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

Best hostels in el calafate

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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!

el calafate landscape patagonia argentina

Schilling Patagonia Travellers – Best Overall Hostel in El Calafate

Schilling Patagonia Travellers best hostels in El Calafate
Schilling Patagonia Travellers is our pick for the best overall hostels in El Calafate

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!

Calafate Hostel – Best Hostel for Couples in El Calafate

Calafate Hostel best hostels in El Calafate
Calafate Hostel is our pick for the best hostel for couples in El Calafate

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!

Hostel Del Viento – Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in El Calafate

Hostel Del Viento Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in El Calafate
Hostel Del Viento is our pick for the best hostel for solo travelers in El Calafate

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!

Hostel Calafate Viejo – Best Cheap Hostel in El Calafate

Hostel Calafate Viejo best hostels in El Calafate
Hostel Calafate Viejo is our pick for the best cheap hostel in El Calafate

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!

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Aether Backpack

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Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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Hostel Cambalache Bed & Beer – Best Party Hostel in El Calafate

Hostel Cambalache Bed & Beer Best Party Hostel in El Calafate
Hostel Cambalache Bed & Beer is our pick for the best party hostel in El Calafate

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!

El Carretas – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in El Calafate

El Carretas best hostels in El Calafate
El Carretas is our pick for the best hostel for digital nomads in El Calafate

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!

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More of the Best Hostels in El Calafate

Hostel de las Manos

Hostel de las Manos best hostels in El Calafate
Hostel de las Manos

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

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

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 Travellersour pick for the best hostel in El Calafate!

Schilling Patagonia Travellers best hostels in El Calafate

FAQ about Hostels in El Calafate

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in El Calafate.

How much does a hostel cost in El Calafate?

Dorms in El Calafate ranges around $20 per bed, while private rooms can cost from $40-$100 per stay.

What are the best hostels in El Calafate for couples?

Calafate Hostel is a great hostel for couples. It’s a huge hostel that have clean and spacious private rooms and the location is perfect for that little outing trips!

What are the best hostels in El Calafate near the airport?

The nearest airport is just a 20 mins drive away from the city center. Check out my top hostel within the area:
Schilling Patagonia Travellers
Calafate Hostel
America del Sur Hostel

Travel Safety Tips for El Calafate

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

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!

Looking for more info on travelling to El Calafate and Argentina?

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