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Casa de Arena y Carola del Sur

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Hostelz.com's Review
Casa de Arena is a cool place in Huacachina, a small oasis town five minutes in a mototaxi (3 soles) from the chaotic Ica. Surrounded by gigantuan sand dunes, this hostel is a fantastic place to chill for a few days. The amenities include an outdoor pool, lounge chairs, hammocks, and poolside bar. There is a bbq every night (15 soles) and it includes a few pisco sours (a slight rip-off considering the price, but is social and easy). It can get quite noisy at night so bring your dancing shoes or earplugs!

The beds are firm and the rooms are clean, although you can't keep the sand out for long! The shared rooms have only three beds in each, but no lockers. The shared bathrooms are pretty grubby - pay the extra 5 soles for a private bathroom, it's worth it. The showers are basic, but there is hot water all day. The staff are friendly and speak some english but don't expect any bend over backwards treatment.

The hostal also offers dune buggy rides and sandboard rental. By the way, you can bargain them down on the price! Also change your money in Ica and bring small bills as there is little change available.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
May 2005
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How is Casa de Arena y Carola del Sur rated on other websites?
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Not listed on Hostelworld.
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Nice place to relax and make party at the weekend I stay for some days in "Carola del Sur"... it is a great place to chill out and relaxing and on Saturday you can go to party in the new build discotek in the Hostal "Casa de arena" or enjoy electronic musik on sunday at the pool ... the beds are good and the nice green garden in the middle of the Hostal is good to drink a beer with new friends or have breakfast in the morning. i like this place and feel safe.  , German ()
1   Avoid like the Plague I had my money stolen while i took a thirty second dip in the pool. The only person there was the girl behind the bar. When i complained and stated that i had only turned my back for a minute i was jostled by the other members of staff. I was told to leave the hostel. I returned and demanded my money or a fight. They called the police. Wankers! Dont go near the place.  , England ()
1   Bedbugs/chinchas I stayed in Casa de Arena in late September 2010. Definitely a backpacker hostel and it is priced accordingly. The people I met there were all twenty-somethings from a diverse, international crowd and very cool. Many young backpackers like letting other guests into their beds but I had an unfortunate encounter with a group of travelers who are becoming increasingly common and have some particularly unsavory habits (I'm not talking about the Dutch). I had a great time partying on a Friday night in the bar but I woke up crawling with bedbugs. This wasn't just a few bedbugs, this was in the territory of thirty or so bugs in an assortment of sizes. I was not affected by their bites (reactions are highly variable) and I was refunded my 20 soles but it was not much peace of mind given my circumstances could have been easily avoided with a staff at least minimally aware of what shape their rooms are in. In general it is now a good idea to keep your luggage in the bathroom or at least off the floor when possible to avoid the further transmission of bedbugs via your own luggage. I had to give all of my belongings a poison bath once I got home.  , USA/EEUU ()
1   Frightening I will start with the good thing. The pool and lounges. Now onto the bad. The staff is terrible, could truly care less about their customers. The bathrooms are filthy, we were here for three days and the only time they were cleaned was right as we were leaving. And lastly their security setup is frightening. The front door is left open 24/7 and we never saw someone at the front desk anytime after 10 pm, so essentially anyone could (and did) come in and wander around. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. There are plenty of happy, clean places with pools all around the oasis, this is not one of them.  , United States ()
4   Basic but a lot of fun, with a great pool This review is about Casa de Arena, and not the other hostal Carola del sur. I stayed here in November on a trip to Peru. Huacachina was just a one-night stop on the way to Lima. I was pleasantly surprised by the hostal. The pool area was great, and definitely a highlight of the hotel. The rooms were very plain, but were clean and the beds were comfortable. In the early evening there were a lot of guests hanging around the pool and drinking in the pool-side bar, Later in the night, after around 9 PM, every moved to the bar/danceclub up the stairs. This hostal definitely has the best social scene and party scene of any place in Huacachina -- I visited at least 4 other places with my friends and they were practically dead. In general, everything in Huacachina is more expensive than most parts of Peru, cuz its a tourist area with mostly foreign visitors, but i thought this hotel was well worth the price i paid to stay the night. When you are in Huacachina, definitely do the dune buggy and sandboarding tour. It was intense!  , United States ()
1   peor hotel en peru! no vayan! La verdad no se que decir no si llamarlo hotel o establo,. muy mal servicio deberian cerrar este hotel, cuando lege a este lugar la atencion que resivi fue muy pesima y sobre todo muy caros como si fuesen hotel de 5 estrellas, y lo peor es que te tratan de estafar en los toures, yo compre un tour de buggy y me cbraron muy caro y derrepente encuentro a otro turista y me di la sorpresa que este habia pagadoo menos y asi iba encontrando muchos problemas con este chiringito de hotelucho. sobre todo ese dueno que es un malcriado, yo no recomiendo a nadies ir a este lgar es lo peor muy suio y muy desagradable.  , Spanish ()
1   Very Bad Place I do not recommend this, planned to stay in ica for three days but when I arrived in this hotel totally changed my plans and only a day left me to begin depending on the charge you face if you're a tourist or you are Peruvian. I try to Remove as much money as possible. the beds sound like they're in a whorehouse. plugs were without power, hot water went out at times, the toilet moved when you sat down, the windows of the rooms were closed -- you could not open and the only place where the air was entering the bathroom window. there were people living there who hung their underwear/bras on the balcony like an alley. the internet was slower than the turtles that were in the garden of the hotel if you can call this hotel. People had to fuss at night and until 4 a.m. without thinking that guests are asleep. be careful because they make plans for taxi drivers to charge more to tourists. Be very careful because I get to this hotel for a TV commercial I saw in the U.S. and the images could be seen showing a decent place for good infrastructure but the truth is all a mockery and a sham.  , USA ()
3   Good I got to this "casa" after walking around Huacachina, I must say after reading the reviews I didnt even consider this Hotel or the casa de arenas. but after looking around I found myself talking to a local and he recommend the Carola. this is a cheap, comfortable hostal but if you are looking for a luxurious, quiet, and five-star place this is not the one. The rooms indeed are small but have the basic things, the restrooms can use some improvement. Love the pool and have some drinks at the bar. We ask for towels and toilet paper everyday, the guys at the front desk were very helpful, some they even speak english. After Looking for some place to eat (try the places around the lake, they are a lil' bit cheaper that the one at Carolas but this place at night its like a pub), I ask where to go at night to have a beer, they recommend The casa de arena's bar, cozy place I must say. Overall I enjoy my stay, you can always ask to check the rooms before you decide. if you are young (or not), traveling with a budget, and want to meet other travelers this is the place.  , usa ()

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