I chose the Arequipay Backpackers Hostel because of their advertised fun facilities: a movie room, games tables (pool and table tennis) and, as a special reward for my boys after the Inca Trail hike, a PS3.
Which is not to say that I didn’t do some due diligence, such as checking the reviews of this hostel on Hostelbookers, Hostelworld and TripAdvisor , I did – and found good reviews on all these websites.
Arequipay Backpackers is a 10-minute taxi ride outside of downtown Arequipa in a safe, guarded community area. There’s a shopping area with a large grocery store within a short walk from the hostel.
The owners, Evelin and Renzo are friendly and helpful and have a travel desk on-site so that they can help with booking onward bus trips and tours. We found it particularly useful for money management that all costs for accommodation and travel services are rolled up into one bill which you pay at check-out.
The hostel has double and dorm rooms. We stayed in a six-person dorm with a private bathroom which we had to ourselves for most of our stay at Arequipay Backpackers . I can’t honestly rave about the quality of the dorm room beds because, well, they’re bunks and can’t be classified as luxury by any definition. That said they were clean and comfortable.
Evelin and Renzo obsess about the cleanliness of the bathroom and kitchen (which was large and well-equipped). All bathrooms are cleaned continually during the day which to me is a major plus in a backpacker hostel.
There’s a large deck and a large garden so there’s plenty of room to relax and enjoy some downtime which, given that we arrived at Arequipay Backpackers at 7am on the day after completing the Inca Trail, we did.
In the end, the boys didn’t use the PS3 and we didn’t watch any movies. We did, however, use the speedy wifi and the fairly new (public) computers and we spent a full day with books and papers spread out in a couple of “study stations” in the kitchen and living room as the boys caught up on schoolwork. The free calls to the U.S. and Canada are a bonus I haven’t seen in any other hostel we’ve stayed in yet.
My one complaint about Arequipay Backpackers was that there never seemed to be very much hot water in the shower. Hopefully this is something Evelin and Renzo can get sorted out soon.
Information on traveling to Peru with Children.