I never expected to find a hostel in the middle of the Florida Everglades, but Everglades International Hostel is just that and much more. Fans of the backpacker scene will appreciate the sense of community here, but families and more traditional travelers can take advantage of the private rooms.
Editor’s Note: This hostel has changed names and may no longer have the same features.
Located in Florida City, the Everglades Hostel is only 20 minutes from the Florida Keys, less than one hour from Miami and 15 minutes in between both Everglades and Biscayne national parks. The hostel serves as a base for excursions into the parks and you can even book tours through the hostel. If you decide to do it on your own, you can also rent bikes and canoes.
As I said before, you can stay in the standard 4-8 bed dorm rooms, which are each decorated to their own theme, for $28 USD. Alternatively, you can stay in a private room, which starts at $75. I stayed in the Nenby suite, which had its own living room, kitchen, and bathroom across the property from the rest of the hostel. If you want to get even closer to nature, you can bring your tent and camp in the courtyard for $18 with access to all the amenities.
I was pleased to see that among the fantastic amenities is free WiFi and computers for public use. There’s also a television lounge and many other public spaces, including comfy tents filled with pillows. They often have yoga classes and host musicians all over the property.
Pools are not a common find at hostels, but Everglades International has two natural rock pools with waterfalls. There’s also a ropes course treehouse contraption that gives you a chance to hang out above the hostel with a good book. It’s not uncommon to see chickens, dogs, and lizards wandering around the property.
The vibe here is definitely green, eco-friendly and hippie. They’re big on composting and prefer that you bring your own sheets or towels for dorms to be environmentally friendly. You can also bring pets if you’re camping and they even encourage “crashers,” who pay $15 to sleep anywhere they can find.
When it comes time to wash some clothes, Everglades International Hostel has you covered with coin laundry machines which, like the rest of the amenities, are available 24 hours a day.
The kitchen becomes the hub of activity here, as there’s always someone concocting something. Breakfast is all-you-can-eat free pancakes, which prepares you for a full day of exploring. Overall, the staff at Everglades International Hostel is fantastic and always wants to meet travelers.
For More Information
Everglades International Hostel (now called Hoosville Hostel) is located at 20 SW 2nd Avenue in Florida City, Florida near the Greyhound drop off point. From Miami, go south on Florida 826 until you get to Florida City/Homestead. Call (+1) 305-248-1122 or see their website to make a booking.
Office hours are from 8 am to 9 pm, but there is always someone around to help you out. Checkout is at 11 am. Some parking spots are available outside of the hostel.
Everglades International Hostel hosted me during my stay, but all opinions remain my own. All photos are the property of the author unless otherwise stated.