Puno has grown rapidly as a tourist destination in the past few years, and its offer of accommodations is no longer geared almost exclusively toward a budget backpacker crowd. There are a couple of good midrange options in town, but, if you don't mind relying on taxis to get back and forth, the best options are out on the banks of Lake Titicaca (about a 10-min. cab ride). Many of the cheap places in town are very basic, and several of those are dingy, noisy dives with fleeting hot water. If you're looking at the bottom end, check the place out first and ask to see a couple of rooms. Outside high season (June-Sept), most hotels and hostales (inns) are more than willing to bargain.
If you arrive in Puno during festival time and there's a crunch on affordable accommodations, try these modest hotels and budget-backpacker places.
- Hostal El Virrey -- El Virrey has pretty clean rooms with private bathrooms, TVs, and hot water. Some rooms even have views of Titicaca. Tacna 510. tel. 051/354-495. $25 double.
- Hostal Q'oñi Wasi -- Located across from the train station, this hostal has simple rooms with twin beds, private bathrooms, and electric showers. It also has a decent little breakfast room. Av. La Torre 119. tel. 051/365-784. $12 double.
- Los Pinos Inn -- One of the best values at the budget range, this agreeable and clean place in a modern building has clean bathrooms, ample rooms and good natural light, as well as 24-hour hot showers. Jr. Taracapá 182. tel. 051/367-398. $20 double.
- Posada Don Giorgio -- A step up from the others listed here, this hostal is quite a good midrange choice, though perhaps not as good a value as Los Pinos. Its carpeted rooms (all with private bathrooms) are comfortable and nicely decorated for the price. Jr. Tarapacá 238. tel./fax 051/363-648. www.posadadongiorgio.com. $40 double.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.