Every traveler with even the most limited interest in scuba diving has heard of the legendary reefs off of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Perfect turquoise Caribbean waters and palm tree lined beaches? Sounds like a cliche, but that is exactly what Playa del Carmen looks like. Oh, and with a few mega resorts and dance clubs mixed in there.

Whilst Playa del Carmen is anything but the sleepy Mexican beach town it once was, for most backpackers traveling in the Yucatan Peninsula, it is a must visit.

Playa Del Carmen has grown so much over the last two decades that there are a seemingly endless number of hostels and accommodation options here.

That is exactly why I wrote this guide to the best hostels in Playa del Carmen for 2024.

The purpose of this guide is to separate the haves from the have-nots: I have organized each hostel on my list into categories, so you can easily book the right spot for yourself.

Navigating the deep dark ocean of hostels and hotels in Playa del Carmen is a bit like scrolling through tinder; there might be some attractive options but you never know really what you’re in for. That is until now…

This hotel guide answers all of the most important questions and sets the record straight about which places are clearly the best hostels in Playa del Carmen. Period.

Let’s get right to it…

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Playa del Carmen

What to Expect from Hostels in Playa Del Carmen

Hostels are known to be one of the cheapest accommodation options on the market, and fortunately, Playa Del Carmen hostels are no exception.

However, that’s not the only good reason for staying at a hostel. The social culture and the possibility of meeting other like-minded travelers are what makes hostels in Mexico TRULY special. 

Most hostels come with a common room or roof terrace where you can make new friends, share travel stories and tips. But in Playa, hostels may also come with outdoor swimming pools or beachfront access, making for the perfect place to have a pool party or meet some new friends to head out to the bars and restaurants with – you won’t get that opportunity in a hotel. 

The quality and standard of Playa Del Carmen hostels are reasonably high, but as with most places, you can find a few run-down properties – which is why I created this guide so you don’t stay in one of them! That being said, you’ll find plenty of places with a ton of good guest reviews, and you’ll find it easy to see why. If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, then you’ll find plenty of party hostels in Playa Del Carmen too.

Best Hostels in Playa Del Carmen
Welcome to my no-stress guide to the best hostels in Playa del Carmen

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But let’s talk more about budgets. Playa Del Carmen’s hostels normally have three options: dorms, private rooms, and apartments (yes, you can book an entire suite at a hostel! No need for Airbnbs in Playa Del Carmen). The general rule for affordable accommodation is the more beds in a room, the cheaper the price.

Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single bed private bedroom. To give you a rough overview of Playa’s prices, I’ve listed the average numbers below:

  • Dorm room (mixed or female-only): $10-40 USD/night
  • Private room: $20-45 USD/night
  • Apartment: $60-$100 USD/night

When looking for hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you. If you’re worried about safety in Playa Del Carmen, Hostelworld will have your back.

Since Playa Del Carmen is quite big and has easy access to places like Cancun and Tulum, you’ll need to decide on where you want to stay in Playa Del Carmen. While Playa Del Carmen has a high number of hostels, not all of them are in a good location near the beach, so it’s best to consider your location carefully to make sure you’re near the attractions that you want to visit. 

Now that you know what to expect from Playa Del Carmen hostels, let’s have a look at the best options…

The 5 Best Hostels in Playa del Carmen

I’ve made it pretty clear that Playa del Carmen is an awesome place for backpackers in Mexico. However, if you don’t plan your trip beforehand, you might get a bit overwhelmed with all the options. It’s a good idea to look at your itinerary first, so you can have a good sense of where you would like to base yourself.

Here are my top five hostels in Playa Del Carmen, chosen for their affordability, location, and facilities.


Lezzoto 2.5 Beach – Overall Best Hostel in Playa del Carmen

Lezzoto 2.5 Beach

The Lezzoto 2.5 Beach Hostel is my overall favourite hostel in Playa because it is just meters from the beach, ADO International Bus Station and Maritime Terminal, making it ideally located for anyone wanting to explore the rest of Mexico. Not only this, but the affordable price is one I can really get on board with.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • 24 Hour Reception
  • Bar onsite
  • Free Wifi

Combine a relaxed, social atmosphere with super helpful staff, then add a cool layout for the hostel, some hip decor, and furnishings, plus a gorgeous outdoor terrace with a swimming pool to cool down in – what more could you want? You can choose between bright, airy dorms with a private bathroom or a self-contained private room – and in the end you have yourself a pretty sick place to stay in Playa del Carmen.

Sayab Hostel – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Playa del Carmen

Sayab Hostel best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
If you’re looking to make some friends, head to the pool and vibe out at Sayab Hostel: the best hostel for solo travelers in Playa del Carmen.

