How to find the best hostels in Guatemala for your trip
Guatemala is an exhilarating country that’s recently seen a massive surge in popularity – in fact, it’s one of our hottest backpacking destinations for 2019. From huge, bustling cities to ancient Mayan ruins and everything in between, Guatemala deserves its moment in the spotlight.
So what is it about this Central American gem that’s got everyone talking? Let’s start in the colourful colonial streets of Antigua, a UNESCO listed city defined by its cobble-stoned pathways and surrounding volcanoes. The less touristy capital, Guatemala City, has an exciting live music scene and raucous nightlife. When you’ve had your fill of city life, head to the island town of Flores or the shores of Lake Atitlan for swimming, sunning and serious chilling. And if you want to come off the grid completely, you’ll even find towns (and hostels) hidden within the jungle.
Intrigued? You should be. Read on to find out more about the best hostels in Guatemala!
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Best hostels in Guatemala for solo travellers
Arriving to Guatemala solo? Not a problem. The locals here are so friendly they’ll have you feeling welcome straight away, and the amazing staff and like-minded guests at the following hostels will be sure to keep your homesickness at bay.
Hostel Yaxha – Flores
How do you get rid of those solo traveller nerves? Free shots in Hostel Yaxha’s rooftop bar might help! Catch the best sunset in town from up here (and a few rounds of beer pong) before heading out with your new travel mates. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, the upstairs common area or downstairs café are great places to unwind and sample deliciously authentic Mayan cuisine. Guests also receive discounts at their Spanish school, so if you’re travelling for a while why not stick around and learn the lingo?
- Amazing food
- Tikal tours
- Lake access
🏠 Address: Avenida 15 de septiembre Flores Guatemala, Flores 17001Book your stay at Hostel Yaxha now!
Matiox – Antigua
Matiox is a wonderfully welcoming hostel on one of Antigua’s busiest streets; a great starting point to explore the city and meet all kinds of interesting people. This hostel offers the perfect balance between sociable and chilled and the opportunities to mingle are endless. There’s an energetic bar, a hot tub and a Netflix room as well as sunny outdoor courtyards where the staff cook up communal BBQ dinners. Seriously, you’d have to try pretty hard not to make friends here.
- Stylish private pod-style dorms
- Cosy hammock areas
- Free coffee and filtered water
🏠 Address: 3 Calle Oriente Casa 30D, Antigua 03001Book your stay at Matiox now!
Best hostels in Guatemala for couples
Guatemala is a fab place to travel as a couple. Cobbled streets, scenic volcanoes, pristine lakes – this entire country is practically a postcard, what could be more romantic than that? And to make it even sweeter, you and your loved one could stay in one of the following hostels for a boutique accommodation experience at a hostel price. Win!
Cucuruchos Boutique Hostel – Antigua
Why did Cucuruchos win the Hoscar for the best hostel in Guatemala? Is it the beautiful bedrooms, stunning common areas, amazing facilities, delicious breakfast or incredible staff? Actually, it’s all of the above! Couples love this hostel thanks to it’s chilled-out, relaxing atmosphere and luxurious private rooms. It’s centrally located, so exploring Antigua couldn’t be easier – plus you’ll know you’ve got a cosy haven to return to at the end of your adventures.
- Delicious free breakfast
- Book exchange
- Games room
🏠 Address: 3 Avenida sur No. 1A, Antigua 03001
🏘 Neighbourhood: Central AntiguaBook your stay at Cucuruchos Boutique Hostel now!
Maya Papaya – Antigua
Maya Papaya aims to offer ‘a luxury experience with a hostel price’. They say that the little details are key; like super soft duvet covers on every bed, a traditional Guatemalan breakfast served free every day and delicious mojitos for just Q20 – that’s £2!! You’ll feel right at home in the outdoor bar and courtyard, especially after Maya and Hugo introduce themselves. They’re the hostel pups FYI, and they’re kind of the stars of the show!
- Amazing staff
- Local beers
- Guatemalan breakfast
🏠 Address: 1ra Calle Poniente No. 20, Antigua 03001
🏘 Neighbourhood: Central AntiguaBook your stay at Maya Papaya now!
Best party hostels in Guatemala
If you’ve ever stepped foot between Mexico and Chile, you’ll know one thing for certain: Latin Americans know how to throw a party! Stay in one of these hostels for full on fiesta vibes, all day long.
The Doozy Koala – Antigua
No prizes for guessing where the owners of this hostel are from! This fusion of Guatemalan culture and laid-back Aussie vibes makes for a totally unique hostel experience and has earned these guys consistently outstanding reviews. They certainly know how to throw a party, with two bars, ping-pong and pool tables, banging tunes and their very own beer garden. You might have a sore head in the morning, but tucking into ‘some of the best gringo food in Guatemala’ (actual guest review) should sort you out!
- Central location
- Fantastic hosts
- Hostel pets!
🏠 Address: 2a Calle Oriente # 22, Antigua 03001
🏘 Neighbourhood: Central AntiguaBook your stay at The Doozy Koala now!
