HostelBookers Awards for Excellence 2010: South America’s top hostels revealed

The following post is about the 2010 awards but you can read the latest results from HostelBookers Awards for Excellence 2011 including:
Best Hostels in Europe
Best Hostels in North America
Best Hostels in Oceania

Over the past three weeks we’ve been revealing the identities of the winners of the HostelBookers Awards for Excellence. This week it’s the turn of South America to go under the microscope.

The continent is home to iconic landmarks like Macchu Picchu in Peru to the stunning Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro and some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world like Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago all three of which feature properties that won awards.

Check out all the winners below…


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overall Rating: 90%

Located 3 blocks from the beach, just 1 block from the metro and next to a beautiful park, CabanaCopa is a new hostel on Copacabana beach that is every backpackers dream.

It is a large colonial house with clean, spacious dorms and excellent social areas. Offering a cool bar where the tunes often play out well into the night this is a party hostel and a great place to meet new people.

The open air backyard with BBQ often has a barbeque on the go, while there are always people hanging out in the lounge area watching a DVD from our extensive DVD collection or playing a friendly game of pool.

“This place was fantastic! The entire staff was friendly; housekeeping does a great job keeping it very clean (and smelling pleasant!); the location is excellent – only one block to the metro and three blocks to the beach; there is free internet and wi-fi, free billiards, and even a free caipirinha each night! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!”
– Customer Review by Joshua Kimberlin on 9th February 2010.

Other facilities include a book exchange service, a wide range of games including backgammon, chess and poker and free Wi-Fi internet access.

All the staff are super friendly and on hand 24 hours a day to help you with your every need from advice on all the best places to go in town to organizing tours.

Add to this the fact that the hostel has excellent access to public transport and its superb array of clean, comfortable rooms and it is not hard to see why you voted it as one of your three favorite hostels in South America.

The hostel has spacious female only dorms complete with big, lit mirrors and make-up desks, making it a great place to stay if you are a solo or group female traveler that doesn’t want to slum it with the lads in a cramped dorm!

Chile’s Ventana Sur Hostel in Santiago and Yellow Stripe Hostel in Buzios, Brazil, complete the top 3 properties overall for South America with overall customer ratings of 96% and 97% respectively.

Recommended by all 73 customers that have left feedback, Ventana Sur Hostel is a backpacker’s haven in the center of Santiago and made its way into the top three thanks largely to its fantastic facilities and location. It is just 3 blocks from the nearest metro and has top facilities and services like a large patio area, swimming pool, BBQs, free bike hire and traditional music.

Owned and operated by two travelers who have put their love of traveling and experiences together to build up a place where everybody can feel at home, Yellow Stripe Hostel earned its place in the top 3 thanks to its quality across the board. Among its numerous facilities, it boasts a large, comfy common area where people can soicalize or watch a movie from its extensive DVD collection, a fully-equipped kitchen with communal collection of cooking and a garden with BBQ pit area, pool and large deck where the hostel regularly hosts weekly BBQ parties, Brazilian-style!


B&B Rio Amazonas-Plaza Italia
Santiago, Chile

Location Rating: 98%

B&B Rio Amazonas-Plaza Italia is a beautiful Tudor style stately home that enjoys an outstanding location in Santiago.

The hostel is surrounded by parks, shops and transport links to all the main attractions of Chile’s capital including Plaza Baquedano, San Cristóbal Hill, Valparaiso and Ski Centers.

Aside from its fantastic location, Hostal Rio Amazonas-Plaza is a beautiful hostel set in a fully restored 1920s building complete with stain-glass windows, elegant European parquet flooring and molded plaster ceilings.

An excellent place to stay, for an old boy like me! Safe, friendly environment, and excellent location. Thank you all at the hostal.
– Customer Review by Nick Marsh on 2nd December 2009.

The hostel offers guests clean, comfortable rooms with TV and hot water available 24 hours a day. As you’d expect from any good B&B, a free continental breakfast is included as part of the price.

One of the best aspects of the B&B is the staff who are all warm and friendly and will go out of their way to ensure you have a good stay in Santiago. They will put you in touch with Tour Guides and a network of great accommodation options for the rest of your trip in Chile.

Another big plus is its on-site cafeteria and bar which is open daily until midnight.

Don’t just take our word for it though- 58 out of 59 HostelBookers customers who have left reviews said that they would recommend ‘B&B Rio Amazonas-Plaza Italia’ to fellow backpackers; they can’t be wrong surely?!

Hostal El Triunfo in Cusco, Peru and Hostel Independencia in Mendoza, Argentina scooped the other two awards for location with hugely impressive location ratings of 100% and 95% respectively.

