The flight deals are popping up and that extra vacation time is burning a Texas-sized hole in your moisture-wicking bike shorts, but you’re having a tough time giving up prime adventure season to work on your tank-top tan outside of a Señor Frog’s in Miami Beach.
We hear you, and we agree that summer should be about getting out there and doing the things you love in the outdoors, not wasting away in Margaritaville (there’s one of those in Miami Beach too). But heck, why not do those things in new places with a few new people?
After listing a few of our favorite domestic action sports hostels, we decided to widen the net a bit, adding an international twist to the stay-and-play equation. Arranged by sport, here are a handful of our favorite places to get after it around the world — the five best action sports hostels for international travelers.
Mountain biking: The Riding Fool Hostel, Cumberland, B.C.
Nestled in the Mecca of North Shore mountain biking, the Riding Fool Hostel was born to be a bike haven. The Vancouver Island retreat features the usual hostel amenities — a full kitchen, BBQ, pool table and common area — but shakes things up with its own bike shop and bike cafe. The hostel also sits just a few steps from Cumberland’s famed trail system, offering a bevy of riding options right out the door.
Score incredible mountain trails and lodging for around $20 a night (shared-bunk room rate). If you find yourself on the island in wintertime, the Riding Fool is just 25 minutes from Mount Washington Ski Resort.
Paragliding: Hostal El Nido, Colombia
Literally translated to “The Nest Hostel,” Hostal El Nido is South America’s landing place for international high-flyers. Situated along the Las Aguilas launch site above the Colombian city of Bucaramanga, Hostal El Nido is walk-in, walk-out for paragliders, with easy flying options that offer stunning views of the city and surrounding mountainsides.
In addition to the hostel’s pool, hot-water showers and balcony full of hammocks, the location also organizes daily excursions to other fly sites and free transportation, making it an oasis for sky-bound travelers.
Skateboarding: Sagrada Familia Hostel, Spain
Barcelona is one of the biggest street-skating hubs in the world, so it’s only right that it has its own skate-specific hostel, right? Located a few blocks from the Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s iconic cathedral project, the Sagrada Familia Hostel features an indoor mini ramp and skateboard storage, as well as street and local art inspired by the city’s vibrant skate scene.
With easy access to Barcelona’s street spots and skate parks, the hostel has been frequented by many a pro making his or her way through Spain’s international destination.
Surfing: Room2Board Hostel, Costa Rica
The surfing in Costa Rica is no secret, but logistics can get a little sticky when it comes to pulling off a surf trip in Central America. Luckily there are places like Room2Board Hostel, just 1.5 hours from San Jose and the country’s biggest international airport.
Just steps from Playa Jaco, host of the 2016 ISA World Games, Room2Board offers board repair and storage as well as a $10-a-day rental package for those concerned about lugging a board through connecting flights and international borders. The hostel is also only a five-minute drive to Playa Hermosa, one of the best-known breaks in Costa Rica.
For those concerned about taking the international plunge, the owners speak English and will help make sure you’re hooked up, and if local food gives you the willies, the on-site restaurant will keep you fueled throughout your stay.