Every 5-10 years there is a phenomenon where a bunch of flowers bloom in the driest place in the earth. As you can imagine, this draws quite a crowd and raises the prices for accommodations.
When we were looking for places to stay in San Pedro de Atacama, we were shocked by just how expensive it was. I was unable to find a private room with a private bathroom for under $50 a night. This was shocking as we have not had trouble staying under budget to date. In order to keep under budget, we had to expand our search to include private rooms with a shared bathroom. We ended up selecting Hostal Tchapur as the reviews were pretty good and it fit within our budget. While it wasn’t ideal to have a shared bathroom, we figured that we could suck it up for 2 nights.
Hostal Tchapur – Our Room
Our room was basic and small but it was clean so we we couldn’t complain. We didn’t get a picture of the room as we set our stuff down and unpacked before realizing that we hadn’t taken any pictures.
There was no fan so we were not able to get any air circulation without opening the window. While normally this would be a non-issue, with all of the dust in the area, that meant getting dust in the room. We constantly battled deciding which was worse – being hot or being dusty.
The bathrooms were located right across from our bedroom which was good since we were easily able to tell if they were occupied or not.
Hostal Tchapur – Shared Bathroom
There were 2 bathrooms, a men’s room and a women’s room. The hostel did the best that they could to keep them clean but with everyone using them, at times they did get dirty.
The worst part of the bathroom was that the showers were only hot for about 2 minutes before turning ice cold. I’m not sure if it is the way the heater was set up or if we were doing something wrong, but it was awful. After our string of horrible hostels on our 7 day tour from La Paz, Bolivia to San Pedro de Atacama, all we wanted was a nice, long, hot shower.
Towels were not included in our room so we had to use the towels that we had in our packs.
Hostal Tchapur – Amenities
There were 2 wifi networks at the hostel but only 1 of them worked. This meant that everyone at the hostel was on the same network. We didn’t get a wifi signal in our room so in order to use the internet we had to go to the common areas.
Once there, we were able to get online but the network was very slow and dropped quite often. It was extremely frustrating and we were unable to load many pictures from our 7 day tour to our Google drive.
There was a communal kitchen which we considered using to make a lunch or dinner. Even though it wasn’t the cleanest kitchen we’ve ever seen, making our own food sounded good. After learning that the only grocery stores in the area were small bodegas which had limited selection and high prices, we opted to eat out instead. We were able to save a little bit of money by buying milk and cereal to have for breakfast.
Since it had been a week since we had done laundry last we knew that we needed to get it done. After asking how much laundry cost and finding out the answer was 5,000 pesos or $7 per load, with the clothes drying outside in the dust, we decided to wait. I wanted my clothes to be clean, not cleanish with dust all over them.
Since our backpacks had gotten quite dirty, we washed them in the shower and hung them out in the sun to dry. Even though we put them out dripping wet, they were bone dry just an hour later. It was crazy just how fast things dry when you’re at the driest place on earth.
There were quite a few different common areas in the hostel that were quite nice. From hammocks to a fire pit and ping pong table. We spent some time in the hammocks, writing blog posts and sitting by the fire in the evening when the temperature dropped quite a bit.
There was a house dog at the hostel named Tchapur. He was really friendly and liked hanging out with us when we were in the common areas. Whenever we went to town, he left and walked with us until he hit a certain point, then he knew that he had to turn back and head home.
The hostel is owned by a group of guys in their 20’s and 30’s. They did their best to keep everything running well and were helpful with answering all of the questions that we had. When we had to go to the bus station to catch our night bus to Valparaiso, Chile, they called us a taxi.
One evening, they were all having some wine and unprompted, gave us each a glass as well. It was a nice touch and we really appreciated it.
Hostal Tchapur – Location
We knew going in that we were going to be a little removed from town. It was around a 15 minute walk from the hostel to the city center. Normally a walk this length wouldn’t bother me, but in the dust of San Pedro de Atacama, it was super annoying since we got dirty.
The location turned out not to be a non-issue for us though as we spent more time at the hostel than we did in the city. We didn’t love San Pedro de Atacama so we spent our time just relaxing around the hostel instead.
This was the first hostel that we booked where we had a shared bathroom. I learned that a private bathroom is extremely important to me and will opt to not get another shared bathroom during our trip if I can help it. The hostel was adequate for our needs but certainly not my top choice if I were to do it again.
We really hated San Pedro de Atacama and couldn’t wait to leave. Everything was overpriced, dirty and not our scene. When it came time to leave, we were ready to get out of there and head to our next destination.