Suaraez de Salazar 4, Cadiz, Spain
Casa Caracol Rates and Deals
Casa Caracol Cadiz Reviews
My Ideal Backpacking Hostel Mar 13, 2008
Casa Caracol is what you wish for in an urban backpacking hostel. Note that the ratings above are for those interested in a backpacker's hostel. It is located close to the main bus stop in the old city. It's in a narrow alley but with directions and a map it's a cinch to find.
What makes this place unique is the community at the hostel. It's run by former guests and though it is sometimes hard to tell who is a guest and who is working, the place is managed extremely efficiently. Everybody in the building is part of the crew. Unlike many hostels I've stayed at, Casa Caracol had a ton of nationalities represented and had the ideal environment to meet travelers.
The first night I stayed there, the guests were having a going away party for an English guy who was spending a quarter in Cadiz studying abroad (most of his studying took place on the beach and while riding the waves). We had dinner on the roof, one of the usual hangouts. People added their own food purchases to the barbecue and shared with everybody. If you felt bad for stumbling upon the barbecue then buying the next round of 40s from the shop down the street was considered more than enough. Very regularly was food prepared at the hostel and shared with all the guests. The first two nights I didn't go out into the city because I had so much fun in the hostel. This was very unlike me.
The building itself keeps getting added to with artwork, tiles and painting from guests who want to give something back to the Hostel. One guest, a carpenter, was allowed to stay for free while he created a mosaic table for the main room on the bottom level of the hostel.
The Hostel even has a meeting place on the beach and chances are that somebody'll be there every day. If you are a complete stranger in Cadiz, then at least you have a place to go on the beach where you know a few people. The Aussies and Kiwis taught us how to play Cricket on the beach one day; it was so much fun.
Also, it was great to finally find a hostel without American college students trying to "experience Europe" Eurotrip style with all the glorious stereotypes that come with it. Because of this, a good deal of Spanish and not English was spoken at the hostel which was a relief, though almost everybody was good at English. I can't help trying to escape America sometimes!
There weren't any sketchy characters staying at Casa Caracol which made me and especially the cute girls feel comfortable. I can't say enough how great the community was at Casa Caracol.
Cadiz is a wonderful city but what made my trip exceptionally unique was finding this hostel. I'm planning on staying here again this summer between my trips to Portugal and Morocco because of the proximity of Cadiz to these major countries.
The only problem with Casa Caracol is that I didn't want to leave it. That kind of puts a halt to a backpacking trip but it is so worth it.
Part of the 5 Days in Cadiz travel blog
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