Travelling to Lima, the rapidly growing capital of Peru, we had decided to split our time between some cultural activities (namely checking out street art in Barranco and the Mario Testino gallery) and allowing ourselves to be a bit more nocturnally social than usual. We'd read quite a bit about the nightlife in town and, with Peru unexpectedly participating in the final stages of the Copa America, Hostel Kokopelli in Miraflores seemed like the perfect place in which to base ourselves.
Kokopelli Lima is the flagship of the four hostels in Peru set up by a Dutch-Peruvian team of seasoned travellers. Taking their name and logo from an ancient humpbacked flute player, prankster and fertility god whose presence heralded the transition from winter to spring, we arrived hoping that the hostel would embody some of that spirit.
Miraflores is definitely the main hub for backpackers in Lima. Although not exactly pretty with its modern concrete and glass structures, it hosts a number of bars, clubs and cute coffee shops whilst also being very close to the malecon, the coastal walkway.
Kokopelli, on Calle Berlin, is smack bang in the middle of the action. Parque Kennedy, the well-known park which has transformed itself into a refuge for nearly a hundred cats, is a couple of minutes walk away whilst there are several large supermarkets in the vicinity. Popular acitivites, like the free walking tour of the city, depart close by. At night, you really won't have to go far if you're looking for some action.
We stayed in a private double for one night and then in a six-bed dorm for the other two.
Although small, the private was freshly and colourfully decorated, clean, comfortable and secure. It received plenty sunlight during the day through the glass doors which open up on to a balcony shared with the other two privates.
You have access to a secret bathroom, hidden away from all those in dorms and only available with your own key! Technically, your bathroom is a a well-sized, private and lockable stall specific to your room but the quirk is that it's within a room that houses two other private bathrooms (for the two other private rooms). This arrangement was a first for us but it represents a sensible exploitation of the limited space available so that those paying extra still have access to private facilities and we were happy with the arrangement.
The six-bed dorm we stayed in was great. Clean with huge personal lockers which can fit your big rucksack twice over, a small shelf and light on your bed, super comfy mattress and plenty of plugs - what more could you ask for?
WHAT THEY DID GREAT
We really do have to give a shout out to the members of staff. Everyone was very friendly and attentive, from the volunteer bar staff to the people on reception, but Karen at the front desk really went over and above to help us out during our stay and offer advice on the city. The two cheeky cleaners were great craic and will definitely entertain you, whether or not you speak any Spanish!
To help create a social atmosphere, there are a few happy hours throughout the night whilst it's not unusual for everyone to get together for a free shot at 8 p.m. to get things started. The hostel also organises different events throughout the week (beer pong, movie night etc), so it really is ideal for people wanting to hang out with other travellers and have some fun. It was interesting during our three days in the hostel that about 1/4 of guests were ending their South America trip in Lima, so wanted to go out with a bang, whilst another 1/4 were just starting their travels after arriving from the airport, and so were wanting to get off to a good start!
The rooftop social area, which also doubles up as the breakfast spot and bar, is excellent. Several big squishy sofas, lots of light and a good wi-fi connection. As it's the only social space in the hostel, thankfully it's a nice spot to hang out in.
Up in the bar and throughout the four floors of the hostel, there is lots of original art work adorning the walls. Kokopelli gives local or travelling artists the wall space to create and promote their work, and it definitely adds character and colour to the hostel.
There's a small well-equipped kitchen for guests too. Although it's not really large enough for a hostel which holds so many people, we actually had it all to ourselves every night of our stay.
Lastly, the showers (both in our private bathroom and in the shared dorm one) were PHE-NOM-ENAL!
WHAT COULD BE BETTER
The free breakfast of coffee, bread, butter and jam, with a fruit juice included on occasion, is a pretty standard offering for Peru. Eggs, avocado, granola with yoghurt or a fruit salad are available at the same time but only if you pay extra for each selected item. There would definitely be more smiles from guests in the morning if eggs were at least included in the complimentary breakfast.
People hoping to go to bed early on the weekend nights are likely to struggle with noise from the streets but, given you've chosen to stay in the most lively part of town, this is to be expected and not something the hostel can be really faulted for. If you're not joining the party, maybe use your earplugs.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Central Lima really does not have too many bargain basement options when it comes to hostels. Indeed, most of those available in Miraflores are catering to young backpackers who want to arrive, be social and have a good time whilst exploring the city.
Good quality private doubles in Lima are therefore scarce and at a premium. The $38.5 USD (115 soles) charged here, although higher than most for a backpacker double in South America, is actually in line with or less than what other hostels are charging in and around the area.
However, as this still may be a little out of some people's budget, if you're a couple it really is worth considering the cheaper dorm option ($12.5/$13.5 per person) which, for us, was actually a very good deal and perfect for our stay in the city.
Would we recommend checking out Kokopelli when you visit Lima? Absolutely, especially if you're wanting to have some fun during your stay in the city.
ROOMS, PRICES, AMENITIES AND CONTACT DETAILS
The hostel has a secure luggage storage area, big lockers, some computers for guest use, 24-hour secure entrance, book exchange, good wi-fi, large TV and projector, tourist information and booking desk and organises various social events. There is a bar and large social area on the top floor, whilst guests can use a small kitchen. If you are travelling and looking for hostel volunteer opportunities, then the Kokopelli hostels are definitely open to this.
If you book a stay at another Kokopelli hostel during your stay in LIma, you will receive a 10% discount.
$12.5 / 38 soles pp 8-person dormitory (shared bathroom)
$13.5 / 41 soles pp 6-person dormitory (shared bathroom)
$38.5 / 115 soles pp for a private double (private bathroom)
All prices include breakfast.
Our stay was provided free of charge so that we could experience Hostel Kokopelli. 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.
planning your trip to Lima? You need to read these!