Hotel Tip of The Week: Bosque Nativo | Valdivia, Chile

hotel tip of the week

Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Dani

Welcome to our Hotel Tip of The Week series. Being on the road every day of the year means we stay at countless hotels along the way. For all the dingy, disappointing budget digs, there are as many budget accommodation gems. We post one hotel tip of the week, every week, of places we feel confident recommending after having tried and tested them ourselves. This week: Hostel Bosque Nativo in Valdivia, Chile.

I had this feeling of dread on the way to Valdivia that I just couldn’t shake. After a couple of rough sleeps and rainy days, I needed a hot shower, a good night’s rest and peace and quiet to get some work done. Traveling in the height of Chile’s vacation month, we had to book two nights in a dorm room – something we almost never do for plenty of reasons. Because we were coming off one of our worst-ever hostel experiences, I wasn’t expecting much better from this hostel in Valdivia.

Instead, what we got was a spacious, clean, well-run hostel experience at Hostal Bosque Nativo. Set just a few blocks from the river near most everything in this small city, the hostel is ranked number 1 of 19 specialty lodging on Tripadvisor for a good reason.

bosque nativo valdivia dorm roomAfter signing in at reception, we were brought up a wide, wooden staircase to a large six-person dorm room that never felt cramped. The Wi-Fi was lightning fast, it was generally quiet enough for us to get work done and we both slept like rocks on the quality, comfortable mattresses. All the bunk beds were made out of sturdy wood, as are the doubles in all four private rooms and the bunks in the other 6-person and 8-person dorm. All rooms are named after a tree native to the area around Valdivia, as the name, Bosque Nativo, or native forest, would suggest.

bosque nativo valdivia rauli roomThis is because the hostel is the revenue-generating arm of a nonprofit organization that works in the sustainable management of Chile’s native forests, an issue of significant importance in Valdivia, where forestry and wood pulp exportation are big business and threaten both the forests and the species of animals that live there. With such an important purpose, we felt like the message could have been translated through to the guests more, but the family who runs it doesn’t communicate much with the guests.

They do keep the place spic and span, though. Separated into ladies and men’s, each had two toilets and three showers that were super clean, if a bit cramped. In the morning, each room was assigned a table down in the dining area, where a typical Chilean breakfast of white toast, jam, marmalade and cake is laid out beforehand. Not a healthy breakfast that some eco-hostels prefer, but considering their relatively inexpensive rates ($20 per dorm bed, private rooms starting at $43 in high season), we weren’t expecting much else.

breakfastOff the dining area are the kitchen and also a cozy living room. The kitchen was very clean with plenty of plates, cutlery and enough pots and pans to make a good meal, though cutting boards were sorely missed. The living room has couches, a flat screen TV, a wood stove for chilly nights, plus books and magazines to read. It’s a good place to hang out and socialize.

bosque nativo valdivia living room

Stand-Out Feature: Value for Money

Taking into account that Chilean prices, especially during high season, are on par or  higher than in Europe or the U.S., the rates at Bosque Nativo are on the lower end of budget accommodation and hostels in Valdivia. What you get in return are hot showers, towels, breakfast, use of a clean, well-equipped kitchen, good wi-fi, dorms have big lockers for backpacks + locks, private rooms have cable TV, there is plenty of communal space, all set in a great location.

bosque nativo valdivia kitchen

Room for improvement: Impersonal staff

Everything in the hostel worked like clockwork, and there is nothing negative to say about the family running it at all. But they were not overly friendly, helpful or communicative. Breakfast was already laid out, so no one had to talk to us, and we really appreciate when we are given a map of the city and told a bit about what there is to do, but we were quickly checked in and shown to our rooms. When we left, we were asked for our keys without any question as to our next stop or mentions of bon voyage. This is a shame especially considering that this a clean, well-run eco-hostel that is part of such an important and interesting non-profit.

