Top 10 Best Hotels in South America
Best Hotels in South America!
During a three-month trip to South America, I stayed in some pretty fantastic hotels. I stayed in some dives, too. But I won’t be recommending those in this post! Here, we’ll focus on the positive: & believe me, there are a TON of great hotels in South America! Read on to discover my top picks for the Top 10 Best Hotels in South America!
But first…what’s the best news about these hotels? They cost around….$40 USD. $40!!?!! You can’t even stay at a crappy hotel in the U.S. for that price! Not to mention, each of the hotels below has more charm & character than most U.S. hotel chains ~ which typically charge $90-100+/night. So…more charm, cheaper prices?? Yes!
So….let’s take a trip! If this is your first introduction to the best hotels in South America, prepare to be surprised…
Top 10 Best Hotels in South America!
- JW Marriott El Convento ~ Cusco, Peru, Luxury Hotel
Best Hotels in South America ~ Peru!
Our first stop is to Cusco, Peru ~ gateway to Machu Picchu. Cusco sits way up high in the Andes Mountains, at over 11,000 feet. But don’t worry: they provide oxygen in your rooms at the Marriott. I’ve covered this hotel in a previous post, which can be found here. Though it’s not cheap: it’s the hotel I recall most fondly. I loved their staff, & the peace & tranquility of their rooms, especially after long treks in the Andes. And I loved working in their lobby, people-watching, & chatting with staff and other guests.
The location is superb, just one-block off Cusco’s main square. If I returned to Cusco tomorrow: this hotel would be my first stop. In terms of understated luxury, the El Convento is most definitely is one of the best hotels in South America. Highly recommended. Price: $120-300+
Check prices for the El Convento here.
2. Anaconda Lodge ~ Puerto Maldonado, Peru, Budget
From Cusco, we’re taking a quick flight up to Puerto Maldonado, in the Peruvian Amazon, for our stay at the Anaconda Lodge! George the Monkey is waiting for you, & Wadee is serving up delicious, authentic Thai food. You’re IN the jungle here: your room is a private, wood hut, & you’ll walk through the jungle to get there. Bring a head-lamp ~ it gets DARK! If you’re not adventurous: this place probably isn’t for you. It’s near the airport, but a bit of a walk to town. Wi-Fi is pretty crappy ~ but you’re in the JUNGLE so who really cares?! Showers are cold, & beds can be quite hard. But, you won’t remember any of this: what you will remember, is the novelty of living in the jungle, great Thai food, wonderful hosts, & of course ~ George the Monkey. Price: $29+.
Check prices for the Anaconda Lodge in Puerto Maldonado, Peru here.
3. Posada Santa Barbara – Chucuito, Peru, near Lake Titicaca
This is one of my favorite hotels in all of South America. Made entirely of stone, it feels like you’re walking into a fairy tale. I literally squealed when I entered room ~ I felt like Goldilocks! Set atop a hill, the views of Lake Titicaca are mesmerizing. Right on the property, there’s a restaurant & bar (pictured below) with communal benches & good food. It’s a great place to meet other travelers or do some writing. The wonderful gentleman who built the Posada (by hand) took me horseback riding one day, then to lunch in town. When we returned to the Posada, he prepared a sauna for me amidst a thunderous storm. Heaven.
Chucuito is a quiet little town, located near Puno, Peru (less than an hour bus ride). If you’re visiting Lake Titicaca, the Posada makes for a great off-the-beaten-path adventure. The town shuts down pretty early ~ so a stay here is best if you’re looking for relaxation & great place to read, write, or explore the beautiful surrounding area from. Highly recommended. Price: $25-50+.
Check prices for the Posada Santa Barbara near Lake Titicaca, Peru here.
Read “How to Get to Lake Titicaca” here.
4. Novotel Cusco ~ Cusco, Peru, Luxury Hotel
For the price of a budget hotel in the States, you can stay in a beautiful, 16th-century mansion in Cusco. Sip your morning coffee in their quietly luxurious courtyard, or step outside & stroll a few short blocks to Plaza de Armas. Compared to other luxury hotels in Cusco, this place is a bargain. The only detractor is that their rooms look more like Ikea than Peru. But the main areas of the hotel are outstanding; I loved staying here. They offer tasty room service, a great breakfast buffet, & fantastic views of the Cusco cathedrals. And my room was QUIET!! It’s almost impossible to find a quiet room in Cusco, due to all the festivals & late-night street parties: so if getting a good night’s sleep is important to you: book here. Price: $90+.
Check prices at the Novotel Cusco here.
5. Radisson Hotel & Suites San Isidro ~ Lima, Peru
This was my LARGEST room in South America by a mile. I could’ve hosted a party for 20 people here! After Cusco, where rooms tend to be small, I reveled in having so much space. But the primary reason I chose to stay here was for safety: San Isidro, next to Miraflores, is one of Lima’s best neighborhoods. Since I’d heard many warnings about crime in Lima (even from local Peruvians), I opted to stay where I felt safest, particularly as a solo traveler. You’ll find all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury hotel here (minus a bit of character ~ I mean, it’s a Radisson), large bathrooms, room service, & a chic restaurant downstairs. The hotel is also walk-able to several restaurants & markets if you need to stock up on supplies. Price: $90+.