The common areas at Sayab Hostel – which look more like something from a luxury villa TBH – are great for meeting people and making friends and all that, plus there’s a pool which somehow is always like an icebreaker, know what I mean?

What you’ll love about this hostel:

  • They have their own Diving School
  • Super clean rooms
  • Walking distance of the ocean

I’d say it’s the best hostel for solo travellers in Playa del Carmen: it’s easy to make friends, it’s near the main strip, the staff are decent and helpful. It’s all good here if you’re on your own, I’d say. Plus the rooms and dorms are pretty stylish in that minimal-industrial sorta way, which always floats my boat.

It’s also just three minutes from the beach, plus if you’re willing to try your hand at diving, the hostel has its very own diving school. You can’t get better than that!

Kaban 44 Hostel – Best Cheap Hostel in Playa del Carmen

Kaban 44 Hostel best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
For how hip and stylish this place I am kind of amazed at their low prices: Kaban 44 Hostel is the best cheap hostel in Playa del Carmen. Take notice.

The philosophy of the stylish Kaban 44 is one that I can get behind TBH: since Playa del Carmen has enough bars for you to party in, this isn’t a party hostel. Makes sense to me. As such you’ll find a chill hostel here, with super friendly staff to boot, which is a welcome break from the obligatory party atmosphere of hostels that happen to be located in a party-based town. You know?

What you’ll love about this hostel:

  • Coworking space for digital nomads
  • Comfortable rooms
  • Free breakfast

Decorated with mayan inspired murals and being surrounded by lush vegetation, this hostel has quite an authentic atmosphere. Plus, the rooms are kept clean and comfortable. They’re not super luxurious, but good enough for the price you pay.

And that’s another bonus of this hostel, it’s one of the more affordable hostels in Playa del Carmen – this place really wins price-wise. Like, really wins. It’s more than half the price of some other places, seriously.

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Excel Sense – Best Hostel for Couples in Playa del Carmen

Excel Sense best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
Want to party but not sleep IN the party? Excel Sense is a healthy distance away from the craziness, making it the best hostel for couples in Playa del Carmen.

Given that Playa is totally a party town full of bars and clubs, I’ve mercifully selected something away from the madness as the best hostel for couples in Playa del Carmen. And not only is it about a 15-20 min walk from the main street in town but it’s also in a gated community. So it’s pretty safe and I like that.

What you’ll love about this hostel:

  • In a secure, gated community
  • Rooftop bar
  • Self-catering facilities

Other than the location the private rooms at this chill Playa del Carmen backpackers hostel are clean and tidy, the WiFi signal is STRONG, and there’s a rooftop bar and a little pool as well. So as a couple, you can party in town, then come back to your own slice of seclusion.

Hostel Che Playa – Best Party Hostel in Playa del Carmen

Hostel Che Playa best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
Party animals take notice: Hostel Che Playa is another one of the best lively hostels in Playa del Carmen.

If you’re looking for a REAL party hostel, this one’s pretty good, definitely a top hostel in Playa del Carmen – aside from (or because of) its reputation as a place to party.

What you’ll love about this hostel:

  • Helpful and friendly staff
  • Airport transfers
  • Book exchange

The rooms are basic but bright and clean, plus it’s got a great atmosphere, friendly staff, and a ton of different activities going on every night, from sushi night and pizza nights to BBQs and taco parties, as well as yoga and salsa classes – plus free tours. There’s a lot to do here. And whaddya know? It’s a bargain, too. So Hostel Che Playa is a very solid choice for a budget hostel in Playa del Carmen.

And, if you need to get to Cancun International Airport, this hostel will help you organise an airport transfer.

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More EPIC Hostels in Playa del Carmen

Not happy with the hostel options yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got even more of the best hostels in Playa del Carmen coming your way.

The Green Village Boutique Hostel

The Green Village Boutique Hostel

Looking for a more luxurious place to stay without breaking the bank? The Green Village Boutique Hotel is a decent option for a Playa del Carmen backpackers hostel with some decent rooms and a swanky communal area with a bar and pool. It’s a few blocks away from the bars and clubs of 5th Avenue, so you can enjoy a good nights sleep and still be within close proximity.

It’s also only three minutes from the beach and the hostel is small, with only ten rooms (only two of which are dorms) so you’ll find a more cozy vibe here – perfect for female solo travelers in Mexico wanting to make some friends but worried about safety. The staff are friendly, funny and helpful, with info about what to do in town, the best spots for snorkelling, and things like that. Overall, a good pick for female solo travelers and those wanting a quieter stay.

Selina Playa Del Carmen

Selina Playa Del Carmen best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
Selina Playa Del Carmen is an awesome little spot if you’re into privacy, beauty, and cleanliness: it has my vote for the best hostel with a private room in Playa del Carmen.

