Finding decent accommodation at a reasonable price can be a strenuous part of traveling and the location independent lifestyle. Hotels can be costly, hostels can be shitholes full of drunken children, and reasonably priced apartments in great locales can be tough to nab without a bit of research and planning.
Still, we all have to find a place to sleep while traveling and we always want to find the best spot are budget allows. We are not traveling to a foreign country to live like a bum. So we search…
How To Find Accommodation In Central America
When traveling throughout Central America, most travelers tend to focus on staying in hostels and backpacking. While avoiding generalizations, many areas outside the tourist zones in Central America are often shitholes. However, I’ve found strictly staying in hostels can be quite unfulfilling while traveling. While I have met a number of cool people in hostels, the “party” hostel scene is Central America is often centered around smoking large amounts of weed combined with taking a year or so off from working to “find myself” or some bullshit.
It’s disheartening and lame, but the occasional stay in a hostel for a weekend can be exciting. Being an introvert at heart, I need some space to decompress and regroup. Thus, I prefer to look for other accommodation for a majority of my travels.
Options For Accommodation In Central America
Hostels are often the best option to stay when you are traveling through the tourist areas of Central America. If you are at the beach or in the mountains, you should consider staying in a hostel. Often private rooms in hostels in Central America can be had for $18-30 per night and will include breakfast, albeit a shitty one.
Hotels can be quite reasonably priced in many Central American locales. I found a hotel at a touristy beach town for $13 with A/C and it was incredible. I also found a hotel in a capital city in Central America for $38 a night in the main nightlife district of the city. The hotel was clean, the staff was friendly, and the Wi-Fi was fast. However, hotels can be costly as well. In Panama City for example, a marginal hotel in the center near one of the nightlife areas was over $60 a night.
My personal favorite choice of accommodation, apartments can be reasonable in Central America. While options are scarce in most tourist areas, I’ve found the capital cities in Central America to be filled with a number of apartment options. If you are looking for a monthly rate expect to pay anywhere from $15-35 a night, depending. On a daily basis, you should expect to pay $25-60 a night.
How To Decide the Best Accommodation For You
If you panning on visiting or living in a Central American capital city, I suggest you stay in a hotel or an apartment. The hostel scene is the capitals is typically a bit slower and you have many local girls to interact with in a capital city. Staying in an apartment or even a hotel gives you the best shot at seducing a local.
While backpacking your best accommodation option is usually a hostel. Many times the tourist/backpacking locales or areas do not have many locals around and you will find it tough to meet people unless you stay in a hostel. In high season you may want to book or reserve something before hand, but I prefer to go to the location and then find a place to stay when going to backpacking areas. A private room gives you the best chance at getting a girl.
Where to Find Accommodation In Central America
Airbnb.com is the first site I check when looking for accommodation in a city. The site has had available apartments in every city I have checked. As well, there are often hotels and guesthouses that use Airbnb.com to advertise. If you find a place on Airbnb.com you like, use this guide to get the best price possible. Most places on Airbnb.com in Central America are a bit overpriced and many owners will negotiate with you.
If you are looking to rent a room or find a roommate in Central America then checking Craigslist is a good idea. Options are scarce everywhere in Central America except for Costa Rica, but I have found a gem or two.
The best option for Central American travelers looking for hotels, I have found a love for Booking.com. The site is easy to use and typically features almost every hotel in a city. The map feature is easy to use and helps you find hotels in the best areas of the city you are in.
Before booking any hotel or hostel, I always head over to TripAdvisor.com and see what types of reviews the place has gotten. The great thing about trip advisor is that travelers that have stayed at the hotel can post pictures of the place along with a review. Instead of looking at professional photos of a hotel which can be misleading, you get to see what the hotel actually looks like from other travelers.
Lonely Planet Guide
If you are booking a hostel or plan on staying in a number of hostels throughout your time in Central America, you should invest in this Lonely Planet guide on Central America. While the advice is sometime suspect, they do offer a quick overview of each and every place you could visit. In this guide you will find reviews of at least 3-4 hostels in each location. While the advice hasn’t always been spot on, it is helpful and a good starting point for finding hostels in Central America.
Talk To People
Lastly, if you are unsure about accommodation then ask people in person. If you find an English speaker in Central America the chances are that they have traveled around a bit. See if you may be heading to anywhere they have been and ask what the best place to stay is. I’ve found a couple of places I have loved that were not in the Lonely Planet guide by doing this.
How To Find Accommodation In Central America
By utilizing the methods and sites above, every traveler should have no issue finding great accommodation while traveling throughout Central America.