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Hostels/ Hotels/ Posadas/ Casas de Huespedes

Although the ratios and ranges change from town to town, Bolivia has distinct structure of hotels, hostels, residencias, alojamientos and casas de huéspedes.

Hotels There are many pleasant mid-range options and even luxury spas, lodges and five-star resorts in Bolivia (though not many), which are usually are included in the “hotel” category. While hotels are usually considered high-quality, beware, as anyone, anywhere, can call their accommodation a “hotel”. This is common in smaller towns, and it’s best to check your room and services included upon arrival and before paying. Most hotels should include hot showers, cable TV and breakfast--though this is just a rule of thumb.

Hostels Hostels (or hostals) often come with the reputation that they are a backpacker sort of place, and in Bolivia this stays true. Basically there are two types of hostels: those which are large, multi-floored, and with dorms (like Adventure Brew Hostel in La Paz, for example), and then those that are just called “hostel”--often more a residencia, or motel-ish accommodation. It’s helpful to know that Bolivia hosts a number of Hostelling International locations, where card-carrying members get a 10% discount, and accommodations are expected to meet HI standards. Check their website,, to find out how to become a member. Note that you are unlikely to find hostels in small pueblos or mountain towns, (look for residenciales or alojamientos), as they are more common in large cities.

Residencias, Alojamientos and Casas de Huéspedes Considered the bottom of the barrel when it comes to quality, these options ought not be disregarded. While some hotels are high-quality, others can disappoint. The same goes for residencias, alojamientosand casas de huéspedes. Some really are crummy, with bugs or no bedding, or cold, cold showers. Others however, are pleasant places to stay a night or two, and definitely worth checking out. You will probably run into locals at residencias and alojamientos, as they are the more popular patrons, whereas and casas de huéspedes can be considered homestays, often like a bed and breakfast of sorts.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Bolivia: Photography in Bolivia, Finding Maps in Bolivia, When to Go, Social and Environmental Issues, Etiquette in Bolivia, Adventure Travel, Holiday and Festivals Listing, Lake Titicaca Tours, Services and Learning Spanish in Bolivia.

By Margaret Rode
A self-professed city girl, sassy staff writer Margaret Rode hails from Chicago where she received Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Spanish...
22 Jun 2009

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