Casa De La Iguana – Livingston
A free shot at check in totally sets the pace for a stay at this jungle party hostel! Nights usually start with a family style dinner, the best way to meet your new roomies and warm up for a very lively happy hour, followed by a late-night party. Don’t worry though, you’ll have plenty of chances to recuperate – whether it be kayaking, exploring waterfalls or just chilling in the jungle garden, swimming pool or hammock area. If you time your visit right, you might even be treated to a live performance of the local music ‘Punta’ right in the hostel bar!
- Free kayaking
- Free beer
- Amazing local food
🏠 Address: Barrio Marco, Sanchez Dias, Izabal, Livingston, Rio Dulce 18002Book your stay at Casa De La Iguana now!
Best hostels in Antigua, Guatemala
Most travellers first stop in Guatemala, Antigua is a vibrant, pastel-hued city filled with colonial buildings and surrounded by towering volcanoes. There’s no shortage of amazing hostels here, but below are a couple of our favourites.
This eco-friendly, socially conscious hostel is a little out of the city centre, but the incredible surroundings and the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get from staying here more than make up for it. They support the local community by growing crops for the elderly, and guests are invited to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. The hostel’s biggest draw is its incredible rooftop garden with unparalleled views of Antigua’s three volcanoes. Whether you’re enjoying a cold beer, a morning coffee or a zen yoga session, you’ll do so in total serenity.
- Chilled-out common areas
- Volunteering opportunities
- Rooftop of dreams
🏠 Address: 9 Calle Oriente #6, Antigua Guatemala 03001Book your stay at Purpose Hostel now!
This quaint little hostel is set in an old colonial house in the centre of Antigua, in easy walking distance from the city’s main attractions. Our guests say that the hosts here go the extra mile to make Barbara’s so special. For instance, when you return from a hard day’s exploring you can expect to be greeted with free coffee and cake! The dorms are clean and cosy, and there’s a common area on the roof for bonding with your fellow hostellers. Make sure you’re up in time to enjoy their free full buffet breakfast every day!
- Rooftop workout area
- On-site café
- Book exchange
🏠 Address: Casa 10, 3 Avenida sur, Antigua Guatemala 03001
🏘 Neighbourhood: Central AntiguaBook your stay at Barbara's Boutique Hostel now!
Best hostels in Guatemala City
The Guatemalan capital has some of the best museums, galleries and food in the whole country. It’s become safer in recent years and is beginning to see more tourists, so beat the travel curve and kick off 2019 by booking into one of these fantastic hostels!
This is the only backpacker hostel in Guatemala City’s historic centre, so it’s the place to stay if you’re a history buff. Aside from its fantastic location it’s also a great place to connect with other travellers, as well as the amazing local family who run the hostel and know a thing or two about GC. They have two outdoor patios and a pool for cooling down in, and the fact that you can bring in your own alcohol makes for a constantly social atmosphere. Whatever you do (or drink) though, make sure you’re up in time to get your fill of their famous banana pancakes – all you can eat, every morning!
- Free pancakes
- Hammock chill-zone
- Wonderful staff
🏠 Address: 8th Avenue 14-17, Zona 1, Guatemala City 01001
🏘 Neighbourhood: Zona 1
🚍 Nearest station: Estacion Belen (Transmetro bus station)Book your stay at Theatre International Hostel now!
This epic new hostel has digs to suit every budget, from spotlessly clean, modern dorms to beautiful suites that open straight out onto the pool. You can swim, sunbathe and sip cocktails to your heart’s content in the sun-soaked outdoor common area. It’s just ten minutes from the airport too, so perfect for backpackers on a brief stopover or catching an early morning flight.
- On-site bar
- Beautiful rooms
- Fully equipped kitchen
🏠 Address: 6a Avenida 14-49, Zona 10, Guatemala City 01010
🏘 Neighbourhood: Zona VivaBook your stay at Central 10 Hostel now!
Best hostels in Flores, Guatemala
A tiny town on a picturesque island in the middle of a crystal-clear lake. Flores is popular with backpackers thanks to its proximity to the Mayan ruins at Tikal National Park. Stay in one of the following hostels for easy access to one of Guatemala’s most popular sites, as well as sunshine and swimming on the lake. Bliss!
Did someone say island vibes? This waterfront hostel is so secluded that to get there you have to catch a boat from the island town of Flores. When you arrive at this remote paradise, you’re rewarded with unspoilt views over the pristine lake and the chance to swim and dive right from the hostel’s private dock. If yoga’s more your thing, no problem – just roll out your mat and enjoy your peaceful surroundings. That’s if you can stop rubbing the bellies of the hostel’s pet dogs and cats for long enough!
- Home cooked food
- Gym equipment
- Netflix room
🏠 Address: Calle Club Paraíso, Zona 0, Aldea San Miguel, Flores 17001Book your stay at Hostal Casa De Grethel now!
Picture this: you’re relaxing in an open-air hostel bar with a cold beer in hand on the shores of Guatemala’s Petén Itzá Lake. The sun is shining and your hardest decision in life is whether to swim in the pool, dive in the lake or unwind in the hot tub. This backpacker fantasy is the daily reality at Hotel Peten Express, where travellers bond over cheap happy hour drinks, laid-back tunes and delicious food from the on-site restaurant. It’s the kind of place that makes it hard to leave!
