered a laid back, chilled vibe which enabled patrons to interact and converse freely. We met several people here who we have kept in contact with and met in other cities along the way. We did several tours in San Pedro de Atacama, all of which we were able to book in the hostels reception. With a rating of 8.5 on Booking.com for its money value, its an ideal location to stay.