I fell in love with Oaxaca as soon as I arrived. Located in the central part of the Pacific coast of Mexico, it’s nestled in a valley surrounded by craggy mountains. The area has been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Zapotec and Mixtec peoples, and later by the Aztecs (and later still by the Spanish).
Today, Oaxaca (pronounced “wah-HAH-kah”) is a center for heritage tourism, owing to the region’s abundance of historical sites. Monte Albán (a pre-Colombian archaeological site and UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Mitla (a Zapotec archaeological site) are just a stone’s throw from the city — which also happens to be a gastronomy hub and the center for all things mezcal.
Best of all, it’s a destination that won’t break the bank and its growing popularity has seen a huge increase in hostels there. The market there is pretty competitive now.
Here are four things you need to remember before picking a hostel in Oaxaca:
Location – While Oaxaca isn’t huge, some of the hostels aren’t as centrally located as others. Make sure you book one that’s close to the things to want to see and do.
Price – As in any city, you get what you pay for. If you pick a really cheap hostel, you’re probably going to get one that is small and cramped and doesn’t offer great service.
Amenities – Every hostel in town offers free Wi-Fi, and most have self-catering facilities so you can cook your own meals. Many — but not all — include free breakfast, so be sure to do your research to find the one that best meets your needs.
Staff – All the hostels listed here have an amazing staff who are super friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t end up staying at one of the places listed below, be sure to look up reviews so you have staff who are helpful and friendly. They can make or break a hostel!
I’ve stayed at a bunch of hostels in the city. Beloe my list of the best hostels in Oaxaca. If you don’t want to read the longer list below, the following are the best in each category:
Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Iguana Hostel
Best Hostel for Partying: Casa Angel
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: Azul Cielo Hostel
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: Selina Oaxaca
Best Overall Hostel: Casa Angel and Hostal Central
Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my breakdown of the best hostels in Oaxaca and why I love them:
Price legend (per night)
$ = Under 250 MXN
$$ = 250-335 MXN
$$$ = Over 335 MXN
1. Casa Angel Hostel
This award-winning hostel is incredibly social. From happy hours and yoga classes to group BBQs and salsa lessons, there’s something going on every day here to help you meet other travelers and have fun during your stay. There’s also a fun and social bar on the roof that makes hanging out and meeting people a breeze. Located downtown, Casa Angel has regular dorm beds (with curtains) and deluxe pod-style beds with orthopedic mattresses that offer incredible privacy. Breakfast is included too.
Casa Angel at a glance:
Tons of social events make it easy to meet people
Luxury pod beds
Beds from 355 MXN per night, private rooms from 864 MXN.
2. Ticuchi Hostal
With a pool, a bar, multiple lounge areas (including a ping-pong table), and a fully equipped kitchen, this laid-back hostel is perfect for travelers looking for chill vibes and a social atmosphere. The beds here are comfy, and each bunk comes with its own outlet and privacy curtain so you can get a good night’s sleep. The dorms even have a white noise fan to further ensure you’re well rested during your stay. The bar offers cheap drinks, and the staff organize activities like karaoke, communal meals, and more so it’s easy to meet people. It has a bit of a party vibe, but things shut down early enough that you can still get to sleep.
Ticuchi at a glance:
Great location downtown
Bar and swimming pool on-site
Fully equipped kitchen
Beds from 270 MXN per night, private rooms from 1,000 MXN.
3. Iguana Hostel Oaxaca
Unlike every other hostel in the city, Iguana’s dorm rooms don’t have bunk beds; instead, they have single beds with privacy curtains and outlets so you can sleep without someone tossing and turning above you. The hostel is very social, and there is a bar on-site; however, everything shuts down by 11pm, so you can have fun and get to bed at a decent hour.
There are also numerous common areas for hanging out in (including outdoor areas with hammocks), the bathrooms are clean (a big plus), and there’s a huge kitchen for cooking your own meals. The hostel is one of the cheaper options in town so you get a lot of value here.
Iguana Hostel at a glance:
Includes free breakfast
No bunkbeds in the dorms
Beds from 240 MXN per night, private rooms from 624 MXN.
4. Hostal Central
Offering one of the best free breakfasts in town — on top of its great location and super friendly staff — this is one of the cheapest options for travelers looking for a private room (the dorms are affordable too, of course). Boasting cozy orthopedic mattresses, a shared kitchen, and a chill common area with Netflix, Hostal Central makes it easy to meet people, as the staff also organize all kinds of events (such as communal dinners, cooking classes, and mezcal tastings).
And for those worried about security, every bed has a locker, so you can store your gear safely and securely. Not only is it one of the best hostels in Oaxaca, it’s one of the best hostels out there, as the staff consistently goes above and beyond to ensure you have an amazing stay.
Hostal Central at a glance:
Super friendly and welcoming staff
Affordable private rooms
Beds from 320 MXN per night, private rooms from 510 MXN.
5. Azul Cielo Hostel
This social hostel is one of the best in the city. Offering Spanish classes, yoga classes, and with a bar on-site, it’s super easy to connect with fellow travelers here. A tasty free breakfast is included, and there’s a chill rooftop terrace to lounge in after a day of exploring. The hostel also has female-only dorms and is just a 10-minute walk from the center of town. They also have free bikes on offer, so you can get around easily and explore Oaxaca without spending as much money.
Azul Cielo at a glance:
Organizes lots of activities (Spanish classes, yoga classes)
Beds from 248 MXN per night, private rooms from 812 MXN.
6. Selina Oaxaca
This hostel chain has properties all around the world — including a bunch in Mexico. Its Oaxaca hostel is great for digital nomads, as there is a coworking space available. For everyone else, there’s a movie room, a rooftop terrace, a bar, a wellness room, a library, and yoga lessons. In short, there is something for every type of traveler here.
While the dorm bunk beds are a little basic, the mattresses are thick and comfortable, and the dorms are kept clean and tidy. The hostel doesn’t have a super social atmosphere, making it a good choice for solo travelers looking to do their own thing.
Selina Oaxaca at a glance:
Coworking spots for digital nomads
Beds from 265 MXN, private rooms from 1,160 MXN.
Oaxaca is one of my favorite places in Mexico — and for good reason. With its perfect weather, amazing food scene, plentiful mezcal, and numerous historical sites, it has something for everyone — including affordable accommodation.
Staying at one of these hostels will ensure that you have a safe, fun, and affordable to trip to this incredible and underrated city.
Book Your Trip to Mexico: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay elsewhere, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel — and I think will help you too!
Want More Information on Mexico?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Mexico for even more planning tips!