The thin door underneath the painted sign looked inviting. The fact there was a cake shop next door only made it more appealing. But this was New Year’s Eve, and there was no answer to our knocking. Instead we went to Hotel Libertador, which was decorated with potted plants and calendars of semi-naked women representing important historic events and the provinces of Bolivia.
Two days later, we walked past Casa Blanca again. The shutters at the floor length windows of the panadería were open. We knocked on the little blue door and it opened. And that’s how we discovered the only hostel in Tarija.
Casa Blanca is small and intimate – my favourite kind of hostel. Three dorm rooms surround a covered courtyard where The Beatles tinkle on a stereo and board games sit waiting to be played. Through lofty archways, the courtyard opens up to the sky. A couple of hammocks under a tree are ready for lazing. Two well-stocked bathrooms and a nice-size kitchen lead off from here. The reception and entrance are opposite.
The young owner explains that they’ve only been open a month, so they still need to get wifi and lockers. Also, would we like breakfast as it costs 10Bs more? Yes, of course we want breakfast, considering it includes cake.
Casa Blanca Hostel
Calle Ingavi #645 (between Ballivian and JM Saracho)
(00591) 4 66 42909
60Bs a night, 10Bs breakfast