It is generally not recommended to stay at a hotel or hostel near Lima Airport for safety reasons. Callao, the district where Lima Airport is located, is generally one of Lima´s unsafest districts and not the safest place to walk around day or night.
The One-Night Lima Layover
Most tourists will only ever have one reason to stay in Callao: an overnight layover in Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport (located in Callao, part of the wider Lima Metropolitan Area).
Let’s say you’re arriving at Lima Airport at 8 p.m. and your onward flight to Cusco leaves the next morning at 9 a.m.
You could sleep in the airport, but that’s a shitty way to start a holiday in Peru.
You could drop US$150 or more on a hotel at the airport, the option being the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport, where you can share a jetted hot tub with a couple of stressed-out business travelers before retiring to your smoke-free guestroom. If that sounds like affordable fun, go for it.
You could take a taxi or the new Airport Express Lima bus from the airport to a hostel or hotel in Miraflores, a much more tourist-friendly part of the city. The bus option costs around $9usd one-way and will get you into Miraflores in about 45 minutes in normal traffic and they have free wi-fi and charging ports on board.
Or, if you are feeling braver, you can stay at Pay Purix (www.paypurix.com), which is near to Lima Airport where you can have a few beers, play pool or foosball, meet other travelers and wake up the next day just a few blocks from the airport, refreshed and ready for your onward flight.
Staying at Pay Purix Backpacker Hostel Near Lima Airport
First things first: What’s it going to cost?
Rates at Pay Purix start at around S/.35 for a bed in a 12-person dorm (S/.40 for a four-person dorm); about S/.80 to S/.100 for a single; and anywhere between S/.120 to S/.195 for a double, twin or triple room which is not bad for a hostel near Lima Airport.
Pay Purix can also pick you up at the airport (and take you there the next day) for about S/.23 each way. That’s expensive for such a short drive: the hostel is about one mile from the airport as the crow flies. But taxi drivers inside the airport will almost certainly try to get you to pay more than that (apparently one female traveler ended up paying US$50), and finding a cheaper taxi on the road outside the airport isn’t worth the risk (nor is walking, for that matter, especially at night).
So when it comes to the crunch, staying at Pay Purix could save you money and will definitely save you a load of hassle but it is not recommended to venture out of the hostel much at all.
But is Pay Purix actually a good place to stay?
Yep, it certainly is. With comfortable rooms, plenty of amenities (laundry service, kitchen usage, good Wi-Fi) and things to keep you entertained (bar, foosball, pool table, table tennis), you’ll at least be content. You may even end up having a blast with a bunch of fellow travelers, some of whom might be flying to your very same destination the next day (especially if it’s Cusco).
Callao-born Bruno and his fellow staff members are also a key selling point, and are always on hand with information and advice. Then there’s the free breakfast and reasonable check-out policy (11 a.m. but you can hang around at the hostel until 10 p.m.), all of which combine to make Pay Purix a fun and relaxed place to pass the time between flights.
On the downside, there’s really nothing much to do near the hostel. The area around the airport is uninspiring and consists mainly of warehouses, factories and nondescript apartment buildings. Take a daytime stroll and you might see some old military equipment displayed in the streets, but these tattered vehicles and artillery pieces look as though they were dumped by the roadside rather than proudly placed there. Santa Rosa Market is worth the 1 km walk from Pay Purix — if you like markets or if you really need to buy a whole chicken.
But nearby attractions are really unimportant. Pay Purix is precisely where it is to serve the lengthy layover crowd, and it does that perfectly. ‘Nuff said.