To help us get over the long flight from the UK we decided to spend a few days in Buenos Aires before heading further south in Argentina.
We needed something local, cheap and with space to store our gear. The first places we found were either too dear or advertised as party hostels, which we knew equalled little sleep.
But Circus Hostel & Hotel sounded like it ticked our boxes and it did. Great friendly staff, (albeit lacking a British sense of urgency when we tried to book a large taxi to take us and our bikes to the airport, but that’s another story), excellent mini cafe and bar where you could get a good priced meal, and a lounge area with tables and chairs where you can hang out while waiting for onward travel after you’ve checked out.
The room was nice and big and the bed extremely comfortable and wide – it was even just about long enough for my 6’4″ frame. The shower was hot and powerful, but just watch out – the toilet is about 5cm lower than most Westerners are used to, so it was a bit of an unexpected drop when going for the first visit. Also slightly surprising was the requirement to put all used loo paper in a small bin, which is emptied daily by the cleaners.
There is free, reasonably fast, wifi in the downstairs lounge, a (very) small pool and outdoor lounge area, and space to store necessary gubbins, which for us included two large bike boxes and two big bags of panniers. The hostel is on a street called Chacabuco, right bang in the middle of San Telmo, which made it a good base to explore Buenos Aires.
A light breakfast was served every morning consisting of medialunas (small, sweet and denser-than-usual croissants), small rounds of bread with various spreads including the famous dulce de leche, fruit, and fresh orange juice. Black tea was available along with coffee, though cold milk for Peli’s daily dose of tea was lacking.
One word of warning, which would apply to all accommodation in such a big city – do watch out for your luggage while here. When we first arrived at Hostel Circus in a taxi from the airport we met a cycle touring couple who had, just that minute, had their camera stolen from reception while they were checking in. The hostel’s CCTV later showed an organised gang standing near the reception counter and pretending to check in. While they were searching for their passports, the cycle tourists’ camera bag was swiped by a member of this gang. So, take care!
If you should stay at Hostel Circus, do not miss out on the cafe’s special fried chips, called ‘Papas Circus’, which are loaded with herbs and garlic. Rather moreish, they are.