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El Viajero Cartagena Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
If you didn't have to check into El Viajero Cartagena Hostel, your first impressions would be of a really nice, clean hostel with a layout that looks a little like an American motel. Unfortunately, your first impression will instead be molded by a collection of the surliest employees in South America, seemingly handpicked for their poor customer service. Check-in alone takes so long you will probably have to pay for another night by the time you eventually get your keys.

The Location

The location of El Viajero, however, is fantastic. Right in the heart of the Old Town, it's a beautiful part of the city with great restaurants, sights, and nightlife all close by. The bus station is a taxi ride away, but this is the case if you want to stay anywhere worth staying in the city. The same goes for the port if you're heading off on a sailing trip to the San Blas or Panama.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The showers are really fantastic at this hostel. They're cool and refreshing without being shockingly freezing, perfect for the Caribbean climate; they have a large changing space; but most important of all for the forgetful backpacker is the fact they provide liquid shampoo in all the cubicles and soap in the toilets.

The bedrooms are also better than average; all have air conditioning, locks on the doors, and large lockers under the beds, as well as small electronic safes on the walls, and some of the best pillows you will encounter in a hostel. The beds themselves are pretty comfortable, too.

Common Spaces

El Viajero has a fantastic huge kitchen with all the amenities you could need next to a decent-sized dining area, which also contains the hostel's two internet computers. Nearby are two fridges full of reasonably priced beers and soft drinks; unfortunately, you do have deal with the receptionists to pay for these. For spirits and cocktails, a small bar is set up out in the courtyard, around which the bedrooms are centered. This courtyard provides a social area at night, which at times can attract a decent crowd from around Cartegena before people head off to the nightclubs and bars. The television room is quite a cool little place with a flat screen TV, sofas, and walls plastered with retro movie posters.

Summary

El Viajero may not be the biggest or liveliest hostel in Cartegena, but it is certainly one of the nicest. If you survive check-in and manage to minimalise contact with the gloomy staff, you could have a very pleasant stay here.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
December 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is El Viajero Cartagena Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
86%
83%
82%
95%
86%
87%
Hostels.com  
87%
81%
85%
97%
90%
85%
HostelBookers  
82%
81%
72%
95%
82%
86%
HI Hostels  
87%
85%
87%
94%
82%
89%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
86%
83%
82%
95%
85%
87%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Better than I expected! The staff here were quite happy to help or offer assistance when I required it. It is a high turnover hostel so I didn't expect to get red carpet service. The location is great. It is safe enough to walk around the old town. The air on in the rooms works from 6pm to 11am, there is another air conditioned TV room though if you can't handle the tropical heat. Wifi is good. Breakfast is ok, the cut fruit is great but you have to be quick to get it, cereal is average but hey, it will get you through to 10/11am. The bar prices are decent but my one complaint would be the bar chick. Her head is so far up her "you-know-what" she wouldn't know what day it is. I would have purchased more drinks there if she wasn't so arrogant and cocky. I could go on! They don't do much about people coming home and drinking on in the wee hours but a set of ear plugs will solve that. They can offer tours from the desk which is more secure than organising them through someone on the street. We had three nites here then came back for another after playa blanca. I would come back here again, but just avoid the mole at the bar!  , age 30, Australia ()
4   Good Ok, few bathrooms.  , age 22, Colombia ()
4   Really good option in Cartagena I found the El Viajero hostel a good place to stay. I found the staff very helpful especially Alex. The rooms and beds are perfect with lockers under each bed and a security box. the aircon is a great bonus to have in what seems to be an always hot Cartagena. enjoy.  ()
El Viajero Cartagena Hostel Reviews from the Web

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