Chilecito ’s HI affiliate, Hostel del Paimán (Maestro 198, tel. 03825/42-5102, www.hotelruta40.com.ar , US$9 pp dorm; US$14 s, US$21 d, with private bath), occupies a handsome old adobe, with rooms arranged along a gallery that extends the depth of the lot; it also has large gardens.
Under the same ownership, Hotel Ruta 40 (Libertad 68, tel. 03825/42-2804, www.hotelruta40.com.ar , US$9 pp dorm with shared bath; US$14 s, US$23 d, with private bath) has plain but immaculately clean rooms with firm beds and small amenities such as writing desks.
Downtown’s best choice may be family-run Hostal Mary Pérez (Florencio Dávila 280, tel./fax 03825/42-3156, hostal_mp [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$26 s, US$31 d), which offers large comfy rooms with good beds, cable TV, and a decent breakfast. It’s normally quiet, but the walls are a little thin.
On ample shaded grounds, ACA’s Hotel Chilecito (Timoteo Gordillo 101, tel. 03825/42-2201, US$37–47 s, US$47–67 d) is architecturally drab but has upgraded the interior. Prices, though, have more than doubled.