Arequipa is Peru’s second-largest city, and the gateway to some of the country’s most spectacular natural phenomena. It stands underneath the shadow of the towering Misti Volcano, and is a launchpad for trips into the dizzying canyons of Colca and Cotahuasi. After seeing this beautiful city for ourselves – and it is indeed a stunner! – we have compiled the best hostels in Arequipa to help you choose where to stay on a budget.
This article contains booking links for our recommended hostels, from which we may make commission at no extra cost to you.
Prices below are shown in US dollars. You can find the latest exchange rates at xe.com. To browse all accommodation options for Arequipa, see booking.com.
Arequipa: a quick overview
While many people visit Arequipa as a base for exploring the Colca Canyon, the city itself is a big draw for inquisitive travellers. We would highly recommend including it in your Peru itinerary whether you are heading to the canyons or not.
Arequipa is named the ‘White City’ because of the distinctive pale architecture around its historic centre. Many of the buildings here are made from sillar, a form of volcanic stone, and stand along rows of cobbled streets with mountains and volcanoes looming in the background.
The historic centre has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and bears a heavy footprint of Peru’s Spanish colonial history. As its heart is the Plaza de Armas, with the Basilica Cathedral standing on its north side and arched white buildings all around its perimeter.
A highlight of the city for history and architecture lovers is the massive Monastery of Santa Catalina, a ‘city within a city’ that covers 20,000 square metres. For four centuries it was home to a walled community of nuns before being opened to the public in the 1970s.
Best hostels in Arequipa: quick comparison
This table shows quick information on our recommended hostels in Arequipa. Read on below for more details:
|Hostel||Quick info||Prices||Book now|
|Arequipay Backpackers Downtown||Social atmosphere without being a party place, pod-style dorms||Dorms from $8, privates from $21||booking.com | hostelworld|
|Selina Arequipa||Luxury hostel with hotel-style facilities, outdoor pool and lawns||Dorms from $23, privates from $36||booking.com | hostelworld|
|Econunay||Sustainable hostel with a sociable vibe and great common areas||Dorms from $7, privates from $20||booking.com | hostelworld|
|Mango Hostel||Family-run hostel in central location, great value on private rooms||Dorms from $7, privates from $23||booking.com | hostelworld|
|Flying Dog Hostel Arequipa||Relaxed hostel in central location set in restored 18th-century building||Dorms from $7, privates from $14||booking.com | hostelworld|
|MB Hostel||Sociable hostel with outdoor terrace close to Plaza de Armas||Dorms from $8||hostelworld|
Best hostels in Arequipa: the details
These are the top-rated hostels in Arequipa for providing great value for money, high-quality facilities and a convenient base for exploring the city’s attractions.
Arequipay Backpackers Downtown
if you’re the kind of traveller who likes a social atmosphere but not a full-on party place, then Arequipay Backpackers Downtown is a great choice of accommodation. With lots of outdoor space and communal areas with games, it’s the ideal place to meet other travellers, while being quiet and chilled in the evenings.
This is one of the most well established and highly rated hostels in Arequipa, with excellent all-round facilities and high levels of security. Arequipay Backpackers Downtown is located five blocks away from the main city square. The pod-style dorm rooms are clean and comfortable, featuring reading lights, plugs and curtains.
- Cost: dorms from $8 / privates from $21
- Facilities include: free breakfast, free wifi, 24-hour reception and security, security lockers, hot showers, common room, self-catering facilities, luggage storage, book exchange, tour bookings
While the prices at Selina Arequipa are higher than average for the city’s hostels, the experience you get is more like what you would expect at a four-star hotel.
With an outdoor pool, lawns and gardens, a cinema space, chill-out rooms and stylish decor, this is a great place to treat yourself to a little luxury if you’re on a tight budget. It’s also a great spot for workations or digital nomads, with fast internet and a coworking space. Food and drink is available in the hostel’s on-site bar and restaurant.
