I am planning on Backpacking around Central and South America in Nov-Feb and am unsure whether to take a sleeping bag. I will be staying at mostly hostels. Do they provide linen and is it clean? I know some places around the world dont allow you to take a sleeping bag into hostels in case of bed bugs. Is this the case in Central/South America?
Any advice would be great.
No need for anything, some people will take a silk sleep sack/bag liner I suppose for $40 it sets your mind @ ease-easy to carry/wash.
I've had some pretty bad experiences with hostel linen in SA. Especially in rural Bolivia, but also in northern Argentina, which by all counts is a 'civilised' country. I'd strongly recommend that you take sleeping bag liner along with you. And, if you planned on doing trekking: the sleeping bags that tour operators provide you with imo are often of very questionable quality. If you don't want to freeze, I'd suggest taking your own with you.
I've slept in some pretty skivey beds over the years, and once or twice had bed bugs. I've never carried a sleeping bag in CA. Like Sam says, if it puts your mind at ease, bring a sleep sack. If you are not SPECIFICALLY planning to use a sleeping bag for it's intended purpose of sleepoing outdoors, I would say leave it at home. There are cheap options to buy here, if you change your mind, and you don't need an Arctic bag in CA.
I travelled SA for 6 months and used my liner a few times but it set my mind at ease and those few times alone probably made it worth it. For the most part I stayed in some nice hostels but even if its for some extra warmth (eg. on Bolivian salt flats or inca trail) then it is worth it.
I'd spend the few pounds if I were you. It's not like they weigh much at all.