El Jardin is a friendly place to either relax or read a book, take a taxi to some nearby sights to hike, and the staff are great for advice. At the gate, you’ll see a sign, “Cierre para las vacas, gracias (Close for the cows, thank you)” -- that’s when you know you’ve found El Jardin.
The hostel is easy to find and the town feels safe -- and if you’re early enough, you could also find tourists or the English-speaking employees in a popular French café in the square who can help you. Seemingly the only way from Santa Cruz is to go by taxi or an affordable microbus -- depending on the driver, they can drop you off at the hostel, the square, or at a gas station next to a school where all the microbuses and taxis stay to transport people back to the main city.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms typically hold about three people, but there is also a private space offered in a unique, round structure. A room can contain three single beds or a bunk bed and single bed with an option for couples with a queen-sized bed and private room. There are hooks to be shared, a small coffee table, and plenty of floor space. The sheets are clean and warm and you'll wake up to the sun gleaming through the window and colourful glass bottles that are a part of the wall. The space has a padlock with two keys available for each room. Guests can arrange among themselves who will leave one of two keys at reception if the room is full and who will be the last one out to lock the door.
The hostel has a pleasant walk to its “backyard,” across little cobblestone pathways with glass bottles embedded into the ground to make cute shapes. You walk past the toilets -- one clean, flushable toilet for men and the other for women with the sink outside. Walking through tall reeds and across a little bridge, you reach an open space with eco-friendly-attached cabins on the side. There are two composting toilets, which are spacious, but don’t have a light for night-time usage. It also has three showers -- all clean -- which are separate from your bedroom (there are hooks for your things and a space for your shampoo). You will experience hot showers and an even flow of water in this simply built shelter.
Attached to the showers you can hear people in the kitchen next door. It is a large, open, basic shelter that offers a gas stove, sink, and dishes for people to use. It also has a little dining table, but guests often find the fire-pit logs and stone “chairs” more inviting. All in all, the hostel offers a wonderfully quaint atmosphere in which backpackers could peacefully enjoy the hammocks outside the rooms; socialise while building a fire at the pit; or as you are picking oranges from their tree, cross paths with someone and say hello!
El Jardin is easily the most pleasant hostel in Bolivia, with lots of land to feel private, but also not so much that you feel secluded. It's the perfect place to relax for the day with no extra luxuries other than the sun and the land.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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