Are you looking for a cheap but nice place to stay when you visit Everglades National Park near Homestead Florida? This article provides an Everglades Hostel review as well as photos of the hostel. When you go to Everglades National Park in Florida there are lots of lodging options most of which can be pretty expensive. Hotels tend to be around $100 per night an up with hotels in Miami topping out way above that. The cheapest option for camping at Everglades National Park is camping right in the park but if you want a roof over your head, a real bed, a shower and other amenities, then the Everglades Hostel in Homestead, Florida is one of your best options.
The Everglades Hostel is an eco hostel of sorts. There is a main building with dorm rooms, private rooms, semi private rooms, bathrooms, showers and the main office. An adjacent building offers a full size industrial strength kitchen, a couple computers with Internet access, a lounge area with a big screen TV with movies and a collection of old comfortable couches. In the kitchen you will find all the pots, pans and utensils you could possible need to cook up a banquet for 50 people as well as a communal freezer and refrigerator.
Behind the Everglades Hostel you will find a large open area with a natural waterfall fed by an underground river, an outdoor shower, a number of gazebos with furniture and picnic tables, a rope tree house, and a camping area for budget travelers. There are electrical outlets all over the place and wireless Internet access is available and pretty fast throughout the hostel and the surrounding grounds. In the back of the hostel you will also see lots of kayaks and other gear used for the Everglades Tours offered by the Everglades Hostel.
The everglades Hostel is generally pretty busy in the winter and especially the spring so it is a good idea to have a reservation especially if you want to be sure of securing a bunk in a room or a private room for an extended stay. A bunk room will cost you $28.00 per night which is a great deal for the Everglades but on the expensive side for a hostel in the US. If you will be staying for an extended period (6 days or more) the Everglades Hostel sometimes has a deal that gives you a sixth night free if you pay for 5 up front when you check in. These specials change periodically so if you plan to stay there, ask about any current specials.
The staff at the Everglades Hostel is happy, friendly and helpful. If you need something or want information about what to see and where to go chances are one of the staff members there will be able to steer you in the right direction to find whatever it is that you need. When you get to the hostel the main desk is easy to find and where you will check in. Once you pay for your room and check in you’ll get an electronic room key that will open your door for all the days you paid to stay and you’ll be given a tour of the facilities at the Everglades Hostel.
If you stay in a bunk room you’ll be in a room with 4 to 10 other bunk beds that may or may not have people in them. The rooms a pretty spacious and the beds comfortable. Electrical outlets are plentiful in the rooms so you will have no problem finding a plug to charge your computer, tablet, camera batteries of whatever other electronic gizmos you may have with you. There are mixed dorms and female only dorms. During the stay at the Everglades Hostel, the variety of roommates ranged from 75 year old retired doctors to European College women wandering around the US for the first time. Everyone was friendly, respectful and there were never any issues with the roommates or room arrangements.
When it comes to food at the Everglades Hostel, your nightly rate includes a pancake breakfast that you cook yourself in the morning. Eat as much as you want! Unlimited pancake batter is included along with fake maple syrup. If you want anything else you’ll be able to buy it in one of the local stores (grocery stores, Wal-mart, and drug stores are all around). Many nights the staff at the Everglades Hostel cooks a communal dinner. They like it if you make reservations and pay the $5.00 in advance but there is usually enough food to add a few more people on at the last minute. The dinners are always good and filling. They will be the best dinner deal you will find while staying at the Everglades Hostel.
The Everglades Hostel offers lots of tours of the Everglades. The staff will tell you about these ether when you check in or on the introductory tour of the hostel. They’ll give you a soft sell but won’t twist your arm until you sign up for a tour. If you are at the Everglades Hostel and have no transportation to actually get to Everglades National Park, the tours while expensive are about the only way you will get to see much of the Everglades.
If you drove to the Everglades Hostel and have a car with you, the park service offers the same tours offered by the Everglades Hostel for free. These include canoe trips, slough slogs, evening walks at Royal Palm where all the alligators congregate in the spring and others. If you just want to rent a canoe to take to the Everglades, the Everglades Hostel is a great place to rent it especially if you are staying at the hostel.
Overall, the Everglades Hostel is an outstanding lodging option when you want to go to Biscayne National Park, Everglades National Park, John Pennkamp State Park (great snorkeling trips there!) or any of the other sights in the area of Homestead Florida or Florida City all the way down to Key Largo where John Pennekamp State Park is located. At $28.00 per night it is on the expensive side for a hostel in the US, however compared to other lodging options near the Everglades it is a great deal.
The free pancake breakfast and the $5.00 communal dinner make it an even better deal. Parking is free and was plentiful while there though the two parking areas may fill up during extremely busy times of year (most notably spring break). If you want an affordable place to stay other than a campground when visiting the Everglades, the Everglades Hostel is a great option!