If you've read any of our other Uruguay guides (shameless plug: read more of our Uruguay guides!), you'll know that accommodation in Uruguay is significantly more expensive than elsewhere in South America - and in the case of Cabo Polonio, that most definitely does not translate into quality. On top of the increased average price, peak summer season (December-February) on the coast sees most hostels completely booked out months in advance.
So, with that in mind, a helpful little list of the very best hostels in the most popular places to visit in Uruguay is probably exactly what you need. After all, if your bed is going to cost a lot, it should be in a great hostel!
Selected by us and other travellers, no hostel on this list has a bad rating on Tripadvisor or HostelWorld, and whilst they may not all have pools or super cool styling, sometimes chilled artist vibes or amazing hosts are enough to propel a place into the backpacker big leagues.
Hostels in Colonia del Sacramento
Dorms from £12 | Privates from £33
El Viajero is a popular hostel, located in a beautiful old 19th century house - but with all the modern comforts including bright skylights, high ceilings, wood burning stove, BBQ and sundeck. Slap-bang in the middle of the old town, it's close to many of the city's attractions including the attractive beaches. Other highlights include a good breakfast and guest kitchen.
hostels in cabo polonio
As mentioned above, we do have to preface hostels in this town with a little warning: do not expect luxury. Or security. The accommodations here are rustic (read: basic) and lockers, or indeed locks on the doors are not common. But that's sort of one of the reasons backpackers flock to Cabo Polonio.
They come for the vibe, for fire pits, for uninterrupted views and to get stoned and share mate with friends! That said, these two hostels are the most highly rated in town.
Dorms from £11 | Privates from £39**
Run by a lovely young couple, this ramshackle hostel has dorms, tiny private rooms, a guest kitchen as well as an on-site restaurant serving up delicious vegetarian food. Showers are basic, but hot and there's a pleasant outdoor space.
Dorms from £13 | Private Doubles from £37
Amazing staff run this quaint hostel that proves good things come in small packages. Hot water showers, heating for the cold winter months, guest kitchen and - according to recent reviews - internet (this is a big deal in Cabo!)
Further reading: A Curious Village in Uruguay - Our Guide to Cabo Polonio
Hostels in El Pedrera
Dorms from £12
If you're looking for a party hostel in La Pedrera, Compay Hostel is it! But that doesn't mean, as is offer the case with party hostels, that you have to sacrifice somewhere nice to stay. Close to the ocean, it has a wonderful indoor-outdoor vibe with wifi, laundry service, surf classes and bike rental. Note that only dorms are available.
Dorms from £9 | Private doubles from £60
Hostels in La Paloma
Balconada beach hostel
Dorms from £15 | Private doubles from £30
Right next to the beach, this is one of few hostels in town and we really enjoyed our stay there. There's a small kitchen, a great, bright living room upstairs with a little balcony and lots of outdoor seating to hang out in the sun. We wouldn't recommend anywhere else.
Further reading: Why We Fell in Love With La Paloma
Hostels in Montevideo
Dorms from £10 | Privates from £37
This was where we stayed in Montevideo - and we loved it. The staff couldn't do enough to help, our large bedroom was filled with beautiful solid wood furniture and a lovely little balcony, the dorms looked spacious, the kitchen well-equipped, breakfast was good and there was even a cute little garden. It's also in a good safe location to access both the beaches, the old town and the nightlife; we highly recommend it for travellers heading to Uruguay's capital.
Dorms from £12 | Privates from £36
Staff that will go out of their way to help you, a roaring open fire in the winter and homemade bread for breakfast. Just a few of things that guests love about this new hostel in Montevideo.
It's also got pretty funkily designed common areas.
Dorms from £12 | Private doubles from £37
Hostels in Punta del Diablo
Mar de Fondo Hostel
Dorms from £9
The newest hostel in Punta del Diablo, the owners at Mar de Fondo are quickly proving that they know just what travellers want! Just 300 metres from the beach, this cool little hostel is a fantastic choice for those travelling in small groups, with all rooms being for four people (no doubles unfortunately). Dinners held family-style each night and they also provide surf board and bike hire.
El Diablo Tranquilo
Dorms from £13 | Private doubles from £33
A veteran of Punta's hostel scene, El Diablo de Tranquilo has long been recommended as the place to stay. A stone's throw from the beach, this cosy hostel is full of hidden nooks and comfy furnishings - the suites even have private fireplaces! Attentive staff, self-catering kitchen, fantastic breakfast and the option to sign-up for group meals.
Further reading: Punta del Diablo on a Stormy Day
Hostels in Punta del Este
Dorms from £13 | Private doubles from £36
Located in La Barra (around a ten minute bus ride from Punta), El Negrita is a wonderful little hostel offering a fantastic alternative to the craziness that is downtown in the popular summer months. Rooms are decorated with comfort in mind, there's a lovely little garden and a good guest kitchen.
Dorms from £15 | Private Doubles from £39
There's a reason this is the most popular hostel in Punta del Este. Great location, fantastic beach-vibe design, helpful staff, great breakfast (and guest kitchen) and excellent facilities. We can't recommend Tas highly enough.
Dorms from £9 | Private Doubles from £29
Another popular choice, El Viajero is home to fantastic staff, cool design, a lively bar and solid quality sleeping areas. It also provides bike hire, tour opportunities and bilingual staff (it's owned by Americans).
Further reading: Our Favourite Things to Do in Punta del Este
** Please note that all prices quoted in this article are for low season; these can increase significantly in the peak summer months.**