hostel review: hostal el carrizo

$100 per night, double room with shared bathroom, 2nd – 18th July 2014

Vibe: This hostel reflects the qualities that make Zipolite a wonderful experience. Laid-back, friendly and catering for locals and backpackers alike, it is a place to relax, unwind, drink a beer and make new friends. We only planned a few days in Zipolite, but the atmosphere and price at El Carrizo were key reasons why we were still there two weeks later.

Location: Located at the West end of the beach, next to Hotel Nude. Simply follow the main road parallel to the beach, and where it becomes a dusty road, you'll find El Carrizo.

Best thing: It is difficult to find one thing that surpasses all others. The owners are friendly, the two dogs (Blackie and Pelu) are adorable, it is literally a stone's throw from the beach, the kitchen is more than adequate and, for the price, our room was all a backpacker could want.

Worst thing: Although it didn't really bother us, there was a lack of privacy in the bathrooms and shower – most doors didn't lock, and if a chap was particularly tall and so inclined he may well be able to see into the shower stall.

Value for money: Utterly superb. This is the cheapest place we have stayed in so far, and we wouldn't be surprised if it is the cheapest in Latin America. The price could almost put people off, expecting that it must be a rather dingy, unclean and possibly unsafe place to stay; nothing could be further from the truth.

Dorms (inside or outside) are $50 pesos/person.

Recommended for: Beach bums, surfers or backpackers.

Top tip: If travelling as a couple, request room three. This cabana, which sits over the social area, is large and has its own terrace complete with hammock.

Also, if you're looking for a more luxurious experience, but without the extra cost, we recommend staying here and then making use of the facilities at Hotel Nude. Buy a beer or a meal and you have access to pretty much everything there. 

Amenities: Wifi, shared kitchen, hammocks, pets, lockers, secure gate, beach access. English, French and Italian speaking.

Rating: 9