We had planned to spend our night in Puno in a local home on one of the floating islands. I had our room reserved, then several days before we were due to arrive I got an email saying it was raining a lot and it was due to rain when we were scheduled, so maybe we come the next day. The rain line seemed a bit odd so I wrote back, suggesting that we re-connect in a few days when the weather forecast was more accurate. I got push back again and at this point knew that there was a double booking. I would have appreciated more honesty, but figured it wasn’t meant to be. As our bus rolled into Puno, we had nothing but blue skies and puffy white clouds. Andy and I joked that it was a good thing our home stay was cancelled since the weather was so terrible.
Finding Replacement Accommodations
Before we left Cusco, we did a quick search for hostels in the Puno area. I wrote down the addresses for 2 of the highly rated options within our price range and decided we would figure it out when we got there.
We took a taxi from the bus station to Quechuas Inka Palace as it was the better looking of the 2 hostels that we had selected. Once we got to the front desk I asked about room availability. They told me that there were rooms available but before I committed, I wanted to see the room to make sure the bed seemed comfortable and check the shower.
I headed up and looked at the room. It was clean and the bed seemed comfortable but there was no hot water. I told the woman who was with me when I was doing the inspection. She told the maintenance worker who told me to check in 15 minutes. We logged on to the wifi and waited in the lobby. Once the time had passed, we checked and everything was good.
They told me the price, which was higher than had I booked through Hostelworld and I got them to match the lower price. We then filled out our paperwork and headed up to our room.
Our room was on the top level of the building which had a lot of stairs, including a spiral staircase.
The design of the bed was cute and reminded me a little bit of my bed from home. As I looked at the bed I realized that there was absolutely no way that we could have gotten cold at night. Our bed had 3 blankets on it and there was a 4th blanket on a shelf. Additionally, there was an electric heater that we could have plugged in had we gotten cold. We used the 3 blankets that were on the bed and kept toasty warm all night.
The bathroom seemed like it was recently renovated and was all done in a clean, crisp white. This was nice as many of the bathrooms in South America use different colors which make it harder to tell if it is clean or dirty.
One of the more surprising things was that the sink had hot water. I was very happy, not only to have hot water to wash my hands, but also to be able to wash my face in water that wasn’t freezing cold. Andy loved this as it made his shave so much easier and more enjoyable than some of the cold water shaves that he has had to endure.
The water pressure was good and the shower was hot. We were happy as we both really wanted to have a nice hot shower in the morning before we left for the bus.
When we heard breakfast was included with our room we assumed that it would start after we had to leave for our bus. We were pleasantly surprised when we were told that it started at 6am. This allowed us to get a nice, free breakfast before our bus ride to Copacabana.
The breakfast included rolls, cold cuts, cheeses, fruit, granola and yogurt. It wasn’t the best breakfast spread that we have had but it was filling and fresh, all that we really needed.
We were really happy that the wifi worked in our room and was going at a decent speed. Since we were behind on uploading our pictures to our Google drive we even left the computer uploading while we went out to dinner.
Sadly, once more people returned to the hostel from their day’s activities, we lost signal in our room. Even when we headed downstairs to get a signal, it had slowed down quite a bit. Still it was a little bit faster, so Andy sat downstairs near the reception desk on one of the leather couches and did some stuff for a while.
We have been without any heating or cooling essentially since Medellin, the only other time we had heat being our first hostel in Cusco. I was excited to have this as I heard that the nights in Puno can get quite cold. Since we had so many blankets on the bed, we didn’t need to turn it on but it was nice to have.
Phone in the Room
While it’s common back home to have a phone in the room that can dial down to the front desk, here it is not common. It was nice to have this even though it was not needed.
The hotel is a short 5 minute walk from the main drag in town. There were many restaurants, shops and bars nearby which was very convenient.
We arrived in Puno close to 4pm which is when the last ferry to the floating islands left. Since we needed to get our hotel figured out and eat a very late lunch, we didn’t get a chance to see much. We would have gone to the floating islands the next day but our bus to Puno left at 7:30am.
The hostel was clean, well located and reasonably priced which met all of our criteria. Their breakfast started very early which allowed us to grab a bite to eat before we had to catch our bus.
My only annoyance was that the hostel seemed to put everyone on the 4th floor. This meant more noise when everyone was coming and going and limited wifi signal to go around.