Located just 100 kms from Chile's capital, Valparaiso is a world away; a city for artists, dreamers and hippies.
It is therefore of no surprise that hostels in the city encapsulate art, design and a quirky uniqueness that is so often remiss in the large scale party hostels we have frequently encountered on this trip.
Located a hop, skip and a jump from the sea front and within staggering distance from Valpo's nightlife and colourful cerros, Nomada is a delightful new hostel that sits perfectly alongside the city's cultural scene.
Keen to stand out from the crowd however, beyond the vintage charm and colourful walls you will find a hostel ready to give back to the environment with a strong emphasis on eco living. In a city where trash on the street is a regular sight, it is refreshing to stay in a place where recycling is not just possible, it's encouraged. From the bottle bins, to the reclaimed crates that have been transformed into quirky furniture, as much as possible is reused.
our room and the facilities
Our overwhelming memory of our stay at Nomada? The best bloody bed in Latin America. Seriously. It was like collapsing into a blanket of clouds. Hostels of the world take note, a mound of plump cushions will please even the most weary of travellers.
Large shutters open up for views of the neighbourhood and drain the room with a bright light, falling on dark-stained wooden floorboards, an antique dresser and vintage radio. It is the little touches that make a room and hostel stand out, and Nomada is full of them.
The newly designed kitchen is overflowing with everything an eager cook could possibly want including an entire shelving unit of herbs and spices and a never ending supply of pots, pans, plates, cutlery - if you're new to hostel living, this may seem like a bizarre thing to get excited about, but trust us, trying to cook anything more than ramen in many hostels is next to impossible. Good kitchens make us happy and this one made us very happy.
Every morning, there is a free breakfast provided, however, it was a little hit and miss with one morning being limited to only bread and spreads. On the website there is the promise of eggs, avocado and cereals so it's possible our stay was the exception rather than the rule.
what they did great
Nomada is much more than just a place to lay your head, it is a place to make friends. Evenings are spent enjoying a meal family-style, enjoying a bottle or two of wine (well, you are in Chile after all!) and getting beyond the usual limited conversations that exist between passing travellers.
The large terrace comes alive nightly with an international voice, and for once, and much to our pleasure, that voice is spoken in Spanish, rather than English. Whilst many of the staff speak excellent English, speaking the native language is strongly encouraged, and even the most novice of guests will leave with a few new phrases under their belt. If the sun is shining too, then you've got a perfect spot to enjoy it with a glass of wine.
The hostel is also starting to host cultural events every month. Concerts on the terrace from local musicians and a pop-up craft fair have been great successes and your stay may coincide with one of these, giving you a great insight into the sort of people who make Valpo tick. The staff also know the city really well and are happy to give suggestions of secret spots and things to see beyond the well-known activities.
value for money
Chile is never going to be called a cheap country but thankfully Nomada has a number of options to suit all budgets, starting at $9000 for a dorm bed. And whilst some of the colour-coded private rooms are a little pricier, there is no denying that they are of excellent quality and well-designed, each with their own theme and colour scheme.
rooms, prices, amenities and contact details
Amenities provided include an excellent kitchen with pretty much every appliance you could need, satellite TV, dining room, book exchange, reliable hot showers, English spoken, an adorable dog, good wifi, lockers for those in dorms, secured entrance, terrace area, communal activities and breakfast included.
5-bed dorm $11,000
10-bed dorm $9,000
Click here to make a reservation.
Our stay was provided free of charge so that we could experience Nómada Hostel, and give you guys and honest review. As ever, all photos, opinions and spelling errors are our own. For more information on why you can trust our reviews, click here.
All photography is the property of Along Dusty Roads and must not be used, copied or manipulated without our prior permission.