Oooo! Very nice private rooms and private bathrooms here at Selina Playa Del Carmen. The beds, the art, the decor in general, all pretty cool and contemporary, and when it comes to the best hostel with a private room in Playa del Carmen, I’d expect these things. So I’m happy about that.

The private rooms are also cleaned daily – this includes towels, also. And to add to the convenience and casual cool of the rooms there’s a good pool at this top hostel in Playa del Carmen, a pretty sick little bar (and bar area) – plus the location is pretty much where you wanna be: close to everything.

Tres Mundos Hostel

Tres Mundos Hostel best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
Tres Mundos Hostel is another great budget backpackers option…

Cheap and basic – but at the end of the day packed with colour and character, and with friendly staff as an added bonus. That’s pretty much how I’d describe this recommended hostel in Playa del Carmen. It’s deffo on the cheaper end of things compared to other hostels in town, which is great if you’re watching what you spend.

There’s no bar here, which is a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it (plenty of bars in town tho right), but at this budget hostel in Playa del Carmen they serve some amazing food. Seriously, that burrito…

Hostel 3B

Hostel 3B best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
Hostel 3B has the reputation of being a wild place. If the previous party hostel was too mild for you, you better check this place out.

Dios mio… this place is pretty mental. I know people like to party but wow. It’s not the best party hostel because I think it’s, hmm, TOO much, maybe. Plus it has a no pop/commercial/reggaeton after 9:30pm policy, which just astounds me; ‘underground electronic’ only. What about Thriller? Jeez… But if you wanna go completely mad with a lot of other people who wanna go completely mad, you’ll find the opportunity to do so at Hostel 3B. And it’s a recommended hostel in Playa del Carmen for its infamous Sunday parties (where sort-of-known DJs play). Don’t expect much sleep though.

Red Panda Hostal

Red Panda Hostal

Looking for a place that’s down for a party? Answer: Red Panda Hostal. Not only does it have a party vibe at the hostel itself with games and activities provided by the accommodation, but it’s also right in the city centre so if you wanna experience the nightlife of Playa del Carmen, you’ll be within walking distance of the best bars in the city.

With that said, it’s not like, completely mental, and you’ll find that in the day time the common areas are more relaxed and a perfect place to unwind and nurse your hangover. The decor has been painted by local artists and they work with the local community to provide workshops for their guests. The rooms are generally clean and comfortable. S’all good.

Popul Vuh

Popul Vuh best hostels in Playa Del Carmen
Popul Vuh is one of the best hostels in Playa del Carmen on the beach that doesn’t regularly have crazy parties, so it is chill.

Just a few steps from the beach and in walking distance of the bars and shops of Playa del Carmen’s centre, Popul Vuh is another peachy beachy recommended hostel in Playa del Carmen that’s ideal for anyone looking for an actual chill time and not a party time.

There’s an outdoor kitchen for your cooking needs, hammocks for your chilling needs, beach for your beaching needs, clean but basic private rooms for your sleeping needs, friendly staff for your welcoming-vibes needs, and it’s within walking distance of the bus stop for your travel needs. They say they do their best to keep this a quiet place and, well, it’s working – thankfully. Bit pricey though.

What to Pack for your Playa del Carmen 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 our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

FAQ about Hostels in Playa del Carmen

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Playa del Carmen.

How much does a hostel cost in Playa del Carmen?

A dorm bed (mixed or female only) can cost between $10-$40, while a private room’s price is around $20-$45. An Apartment will set you back a bit more, costing between $60-$100.

What are the best hostels in Playa del Carmen for couples?

Excel Sense is an ideal hostel for couples in Playa Del Carmen. It has a rooftop bar and a little pool.

What are the best hostels in Playa del Carmen near the airport?

The airport is quite far from Playa Del Carmen, so it is usually better to find the best place that offers airport transfers or will help you arrange transport. Once you’re in the city, I highly recommend the Hostel Che Playa, the best party hostel in Playa del Carmen.

Travel Safety Tips for Playa del Carmen

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.

More Epic Hostels in Mexico and Central America

Hopefully, by now, you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Playa del Carmen.

Planning an epic trip all across Mexico or even Central America itself?

Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Central America, check out:

Final Thoughts on Hostels in Playa Del Carmen

That concludes my epic guide to the best hostels in Playa del Carmen. I hope it has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

If you’re still unsure, take a look at my overall favourite hostel again – Lezzoto 2.5 Beach. Its beachside location and affordable beds make this place the ideal base for your Playa vacation. Plus, it’s close to the Ado Bus Terminal so you can easily reach other destinations in Mexico.

Do you have a favourite on my list? If you think I’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit me up in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Playa Del Carmen and Mexico?