When I arranged my Puno tour, I had Edgar’s Adventures arrange my hotel in Puno as well, which was a very good idea as I got an excellent price on it. They put me at Camino Real Turistico which ended up being great.
The location was fantastic, on a busy corner, but a few blocks away from the main square and shopping lane, but not in a bad part of town at all. When I took a cab through town, we went through some very sketchy areas and I noticed that a lot of the hostels were located there. This place only cost me US$30 and it was well worth it. The wifi didn’t appear to be working when I stayed, but they had a excellent, fast, free computer in the breakfast room which I used for a quick email. The breakfast was okay. At least they offer something, but free breakfasts in Peru have nothing on what they offer in Europe. I don’t miss the Peru breakfasts at all.
I stayed there twice for a night each (I spent a night on Amatani Island in between) and in a different room each time. The first night I had a twin room on the 5th floor and the bathroom was HUGE! They provided soaps and the water pressure and temperature was fantastic, I wanted to live there. Best shower I had my entire time in Peru. The second time I stayed there, I was on the 2nd floor and was a bit nervous it would be loud, but it really wasn’t too bad. Again, excellent bathroom. The TV in both rooms was fab, the beds were comfy and there were ample amount of lights in the room. That seems to be a problem in Peru, some rooms are just very dark.
The front desk didn’t speak the best English, but I got my point across and understood them as well as I was nearing the end of my trip. I booked a flight from Puno back to Lima on StarPeru (story about THAT coming soon. It’s a good one, I promise!) but the airport in Puno is technically in Julianica, which 45 minutes away. I knew this was a popular destination and since I knew that not many flights left every day, when I told them my flight, they knew exactly what I needed to book. There were two options. I could take a private taxi for s/60 (US$20) or a collective (essentially a locals airport shuttle) for s/15 (US$5). While I promised myself I would only take taxis if I needed to get around long distance in Peru, that price different was a bit much for me. And since I was going the same way everyone else was, I trusted them to get us all to the airport on time. And it was a fine decision! I was one of the first pick ups, so I got to see around town as locals and tourists and other groups got in the large van before we were finally off. It was funny, I had been in the country about 2 weeks already and when the front desk person called the collective to make my reservation (she also knew my name, I didn’t have to tell her, talk about personal attention!) I understood everything she said on the phone! I was so proud of myself. But of course, if she tried to talk to me in Spanish, I would answer in English. Agh. Oh well.
Moral: This was actually probably my favorite hotel in Peru. Everything was perfect except I couldn’t get wifi on my phone, but it didn’t matter too much as there was a free computer to use. Everything else about this place was great! I would stay here again and recommend it to anyone.