San Cristóbal ’s largest and most popular hostel is still Posada México Hostel (Av. Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez at Dr. Felipe Flores, tel. 967/678-0014, www.hostellingmexico.com , US$8 dorm, US$12 s/d with shared bathroom, US$14 s/d with private bathroom) with a relaxed ambience, well-kept sleeping areas, and plenty of indoor and outdoor common space.
Dorms (mixed and single-sex) and private rooms (some more secluded than others) all have comfy beds and regular cleaning, and guests can make use of lockers, TV and Internet areas, a fully equipped kitchen, even a bar complete with bean bags. An annex down the street has its own kitchen, and tends to be quieter than the main area.
A block and a half from Santo Domingo church , Rossco Backpackers Hostel (Calle Real de Mexicanos 16, tel. 967/674-0525, www.backpackershostel.com.mx , US$8.25–10.25 dorm, US$21.25 s, US$25.50 d) is also quite spacious, with large rooms and a long central garden. Standard dorms have 10–14 beds apiece (except the women-only dorm, with eight spots) and shared toilets and showers across the garden, or pay two bucks more for a four-person dorm with in-room bathroom.
Upstairs private rooms are far superior to the downstairs ones, with private bathrooms and skylights in the high ceilings. Breakfast, Internet and kitchen access, and salsa classes are all included. Nightly bonfires draw guests together, and the hostel is known for its party-loving atmosphere.
The friendly Hotel Posada 5 (Calle Comitán 13, tel. 967/674-7660, www.posada5.com , US$6 dorm, US$7.50 pp shared bathroom, $10 pp private room) has a long airy dorm area with oversize windows looking onto a grassy yard, which is itself big enough for sunbathing or even an impromptu soccer game. Most private rooms get nice light too, and the shared bathrooms are reasonably clean; ditto for the kitchen. There’s no indoor hangout space, unfortunately—the kitchen or rear patio suffice for morning coffee or afternoon tea. The park in front is a bit drab, but the neighborhood is pleasant and quiet, and the center’s a short walk away. The hotel will cover taxi fare from the bus station.
Once a down-and-out posada called La Casa di Gladys, Planet Hostel (Calle Cintalapa 6 btwn. Av. Diego Dugelay and Calle Huixtla, tel. 967/678-5775, www.planethostel.com.mx , US$8 dorm, US$12/16 s/d with shared bathroom, US$15–20 s/d with private bathroom) is now a cool little hostel and a nice alternative to the bigger places. Dorms are small—just six beds apiece—and all rooms have newish mattresses and bright interior paint. A TV room, small rear garden/lounge, and rooftop hammock/barbecue area are all great for chilling out. Wi-Fi, breakfast, kitchen access, and salsa classes are included.