Some of the best hostels in South America

If you're travelling to South America, knowing where to stay is a must. This is especially true if you're hoping to stay in places at inexpensive prices. If you are travelling on a budget, the best places to stay are usually hostels. But it can sometimes be tricky to find hostels that are comfortable and clean, as well as being cheap. Here are recommendations of stop off points if you are backpacking across the continent.

Cabo Polonio Hostel, Cabo Polonio, Uruguay: Cabo Polonio is a wooden shack which has three stucco rooms for visitors. As such, it promises you a bit of a Robinson Crusoe experience. The shack is surrounded by a community of backpackers, hippies and fisherman, and isn't accessed very easily; there are no roads that lead to it, which therefore requires you to take a half-hour truck ride from the coast road to the peninsula. If you want seclusion and tranquillity, you'll certainly find it here. In addition, the hostel's Argentinean owner cooks up dinner by candlelight, which involves eating fresh-caught fish on the wooden porch. Visitors have said that the food alone makes the awkward trip to the hostel worth the journey.

Che Legarto, Ilha Grande, Brazil: This is by far the best budget option on Ilha Grande, located two hours south of Rio, at the northern edge of the long cove at Abraao, the biggest town on the island. There's a wooden deck that reaches out over the water, where you can watch fishing boats pass by and watch the mountains on the opposite shore. The hostel is run by a group of very warm, friendly locals who knock up a barbecue every other night, and frequently organize gigs and musical events. The hostel is two minutes from the beach, and close to bars and restaurants. An added plus is that the environment fosters chatting to strangers, great if you're travelling alone.

The Adventure Brew Hostel, La Paz, Bolivia: This hostel was opened as a joint venture under Kiwi and Bolivian management. It is the most popular hostel in La Paz. One reason for its desirability as a place to stay is the brewery on the hostel's ground floor, as well as the noisy bar on the rooftop. The beautiful glass walls on each floor allow in much sunlight, as well as letting you look out at Bolivia's unspoiled scenery. Enjoy, too, pancakes for breakfast and barbecue at night. Perfect before, or after, a long hike over the mountains. Beds here are very cheap, so it's really a great stop off.

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