It’s no real surprise that Hostal El Triunfo won its award for excellence. Half a block from the Main Square, behind the Cathedral, the hostel couldn’t get much nearer to the center of Cusco. All Cusco’s restaurants, museums art galleries, churches and pubs are within walking distance of the hostel, making it the ideal place to stay in town.

Hostel Independencia is located in the heart of Downtown Mendoza just a couple of minutes from the center of town. The hostel also has its own Adventure Travel Agency which offers a wide array of activities to discover Mendoza from a backpacker’s point of view. A very worthy winner of its award for excellence.


La Lomita del Chingolo B&B
Punta del Este, Uruguay

Atmosphere Rating: 98%

At La Lomita del Chingolo B&B the atmosphere is unique; family run, the owners, Alejandra & Rodrigo, are two of the nicest people you’re ever likely to meet and will make you feel like family from the moment you unload your bags from the taxi.

They will give you information on all the places to go, host barbeques in the B&B’s spacious garden every night and even drive you to the bus station on request. They have been known to come out on nights out with guests and they are the main reason why the atmosphere is so good.

Featuring a comfortable living room with cable TV on a massive screen, a beautiful garden, cool music and Wi-Fi internet access, La Lomita del Chingo B&B is the perfect place to stay if you fancy getting away from the stress and strain of the busy city stopovers on your South American trip.

We are a young couple and had a double room here. We were very impressed by our stay at La Lomita. The breakfast was the best we have had in the whole of South America, the owners, Alejandra & Rodrigo are really friendly & relaxed and are a lot of fun. The room was large & clean. The location is out of town but was perfect for us as it was away from the noise of central P.D.E and is only a 25min walk into the centre through a very cool & safe neighbourhood. We can’t recommend this place enough.
– Customer Review by David Henderson on 11th February 2010.

The guest house sleeps up to 12 people in clean, comfortable rooms with super comfy beds and is perfect for couples and people who are looking for comfort over slumming it in a cramped dorm.

It’s location is another bonus- it is located just 800 meters from Brava beach (excellent for surfing) and is also just a short distance away from all of Punta’s shopping district where you’ll find cinemas, ATMs and a large supermarket.

129 out of 132 HostelBookers customers said that they would recommend La Lomita del Chingolo B&B to another traveler. With hospitality around the clock and room prices starting from as little as €12.34, it’s easy to see why so many of you are happy with La Lomita del Chingolo B&B!

Arica Surf House Hostel in Arica, Chile, and I Keu Ken Hostel in El Calafate, Argentina, make up the top 3 for atmosphere with atmosphere ratings of 95% and 98% respectively.

Arica Surf House Hostel comes recommended by 66 out of 70 customers and won the award thanks to its laid back atmosphere and fantastic communal facilities which include a games room with table tennis table, cable TV room and book exchange service.

I Keu Ken Hostel is the place to go if you want to have fun, make friends, learn Argentine traditions and generally chill out. Here you can sit back and relax on the couch by the fireplace while the BBQ gets ready and share travel stories and tips on things to do and places to see. The hostel worries about your buses and excursions so that you don’t have to.


Una Noche Mas B&B
Montevideo, Uruguay

Cleanliness Rating: 97%

Una Noche Más B & B is a family run hostel in one of the safest neighborhoods in Montevideo. It is a bit out of the city center but the hostel makes up for this with its clean, comfortable accommodation and warm and friendly staff.

It offers four comfortable rooms and a personalized service to each and every one of its guests. This is reflected by its meticulously clean rooms and living areas and first rate facilities.

Facilities include a maid service, two complete bathrooms (impeccably clean of course!) a BBQ for events and meetings, Wi-Fi internet access, 24 hour hot showers, a fridge, air-conditioning, games room and free towels and linen.

Definitly our best stay in Montevideo. Both Eduardo and Carla are wonderful people and the house is really cosy and clean. Eduardo and Carla try their best to take care of the guests. We would absolutely return to Una Noce Mas if we would come back to Montevideo. Recommend!!!
– Customer Review on 21st February 2010.

The owners, Eduardo and Carla, live on site and take great pride in their hostel. They also take great pride in ensuring that you have a good time and will make it their personal responsibility that this happens.

This isn’t a party hostel and is best for those of you looking for somewhere clean, comfortable and quiet rather than somewhere where you can party but it is well worth a look in Montevideo and comes recommended by 29 out of 31 travelers who’ve stayed there and left reviews on the HostelBookers website.

You rated Chile’s Casa Hostal 199 B&B in Valparaiso and Argentina’s Casa Tekenika in Ushuaia as South America’s other two cleanest properties.

