Accomodation

I stay mainly in hotels and the odd hostel. While I had camping gear with me for emergencies, I did not camp.

 

  • Hotels - My costs were usually in the range of $15 to $30 per night. On occasion I was up in the $65 range – the highest being $110. My cheapest night was $8. I tended to look for and find middle of the road accomodation when I could and when I had the patience to look around.

 

When I enquire for a room at a hotel or hostel, I have 4 questions I always ask:

  • Do you have a room?  (Yah, I know that is obvious . . .)

  • Do you have secure parking for my moto?

  • If yes to those two questions, ask for price and if ok then:

  • Do you have WiFi?

  • Do you have hot water?

On the odd occaision I took a place without secure parking - they usually had a night watchman.  Surprising how few places did not have WiFi.  Rarely did hotels not have hot water but it was something I could usually live with.

 

  • Camping – While I had a sleeping bag and tent with me for emergencies, I didn’t camp.  Anecdotaly, people have wild camped, camped in campgrounds and people's backyards. 

 

  • Hostels – Usually located in more touristy towns. Usually cater to backpackers and budget oriented travelers. Some can be pretty inexpensive. Usually lots of English speakers around – that can be good and not so good. Some hostels offer higher-end accomodation and are really quite nice with lots of amenities.

 

The Good, Bad and Ugly of hostels:

 

Good - it's nice to have someone to talk to in English.  Some hostels are more homey with nice common areas, open kitchens, may offer meals and sell beer and wine

 

Bad - Hostels can be more insulated from the local culture outside the front door.  It is many times just easier to hang around people speaking your native language.

 

Ugly - Hostels can sometimes be a little noisier.  Many are on main streets with the usual traffic noises.  A majority cater to the backpacker crowd who can create more noise when we stuffy geezers want to sleep.  So, either stick some earplugs in or get up and join the party.

 

 

Finding a room

 

  • The Hotel Directory has a listing of specific hotels I've stayed at. I hope to make this as complete as possible over time and possibly even add hotels reviewed by others.

  • Other ride reports, adventure forums and other travelers are great sources with recommendations of places suitable for a motorcycle traveller. 

  • The people running a hotel/hostel you are in may know someone with a similar hotel/hostel in the next town.

  • GPS POIs - GPS mapsets range from ok coverage of hotel listings to virtually nothing. 

  • In small towns, just drive around and/or ask some locals. Usually just a handful of places to choose from so, not difficult to sort through them quickly.

  • Cities - I don't want to be wandering around looking for a hotel in busy cities.  In addition to the sources above, I may check Google, Trip Advisor, Hostel websites and local hotel websites before I hit the road that day. I usually make up a list of three to five possibilites, plug them into the GPS and go looking for them when I arrive. Sometimes the hotels on your list may not suit what you want but you may well find something better nearby. A very large number of hotels don't get mentioned on the internet. 

  • There are a number of hostel directory websites. Some are very local and others worldwide.  Hostels range from very budget oriented catering to backpackers while some are more upscale.  Most of the ones I encountered had individual rooms and dormitories to cater to a wide spectrum of travellers

  • There are many small websites advertising smaller hotels in some towns.  These sites are usually in Spanish and you need to use Spanish search terms to find them.  Since hotels can be scattered all over the place in some towns, at least gives you some to consider.

  • See the Links page for a list of places I've found useful

 

Paying.  Except for higher end hotels, virtually all hotels and hostels will not accept credit cards, only cash, usually in their local currency.  Most hotels want to be paid when you check in while most hostels are content to wait until you leave.  Hostels will usually offer food, beer and wine which they will gladly add to your bill.

 

Tours.  One of the best ways to see some of the local sights is by way of guided tours which can be arrainged through your hotel or hostel.  They usually include transportation and a guide.  If Spanish isn't your strong suit, make sure you ask for an English speaking guide.  I found with most attractions, having a guide makes the experience much richer.  Book them through your hotel/hostel and they will just add it to your bill.  If someone is going to make a commission for selling the tour, I'd just as soon it be my hotelier.