Lace-up your boots or jump onto the saddle of a horse, you will find that there are so many ways to explore the beauty surrounding El Calafate. Nestled in the Patagonia mountains in Argentina, you can expect to find dense forests and massive snow-capped mountains, but the real pull to El Calafate is the off-worldly Perito Moreno Glacier. With its white ice and neon blue waters, you will feel as if you have stepped onto an alien planet. El Calafate offers so much more than just a glacier, however. With countless hikes snaking through the national park and unique culture, you could spend weeks exploring this Argentine town!
You will never be running out of things to do while in El Calafate, but you may get disappointed when you start looking up places to stay in town. With a lack of cheap backpackers hostels, many budget travelers will give up on their plans to visit this part of the Patagonia Mountains.
Don’t throw in the towel so quickly, we brought all of the top hostels in El Calafate to one place so you can book with confidence that you will be staying in only the best that they have to offer!
We hope you are ready for adventure, you will be hiking through El Calafate before you know it!
Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in El Calafate
- Overall Best Hostel in El Calafate – Schilling Patagonia Travellers
- Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in El Calafate – Hostel Del Viento
- Best Cheap Hostel in El Calafate – Hostel Calafate Viejo
- Best Hostel for Couples in El Calafate – Calafate Hostel
- Best Party Hostel in El Calafate – Hostel Cambalache Bed & Beer
- Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in El Calafate – El Carretas
The Best Hostels in El Calafate
Before you know it you will be experiencing all the beauty and wonder of El Calafate yourself. But first, we will need to be finding that perfect hostel for you! Each stay is a little different from the next, so keep your eyes open for the one that best fits how you like to travel!
Best Overall Hostel in El Calafate – Schilling Patagonia Travellers
- Breakfast Included
Schilling Patagonia Travellers may not offer any dorm beds, but they make up for it with their laid back vibes and atmosphere where you will feel right at home in! At this backpackers hostel, you will find some of the cheapest private rooms in all of El Calafate. After getting a great night’s sleep, you can then kick back and relax with the other backpackers in one of the lounges throughout the hostel. When you are starting to feel hungry or are wanting a bite to eat, El Calafate is also home to its very own cafe and bar, meaning you won’t have to wander too far to find a place to grab a bite to eat or something to drink!
Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in El Calafate – Hostel Del Viento
- Shared Kitchen
- Breakfast 4 USD
After weeks of exploring Argentina and the rest of South America, you will be wanting to find that perfect hostel to call home for a few days to get your bearings. Hostel Del Viento will not only hook you up with a cheap dorm bed but from this hostel, you will get breathtaking views of the nearby lake and surrounding desert! Even though you will be staying a bit outside of the city center, nobody travels to El Calafate to stay in the city, there travel to Patagonia to seek out the rustic beauty of Argentina! With a shared kitchen, garden, and breakfast available in the mornings, you will have everything you need to kick off your adventure in El Calafate!
Best Cheap Hostel in El Calafate – Hostel Calafate Viejo
- Shared Kitchen
- Breakfast Included
Although Hostel Calafate Viejo may lack some of the frills that other hostels have, you won’t find a cheaper place to stay in all of El Calafate! We know most travelers will be wanting to save up money to venture out into the Patagonia mountains, so don’t waste your pesos paying for any overpriced dorm bed and focus on what you came to El Calafate to do: explore! Other than being the cheapest hostels in El Calafate, Hostel Calafate Viejo has homey B&B vibes that will make you feel right at home. With its garden, lounges, kitchen, and even free breakfast, this is one stay you will never be wanting to check out of!
Best Hostel for Couples in El Calafate – Calafate Hostel
- Breakfast Included
So you and your boyfriend or girlfriend have been on the road for a few weeks without a break. We know it isn’t always romantic when traveling as a backpackers, so why not take a break from the generic youth hostels and reignite the flame of lave at Calafate Hostel? This backpacker’s hostel channels log cabin vibes with its wooden exterior, brick walls, and a roaring fire. Although you will find a cheap dorm bed at this hostel, we know you will probably want to book yourself into the budget private rooms. After getting a good night’s sleep you can start exploring the rest of the hostel. With a terrace, lounge, bar, and restaurant, Calafate Hostel can almost be called a backpacker’s resort!
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Best Party Hostel in El Calafate – Hostel Cambalache Bed & Beer
- Breakfast 3 USD
While most of the hostels on this list have great lounges and terraces where you can hang out and swap stories with other backpackers, we haven’t yet look at where you can get a cold beer! Hostel Cambalache Bed & Beer is one of the best spots in El Calafate to call home and party hard. As the name would suggest, this hostel has its very own bar where you can pick up draft beers and a meal from the restaurant! With lounges and terraces, much like the other hostels, Hostel Cambalache is the place to go to simply kick back and relax with the other travelers!
