THE BEST AREA TO STAY IN QUITO
Many travellers have concerns about Quito and whether it’s safe.
Like any other capital city, if you stay in the right place and keep your wits about you, then safety is rarely an issue.
However, Quito is a huge sprawl and figuring out where to stay can be tricky. There are two main areas with hostels and hotels – La Mariscal and the Old Town.
The old town is a lovely place to explore during the day, however, at night it isn’t as safe and most of the streets are abandoned by tourists. If you do end up staying close to there make sure you aren’t wandering around by yourself at night and avoid taking valuables with you like phones if you can.
We would recommend staying in La Mariscal (around Plaza Foch) a residential area with lots of hotels, bars, and clubs.
Whilst it’s a 20-25-minute walk to get to the historical centre, it’s worth it for the added security, a huge selection of restaurants and the popular nightlife.
QUITO'S BEST HOSTELS IN OLD TOWN
Even though we recommend staying in La Mariscal, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great hostels to stay at in the historical centre.
We have listed a few below for you to consider.
Community Hostel Quito
- 4-bed dorm $12.50 a night
- 10-bed dorm $10 a night
- Private $30 a night
Community Hostel is a perfect all-rounder with something to suit every traveller’s needs.
They create a welcoming and social feel with organised nights for meeting other travellers. Or if you just want to take a break from it all, there’s a wealth of spacious communal areas if you are just looking to relax.
On top of being a great hostel, they work closely with the local community and contribute 10% of earnings to support them.
The hostel is located in the La Tola section of Old Town Quito, close to La Plaza Grande, in the heart of Colonial Quito’s historic churches, architecture, and sightseeing. It’s a fantastic place to stay if you’re looking to keep busy and you can join in with the social nights such as free salsa classes, happy hours, and communal dinners.
They have something going on every night of the week and Saturday is their popular bar crawl taking you to the best bars and clubs around Plaza Foch.
If the nightlife isn’t for you then they also run a great free walking tour and their tour agency can take you on day trips to Mindo or Cotopaxi. If you do decide to stay close to the historical centre then this is a great choice!
Secret Garden Hostel Quito
- 4-bed dorms $6.48 a night
- 9-bed dorm $3.48 a night
- Privates from $10 a night
Secret Garden Hostel is another great choice to stay in close to the historical centre.
Awarded Best Hostel in Ecuador, The Secret Garden is a local run hostel located in a quiet, authentic cobble-stone street in the old town of Quito.
They have a fantastic rooftop terrace with a bar, hammocks and nets to lounge in and enjoy views out over the city and it’s a great place to meet fellow travellers or just relax with a book.
They also have our favourite pod-style dorm beds with a plug socket and locker next to your head and a curtain for that added layer of privacy.
Like community hostel, they have a roster of activities on every night. They serve cheap delicious dinners from $5 and run numerous happy hours and activities every day such as salsa and Spanish lessons.
Secret Garden might be the better choice if you are looking to tear it up in Quito for more than one night. They run beer pong nights at the start of the week and a party bus from Wednesday to Saturday!
Secret Garden Quito also has a sister hostel in Cotopaxi National Park which has also been voted as one of the best hostels in Ecuador and probably South America. We had an amazing time there (read why here) and the Quito hostel runs a shuttle bus to and from Cotopaxi. If you are making your way South after Quito, then read our guide on how to visit Cotopaxi National Park.
- 4-bed dorms $12 a night
- 8-bed dorm $8 a night
- Privates from $30 a night
Masaya Hostel is set in a charming colonial-era style house with a wealth of open spaces and a large garden to relax in.
The rooms and dormitories are bright with pod-style beds for when you want to shut yourself away from other travellers for the day.
They also have recreation areas and a restaurant/bar along with programmed events and activities such as Monday yoga classes and Saturday chocolate tasting.
This would be our pick if we were staying in Quito for longer than a few days and wanted a place to relax and escape from the city. This is the ultimate place for relaxation where you can chill out in the gorgeous garden, find a quiet reading spot, or join in the daily cultural activities they offer.
QUITO'S BEST HOSTELS IN LA MARISCAL
La Mariscal and the streets around Plaza Foch is a residential area with a huge selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs.
This is the nightlife hub of the capital, and if you find yourself in Quito at the weekend, you won’t find it difficult finding a lively bar or club to dance the night away in. Here are our two favourite hostels in the area:
- 4-bed dorm $15 a night
- 14 bed $10 a night
We stayed at Selina during our first trip to Quito as we knew the brand and it was close to Plaza Foch.
Selina hostels are a well-run chain that originated in Central America and are known for being some of the best hostels in the region.
However, they are only just branching out into South America and when we arrived (Oct 2019), parts of it were still being built.
The hostel is set in what appears to be an old hotel and doesn’t have the charm of other hostels set in the old colonial-style buildings or cultural areas of the capital. We didn’t meet many other travellers whilst we were here either, so this may not be the place for you if you are a solo traveller wanting to meet other people.
Selina mostly caters to digital nomads as they have the best WiFi and dedicated workspaces. We suggest staying here if you need good internet to work otherwise choose somewhere a little more social.
El Patio Hostel
- 4-bed dorm $10.80 a night
- Privates from $28 a night
- Breakfast included
El Patio Hostel is set in a beautifully remodelled mansion house that features numerous common areas for socializing, entertaining or simply relaxing.
The shared dorms are comfortable, with pod-style beds, free towels, and big storage lockers. The hostel offers high-speed WiFi, tidy bathrooms with hot water and a fully equipped kitchen for cooking.
El Patio Hostel is a 5-minute walk from Plaza Foch, located two blocks from the heart of La Mariscal, Quito’s entertainment, and tourist area with artisan markets and plenty of bars and restaurants to suit any budget.
One of their aims as a hostel is to make you feel like a local. They offer tons of activities where you can meet and mix with local people like learning how to cook Ecuadorian dishes, yoga on a Sunday morning in their solarium or salsa classes of a night.
Hopefully you’ve found the right hostel for you out of our top picks. What now?
If you are looking for ideas on how to spend your time in Quito, why not check out our 3 day itinerary here or our thoughts on why day trips from the capital may not be worth your time (and what to do instead) here.
How long are you planning to be in Ecuador? Whether it’s a week or an whole month, we’ve created a month-long Ecuador itinerary to help you make the most of your time, check it out here.