The best budget option is the family-run Casa Alojamiento Las Torrecitas (Amazonas 412, tel. 043/39-4213, US$8 pp). Simple rooms face onto a long sofa-lined patio. Guests are allowed to use outdoor sinks for washing clothes and the family kitchen.
Las Bromelias Guesthouse (Brasil 208, tel. 043/39-4014, US$6 s, US$12 d) features a garden with a chirimoya tree and roses. Rooms are clean with good beds, tile floors, and hot water.
A great country retreat is Casa de Pocha (1.5 kilometers east of town, tel. 043/961-3058, www.socialwellbeing.org, US$40–55 pp with breakfast and dinner). Perched in hills above Carhuaz with views of Hualcán, this hand-built home is surrounded by trees and a working organic farm. Peruvian Pocha and American Patricia live with a great consciousness of the natural world. Breakfast is cooked on solar stoves, showers are heated with solar energy, and dinner is made over an open flame. Have in mind most meals are vegetarian. Both women speak fluent English and love engaging in political, environmental, and social justice conversations.
The retreat’s adobe rooms are simple and rustic, and dinner is served outdoors or in a charming dining room. The grounds hold a sauna, a rec room with a pool table, and a sun-filled yoga studio. The lodge is 1.5 kilometers east out of town on a dirt road heading up the valley. Call or email ahead for reservations and directions.
More modern and centrally located is the immaculate El Abuelo Hostal (9 de Diciembre 257, tel. 043/39-4456, www.elabuelohostal.com, US$30 s, US$40 d with breakfast). The first-floor lobby opens onto a lovely garden full of local trees and plants. And upstairs, the rooms, decorated with Andean rugs, have comfortable beds and modern baths. There is also a terrace with great views of the Cordillera Negra.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition