Ahhhhh, nature. So underrated. That scent of woodland pine, the sound of soaring eagles, the glitter of tropical rain forest dew, FRESH AIR….this is serious wanderlust material. Our planet is a playground for all sorts of adventures but hiking, my friends, is possibly the best way to meet other travellers and it’s usually F.R.E.E. That’s right, for sweet FA you can get a whoosh of those delicious endorphins, bond with other naturists and witness views that will drop you to your knees Shawshank stylee. We’ve put together a bucket list of 15 hostels to re=leash your inner nature beast – or unleash it – mwahahahahaha! Leave it to one of our favourite adventurers to remind us that there is nothing more liberating that being immersed in the free wonders of the earth: “The freedom and simple beauty is just too good to pass up.” – Christopher McCandless, Back to the Wild
A wilderness of the oriental kind is calling! This hidden beauty is nestled in a little Chinese village in Yangshuo, China. Think cycling along the rice fields, bamboo rafting on the Li River and hiking to the Green Lotus Peak. The hostel even has its own snazzy pool for loungey days and Chinese cooks that rustle up local dishes every night! We have finally reached the Promised Land.
- Customer rating: 9.0
- Private rooms from £29/night
Are cosy wooden cabins your thing? Then this hostel will give you excitement palpitations! The Bivvi is a boutique gem of a place in the alpine mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado. It’s a one-fits-all kinda hostel – a perfect base for skiing on the Tenmile Mountain Range in winter and outdoor trailing in the summer. The free breakfast banquet is reason alone to stay here – scrambled eggs, french toast, pancakes, fresh fruit, granola, organic coffee…we could go on! Book with caution, this hostel may ruin you for life…
- Customer rating: 9.9
- Rooms from £50/night
There are few places on this planet where you can wake up to this view of the Monteverde mountains and the tweeting of exotic birds. Well you betchya we found one of ‘em – say bonjour to the family-run Cabinas Vista Al Golfo Hostel in the Costa Rican countryside. You can bag a place to rest for just £11 with a cracking breakfast included and a community kitchen with free coffee and tea. All that AND you are next to the Cloud Forest. What travel dreams are made of, right?
- Customer rating: 8.7
- Dorm beds from £11/night
- Private rooms from £30/night
To the magical Scottish Isles we go! Skyewalker Hostel is a diamond on the Isle of Skye (which means ‘Cloud Island’). It’s planted amongst some of Scotland’s most otherworldly sea lochs, rugged forests and misty mountain skylines. The ravishing location of Skyewalker Hostel alone didn’t win them their Best Hostel in Scotland title at this year’s Hoscars. It could be the “Jedi Huts” in the back yard, the giant chess board on the lawn or this glass dome, made specifically for STAR GAZING *packs bag*
- Customer rating: 9.4
- Dorm beds from £17/night
- Private rooms from £60/night
Somewhere over the rainbow and in the tropical countryside of Mouteka, you’ll find White Elephant Backpackers. The owners are kiwi locals and have converted their large Victorian home in to a bright and sunny hostel. There is a glorious garden with sunflowers and a BBQ, and you can even help yourself to the fruit that grows on the trees! The backyard overlooks the stunning mountains and the Abel Tasman National Park is just a short drive away.
- Customer rating: 9.0
- Dorm beds from £16/night
- Private room from £48/night
If you’re looking for a dose of the great outdoors with a bit of ye olde culture, head to the Southern town in Virginia, aka America’s oldest city. The hostel has a cosy, old-world charm and the staff are all Richmond locals with inside knowledge on where to explore. Richmond is nicknamed the “River City”, so there are plenty of opps to soak up the wilderness with the James River and the Belle and Mayo Islands on your doorstep. Hiking, biking, kayaking, river trailing – you name it, there’s every outdoor activity under the sun in this handsome town.
- Customer rating: 9.5
- Dorm beds from £24/ night
- Private rooms from £70/ night
Sepilok is a luscious surprise on the island of Borneo amidst thousands of acres of tropical rain forest and lagoons. The hostel organises jungle trekking, and here you can come back after a long day’s action and swim in the pool, enjoy a sauna and steam or even indulge in a spot of reflexology at the spa! Sepilok is a haven for animal lovers with the Sepilok Orang Utan sanctuary a ten-minute walk away, and there’s another lodge on the Kinabatangan River if you want to see Proboscis monkeys. Feelin’ the tropical vibes y’all!