- Indoor AND outdoor pools
- Buzzing bar
- Free breakfast
🏠 Address: Calle 30 de Junio, Flores 17001Book your stay at Hotel Peten Express Tikal now!
Best hostels in Livingston, Guatemala
Head to Livingston for laid-back Caribbean vibes and a totally different atmosphere to any other part of the country. Expect a slow pace of life and days filled with sunbathing, paddle boarding and sipping cocktails.
Shoestring travellers and flashpackers alike love this Livingston hostel, with accommodation options ranging from shared dorms to private bungalows with sea views and roof terraces. It also happens to have its own private beach, but if that’s not your cup of tea you might prefer its large outdoor swimming pool? Their sociable bar is the place to get your drink on, particularly on Thursdays and Sundays when their live music nights attract locals and backpackers from every corner of town.
- Amazing location: close to bars, restaurants and waterfalls
- Delicious food
- Tour desk
🏠 Address: Playa Barrio Paris, Lívingston 18002Book your stay at Dos Arboles now!
Casa Nostra offers luxurious private accommodation at insanely low prices. Each newly renovated bedroom has a private balcony overlooking the glorious river as well as air conditioning, a large bath and uber-comfy orthopaedic mattresses. Foodies will love their on-site restaurant which is one of the most popular in town, serving fresh seafood that’s caught daily. Their riverside garden is perfect for a spot of nature-watching, or just enjoying a mojito or two – we know backpacking life is hard work but someone’s gotta do it!
- Free kayaking
- Jungle tours
- Incredible authentic food
🏠 Address: Calle Marcos Sanchez Diaz, Livingston, Rio Dulce 18002Book your stay at Casa Nostra now!
Best hostels in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Perhaps Guatemala’s most stunning lake, Atitlan is surrounded by more than a dozen towns, so you won’t be short on things to explore here. There are a number of incredible hostels located directly on the waterfront; here are a couple of our favourites.
If you know what the name of this hostel means in English, you’re probably booking as we speak! They really do offer free beer, every night during their three-course family-style dinner. Choose their glamping option to get fully acquainted with the great outdoors. You’ll sleep in a cosy pre-erected tipi and wake up to the serene sounds of the lake and its inhabitants. Spend your days kayaking, steaming in the sauna or enjoying lunch cooked by their gourmet Mayan chefs. Free Cerveza describe themselves as ‘a summer camp for adults’ – where do we sign up?
- Incredible views
- Treehouse rooms
🏠 Address: Sector Paskrabal, Santa Cruz La Laguna 07014Book your stay at Free Cerveza now!
If you’re searching for something a little livelier on the shores of Lake Atitlan, La Iguana Perdida might be the hostel for you. Their nightly dinners tend to turn into hours of storytelling and singalongs, and their Saturday night BBQ/dress up parties are not to be missed. Be sure to take advantage of their daily happy hours too! Their vibe is all about unplugging and stripping back to basics – they’ve shunned Wi-Fi in favour of conversations, acoustic guitars and stargazing to keep the original La Iguana spirit alive.
- Lake-front restaurant
- Scuba diving courses
- Yoga classes
🏠 Address: Santa Cruz La Laguna 07014Book your stay at La Iguana Perdida now!
Best of the rest hostels in Guatemala
Greengos Hostel – Semuc Champney
It’s impossible to put Greengos into a category as it has something for everyone, but one thing’s for sure – it’s a must visit when in Guatemala! This hostel looks like the dream property you’d build your Sims to live in. Each quirky, colourful house contains a different kind of accommodation, from shared dorms to luxurious privates. At the centre of the hostel is a full-sized volleyball court, ping pong tables, a speaker system and anything else you might need for fun under the Guatemalan sun. It’s also in the prime location for river tubing and exploring the valley’s famed cascading pools.
- On-site bar and restaurant
- Movie nights
🏠 Address: Semuc Chmpey, Comunidad Chicanuz, Lanquin 16011Book your stay at Greengos Hostel now!
The Driftwood Surfer – El Paredon
Ever played beer pong on a surfboard? If the answer is no, then you’ve clearly never stayed at The Driftwood Surfer! Activity seeking backpackers won’t have a dull moment at this beach-front hostel. It’s up to you whether you spend your days surfing, horse-riding, practising yoga, playing beach volleyball or spotting turtles and dolphins. Just make sure you don’t use too much energy, as you’ll need it to swim up to the pool bar! In your downtime, get ready for plenty of snuggles – not only with their friendly boxer pup but also their micropig, Potato! Cuteness overload.
- Delicious food
- Lively bar
- Hammock chill-zone on the beach
🏠 Address: Avenida Lote 107, Esquintla, On the Beach, El ParedonBook your stay at The Driftwood Surfer now!
So, now you know how to find the best hostels in Guatemala you’re ready to be a travel trend-setter! Use this as your Guatemala backpacking bible for the trip of a lifetime.
Think we missed any amazing hostels? Let us know in the comments!