bosque nativo valdivia private room

Overall: Hostel Bosque Nativo in Valdivia, Chile

Impersonal staff aside, Hostel Bosque Nativo is a great option for a short stay in Valdivia. The clean, comfortable and cozy hostel is just a few blocks from the point where three major rivers meet in Valdivia, home to the famous fish market and spot where all the tour boats leave from. Plus, all city center restaurants, bars and grocery stores are within a 10-15 minute walk.

bosque nativo valdivia breakfast room

Bosque Nativo | Valdivia, Chile – The Details

Location: Fresia 290, Valdivia, Chile
Price: High season (October – March): US$20 for a dorm bed; US$50 for a double room with private bathroom, US$43 for a double room with shared bathroom; Low season (April – September): US$17 for a dorm bed, US$43 for a double room with private bathroom, US$37 for a private room with shared bathroom
LGBT Friendly: Not outwardly
Digital Nomad Friendly: Good wi-fi connection and work space in the communal areas
Amenities: Free wi-fi, complimentary breakfast, kitchen use, laundry service, lockers with locks, TV in private rooms, towels

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Tags : Hotel Tip


  1. I know you’re a team, but you should really add a “by line” to each one of your posts. I don’t know why I really said that. I guess I just like to see credit where credit is due.

    These types of posts are exactly what I enjoy when reading about your adventures. It’s valuable information from “boots on the ground” travelers. I would certainly stay at this hostel when I finally make it to Chile. It’s the type of information you get word of mouth from other travelers while you’re on the road.

    There was no internet yet the last time I was on a long term adventure. Sometimes, I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or not as it certainly takes a lot of serendipity out of traveling now a days. I know, if ya don’t like it, just turn it off. But, that’s like cutting your nose off to spite your face!

    It’s part of what I wonder while I pre-wander. Keep spinning the yarns and keep a loose weave.

    1. Steve – thanks for pointing that out. You an actually see who the author is when you visit the website, but even though we added a plug-in to show the author to our subscribers, it doesn’t seem to be included when the posts go out via mail 🙁 We have to look into that again.

      I often wonder how it would be to travel with no internet, but to be honest, I really really appreciate being able to look up travel info, hostels, etc online and we sure use it a lot 😉 However, we still don’t manage to find a lot of hostel ‘gems’ down here, so we’re happy to feature the ones that surprised us in a good way 🙂

      1. Dani, – I should have included that I will never go back to traveling without using a laptop or cell phone. But, as I have traveled in the “Olden Days”, w/o the web, I have the advantage of knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes wandering without plans or knowledge and only depending on other humans is just as exciting.

        In the early days (70’s) back when I started working after university, everything was done by hand. There were no computers, FAX machines or even copy machines. Estimating was done on a huge spread sheet with dozens of columns and lines. Everything was entered with pencil, so it could be erased if there was a mistake. All the columns were added with a separate calculator as were all the line entries. You knew there was no mistake when they equaled the same value. Oh, the old days.

        When I quit working a couple years ago, I was using a very complicated estimating software. I almost feel like my grandfather who was born before automobiles and died after man walked on the moon!

        I’m in wonder of how you guys use all the tools available to you now with regard to the internet and computing in general. Keep up the good work.

        1. Steve – Sometimes I wish we’d experienced more of these ‘internet-less’ times though. It would make me feel much more disconnected from the rest of the world, especially down here in Patagonia. Instead, family and friends are just a Skype call or Facebook chat away. However, as long-term travelers we sure are happy that it is so easy to stay connected with family, friends back home and travelers we meet along the way. Nowadays you can stay connected with everyone you meet via Facebook – ten years ago that wouldn’t have been possible! I remember how I had to spend huge amounts of money on my first trips when I called my family for 2 minutes from abroad – now I can do it for free 😉

  2. That sounds nice, and we considered staying there too, but I’m glad we chose Airesbuenos Hostel in the end. It sounds like a few small things were better at Bosque Nativo (fast wifi, free towels!), but it sounds like Airesbuenos has a more pleasant atmosphere.

    1. Hey Sam – that was definitely one of our top options for our Valdivia hostel, too. It was fully booked, though, which probably indicates that it’s a great option as well.

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