We have been traveling for 3 months staying in Airbnb apartment rentals almost exclusively. 3 months, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is a lot of time spent together as a family.
We were all craving some social interaction with people we weren’t related to.
When we were looking for accommodation in Popayan we couldn’t find an Airbnb rental that fit our preferences for cost and amenities so we booked a week in a hostel instead.
We found a family friendly one, Hostel Caracol. We all really enjoyed the social aspect of staying in a busy hostel. Makai seemed to enjoy it the most. He charmed the ladies and befriended many backpackers. Everyone was very interested in him and what he had to say and Mak made the most of it.
We met a whole array of cool people from all over the world including a fellow travel blogger from Big Beaver, Saskatchewan. Yes, there is a very small town in Saskatchewan called Big Beaver. Oh Canada…….
Stephen Harris has traveled to 62 countries so far, writing about his wild escapades on his blog The Big Beaver Diaries. The tag line for his blog is “How to Live Like a Rockstar When Your Not One” and Stephen is doing his damnedest to show people how that’s done.
We had the pleasure of listening to his stories of Casanova mayhem and I couldn’t get over the paradox between his personality and his wild adventures.
A seriously sweet guy I have no doubt he’s broken many hearts in the 62 countries he has visited. I am just glad he hasn’t incurred much physical damage from some of the situations he has put himself in. He certainly won our hearts including Makai’s who hopes to meet him somewhere on the road again someday.
Makai’s favorite friend he made at Hostel Caracol is Anna. Anna is a lovely Colombian from Bogota who was visiting Popayan for her studies in Cultural Archaeology. She now lives in New York but was in Colombia doing work for her studies back in the States. Mak loved sitting in the common area sharing a arm chair with Anna teaching her about Mine Craft and How To Train Your Dragon.
He’s crazy about looking at Google Earth to see where people are from. New York city is the place he likes to explore the most now because of Anna. She knew Popayan a bit and spent a day showing us places she knew and discovering new places with us as tourists as well.
The hostel continued to fill up during our 1 week stay and we got to meet so many great teachers, solo travelers and traveling families. Staying at Hostel Caracol was our second experience in a hostel while in Colombia and both experiences were great.
Staying at Hostel Caracol made our stay in Popayan even better. The owner Tony and his staff, especially Marta, made us feel like part of their family. They suggested places to eat and offered advice whenever we needed it. Even after Rob bet against their home team in the most important Colombian futbol game in years!
During the semi final World Cup game employees and guests pilled into the common area to watch the game. Everyone made small wagers on what the final score would be. Of course all bets were in Colombia’s favor, everyone except Rob.
By the time we arrived to watch the game all of the probable scores for Colombia were already taken so Rob opted to bet on the other side. Very sadly, Colombia lost despite their valiant effort.
Robs score won and Rob felt so bad! No one held the win against him, thankfully. Talk about the kindness of Colombians, we were blown away again.
As a traveling family we’ve enjoyed staying in hostels. The price is good for our budget and we save even more with the option to use the common kitchen to cook some meals. Hostels are usually situated in locations that are close to shopping and activities as well so you can save money on transportation costs. Hostel Caracol had bikes free for guests to use and also ran tours and hikes in places in and around Popayan.
Staying in a hostel is a great way to save money traveling with kids. And in our case the opportunity to meet and spend time with other travelers really enriched our stay in Popayan.