My First Hostel and How I Fell in Love

29 Mar

This post is going to be about two things:

1) My first experience in a hostel;

and 2) How I fell in love with hostels.

I’m not the bravest person. I’m adventurous, but something like a solo trip to South America, especially as a female, definitely had me a little (a lot) nervous. I had no clue what I was doing so I decided it was probably best to book a hostel for the night I was arriving to Lima, Peru. Also, I looked for one that had an airport pickup service since I was going to be arriving at 2 AM and I really didn’t know where to go once I arrived. I looked at tons of different hostels in Miraflores (a nice district in Lima) and ended up choosing Hostel Kokopelli. It was around $10 for an 8-person dorm per night (they also had private rooms, 6-person dorms, 4-person dorms, and female dorms) and $16 for the airport pickup. When I got to arrivals it took me quite a while to find the sign with my name on it because my name was spelt very wrong (it was actually quite hilarious how wrong it was spelt) and there were so many people with signs. One very bumpy taxi ride later and I was brought directly to the door of my hostel.

8-person dorm at Hostel Kokopelli

Why I loved Kokopelli:

  • Location – Very close to Parque Kennedy which is central to Miraflores
  • Security – Exterior and interior; there were HUGE lockers in the rooms
  • Free WIFI- 3 computers, fast internet
  • Clean rooms
  • Comfortable beds
  • Hot showers
  • Free Breakfast- The free breakfast was amazing! You get breakfast tickets that you bring to a cafe around the corner from the hostel- There’s a choice between eggs/bacon and waffles (get the eggs)
  • Rooftop bar- This was awesome. Decently priced drinks. Good social atmosphere.

Rooftop bar at Kokopelli

  • The staff- They were very helpful and most of them spoke English.
  • The decoration/design- Very fun and colourful. The rooftop bar had different countries’ flags covering the roof which was cool.
  • They were very laid-back so even though I had to check out at 1 pm, I could keep my luggage in a room and hang around until I needed to leave for the bus station.

What I didn’t love:

  • This isn’t really something that bothered me at all because I can sleep through any noise, but the streets were very noisy at night.
  • I did a lot of research about Kokopelli before I chose to go there and one thing that everyone raved about was the amazing owners. I was disappointed because I was really looking forward to meet them and hang out with them, but they were at the other hostel they owned in Mancora, Peru.
  • The bathroom was co-ed. This was only an issue for me when I had to… #2. It was uncomfortable.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this hostel. The social atmosphere was great. I met so many really cool people. What made it even better was that I met JENNIFER LOPEZ. Well… not the real Jenny from the Block, but her name was truly Jennifer Lopez and we ended up traveling together for a while.

Jennifer Lopez and I at Kokopelli

I was officially in love with hostels.

Why?

I think the number one reason for me was how unpredictable I knew my stay at a hostel would be. Anything could happen really. I could be exploring a city with Germans one day. Paragliding with Brits another. Taking shots with new friends. I never knew what to expect and I loved that feeling.

Another reason was the social aspect. This is obviously something that every traveler loves, but I thrived off of this atmosphere as a solo female traveler. I was looking for new friends and, sure enough, new friends were looking for me. Most people you meet in hostels want to meet other people so it’s so natural to be drawn to other people and to be approachable yourself.

I also loved not caring so much about my looks. As a girl who straightens her hair frequently and who wears makeup everyday, it was a great not to feel like I needed to impress people all the time. No one cares about how you look (or smell?).

It is easy to find people who have similar interests to you. If you want to party every night I guarantee you will find a ton of people that will take a taxi with you to Barranco to hit up a Peruvian club.

Clubbing in Barranco

My first experience in a hostel was so great that it made me fall in love instantly. You’re going to come across hostels you love and hostels you hate. If you don’t like your hostel, find a new one. Don’t book more than one or two nights. Try not to even book at all unless it’s a really popular place. Everyone likes different things. Everyone will feel uncomfortable about different things. My first night in the hostel there was a couple in the best next to me and let me tell you… they were NOT sleeping. Ask fellow travelers for advice and recommendations and usually things will work out nicely.

If you want to see some more pictures from Lima click here or the flickr icon on the home page!

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