As a backpacker with a love for all things outdoors, Huaraz was like paradise to me. This region of Peru has mountain ranges that will rival any across the world. Sparkling lagunas, snow-capped summits, multi-day treks, Huaraz had me on my feet chasing views nearly every day of the week. The Cordillera Blanca and Huascaran National Park have made a strong case for my favorite region of the world.
And for backpackers on a budget, Huaraz is cheap. There are dozens of hostels to choose from, some for as low as 10 soles ($3) a night. However, far and away the best hostel I encountered in Huaraz is Selina. Every time I’d have a friend come visit, their jaws would drop.
“This isn’t a hostel… this is a mansion,” one of my friends even said. And he wasn’t wrong. I ran downstairs to snag him from the bar so I could navigate him through the four-story lodge and into the cinema room so we could throw on some Netflix on the big screen. This hostel really had it all.
Why You Should Stay At Selina Huaraz
As someone who was out doing something nearly every day of the week, Selina was an incredible place to come home to.
As a backpacker that stays almost entirely in hostels, I’ve been able to put up with a lot of stuff over the years. I’ve had my fair share of crappy hostel dorms, cramped shared rooms where you might be sleeping two feet away from a stranger. Selina was nothing like that.
The dorm beds all had curtains, providing privacy when needed or opening yourself up to making new friends when you’d need a buddy for a trek or a quick little day trip. The beds were among the most comfortable I’ve slept on, which is much needed when your body is constantly aching from the treks you’ll be doing around Huaraz. A massive blanket, soft pillow, bedside plugs, and spacious lockers crossed off everything you could ask for from a hostel.
I stayed in a dorm for the entirety of my time in Selina but always felt like I had privacy. Selina also has private rooms if you need a little something more private and more luxurious. Each private room is beautifully decorated. I only got a glimpse of one of the private rooms but it looked like an absolute dream to be able to stay in. Beyond being just a backpacker hostel, Selina is a great place to stay for a traveler of any budget.
A Bar and Restaurant
Selina’s bar is one of the first things you see when you walk in. It is colorful, aesthetic, and huge. With pool tables and plenty of regular tables, it is super easy to meet other travelers here. And meeting other travelers is one of the most important things you’ll need to do in Huaraz if you want to take on all of the vast array of adventures Huaraz has to offer.
Although I was on a hiking binge for most of my time in Huaraz, I did spend a fair share of time at the bar. Whether a quick drink before bed or just to socialize and meet other travelers, it was a great hangout spot. Not just in the evenings either, as the mornings and early afternoons made for a quiet workspace as I caught up on all things we ~ digital nomads ~ need to do. And the music… Their 80’s house remix playlist would have me ready to party no matter what time of day. This place had all the vibes.
A Fully-Equipped Kitchen
For budget travelers, this is one of the most important things. Selina’s kitchen was far and away one of the best I’ve ever encountered in a hostel. It is spacious and has everything you’d need. Whenever I’d get tired of Chifa or my usual menu del dias, I’d crack something up in the kitchen. Next to the bar, this was where I found it the easiest to socialize and meet other people.
Whenever I needed to catch up on a spot of work, this is where I would immediately head to. It’s a small and cozy room tucked away behind the kitchen and dining room with plenty of couches, cushions, and books to read if you need some quiet time. I’d plug my headphones in and put in hours in this cozy little nook. While most hostels emphasize the importance of common rooms for socializing, Selina Huaraz was one of the first that I’d ever seen offer a quiet room like a library. I mean come on, after an 8-day trek, wouldn’t you just want to zen out for a bit?
A Yoga/Fitness Studio
Speaking of zenning out, Selina also had a fully-equipped yoga studio that could also double as a fitness room. It was large, clean, and had everything you needed to do your own yoga practice solo or with a group. I’d come here for a quick post-hike stretch or just to meditate with a stunning view of the mountains.
A Cinema Room
Seriously, I couldn’t believe that a hostel could have a cinema room. I’ve been to hostels in the past that put a few cushions next to a small TV and call it a common area. Selina full on had a cinema room with their Apple TV projected onto the big screen. Two large seating areas generously filled with comfortable cushions make for a great setting for a movie night with the squad. Seriously, the hostel game has changed guys.
Open-Air Gardens and at least Three Terraces
Huaraz is a beautiful place, and Selina is tucked away just far enough from the city center that you can find serenity in the outdoors. There’s a garden in the front that is used for bonfires, movie nights, karaoke nights, and more. There are terraces all over the property where you can catch incredible views of the surrounding mountains. Basically, there’s no need to hole yourself up in your dorm all day when you are at Selina. There’s a lot of sun to be had in Huaraz and there’s a lot of places to catch it at Selina.
One of the reasons I love staying at Selina properties is that the company has an appreciation for art and aesthetic. As a creative, I often struggle traveling through certain regions of the world that don’t appreciate our hustle and the value provided by the work we create. Seeing dozens of Selina’s walls basked in beautiful art is not only easy on the eyes, but it shows me that their values align with mine. Appreciate artists, y’all.
You’re probably wondering now just how much it costs to stay at this place. Surely, a 4-story mansion with all the fixings couldn’t be backpacker-budget-friendly? Well, I just looked on Hostelworld and it will run you as low as $6 per night, although the price will sometimes fluctuate based on holidays and demand. The hostel game is truly changing, and Selina is leading the way for a unique and luxurious experience for backpackers on a budget.
Selina Huaraz is one of the best hostels I have ever stayed in, and that goes for the whole world. After a long day of trekking, there is nothing better than getting into your cozy bed, pulling the massive quilt over your body, shutting the curtains and relaxing. For its low price, you could not possibly get more value out of a hostel.