- Cost: dorms from $23 / privates from $36
- Facilities include: free wifi, 24-hour reception and security, common room, hot showers, bar, café and restaurant, luggage storage, tour bookings
Situated a convenient ten-minute walk from the central plaza in the Vallecito neighbourhood, Econunay is the kind of hostel we love to stay in. It’s bright, colourful, and has a very sociable feel, with lovely common areas to meet and mingle with other travellers.
Econunay has all the facilities that a backpacker could possibly need, including a kitchen and cooker. You may have guessed from the name that it is also a hostel that is conscious of sustainability and the environment.
You will notice measures in place to ensure recycling and reduction, as well as a solar-powered water heating system. Much of the furniture in the hostel is reused or upcycled, and there is a small urban garden outside to enjoy.
- Cost: dorms from $7 / privates from $20
- Facilities include: free breakfast, free wifi, 24-hour reception and security, common room, self-catering facilities, adaptors, security lockers, book exchange
Mango Hostel is one of the most centrally located hostels in Arequipa, just one block away from the Plaza de Armas. Its coolest feature is a rooftop terrace bar and café, complete with hammocks and pool table – a great place to hang out in your downtime and meet other backpackers.
With cheap dorm rooms, Mango Hostel is fantastic value, and your money goes a long way. The free breakfast is one of the best in town, with bread, ham, cheese, cereals, fruit, yoghurts, tea and coffee.
- Cost: dorms from $7 / privates from $23
- Facilities include: free breakfast, free wifi, rooftop bar, 24-hour reception, outdoor terrace, hot showers, bar, self-catering facilities, book exchange, tour bookings
Flying Dog Hostel Arequipa
Flying Dog Hostels have hostels in four cities in Peru, including this one set inside a renovated 18th-century house in Arequipa. It is one of the most beautifully designed hostels in the city, with many elements of colonial architecture retained inside the building, and a gorgeous courtyard and fountain outside.
The location is excellent, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the main square, and close to Santa Catalina Monastery. While it has good social facilities, including a common room and pool table, it’s also quite a quiet, relaxed hostel. Bars and restaurants are close by if you’re looking for an evening out.
- Cost: dorms from $7 / privates from $14
- Facilities include: free wifi, common room, pool table, outdoor terrace, 24-hour reception and security, hot showers, self-catering facilities, book exchange
If you are looking for a central location in Arequipa on a budget, the MB Hostel could be your best option. It’s the closest hostel among our selection to the Plaza de Armas, and offers dorm rooms from $8 a night.
Even more convenient, the hostel runs a free walking tour, which is a great way to explore the city when you first arrive! You can also book tours here to nearby experiences like the Colca Canyon and Misti Volcano.
MB Hostel has a lovely outdoor terrace area where you can meet other travellers and join in social events. There’s also an in-house restaurant, where you can try local food for as little as $3. All-round great value!
- Cost: dorms from $8
- Facilities include: free wifi, restaurant, common room and meeting rooms, 24-hour reception and security, hot showers, fridge-freezer, laundry, book exchange, free city tour
Map of Arequipa hostels
You can see the locations of the hostels featured in this article on the map below:
How to get to Arequipa
Arequipa is a well-connected city that is located along the most popular tourist route through Peru. It has an international airport and several good bus connections with other major cities.
The quickest and easiest way to reach Arequipa is to fly into Rodríguez Ballón Airport. Domestic flights operate from Lima and Cusco. See Skyscanner to find the best prices.
We prefer to travel in Peru by bus. For backpackers it’s the cheapest way to get around, and the quality of services in the country is generally very high. Our favourite company in Peru is Cruz Del Sur, but you can check out and compare prices using Busbud.
You can travel directly to Arequipa by bus from many tourist hotspots in Peru, including Lima, Nazca, Cusco and Puno.
More articles on budget accommodation in Peru
If you’re travelling elsewhere in Peru on a budget, check out our other articles on hostels:
- Best hostels in Lima + guide to the backpacker districts
- Best hostels in Cusco | where to stay before and after the Inca Trail
- Best hostels in Iquitos, Peru | where to stay in the Amazon city
Prefer self-catered accommodation? Take a look at our rundown of the best Airbnb competitors to try for your next trip.
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