Lima, Peru’s vivacious capital city, is among the most popular stop-offs for backpackers trailing across South America. But with a population of over 9 million sprawled across 43 districts covering a huge metropolitan area, it’s difficult to know where to start when planning accommodation. In this article, we pick out the best hostels in Lima and shine a light on the city’s backpacker districts.
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We visited Lima ourselves at the beginning of a round-the-world travel career break. If you’re planning your own trip, check out our recommendations on things to do in Lima and our 28-day Peru itinerary.
We stayed in some of the hostels listed below during our trip. The other picks are based on a combination of recommendations from other travellers we know, and extensive research using the techniques we’ve developed over several years of travel. Basic prices are shown in the local currency, Peruvian soles (PEN).
So, without further ado…
In this article:
Hostels in Miraflores
Miraflores is Lima’s most popular district for backpackers. Located on the Pacific coast 10 kilometres south of the city centre, it combines beaches, green parks and ocean views with some of the city’s best nightlife, shopping and cuisine.
Parque Kennedy is Miraflores’ centrepoint, a greenery surrounded by shops, bars, restaurants intermingled with colonial architecture. It’s also within close reach of the Indian Market, where you can peruse local handcraft. At night, you’ll find musicians, dancers and other performers putting on a show in the park.
There’s also plenty in Miraflores for travellers who love to explore history. The district was the site of significant battles and the city’s first Spanish settlements. It is also the location of Huaca Pucllana, a pre-Inca ruin site that’s great to visit after dark.
On the oceanfront, the Miraflores Boardwalk stretches six miles along the coast, making for the perfect relaxing afternoon stroll. Sites along the way include Larcomar, a multi-level shopping complex built into the cliff face, and Parque del Amor, a park of colourful mosaics and statues with a perfect ocean view. If you’re up for an adrenaline fix, you can also try paragliding from the cliffs.
Dragonfly in Miraflores was the first hostel we stayed in on our travel career break. The location is great; it’s a few minutes’ walk up to Parque Kennedy, and about the same in the opposite direction down to the Miraflores Boardwalk on the coast.
Our favourite thing about Dragonfly Hostel was the rooftop terrace bar. It’s got a pleasant chill-out vibe, with a choice of hammocks, bean bags and chairs to lounge in, and a foosball table for getting social. The bar serves food, and was also where we sampled our first pisco sour cocktail.
In general, we were very happy with the facilities at Dragonfly. All our essential needs were covered! The staff were extremely helpful during our stay, providing recommendations on things to do and places to eat. A very good hostel all-round.
Cost: beginning at PEN 30 for a dorm and PEN 119 for a private
Facilities include: free breakfast | security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | bicycle hire | luggage storage | terrace bar|
Hitchhikers Lima Hostel
We stayed at Hitchhikers during a second stint in Lima after a trip up to the Peruvian Amazon. Like Dragonfly, it’s also located conveniently mid-way between Parque Kennedy and the coastal path.
This place has really good social spaces. There’s a comfy area inside with a choice of games and books, and also a nice outdoor space with a ping-pong table. It’s got a friendly feel without being a party place.
All the on-site facilities met our needs. The staff were always on hand to help out when we needed to book a taxi or print our tickets. We enjoyed the breakfast, too; it’s the standard fare of bread, butter, jam and coffee, but more than enough to get you going for the day.
Cost: beginning at PEN 28 for a dorm and PEN 80 for a private
Facilities include: free breakfast | security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | books and games | social spaces|
For a hostel located in the heart of Miraflores, Pariwana is an excellent option. It’s right on the tip of Parque Kennedy, which means you’re right in the middle of the action and within walking distance of all points of interest in the district.
Pariwana is one of Lima’s most highly rated hostels by travellers. Its legendary rooftop bar puts on regular themed social events, with reasonably priced drinks. This is a hostel very well geared towards the traveller who likes to have a drink and meet people.
At the same time, Pariwana has all the facilities you need for a comfortable stay, with clean, hot showers, top-notch security, and friendly, helpful staff.
Cost: beginning at PEN 40 for a dorm and PEN 140 for a private
Facilities include: free breakfast | security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | books and games | rooftop bar|
How to get to Miraflores from the airport
The safest and easiest way to get to Miraflores from Jorge Chávez International Airport is by using the official bus, Airport Express Lima. For US$8 one way or US$15 return, this service will take you from the airport to a choice of seven locations around Miraflores, with on-board wifi and spacious seating. The services runs on the hour from 7am to midnight.
An alternative, quicker option, although more expensive, is to take a taxi. The most safe and secure way to do this is by using one of the taxi firms with desks inside the airport: Taxi Green, Taxi Direct and Taxi 365. The fee should be around 60 soles – this is what we paid with Taxi Green, and we were pleased with the service. Alternatively, you can ask your accommodation if they can arrange a transfer for you.
It’s not a good idea to try and use Uber. The service is banned at Lima Airport, and while a driver might accept your order, it’s likely to be cancelled when they are stopped from entering.
Hostels in Barranco
Barranco is a bohemian district located four kilometres or so down the coast from Miraflores, and makes for a great alternative base for backpackers.
Many of Peru’s top artists and musicians call Barranco their home. Its cobbled lanes are filled with colourful buildings and beautiful street art murals. The district is the brightest corner of a city that is notorious for its grey climate.
Plaza de Armas Barranco is the main square, and a good pivot point for exploring the district on foot. It’s not far from here to Puente de los Suspiros (the Bridge of Sighs), across which you will find Iglesia La Ermita, an old Spanish church overlooking the ocean.
