My recommendation to check into 1900 Backpacker’s Hostel is based on the assumption that you have already decided to stay in central Lima. Most travelers choose to stay in the coastline districts of modern Miraflores or bohemian Barranco and instead make day trips to the capital’s nucleus for its imposing Baroque architecture, Inquisition Museum or the church of San Francisco. Foggy Lima is very spread out with tedious transportation for non-Spanish speakers (hand raised), and getting around is not a piece of corn.
If you do need a budget bed in the more dangerous-but-not-really side of town, then let Cesar invite you into his great grandfather’s home across from the Museo de Arte that he and a partner turned into a bourgeois backpackers inn last summer. Due to the ever-widening road of succession, colonial real estate leads a sad life in Lima, once glorious mansions reduced to empty has-beens because they are now owned by 40-50 cousins in a country that has mucho grande problemos to unravel than estate laws.
1. True to his heritage, Cesar looks like a conquistador and is welcoming, helpful and speaks better English than the cast of Jersey Shore.
2. Someone like smiley Victor is at the desk 24/7, and the front gate remains locked day and night.
3. The smaller of two common room sports a pool table, cold Cusquena beer behind the reception desk and overlooks the bustling Garcilaso de la Vega.
4. FREE WiFi works in the rooms close to the front. Well.
5. It’s fun in my propensity-for-period way to sit and read in the larger common room that was once a grand hall, looking up at the detailed crown molding wondering if Pizarro ever did the same.
1. It’s in central Lima.
2. The first night my lock broke, and I couldn’t get back into my room. Cesar had to scale the wall with the help of a trusty Tonto…However, by the time I got back from my bike tour the next day, it had been successfully replaced.
3. There is no AC, but the consistent evening breeze usually helps with the stuffiness.
4. The shared bathrooms are very clean, but I didn’t have hot water. This is a big one, I know. I’m not sure if it was an unlucky spell or a general problem. Good excuse to break a sweat before you come home.
Private single, $25
Bottom line: BUY**
**If you’ve already committed to a stay in the center or really like old buildings.