This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Tucson.
Tucson, a large sprawling city on the border of Mexico in the desert of southern Arizona, is surrounded by mountain ranges and national parks. Tucson is a diverse city with extensive Hispanic, college-student, and GLBT communities. Its proximity to Mexico has resulted in a large annual Day of the Dead celebration. The University of Arizona is the largest college in the area and draws more than thirty thousand students to the city. Tucson hostels are located within walking distance of the college bar scene.
While there are lots of campgrounds, there aren’t many hostels in Tucson. In the winter the rates spike during the Gem and Mineral Show; dorm beds and private rooms need to be booked in advance. Another busy period is in early November when a huge procession of costumed performers parades through the streets of Tucson to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Several Day of the Dead altars are also exhibited throughout the town. Another must-see is located on the southern edge of the city at the San Xavier Indian Reservation -- the beautiful, seventeenth-century Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Surrounding the city are several national parks and a few stables for travelers interested in horseback riding. Baboquivari Peak, Sabino Canyon, the Tucson Mountain Park, and the Saguaro National Park are popular with hikers. Baboquivari Peak is located southwest of Tucson and the nearby Kitt Peak National Observatory is a good place to get a great view of Baboquivari Peak. There is an Indian reservation in the area and jaguars have been spotted in the Baboquivari Wilderness. Sabino Canyon is north of Tucson and is a good place to see waterfalls. West of Tucson is the Tucson Mountain Park, which has archery and gun ranges in addition to miles of trails. To the east is the Saguaro National Park, which is characterized by abundant cactus. Fall and spring are best for hiking to avoid the extreme summer heat and winter snowfall.