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Hostelling International-Santa Cruz

A California beach hostel at the historical Carmelita Cottages

321 Main Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA

(831) 423-8304

Hours: 8-11 AM & 5-10 PM
Contact & Map

A Beautiful Hostel By The Beach That Promotes Cultural Exchange And Personal Growth

Our Mission: To help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling.

HI-Santa Cruz hosts more than 10,000 guests per year at the historic 1870's Carmelita Cottages on Beach Hill in Santa Cruz, California - a lovely oceanside community located between San Francisco and Los Angeles - we are the perfect stop on your journey along the Pacific Coast of the USA.

Comprised of five renovated Victorian cottages, HI-Santa Cruz has the ability to accommodate up to 45 guests. Individuals, couples, families, and groups are welcome year round. By providing travelers with affordable, clean, safe and shared accommodations, HI-Santa Cruz promotes intercultural exchange, personal growth, and cultural awareness. Our goal is to bring the world together and build global peace and understanding through hostelling.

Our staff is available to answer questions about the local area during our business hours. You can also see our staff recommendations.

Our Vision



We at HI-Santa Cruz passionately believe that hostels play a pivotal role in cultural exchange and acceptance all over the world. Diversity is an incredible part of life here at the Santa Cruz Hostel. Friendship and memories are made here that last a lifetime.

At HI-Santa Cruz we see wonderful things everyday —A boy and girl meet at our hostel, fall in love, travel the world, get married and return to the hostel every year to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. A young man from Germany carries the bags of an 80 year old Englishwoman up the front steps to our office. A Chinese family teaches a young couple from Omaha how to say “Thank You,” in Mandarin.

At HI-Santa Cruz we hear stories from all over the world— A man from the Midwest tells a funny tale about a bumpy and almost fatal bus ride in Budapest. A cultural debate erupts between world travelers about the best way to make a dumpling from pot stickers to pierogi. A laughing Brazilian tries to do a Scottish Accent for his new Scottish friends.

A hostel is a different environment than a hotel—guests share space so that they can get to know each other, and learn about travelling through each other’s experiences. We also try to keep accommodations affordable so that everyone has the opportunity to experience the joys of hostelling. Through sharing space in dorm rooms, common spaces, and the kitchen we learn to see the similarities in those who seem different than we are, and learn to appreciate the differences.


We want HI-Santa Cruz to provide--

  • A unique, inspiring and diverse location
  • Offer good value for money
  • Meet agreed quality standards of cleanliness
  • Offer a safe environment for your stay
  • Give you a comfortable night's sleep
  • Provide friendly surroundings


We try to achieve this by working hard to ensure that hostelling is open to everyone, is affordable and that no matter where you are coming from, you’ll get a great night’s sleep in a safe environment.

Affiliated Businesses

We recommend some local businesses that we know very well to be of excellence, caring, and that will contribute for you to have a truly "Santa Cruz experience".


Besides being ouselves loyal customers, we recommend them because they offer a truly local experience that we believe you will remember.

Moreover, they all participate actively in creating a unique Santa Cruz community and culture, and visiting them you'll become part of it too.

ALbert Bandura autobiography
"The freshest and widest selection of Seafood." Eat at our Restaurant, buy fresh to cook at home, or ask To-Go.
ALbert Bandura autobiography
"The premier surf school and surf lessons in Santa Cruz." There is no better way to learn how to surf.
ALbert Bandura autobiography
The freshest and widest selection of Seafood. Eat at our Restaurant, buy fresh to cook at home, or ask To-Go.
ALbert Bandura autobiography
"A California twist on an island classic, serving great food and cool cocktails, while creating a sense of community."
A Santa Cruz landmark, has grown from a small natural foods bakery into a major natural foods supermarket.