Ximena’s Guesthouse: The Coolest Hostel in San Salvador, El Salvador

Ximena's Guesthouse: The Coolest Hostel in San Salvador, El Salvador

Ximena’s Guesthouse: The Coolest Hostel in San Salvador, El Salvador

When it’s your first night in a new country (El Salvador), you want somewhere to relax, especially after a day of buses, taxis and border crossings. After leaving Guatemala City and crossing into El Salvador at Las Chinamas, I was heading straight for the capital city, San Salvador. At late notice, I hadn’t yet booked a hostel though but the night before I found a bed in a dorm room at Ximena’s Guesthouse so I knew I had a cool hostel to stay in on arrival. I was pretty excited!

 Ximena's Guesthouse - the coolest hostel in San Salvador, El Salvador

Ximena’s Guesthouse – the coolest hostel in San Salvador, El Salvador

In the heat of San Salvador, I arrived early afternoon at Ximena’s to be greeted by Wilma on reception, shown my bed which was ready, given a towel, map and the Wifi password and already I felt at home!

backpacking el salvador

Cosy rooms at Ximena’s Guesthouse in San Salvador.

A quick shower and an afternoon beer on the roof terrace at Ximena’s and I knew I’d found my base for my time in El Salvador. In the end I stayed in El Salvador for a total of 11 days (kept delaying my departure as I loved it ;-)). Ximena’s was my cosy base while I stayed in the vibrant capital and it’s the perfect hub for any backpackers and travellers to El Salvador.

san salvador backpacker

Backpacking in San Salvador – Parque Libertad.

Here are 10 reasons why you should stay at Ximena’s Guesthouse, a good post to start off with in what could be 2-3 weeks of articles on why I loved El Salvador so much!!

1. Information
The best thing about Ximena’s Guesthouse is that it provides you with information. El Salvador is not one of the most publicised tourist destinations so it’s nice to be able to get all the information you need. Owner Lena oozes information on the entire country having relocated here from Norway. The information boards in Ximena’s help plan your safe and enjoyable trip round this awesome country.

All the information you need to backpack your way through El Salvador.

All the information you need to backpack your way through El Salvador.

2. Rooftop Terrace
Did someone say beer garden? Yes – and Ximena’s has a great one. Very relaxing, peaceful and also – in the sun. My first few hours in the country were admittedly spent here catching up on emails and replying to some of the travel companies I work with. I enjoyed the beers on the rooftop 😉

Beers on the rooftop at Ximena's Guesthouse.

Beers on the rooftop at Ximena’s Guesthouse.

* You can of course bring your own beer and buy it outside, but if you’re feeling relaxed and lazy just buy them here for $1.60 a bottle – ice cold Pilsener the local brew.

3. Friendly Staff
I chatted at length to all the staff over a number of nights. Always welcoming and friendly and a great excuse for me to practice Spanish!

Chatting to the staff at Ximena's!

Chatting to the staff at Ximena’s!

4. To Suit All Budgets
With dorm beds costing as little as $7 US per night (6 bed dorm), this obviously fits backpackers, but for couples who want more privacy and luxury, there are also rooms for $45 US so Ximena’s has the market covered for sure.

4 bed dorm - backpacker friendly but also they have private rooms. Suits all budgets.

4 bed dorm – backpacker friendly but also they have private rooms. Suits all budgets.

5. Safe Neighbourhood
This is a key point. Forget all that bullsh*t on the news you read about El Salvador. I travelled all over the country for 10-11 days alone and felt safe. Yes, at night I took taxis if I was out late as you should do but this neighbourhood feels friendly and safe. You are situated on a quiet street called Calle San Salvador. So good, they named the city after it.

Calle San Salvador

Calle San Salvador

6. Close to Boulevard de los Heroes
All the cool stuff that you need is nearby, or even better – round the corner. Just two streets walk up a hill and you are on the lively Boulevard de los Heroes. A cool place for bars, restaurants, shops and to get a feel for modern day San Salvador. There is also a nearby bank and post office, plus the shopping mall at Metro Centro.

Round the corner from Boulevard de los Heroes.

Round the corner from Boulevard de los Heroes.

7. Privacy
Close your door and relax here if you want. You’re safe and you’re private. Out of all the hostels recently, this is a good one to close off and get some work done, if like me you work on the move that is. Most of all you can enjoy the city by day and relax by night and the privacy of Ximena’s allows this.

Enjoy the privacy of Ximena's

Enjoy the privacy of Ximena’s

8. Wi-fi
Every time I review a hotel or hostel, you will see me mention Wi-fi. It’s a personal thing for me as I need it and love it. It’s no longer a luxury for me, it’s an essential. While some travellers travel to cut off from the world, I travel to write about the world and thankfully in Ximena’s I had good wifi to get online and keep blogging away, like my articles on Indigo Workshop and Casa Blanca!

My blogging base on the rooftop terrace at Ximena's ;-)

My blogging base on the rooftop terrace at Ximena’s 😉

9. Buses
As I said you are just up the street from Boulevard de los Heroes. All the main bus routes through the city run here. You can get the Bus #30 to downtown, the bus #44 to Terminal de Occidente and the bus #101D to the swanky La Gran Via plaza. If you even get stuck, there’s a taxi stand round the corner too – very useful at night but make sure you bargain down the price a bit. I jaunted across the city for $4 US when I used a taxi. The buses are only 20 cents though, so I used them in the daytime.

On the local bus downtown

On the local bus downtown

10. Local  Restaurants
Can you eat decent food in San Salvador? Hell yes!!! Just a 5-6 minute walk away is El Sopon Tipico, my favourite restaurant in San Salvador. I loved this restaurant so much that I visited 4 times, had a regular meal I ordered (Chorizo Tipico) knew the staff and became good friends with the owner Iris! Get ready for this Friday’s Featured Food on El Salvadorian cuisine!!

Local food, beer and football at Sopon Tipico, my local restaurant for a week or so!

Local food, beer and football at Sopon Tipico, my local restaurant for a week or so!

With Iris the boss at Sopon Tipico. New friends and GREAT hospitality.

With Iris the boss at Sopon Tipico. New friends and GREAT hospitality.

11. Local Bars
First night after checking out the local area, I met two cool Austrian girls in the hostel – asked them if they fancied going to a local pub so we did – Leyendas. In there not only did we love the atmosphere and drinks, but we made a lot of new friends.

First night out in San Salvador at Leyendas - first of many!!

First night out in San Salvador at Leyendas – first of many!!

So much so that I got invited out to party with them all again when I returned to San Salvador the following week (I jaunted to Barra de Santiago, Chalchuapa and Santa Ana in between times). Had so many good nights out in bars close by up at Pasaje 1. Plus if you want to go really local, there is a karaoke bar round the corner and a Maya Burger restaurant there too.

partying san salvador

A Saturday night out in San Salvador. Great times with new friends. Cool city to party and chat in.

So once I’ve convinced you to visit El Salvador, just get Ximena’s booked and get your bearings to see what is a truly wonderfully proud and hard working country. The people of El Salvador are waiting for you…

Book Ximena’s on Agoda
Contact details for Ximena’s:
http://www.ximenasguesthouse.com/Contact_us.php
If you need to make a reservation or get further information please fill in the form on the above link and Ximena’s will get back to you.
If you wish to write to Ximena’s directly the email is: ximenas.guesthouse@gmail.com
Phone number to front desk is (503) 2260-2481, for assistance in English call (503) 7860-8632

Here are my videos from Ximena’s:

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