When I decided to head to Chile, I started thinking of the most economical way to do it. I knew I wanted to travel city to city but I knew hotels would be too expensive for me to stay at.
Not having any idea about what it was like to stay in a hostel, except with a misconception that they are dorm rooms with a lot of partying young people, I decided to at least take a look and see what the pictures show. To my surprise, hostels are not only dorms!! In fact, this is the best way to travel in my opinion! I was able to get single rooms in all the hostels I have stayed at – and in fact, two of them I had full apartment style rooms. With my own kitchen, my own bathroom, a table to sit at and a terrace to sit out on at night. And luckily for me, they were both at my two favourite places of Chile – La Serena and San Pedro. And I am happy to say that NONE of the hostels have had any loud parties that didn’t allow me to sleep. For that, I am very grateful!
In Santiago, I was lucky enough to find an apartment for the week I was there – which was good. It helped me just rest, be on my own, get over major jet lag and get used to a new country. After that – it has been all hostels. Single rooms, with a shared bathroom and a shared kitchen. This time of year here in Chile, it is the end of winter so there are not as many people travelling and I was fortunate to be able to have the place in Valparaiso to myself for 4 of the nights I was there.
Most of them have been great, with great owners who are super friendly, meeting other travellers from all over the world. And hostels are very reasonably priced. Far cheaper than a hotel, with amenities like a kitchen to use. I have only been disappointed with one (the first one I was at in Antofagasta – dirty kitchen and unfriendly hosts – I was happy to be there for only three nights!).
I know my travelling has not finished – there are so many other places I want to see – and I now know that staying in hostels is the way to go for me. They aren’t for everybody, I know, but for anyone who is looking to save money and travel longer, definitely research hostels – single rooms are a bit more than the dorm rooms, but definitely worth it to check out!!