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Hostel El Corazon 1.0

Downtown Cancun, Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula

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Review Summary

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  • Convenient downtown location
  • 24-hour outdoor pool with no alcohol restrictions
  • Free Wi-Fi in throughout
  • Air-conditioned dorms, and private rooms available
  • Segregated quarters for women


  • Extremely dated, with visible wear and tear in every area
  • No breakfast
  • Some rooms get noise from the street or reception
  • Noisy AC units; AC typically only runs at night

Bottom Line

This no-frills hostel is most notable for its convenient downtown location and rock-bottom prices. The rooms are typical of a budget hostel: plain, shared dorms with bunk beds, plus private quarters available upon request. There is a small outdoor pool that doesn't have any restrictions on visiting hours, but the grimy concrete from the unfinished building next door is unsightly. There is also visible wear and grime throughout the property's interior. Hostel Mezcal is a much better hostel option, though it has more of a party vibe.

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A budget hostel in downtown Cancun near the town square

Hostel El Corazon has less of a party atmosphere than is found at competitors such as Hostel Mezcal, and it is located in a quieter part of downtown Cancun, making it suited to backpackers who don't want to worry (too much) about noise. There's a pool, giving this property a slight edge over Hostel Mundo Joven, which only has a rooftop whirlpool. The lack of atmosphere here can be a downside to those looking to make friends, however.

The hostel is made up of three unassuming buildings that surround the pool in the center. The primary building’s main floor houses the lounge, kitchen area, and game room. There are also a book-exchange display counter, walls with signatures from guests over the years, and sundries for sale, like snacks and deodorant. The exterior, entryway, and main lobby are well-maintained and clean, but major wear and grime shows up in the rooms and bathrooms. Expect visible mold under the old wall-mounted box air conditioners, as well as missing tile grout and rusted fixtures in the bathrooms. 


In the heart of downtown Cancun, near plenty of transport options and eateries

The hotel is set behind the immigration offices on Nader Avenue, just north on Uxmal between Nader and Bonampak. It's a 10-minute walk from the Parque Las Palapas, which hosts weekend events and food stalls. Tulum Avenue and Yaxchilan Avenue are within a 10- to 15-minute walk. The Parque Las Palapas, Tulum Avenue, and Yaxchilan Avenue are lined with restaurants and souvenir shops. It's under a 10-minute walk to the ADO bus terminal, which has routes throughout Mexico as well as the R1 bus line, which goes to the Hotel Zone in around 25 minutes, depending on traffic. The local fish and fruit market, known as Market 23, is around 15 minutes away on foot.    


The bare minimum for a budget hostel

El Corazon has shared dormitories with bunk beds, a women’s dorm, and four private rooms with one or two beds. Dorms have steel lockers, although guests need to bring their own padlocks.

The bathroom showers feature marble and tile walls and floors, but grout is missing in many areas. Water damage is visible in most of the toilet areas along the walls, and there are rusted appliances. Rooms are air conditioned during the evening hours, but the hostel typically doesn't run AC during the daytime hours, and the units are old wall box units surrounded by visible water damage and mold. 


A kitchen area and an outdoor pool

The primary hangout areas are the lounge downstairs, the kitchen eating area upstairs, and the adjacent game room where board games are available. There is also space around the pool for visiting, but as a general rule the hostel isn’t known for being a place for socializing. 

The upstairs kitchen is simple, with a refrigerator, several electric burners, a coffeemaker, microwave, and toaster. While guests are encouraged to wash their own dishes upon use, some have reported that the kitchen is in a state of perpetual disarray and grimy from years of use. Although the hostel used to offer a free breakfast, we were told during our early 2016 visit that the hostel would be discontinuing the offering.

The pool area is not an attractive spot, with a worn cement surround and a view of a grimy concrete wall. The pool bottom looks like it could use a good scrub. There are lounge chairs, some on grass, some on concrete, and a palm tree, but the limited greenery does little to enhance the atmosphere. There is a grill and outdoor cooking area that guests can use, as well as an area to the side of the pool where the hostel sets up tent accommodations during peak times when rooms are otherwise sold out. 

The only public computer available is the one at the main desk, although there is Wi-Fi throughout. Be warned, however, that the connection is slow and it can take several minutes just to load emails. Those who need a faster connection will be better off going to the nearest Starbucks. Parking is available along the streets around the hotel, and there is a small area on-site that can accommodate six vehicles at most, depending on the size of the car and parking ability of the driver. 

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Avenida Uxmal Lt 18 y 20 Esquina Con Calle Rubia, Cancun 77500, Mexico