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.
This article contains booking links for our recommended hostels, from which we may make commission at no extra cost to you.
In this article:
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. For adventure travel ideas, take a look at our complete Lima surf guide and guide to trekking in Peru.
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. Prices are shown in US dollars.
So, without further ado…
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: dorms from $10 | privates from $36
Facilities include: free breakfast | security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | bicycle hire | luggage storage | terrace bar
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: dorms from $9 | privates from $46
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 around US$6 one way, 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.
If you’re going to stay in Barranco, then there’s no better way to get immersed in the neighbourhood than by staying at Kokopelli Hostel. This hostel has been built inside one of Barranco’s most iconic houses, a century-old building that is steeped in heritage.
The refurbished hostel has retained the historical charm and architectural splendour of the original building, while also creating a vibrant atmosphere for backpackers. It is fabulously spacious thanks to the old high ceilings. If you’re ready to socialise, there is a great bar on-site, as well as a relaxed coffee shop and a restaurant that serves local specialties.
The location couldn’t be better either, within close proximity of Barranco’s colourful streets and liveliest bars. Kokopelli is an experience hostel, and definitely worth spending an extra few dollars a night for.
Cost: dorms from $15 | privates from $56
Facilities include: free breakfast | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | common area | bar and restaurant
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.
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: dorms from $9 | privates from $23
Facilities include: security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | book exchange | luggage storage | laundry
1900 Backpackers Hostel
1900 Backpackers Hostel is located right next to the parks, gardens and top museums of Lima, a 20-minute walk south-west of Centro Histórico. Set inside a 19th-century building with high ceilings, the hostel has recently been renovated, and offers a full range of top class facilities for backpackers.
This is a great hostel to meet likeminded people and enjoy a social atmosphere, with a stylish bar featuring a widescreen TV and games, regular organised activities, and a chilled-out rooftop terrace. You can also try classic Peruvian cuisine like ceviche in the hostel’s restaurant.
The hostel is located close to the central station, as well as a mall, supermarkets and grocery stores for self-catering supplies.
Cost: dorms from $8 | privates from $18
Facilities include: free breakfast | free city tour | security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception and security | self-catering facilities | book exchange | laundry | luggage storage
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: dorms from $7 | privates from $26
Facilities include: security lockers | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | games | mini-supermarket | bar and café | games room
Tierras Viajeras Hostel
If you are looking for a safe and friendly place to stay close to Jorge Chávez International Airport, Tierras Viajeras Hostel is an excellent option. The host, Henry, is known for his charming service, and the staff are happy to help you arrange a driver from the airport, even if late at night.
This is a hostel with a creative atmosphere, where you will be surrounded by wonderful pieces of art. Music and creativity is encouraged, and so it’s a great place to meet and hang out with other creative travellers.
In the morning you can enjoy one of Lima’s best hostel breakfasts, included in the price.
Cost: dorms from $11 | privates from $16
Facilities include: free breakfast | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | restaurant and bar | common room | book exchange | airport transfers
Located in Los Olivos, a safe and quiet district close to Jorge Chávez International Airport, Mama Backpackers is a warm, welcoming hostel ideal for when you have an early flight or stopover.
This hostel has everything you need for a comfortable stay, from a tasty free breakfast to great self-catering facilities. It also has a spacious common area where you can mingle with other travellers, watch movies or play games.
If you have more spare time, it’s possible to take a direct bus connection to Lima’s historic centre for some sightseeing.
Cost: dorms from $11 | privates from $24
Facilities include: free breakfast | free wifi | hot showers | 24-hour reception | security lockers | common room | book exchange | airport transfers
Lima hostels comparison table
|Hostel||Quick info||Prices||Book now|
|Dragonfly Miraflores||Chilled-out social hostel in Miraflores with rooftop terrace||Dorms from $10, privates from $36||hostelworld|
|Pariwana Hostel||Fun social hostel in centre of Miraflores, hosts regular events in rooftop bar||Dorms from $9, privates from $46||booking.com hostelworld|
|Kokopelli Hostel Barranco||Vibrant hostel set in one of Barranco's most iconic old buildings||Dorms from $15, privates from $56||booking.com hostelworld|
|Lima House||Budget hostel with good facilities and helpful staff in Centro Histórico||Dorms from $9, privates from $23||booking.com hostelworld|
|1900 Backpackers Hostel||Social hostel with a bar and restaurant inside a 19th century building in Centro Histórico||Dorms from $8, privates from $18||booking.com hostelworld|
|Pay Purix||Convenient, relaxed budget hostel close to Lima's international airport||Dorms from $7, privates from $26||booking.com hostelworld|
|Tierras Viajeras Hostel||Safe and friendly hostel close to Lima's international airport||Dorms from $11, privates from $16||hostelworld|
|Mama Backpackers||Welcoming hostel in the safe Los Olivos district close to the airport||Dorms from $11, privates from $24||booking.com hostelworld|
Best hostels in Lima: map and resources
You can see the locations of the Lima hostels highlighted in this article using the map below:
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.
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