I took a peek on Hostelworld prior to my arrival in Cusco just to see what the hostel game was looking like these days. One word. Overwhelming. Cusco is easily one of the world’s best backpacker destinations and hostels have fully taken advantage of this fact. It is nothing short of overwhelming trying to narrow down the hundreds of hostel options to the perfect one that will serve as the best possible home base in between the treks, day trips, and aimless wanders you will undoubtedly have throughout your time in Cusco.
Compared to any other destination I’ve been to, Cusco probably offers one of the most diverse ranges of backpacker hostels out there. From cheap hostels that offer little more than a place to rest your head to properties that feel like mansions, there is something that fits every budget. From wild party hostels that double as nightclubs to the laid-back hippie havens boasting peaceful gardens, there is something that fits every type of travel.
I’ve stayed at the Wild Rovers and the Lokis. I’ve crashed at the Selinas and the Pariwanas. But after weeks and weeks in Cusco of hostel-hopping, the only one that made me feel at home was Kokopelli. Few other hostels have managed to balance the social and the serene, or the party with the privacy quite like Kokopelli.
Why You Should Stay At Kokopelli Cusco
As far as location goes, it does not get much better than Kokopelli. It is about a two-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas and the San Pedro market, making it as convenient of a location as you could ask for. Kokopelli boasts a central location in a beautiful part of the city. Despite its proximity to the hustle and bustle of Cusco, the rooms are far enough away from the streets that you wouldn’t even realize how close you are to all of the action.
For the partiers out there like me, Kokopelli is a very ideal location for those hazy early morning walks home from Changos or Mythology or wherever your dancing feet decided to take you that night. The walk home from the nightlife street takes no more than five minutes and is a very safe route back to the hostel. It always shocked me just how lively Cusco was at all hours of the night. I could be walking home at 4 or 5 AM and the Plaza de Armas could feel as bustling as midday.
Spacious Property With Plenty Of Common Areas
There are so many nooks and crannies to Kokopelli that even after a week here, I’m not even sure that I’ve explored the entire hostel. There are three main common areas, each one offering a different vibe than the other. The first one as you walk in has a rustic, old-timey feel to it with beautiful decor. A potpourri of furniture with plants hanging down from the balconies gives a unique vibe and aesthetic that makes for a beautiful setting.
The second one is a more relaxed setting where people can gather round and socialize. And finally, the idyllic garden. The garden was my favorite area of the whole hostel, allowing you to get some fresh air in the middle of Cusco without having to venture more than a few seconds from your bed. Sometimes, Cusco can feel a bit chaotic and this garden served as the perfect little hideaway despite being right in the center of town.
Art and Aesthetic Everywhere
Kokopelli is one of the most beautiful hostels I have ever stayed in. There is no shortage of aesthetic decor and art to look at. It really adds a colorful and homey vibe to your stay. Most hostels neglect the importance of building a serene environment but Kokopelli does not. Each and every wall is viewed as an opportunity to splash some color and art onto a blank facade.
There is something to look at everywhere you go in Kokopelli.
The Pisco House: A Bar and Restaurant On Site
The Pisco House is Kokopelli’s on-site bar and restaurant. I don’t usually eat at hostels because I enjoy eating locally, but sometimes, you can’t help yourself. Kokopelli has one of the most reasonably priced restaurants in Cusco, with pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and main dishes for less than 20 soles. In other cities, I’d often force myself to eat outside of the hostel no matter how convenient it would be to just go to the hostel. But with a good vibe and cheap and delicious food, I’d find myself eating at The Pisco House quite a bit. Their vegetarian pizza was actually to die for.
At night, it also becomes a lively scene. With great deals on drinks, The Pisco House served as a great place to start a night out. I went during Kokopelli’s 10th anniversary party even though I wasn’t staying at the hostel at the time and it was an amazing time. The party was poppin’. Considering that Kokopelli doesn’t brand themselves as a party hostel like Loki or Wild Rover, it was still a load of fun.
One thing I didn’t like about other hostels was that although partying there might be fun, it got stale really quick. Not to throw jabs at other hostels, but Cusco’s most popular party hostel basically just throws Bruno Mars and Maroon 5 on repeat… and the crowd goes wild?
Nah. Variety is the spice of life. There’s something going on every night at Kokopelli, whether you want to participate or not. That means, if you’re in the party mood, there’s something fun that’s bound to happen at the hostel. With events like electro nights, trance parties, beer pong tournaments, throwback jams, and other fun things, you’ll never get bored at Kokopelli. Their trance party with a live DJ has been my favorite night out in Cusco so far.
Dorms To Fit Every Budget
And of course, it’s a hostel. You are going to want to sleep, after all. Kokopelli boasts a wide range of dorm rooms and private rooms to fit any budget. If you don’t mind an open, welcoming space shared with a lot of other travelers, then there’s a dorm for you. If you want something a little cozier, with a curtain on your pod to keep your space private when you need a bit of peace and quiet, then there’s an option for you. The range of dorm options makes Kokopelli a hostel that anyone can agree on.
Another perk of staying at Kokopelli is that if you’ve stayed at any of their other incredible properties in Lima and Paracas, you get a 20% discount on a walk-in booking on a dorm room. That makes an already affordable place to sleep even cheaper. A 38 soles dorm bed drops down to 30 soles, or less than $10 for a bed in a city that is quickly raising its prices to adapt to the influx in backpackers and travelers.
Cusco is one of my favorite cities in the world. With so much to see and so much to do, you can never get bored in this city. Kokopelli served as the perfect home base for a balance between resting up between adventures and meeting fellow travelers and having a good time.