Galapagos hostels are a great option for budget travelers on a Galapagos vacation, but they are limited to just a few areas. The Galapagos Islands themselves are quite isolated, and with just a few human settlements, accommodation on land is not as plentiful as it is in many other tourist destinations. Many tourists book a vacation package with a boat tour that allows them to stay on the boat or cruise ship—these arrangements can be quite reasonable and are a good alternative to a Galapagos Islands cheap hotel.
For those in search of a Galapagos youth hostel, there are a few scattered about the towns on the islands. Most of the Galapagos hostels will be concentrated in the larger settlements such as Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, or on San Cristobal. Expect clean but simple no-frills accommodation with shared rooms. Visitors looking for a Galapagos Islands cheap hotel are not looking for a spectacular hotel experience, but rather a simple place to stay while exploring the beauty and wildlife of the islands. Nevertheless, it's hard to fault the atmosphere of most of the Galapagos hostels; they are located among the most beautiful natural environments in the world.
In Puerto Ayora, a well-established Galapagos youth hostel is Los Pinguinos, about twenty minutes from the center of the town. Los Pinguinos is primarily used as a residence for volunteers at the nearby Charles Darwin Research Station, so if you stay at this Galapagos Islands cheap hotel, you can expect an interesting group of roommates, who truly care about the preservation of the unique Galapagos wildlife. The rooms are spartan, but clean, with en suite bathrooms. You can opt for a single, double or triple room, with simple wooden beds or bunks. Los Pinguinos provides full board, with meals and accommodation, for those who are planning on staying for an extended period. Do not be surprised at the lack of hot water during the warm months—this is just another way to get in tune with nature!
San Cristobal is a place for travelers to explore on their own, with hiking trails, a freshwater lake, and some beautiful coastline, as well as a relatively well-developed settlement with bars and restaurants in the main city, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. One good option for a Galapagos youth hostel here is Hotel Mar Azul, an established family-run guesthouse in San Cristobal. Located near the main waterfront of town, this small guesthouse has several basic rooms. Guests can choose either air-conditioned rooms or rooms with a fan, for very reasonable prices, and there are the options for single rooms up to multiple-person shared rooms. Although the room facilities may have an institutional feel to them, there are two lovely patios with trees and flowers, as well as an open dining room that is pleasant and airy.
Another convenient place to stay in San Cristobal is the Hostel Leon Dormido, a pleasant building located just steps from the waterfront where you can see a playful colony of sea lions. Rooms come with bathrooms and hot showers, fans and television sets. As with most other hostels, the room furnishings are spartan but clean, with sturdy beds and cupboards, more than adequate for your needs. There is also a travel agency and cafe on site, and a common area for you to share your experiences with other travelers.