- Customer rating: 9.1
- Beds from £7.69/ night
If you’re gearing up for the Inca Trail, then Pariwana is the one. It’s situated at the trail jumping off point in Cusco, and our customers’ 97% location rating is all the proof you need! You won’t run out of activities here – there are poker nights, trivia nights, foosball and ping pong tables and a bar with happy hour EVERY NIGHT. If you’re off the sauce, there are free herbal teas all day long with cinnamon, chamomile, lemongrass and a variety of other flavours – we love an infusion, we do!
- Customer rating: 9.2
- Dorm beds from £8.56/ night
- Private room from £37/ night
Tucked away in Lauterbrunnen, “The Valley of the 72 Waterfalls”, is this little slice of Swiss heaven! Hostels don’t get any closer to Mother Nature than this – there are snow-capped mountains, glaciers and lakes to ogle at from your window. Shots of adrenaline are waiting nearby with ski diving, skiing, ice climbing, canyon jumping and more adventure you can shake a stick at!
- Customer rating: 9.2
- Dorm beds from £27.09/ night
- Private rooms from £77.66/ night
? @fly_2123 & ellen.jin_
Take a journey in to Yudanaka Onsen, the thick wilderness of Japan, and you’ll find this traditional guesthouse built in 1868. The area is famous for its epic mountains and snow monkeys, and you can see these cuties in their natural habitats taking dips in the open-air hot spring baths. Take your own soak later á la snow monkey in the hostel’s four different types of bath, and they have cosy-fied the rooms with tea and heated blankets to get your snuggle on! The 96% rating for location, cleanliness, location and staff proves this one’s a winner.
- Customer rating: 9.6
- Beds from: £31/night
This is a hostel designed by Iceland’s most famous architect Guðjón Samúelsson. Nope, we can’t cope with how beautiful this is either! There is a Cafe & bistro on site and if you’re lucky some amazing light action in the evening. September till mid-April is the best time to see the Northern Lights, read our ultimate guide here.
- Customer rating: 8.9
- Dorm beds from £35/night
- Private rooms from £83.16/night
You’ll find this elegant chateau just outside of Vilinus in the super-green Užupis, the artistic terrain of the city. This place emanates Lithuanian soul and nature-loving vibes so strongly that the locals hang here too. In the summer, The XL terrace transforms in to a bar and “Grillcamp” where you can sizzle up veg and meats with your new pals. Hikes are aplenty with the hostel and campsite being next to Pavilnių Regioninis parks and many National Parks further north. We’re overdosing on green just looking at the pics ?!
- Customer rating: 8.8
- Dorm beds from £5.12/night
- Private rooms from £18.03/night
El Calafate is the gateway to top hiking destinations in El Chaltén and Torres del Paine National Park, and America del Sur is the ultimate adventure base. Built in classic Patagonian style, this hostel has a huuuuge set of windows for you to melt over the panoramic sunrises and sunsets over the Andes Mountains. A sizeable breakfast is included in the price and if the mood strikes you, why not dive in to the endless Argentinian BBQs they cook here, with grilled meats and authentic Patagonian dishes for 320 pesos #decent. Not just awesome cooks, the staff are also expert guides who you can book all your trips with at the front desk, including lunchboxes to go with! Nom.
- Customer rating: 9.2
- Dorm beds from £22.27night
- Private rooms from £112.45/night
The southern town of Ooty floats between Karnatka and Kerala, and we recommend taking a ride on the cinematic miniature train away from the crowds. In the hills and just below the Kotagiri forest sits Zostel Ooty, aka your new spiritual home. Stay in a spacious dorm, private room or a tent in the fairy lit gardens where watching sunrise from your bed is the norm. The hosts are praised to heaven in the customer reviews so you know you’re in safe hands, and if you’re craving cuddles, just ask the hostel’s two furry friends, Leo and Sandy! ??
- Customer rating: 9.2
- Dorm beds from £9/night
- Private rooms from £23.24/night or £18.25/night for a tent
The owners of this hostel are self-confessed adventure and nature beasts, and we all know enthusiasm is infectious! The location between the thick wilderness of Mrsinj and Pljesevica Mountain is just spellbinding, and you have multiple hikes left, right and centre. The staff have a 9.7 rating from customers and love helping you plan multiple adventures, whether it’s Pljesevica Mountain military base trek, Mrsinj trek or kayaking at the lakes.
- Customer rating: 9.3
- Dorm beds from £11.86
- Private room from £30.49
If you liked this, here’s some further reading for your wanderlust soul:
- The hosteller’s guide to the Northern Lights
- How to Pack & Travel Like a Minimalist
- 10 Amazing Hostels Adrenaline Junkies Will Love
- How to keep your mind, body and soul in check when you travel
- 63 Bucket List Ideas For The Ultimate Backpacker