Barranco is a close rival to Miraflores for the quality of its eating and drinking spots. We had a great night out here supping pisco sours and eating cheese and olives in one of its many excellent bars. Where Barranco really excels, though, is its coffee shops; it’s the best place in the city to sample fresh Peruvian coffee.
Dragonfly in Barranco is one of the newest hostels of the popular chain, which has establishments throughout Peru. The ethos is very similar to that of the original branch in Miraflores: great services, good facilities, and a warm, sociable atmosphere.
Dragonfly Barranco comes with the added bonus of a superb cliff-top ocean view. Oh, and there’s a brewery on site, where you can sample the house beer, Dragon, or try a range of Peruvian craft beers. It strikes the sweet spot that we love: lively and social, without being a full-on party hostel.
Dragonfly is in the north of Barranco, close to Malecon for an ocean viewpoint. It’s about 10–15 minutes’ walk from the hostel to Plaza de Armas Barranco.
Cost: beginning at PEN 23 for a dorm
Facilities include: security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | bicycle hire | bar and lounge|
The Point Lima
The Point Lima is a hostel built inside a converted colonial mansion in the heart of the bohemian Barranco district. It’s just a few minutes’ walk away from the area’s main points of interest, and a whole host of bars and restaurants.
This hostel is a great choice if you want to party. Its on-site bar hosts events every night, with music and cheap drinks on tap until the small hours of the morning. It’s close to other great nightlife spots to keep the party going afterwards, too. If you’re the kind of traveller who needs your regular beauty sleep, then earplugs are in order!
Cost: beginning at PEN 29 for a dorm
Facilities include: security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | bar and restaurant | games | luggage storage|
How to get to Barranco from the airport
The journey from Jorge Chávez International Airport to Barranco is not quite as simple as the one to Miraflores. The Airport Express Lima service doesn’t connect directly to Barranco.
This leaves a couple of safe and reliable options. The first is to take a direct taxi, using one of the services inside the airport (Taxi Green, Taxi Direct or Taxi 365). The second is to take the express bus, get off at Larcomar and then take a taxi from there.
Hostels in Centro Histórico
Centro Histórico is Lima’s main centre and the ideal place for discovering Lima’s prominent role in history. The city was the administrative centre of the Viceroyalty of Peru – which spanned the whole of Spanish colonial South America – and the district now called Centro Histórico was at the very heart of it.
Plaza Mayor is Centro Histórico’s main square, and features two of Lima’s most famous buildings: Palacio de Gobierno and La Catedral de Lima. In the gridded streets around the square you will encounter many more examples of baroque colonial architecture, such as Convento Santo Domingo and Monasterio de San Francisco.
The Rímac River passes through the city just a couple of blocks north of Plaza Mayor. On the riverfront, Park La Muralla often hosts festivals and live entertainment. Just along from this spot there is a perfect view of Cerro San Cristóbal, a hill of many-coloured houses that rises up to the north-east. You can take a tour bus to the hill from Plaza Mayor every half hour.
One of downtown Lima’s best-rated hostels, Orchid is located right on the edge of Centro Histórico, right next to Plaza San Martin and ten minutes’ walk away from Plaza Mayor. As such, it’s the ideal launchpad for exploring the attractions of the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Orchid takes pride in providing top-notch, well-kept facilities for a comfortable stay. Guests are regularly full of praise for the standards of cleanliness and the welcoming staff.
This is a convenient and congenial base for the backpacker who wants to discover Lima’s great architecture and history. It places an emphasis on well-being and relaxation rather than social buzz. In the downstairs area there’s a vegan restaurant and on-site spa.
Cost: beginning at PEN 31 for a dorm and PEN 89 for a private
Facilities include: security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | luggage storage | vegan restaurant | spa|
Lima House provides great value accommodation within walkable distance of Centro Histórico’s main sights. It’s roughly 800 metres from Plaza San Martin, and 1.6 kilometres from Plaza Mayor.
This is a relaxing place to stay if you want to be able to get around easily but away from the tourist crowds. It has excellent, clean facilities and highly knowledgeable staff.
Cost: beginning at PEN 30 for a dorm and PEN 87 for a private
Facilities include: security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | book exchange | luggage storage | laundry|
How to get to Centro Histórico from the airport
Jorge Chávez International Airport is not connected to Centro Histórico by any public transport or the express bus. As such, the only safe option is to take a taxi. For complete security, either use one of the services inside the airport (Taxi Green, Taxi Direct or Taxi 365), or make arrangements through your accommodation.
Hostels near Jorge Chávez International Airport
Lima’s international airport is located 10 kilometres to the west of Centro Histórico and some 16 kilometres from Miraflores by road. If you’re stopping in the city for a layover or short stay, there are some great value accommodation options for backpackers nearby.
Pay Purix Hostel
Pay Purix is the perfect spot for backpackers on a budget making a stopover before or after a flight. It’s located about 20 minutes’ walk away from Jorge Chávez International Airport. At the same time, you won’t find many cheaper hostels in Lima.
‘Pay Purix’ derives from the Quechua word for ‘traveller’, which gives an accurate reflection of the ambiance and clientele. This place is all about chill-out and convenience, with lots of games and movies in-house, and plenty of food options nearby.
Not many international airports have a budget hostel of such quality so close at hand. If you need to organise your airport transfers in advance, the staff will be on hand to help.
Cost: beginning at PEN 23 for a dorm and PEN 75 for a private
Facilities include: security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | games | mini-supermarket | bar and café | games room|
Best hostels in Lima: more resources
To browse more accommodation options in Lima, use the links below:|
For more information on Lima Airport and what to do when you arrive, check out this helpful overview by How To Peru.
Have you been to Lima? Let us know about your accommodation experience in the comments below.