Casa Hostal 199 B&B scored an almost perfect 99% for cleanliness and offers guests spotless accommodation in a beautiful setting overlooking the harbour and the entire bay of Valparaiso. It’s aim is to host travelers who expect a clean, neat and bright accommodation in a characteristic old house with family atmosphere combined with excellent service. It does exactly what it says on the tin!

Casa Tekenika scored an almost as impressive rating of 98% for cleanliness and made its way into the top 3 thanks to its spotless rooms and shared three bathrooms. It also has  a separate apartment for four people, with one Double Bedroom with an extra Single Bed, spacious Living area with one Single Sofa Bed, fully equipped Kitchen, Cable TV and Bathroom.


Terra Extremus Hostel
Santiago, Chile

Value Rating: 93%

Situated in the heart of Santiago near all the sites, Terra Extremus Hostel offers clean, comfortable accomodation and outstanding value for money to backpackers- you can get a dorm room from as little as €7.05 while spacious and comfortable private rooms are available for just €14.10.

All the main tourist sites like La Moneda, San Cristóbal Hill and Barrio Bellavista are within walking distance of Terra Extremus Hostel while the hostel is also just two minutes from the nearest subway station, making it well worth the money for its central location alone.

This place was one of the best we stayed in. We met some great travellers there as well as the staff. Louis rocked!!! Feed the chickens Louis! The dorms, although huge were really spacious and the beds were comfortable. It’s also great that it has a kitchen and FREE BEER!
– Customer Review by Rebecca West on 20th December 2009.

However, you also get first rate facilities for your money; these include a large TV movie room, a terrace with smoking area and a fully stocked communal kitchen.

One of the hostel’s more unusual features is its Art Gallery room where you can take in art by some of Chile’s finest young artists and buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home.

Terra Extremus Hostel’s biggest asset, however, is that it offers FREE beer every day between 22:00 to 22:30- just perfect before you head out for the night in Santiago town.

This really is one of the best places to stay in Santiago, and, in the absence of a curfew, is the perfect place to stay if you intend on partying during your stay in Chile’s capital.

Brazilian duo Hostel Natura and Tucano House Backpackers complete the best value award winners for South America, winning the awards for the high quality services and facilities they provide for a fraction of the usual prices.

Hostel Natura in Foz do Guazu offers guests breakfast, pool table, swimming pool, Wi-Fi, internet access and spacious rooms from as little as €10.39 for dorm rooms and €12.35 for a private room, making it a very worthy winner of its award for excellence.

Owned and run by a friendly out-going team of local & international staff, Tucano House Backpackers offers sunny & spacious rooms including male, female and mixed dorms from just €16.46. The private double is more expensive at €41.16 per person per night but when you consider you get free breakfast and access to a swimming pool, games room and spacious lounge area, it still represents great value for money.


America del Sur Hostel Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Recommended by 103 out of 107 HostelBookers reviewers, America del Sur Hostel Buenos Aires is the place to stay in Argentina’s capital if you’re looking for a place with great atmosphere and good music near all the best milongas and tango shows.

It offers guests all the facilities you’d expect from one of South America’s most popular hostels, including a bar, restaurant, lounge area and 24 hour hot showers. Breakfast, linen and towels are all included in the price of the rooms which start from as little as €10.36 depending upon availability.

I loved this hostel. It is clean and nice and the staff is very helpful. I can reccomend this to everybody.
– Customer Review by Thuridur Gunnarsdóttir on 27th January 2010.

One of its best facilities is its BBQ area which becomes the center of activity during the summer and is a great place to hang out and meet fellow travelers.

The hostel offers a personalized service and the vibe is fun and friendly. When you consider that the hostel is almost brand new and not far from the center of town in the San Telmo District, it is easy to see why it’s one of South America’s top 3 hostels.

Fellow Buenos Aires hostel, Art Factory, and Don Santiago Hostel from Santiago, Chile, were the other two most popular hostels based on bookings made over the course of 2009.

Art Factory is a unique and highly original hostel located in the very heart of San Telmo, the bohemian and artistic area of Buenos Aires. It combines a soulful mix of arts, style and fun in a huge antique mansion and is a great place to stay if you’re after a social hostel. It organizes secret walking tours through the neighborhood and holds frequent parties, DJ sets and BBQs on its terrace and indoor communal areas.

Don Santiago Hostel is also popular among travelers thanks to its warm, friendly atmosphere and great location in the heart of town. The hostel often throws BBQs and parties and with just 20 beds provides an intimate setting where you can really get to know your fellow travelers.

That completes our review of South America’s HostelBookers Awards for Excellence Winners. Stay tuned to the blog next week as we hop over to Asia for a closer look at the continent’s top rated hostels, based upon your customer ratings and feedback.

Still not sure about South America? Check out our guide on South America available now on our website for further inspiration!

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