Check prices for Radisson Hotel & Suites San Isidro in Lima, Peru here.
Best Hotels in South America ~ Colombia!
6. La Gran Via Luxury Condos ~ Cartagena, Colombia
I’ve wanted to visit Cartagena ever since watching “Romancing the Stone” ~ let’s be honest! And Cartagena does not disappoint. Luckily, neither did our apartment. Our luxury condo was huge & immaculate, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the ocean & Cartagena skyline. The rooftop pool was a magnificent place to watch the sunset, or spend the afternoon relaxing. It’s a five-minute walk to several great Boca Grande restaurants & markets ~ & you’re about a five-minute cab ride from Cartagena’s historic Old Town district. For the price: you can’t beat the quality. We loved this place so much that we extended our stay from five days to ten. Highly recommended. Price: $60+.
Check prices at Gran Via Luxury Condos here.
7. Kolor Hotel Boutique ~ Medellin, Colombia
I ADORED staying here. Set in Medellin’s high-end El Poblado district (just as chic as NYC), you’re within walking distance to the hottest nightclubs & restaurants in town, filled with some of Colombia’s most beautiful people. El Poblado is the only place in South America where I actually felt under-dressed; Colombians dress to impress. Kolor has unique rooms, each with a different color scheme (mine was pink, with the best bathtub I found anywhere in South America)! Choose from a variety of breakfasts each morning, with indoor & outdoor seating for dining. The bed here was fantastic with a bunch of cozy pillows, & the location is quiet, on a residential side street of El Poblado. My room had a sound system, small sitting area, great Wi-Fi, hot shower ~ basically, everything I could want in a room. And friendly staff. I felt totally safe here, despite Medellin’s dangerous reputation. Highly recommended. Price: $50+.
Check hotel prices at Kolor Hotel Boutique in Medellin, Colombia here.
8. GHL Style Hotel San Diego ~ Medellin, Colombia
I LOVED this room. It was spacious & felt like a breath of fresh air after the pollution of Medellin (one of the city’s major detractors). They have a rooftop restaurant with killer Medellin views. You’re also close to two huge malls (Premium Plaza & Centro Comercial San Diego); both are within a mile of the hotel. If shopping isn’t your thing, it’s quite a hike though to reach the fun districts in town, like El Poblado, or major sights like Plaza Botero. Luckily, you can take the metro or a taxi from here easily. Great quality for the price, great bathroom, hot shower, fast Wi-Fi, modern amenities. Price: $35-60+.
Check prices for the GHL Style Hotel in Medellin, Colombia here.
Best Hotels in South America ~ Ecuador!
9. Gloria Galapagos ~ Galapagos Islands, on Isla Santa Cruz
Ohhhhh…how I loved this place. Just thinking about it makes me think of balmy nights in the Galapagos, returning to my cool, air-conditioned room after a night of dancing at Bongo Bar. This is a cute, family-run place ~ my room was sunny & yellow, with three beds. I could’ve hosted a slumber party. Not to mention, views of the island are spectacular. And the hotel is situated right in the middle of Puerto Ayora, so you can walk everywhere: to the ocean, restaurants & coffee shops, Charles Darwin Research Station, & of course, the main ferry dock (where sea lions like to hang out). Bathrooms are okay, not great ~ & shower water isn’t hot. If things like this bother you: find a more expensive place. If, however, you’re on a budget but still want killer views: this is your place. Highly recommended. Price: $30+.
Check prices at Gloria Galapagos on Isla Santa Cruz here.
Read a guide to Galapagos Travel here.
10. Del Parque Hotel & Suites ~ Cuenca, Ecuador
I walked into my room at the Del Parque and immediately said, “Ahhhhhh.” This place hit that romantic spot in my soul, from the spacious room, to wood floors, to the charm of the old, creaky building & its blue wooden doors. But most of all, THE VIEW. The picture above was taken from my terrace, looking out towards the bright blue cathedrals of Cuenca ~ breathtaking. I loved the staff here; they anticipated my late arrival & were waiting for me on the curb when I pulled up, with smiles. And the location couldn’t be better: you’re right on the main square in Cuenca, & can easily walk to restaurants (including the cute cafe directly below the hotel!) as well as most of the city’s main sights. Highly recommended. Price: $30+.
Check prices at the Del Parque in Cuenca here.
Read Ecuador Travel Guide here.
Best Hotels in South America!
This covers my Top 10 Best Hotels in South America ~ but believe me, this just begins to scratch the surface of what’s out there waiting for you in South America! There are so many phenomenal places to stay, for a fraction of the price you’d pay in the States. It’s exciting to know that this level & variety of accommodations exists just south of us!
What are some of your favorite places to stay in South America? Do you agree with my list of best hotels in South America? Talk to me know in the comments below!
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