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in El Calafate – El Carretas
- Breakfast Included
After spending weeks shooting videos, taking pictures, and finding new content for your blog, you will need to find a backpackers hostel where you can call home for a few days to play catch up editing and writing. Digital nomads will find that El Carretas not only offers some of the cheapest dorm beds in all of El Calafate, but they also have ample room for you to spread out and work in! With its very own terrace, dining room, and spacious dorm rooms, you will have all the peace and quiet you need to get your work done! Once you finally are able to close your laptop, you can then start exploring the nearby downtown and all the sites of El Calafate!
Psst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!
More of the Best Hostels in El Calafate
- Shared Kitchen
- Breakfast Included
Putting you just far enough away from the downtown to enjoy the beauty of the countryside but close enough to be convenient, you could not ask for a better location than that of Hostel de las Manos! Blending all the best parts of a youthful backpackers hostel and a hotel, you will have all the comfort you need to feel right at home in El Calafate! With lounges and a shared kitchen, you will always be able to find ways to hang out and mix with the other travelers. Top things off with a free breakfast served every morning and you will quickly find that this is the kind of hostel where you will be extending your stay night after night!
What to Pack for your El Calafate Hostel
We don’t often travel without these essentials.
1. Active Roots Water Bottle: Hostels are increasingly meeting backpackers’ demands for potable (drinkable) water. Now is better than ever to start traveling with a reusable water bottle! Aside from cutting down single-use plastic, The Active Roots stainless steel water bottle will also keep your favorite beverage hot or cold all day long and it’s sized perfectly to fit an entire bottle of wine. ‘Nuff said.
2. Power Bank: Everyone knows the mini heart attack when your phone is about to run out of power. Surviving long bus rides without charging stations can be agonizing, which is why every backpacker should have this Anker Power Bank. You can charge your phone up to 5 times, or plug in two devices simultaneously. With high-speed charging and enough power to keep you going for days, you can conquer even the biggest adventures without a problem.
3. Headphone Splitter: Being stuck on a bus or plane with only one phone that has good music or shows downloaded can be pretty annoying if your travel buddy wants to share headphones. With this Headphone Splitter, you won’t have to listen with only one ear anymore. Your friend can plug in their headphones at the same time, so both of you are entertained (on both ears!).
4. Active Roots Microfiber Towel: Having your own towel on your travels is a game changer. The Active Roots Microfiber Towel is perfect for travellers who are looking for a lightweight, quick-drying and extremely soft option. The antibacterial material is super water-absorbent and resists odor buildup because of its antimicrobial material. Ain’t technology cool?
5. Universal Travel Adapter: This universal travel adapter charges your devices in (pretty much) every country – definitely a lifesaver when travelling around the world. The plug also regulates the power output depending on which device you’re charging. No more fried hair dryers or electric razors!
6. Playing Cards: These waterproof cards are essential kit for every backpacker. Play by the pool, beach or at your hostel after a long day with travel buds, without your cards breaking or getting soaked. And once you pull out those cards, the chance that you’ll be the hero of the night is pretty high (no promises though).
Why you should travel to El Calafate
We know you are really itching to start exploring the mountains of El Calafate. The glaciers, rivers, and lakes can wait however, we first need to talk about where you will stay. From lively party hostels to laid back backpackers hostels, where you book yourself into will determine what kind of trip your visit to El Calafate will be.
With so many great hostels to choose from in El Calafate, we can understand if you are still a bit unsure on where to stay before venturing out into the Patagonia Mountains. Let us help you out by giving you our recommendation. For that one of a kind backpackers experience, there is no place better than Schilling Patagonia Travellers, our pick for the best hostel in El Calafate!
Over to you
You are about to embark on a journey into some of the most breathtaking and unconquerable mountains in the world. In the heart of the Patagonia Mountains, you will find wilderness teeming with wildlife as well as massive glaciers trapping mystical blue waters within its ice casing. With endless hikes, horse bike rides, and delicious Argentine delicacies to be tasted, El Calafate offers a little bit of everything to travelers!
Before you can saddle up on your horse or blaze your own trail through the Patagonia Mountains, you will need to find a backpackers hostel to base yourself out from in El Calafate. This task may seem minimal, but the youth hostel you book yourself into will set the tone for your entire trip!
Have you ever visited El Calafate? We would love to hear about your trip! Let us know in the comments below if there are any great backpackers hostels we may have missed!
And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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