For the backpacker seeking exhilarating experiences, add a hidden gem of a hostel — with unique features separating them from their generic counterparts — to your travel bucket list. From tropical jungles to cool glaciers, Debu’s got front-row seats to your next Hostelworld-approved staycation.
Flying Fish Boutique Hostel — Dumaguete, Philippines
Get lost in the lush greenery surrounding the Flying Fish Hostel. Modernity collides with biophilia, flawlessly contrasting the industrial design of the hostel with the explosion of nature surrounding it. This hostel is a convenient 14 minutes away from Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City’s most popular beachside path. You can book a spacious, private room with double beds or select mixed dorms if you’re travelling with a large group. Enjoy amenities like free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and occasional live music. If you’re hungry, head to Palmitas Kitchen & Bar, the hostel’s restaurant. Traditional dishes like daing na bangus (marinated milkfish) await you. If that’s not up your alley, there are other options for the simpler palette. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available!
The Treehouse Nicaragua — Granada, Nicaragua
Head to the jungle along inactive Volcano Mombacho to find the 656-foot-high Treehouse Nicaragua. The Treehouse reflects the vibrancy of Granada, capturing the hearts of tourists with its colonial architecture, attractive venues, and beautiful landscapes on its outskirts. The hostel offers tours to some of these places like Laguna de Apoyo Paradiso or Aguas Agrias, both picturesque water bodies. The private room and dorm beds are perfect for travellers on a low budget; an even cheaper option is the on-site jungle hammock. If you’re feeling adventurous, the 20-foot high, private treehouse offers an astonishing view of the jungle from a comfy double bed. Expect amenities like daily meals (including vegetarian dishes), dancing around painted bodies during Jungle Raves, and cost-friendly transportation.
Jollyboys Backpackers — Livingstone, Zambia
Zambia’s Victoria Falls awaits you when you stay at Jollyboys Backpackers, designed from top to bottom by local artists and craftspeople. The town centre is two minutes away and abundant in bars and restaurants. The hostel is also connected to spectacular natural landmarks, such as the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and the Zambezi River. If you’re keen on getting into the Devil’s Pool, the hostel provides tours that can take you there. Feel free to choose from rooms with beds or bunks. The double and twin rooms have private bathrooms. You can also set up your own tent by renting the campsite. The hostel has facilities like laundry service, a beauty spa, TV lounge, and a barbeque.
The Freezer Hostel & Culture Centre — Rif, Iceland
When the Northern Lights spread through the sky, you’ll want to be at The Freezer, watching the natural phenomena. The hostel, which is close to Iceland’s Snæfellsjökull Glacier, is known for its on-site theatre. Backpackers often flock to this hostel to check out live performances and concerts. An entire portion of the hostel’s common room is a music area stacked with instruments. You can choose to stay in themed rooms where bunks and mixed dorms are your main options. There are also studio apartments near the sea to rent out. We recommend The Bookstore Family apartment if you have a large group hoping for access to more space and other services. If you’re looking to venture beyond the site, The Freezer offers tours such as the Snæfellsjökull Glacier hike and the Vatnshellir cave tour.
With all these four-star hostels to choose from, we guarantee your venturesome souls with be soothed and your adventurous spirit satisfied. Check out these international hostels next time you find yourself in any of these cities. And remember — you heard it from Debu first!
Tashon Daley | Contributing Writer