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Wild Rover Backpackers Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
If the name -- Wild Rover Backpackers Hostel -- hasn't given it away already, this is very much an Irish hostel, and one that claims to hold the title of highest Irish hostel and bar in the world (although you'll get sick of hearing the phrase “highest [whatever] in the world” after any length of time in La Paz). Don't be fooled by the discreet front door either -- Wild Rover is a huge hostel, with plenty of rooms and facilities surrounding the three courtyards.

The Location

La Paz is a sprawling and hilly city -- add this to the high altitude and inevitable Wild Rover hangover, you've got to be pretty enthusiastic to walk great distances around it. Nonetheless, the city centre and main squares and markets are all within walking distance of the hostel, as are several restaurants and nightlife options. Taxis are not expensive here though, so if you simply want to get from A to B -- or to one of the bus stations, which are a bit further away -- you can go almost anywhere for a minimal amount.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The bunk beds here are some of the best you will come across -- very comfortable, overly wide, and with a large enough gap between the bunks that whomever is on the bottom won't bang his head. There are rooms as small as four bed and as large as sixteen, varying in price accordingly. All are well spaced-out, though, and although there are no locks on the doors, there are large lockers for every person. You may have to battle for a plug socket as there are often only two per room and sometimes double sockets, but this doesn't really make a difference when everybody is using chunky international adapters. If you want to make the most out of your beds though, ask for a room as far away from the bar as possible and invest in some earplugs because the bar starts to get busy in the early afternoon and the music and singing continues loudly until 2 a.m. every night and it seems to carry round the hostel at a physics-defying rate.

There are plenty of bathrooms in this hostel, so you will never be waiting for a shower, although they are mixed and hot water isn't always guaranteed. Nonetheless, they are always kept very clean around the clock. There is also a Girls Only dorm, which due to our gender handicap we were forbidden from entering, but from what we could see it has nice purple walls and there are rumors of hair dryers.

Common Spaces

There is of course the very popular and busy bar, which is reasonably priced for drinks and also serves as a restaurant for the free breakfast of bread and jam and a great selection of good sized meals. It also has a slightly quieter -- in terms of numbers not noise -- lounge section and a pool table, although during the time of review it lost its black ball due to a guest throwing it out of the window. Like all good Irish pubs outside of the Emerald Isle, the bar's walls are a shrine to all things Irish.

There are the three courtyards, which accommodate many a sunbather during the hot days; a TV room with beanbags and DVDs of debatable quality; and a costume closet which gets heavily raided every Friday for fancy dress night. The hostel also has a tour booking office next to reception, which can give you almost all the information you might need and also books one of the cheapest Death Road cycling trips. This is also where the book exchange is located -- a numerous and high quality selection it is too. There are two computers with free internet in this office, and another two outside the bar. The Wi-Fi isn't the fastest in the world when it's working, but is free. The best spot for it is in the lounge area of the bar.

Summary

Wild Rover sticks vehemently to the Irish stereotype for drinking, as do most of its patrons -- many of whom you'll see starting the day's alcohol intake at, or sometimes for, breakfast. The generous check-out time of 1 p.m. represents this well, and yet still often isn't late enough. Because of this, it is a fantastic hostel to stay in if you want to party and meet people ... and then meet them all over again in the morning, but not so much if heavy drinking and late nights aren't your thing. However, as well as being a very fun hostel, it is genuinely a very good hostel. The bar, the beds, and the showers are all great quality and superbly maintained. There are plenty of other hostels of similar quality in La Paz for much cheaper, but with Wild Rover you are paying for atmosphere and reputation and the importance of these factors to you should be taken into consideration when deciding where to stay.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
August 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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How is Wild Rover Backpackers Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
82%
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86%
Hostels.com  
80%
86%
66%
86%
73%
80%
HostelBookers  
87%
88%
83%
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88%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
83%
85%
77%
86%
81%
85%
Wild Rover Backpackers Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Wild Rover lived up to its reputation wild rover is a party hostel, plain and simple, if you are looking for a relaxing place you would better suited staying elsewhere. But!, if you are up for a big bustling hostel where you can meet lots of people from all over the world, and are ok with the party hostel vibe, this place nailed it. As a solo traveler it was super easy place to meet people who are up for the same activity as you day and night. The staff were fun and helpful and new how to create a great atmosphere. The food in house was good if you didnt want to venture out and well priced drinks at the bar to keep you happy. The location is very good just a short walk to markets or restaurants. For attractions further out i jumped in a cab with some lads and pre arranged a price with the driver to take us around for a few hours, split the bill, we were happy and the cabby was ecstatic. The security here is top notch, even with lockers to charge your accessories while doing other activities. The bathrooms were clean with hot showers, the bedroom was also clean and comfortable. I stayed in a room out the back and had no problem sleeping even when i had an early night. I can assume the same wouldnt be said by a light sleeper with a room closer to the bar. They do shut it down at 2am but the ramblings can go later into the night especially on a weekend. I had the most amazing time at wild rover, this is the sort of place that, because of the diversity of people, mixed with the atmosphere, you can make great bonds and memories (if you dont drink to much) with people you otherwise might not.  ()
4   If you dont want to party dont stay here! This place is a party hostel and it doesnt try to deny it! Its great for meeting people, the bar is great, serves good food and there is a party on every night, it great. If you dont want to party dont stay here!  , Scotland ()
2   very very over-rated i dont think ive ever been in a hostal thats more unfriendlier than place. staff are just awful ..and very unhelpfull.....and this place is far more expensive than most other places. definitely dont stay here.....theres way better places to stay in , in la paz  , irish ()

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