Black Cat Hostel: Awesome Budget Accommodations in Asunción, Paraguay

From our on the ground friend Mr. PHX

So I’m currently holed up at the Black Cat Hostel this week. I finished up my Permanent Residency application process last week, and now I’m just winding down until my flight to Chile (day 33 of 1827 living abroad!).

I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about my experiences here because the Black Cat has been an awesome place to stay on a budget. Now to be fair, I’ve only stayed at one other hostel so far (Palm Tree Hostel in Medellín, Colombia), but I like to think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect when I stay at places like this.

The Black Cat is located right at the edge of the “old downtown” area of Asunción. It’s super close to all of the the government offices you’ll need to visit to apply for residency or citizenship, and all of the local fixers know this hostel quite well. There are also some famous restaurants close to here, such as Lido Bar, Bolsi and my favorite breakfast spot (mostly because it’s only about 20m away from the hostel’s front door!), Heladería Amandau.

If you want to visit the “new downtown” area, which is where all the shopping and fine dining are, it’s a quick bus ride (which will cost you about US$1.05 round trip), and the return bus will drop you off right in front of the Black Cat.

Ok, enough about where this place is. What’s it like once you’re here?
First, I have to give a massive shout-out to the staff. Violeta, Lilia and Diego have been awesome. They know where everything is and how to get there, and they speak English and Spanish fluently. If you want to learn more about the city or Paraguayan culture… or you just want to practice your Spanish, they are super excited to share their knowledge. Even if you aren’t staying here, stop by and get to know them; they’re super cool people (:

The ambiance here is fantastic. Plush furniture, high ceilings, lots of decorations and bright lighting make this place feel like a home. There’s also a central courtyard with a pool (yes, a pool!) and a rooftop patio. I’m working out of one of the common rooms right now, and it feels very cozy here.

I’m currently sitting in a room right next to the street, and I can barely hear any traffic noise. And when I’m lying in bed, the only noise comes from the air conditioner (and the snoring backpackers in the other beds… gah!).

The dorms are good by hostel standards. If you opt to stay in one of the 8- or 14-bed dorms, you’ll be sleeping in a pretty standard hostel bunk bed. There are also wooden lockers in each room where you can store your stuff (although interestingly there are only 6 lockers in my 8-bed dorm… good thing I brought along my Pacsafe!).

The 8-bed dorms have air conditioning, which is super awesome (it can get up to 50°C/122°F here in the summer months!), and a bug zapper.

They take the bedbug problem super seriously here. Every mattress and pillow is wrapped in plastic underneath the linens, and each room is sprayed down several times a week. I did notice a couple of the buggers in my bed early on in my trip, and they brought in an exterminator to treat the entire property. I haven’t had any problems with bedbugs since then.

The place is surprisingly big, but it never feels crowded. During most of my 2 weeks at the hostel, it felt like there were no more than 15-20 people here at any given time. The hostel attracts travelers of all age groups, but most of them seem to be in their 20’s. There’s a pretty wide mix of personalities; some folks want to go off and do their own thing, while others will come right up to you and say, “¡Hola! ”

Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Asunción that’s comfortable and conveniently-located, staffed with super helpful and friendly people, The Black Cat is an awesome choice.

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2 Responses to “Black Cat Hostel: Awesome Budget Accommodations in Asunción, Paraguay”

  1. Mike Says:

    Wow sounds like a fun place and definitely something different from what I have read about on the internet, thanks for the insights here and looking forward to putting Asuncion on my short list of places to visit in 2013

  2. Phoenix Says:

    Definitely Mike! I think you’ll like what you see when you get here (:

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