HI Hostel San Pedro de Atacama

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San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

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HI Hostel San Pedro de Atacama Reviews

andrejav andrejav
662 reviews
Youth Hostel San Pedro de Atacama Jan 08, 2012
Finally we arrived to the warmer place!

After week of staying in the Bolivian highlands and roaming the deserts at over 4000m altitude, I was more than happy to enjoy some warmth. You would think when someone says desert, it automatically means heat, but that is not the case everywhere and especially not during the night. Bus got me out at the little square close to the church and I quickly found necessary internet connection (I love when I get to oases in the middle of nowhere, and internet is widely available), and start looking for accommodation in the city.

Hosteling International San Pedro de Atacama hostel was one of the cheapest and it seemed to be close to everything in town. This town is small anyway so that distance could not be a major factor in my search. At the time I think that I paid somewhere around 10-11$ for dormitory and it should not be much more today. Some older lady was working up front on the desk, she showed me a 4 bed dormitory where I was staying and we got to agreement very fast. I did not really like the setup of the dormitory, but other option was weird dorm with three stacked bunk beds, and that looked very dangerous to me… Nice courtyard is where most of the people hang around (if they are not at the bar) sitting on the concrete benches and old chairs. Bar is totally ok if you have friends to hang out with, but it is not the place to meet locals or other people in town.

Room was very dark and a beds old and squeaky. Bathroom is acceptably clean and showers sometimes have hot water. I don’t get why people that live in the desert don’t put smaller water tank on the roof, which makes water hot enough for people to take shower… or if they don’t have tank to use, some plastic piping on the roof could do the job…

Most of the regular tours are offered at the hostel, but I found a bit cheaper tour operator few doors down, and I went for really nice night tour to a private observatory and to El Tatio crater full of geysers. Going to geysers is done early in the morning and you’ll have to find and wake up night guard to let you out of the hostel. Night tour was to observatory of 7 telescopes that are owned by a French couple that is very entertaining, funny, smart and gives great stories about space and objects that are above us. Part of the tour is to look trough the telescopes, and even take some pictures trough it.

Pretty much this was the worst HI hostel that I have been to, but on the other hand it was the cheapest one too (usually HI hostels are around 25-30$). Only thing that I have to complain is that HI hostels have standard that is definitely not followed here. WiFi internet was nowhere to be found, breakfast was food just in name, but not really good at all, and limitation with shower and lack of hot water is real inconvenience.

If I was looking to spend more than two days in the city I would look for better place. This is not the place that I can recommend.
Moon over the desert
streets of Atacama
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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San Pedro de Atacama
photo by: eefab