Hostel Review: Alternative Hostels, Cuenca, Ecuador

Looking for a great place to stay in Cuenca, Ecuador? Rated 95.5% on Hostelbookers, Alternative Hostels provides a laid-back, modern and homey hostel in a safe and convenient location.


Located in the center of Cuenca, you can’t get a better location than this. In fact, the hostel is located adjacent to a small food market, as well as the Pumapungo (Banco Central) Museum. Within a short walk, you’ll also be able to get to archaeological sites like Todos Santos and Pumapungo, and museums like Manuel Agustin Landivar, the Aboriginal Culture Museum, Museum of the History of Medicine and many more. Likewise, numerous churches, parks, theaters and markets are located in the area.


The atmosphere at Alternative Hostels makes you feel completely at home. Comfortable couches abound, as well as cultural artwork to give the place a local touch. Moreover, the rooms have a thin carpet, the same kind I have in my bedroom at home. In terms of rooms, their focus is more on quality than quantity, with the largest room having only five beds.


The staff here make you feel like family as soon as you arrive. As soon as I got out of the cab to check in, the owner, Xavier, ran outside to greet me, asking if I was Jessie. Moreover, when the girl at the desk showed me to my room, she began animatedly talking to me about the hostel and the city as if we were old friends. It made me feel instantly at ease. Just be aware that knowing a few Spanish phrases will be helpful at this hostel, as not all staff speak fluent English.


The hostel has myriad common spaces, making it easy to meet other backpackers. There’s an expansive kitchen, TV lounge, rooftop area, terrace, and another lounge where many people relax with their laptops and read books. My first night there, a group of us hung out and watched television together, while getting to learn about each others’ trips and home countries.

Free Perks

Backpackers love free perks, and Alternative Hostels provides complimentary luggage room, towel, soap, shampoo, internet and Wi-Fi.

Overall Impression

This hostel has a very friendly, laid-back vibe that makes for a comfortable home-base to explore beautiful Cuenca. Likewise, this hostel had the best water pressure of any hostel I’ve stayed in, as well as the only non-stick cooking ware I’ve experienced on this trip so far. That, combined with the friendly staff, make this a hostel I would highly recommend to other travelers.

This post was made possible by Hostelbookers

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