The Limeño owner of Rupa Wasi (Huanacaure 180, tel. 084/21-1101, www.rupawasi.net, US$70 s, US$100 d) is also a tour guide, so he’s quick to give you a tour of the surrounding orchids and point out the view up the gorge. If you strain, you might see Machu Picchu. But perhaps the best place to catch the view is from your room’s private balcony. Rooms are rustic but comfortable with down duvet covers, and breakfast is served in the adjoining restaurant complete with yogurt, granola, and even focaccia bread.
The charming Gringo Bill’s (signed well off one corner of the main square, tel. 084/21-1046, www.gringobills.com, US$75–130 d with breakfast), one of the oldest hotels in Aguas Calientes, has a treehouse atmosphere and large rooms with balconies and great showers. The downside is that some rooms have overpowering New Age fluorescent paintings, and guests have to make an advance down payment at an office in Cusco. The newer suites on the top floors are the best.
Hostal Restaurant La Cabaña (Pachacútec M-20, tel. 084/21-1048, www.cabanahostal.com, US$110 s/d, with breakfast) is a friendly place at the top of the main street. Rooms have tile floors, textured walls, and wooden ceilings. The owners, Beto and Marta, take an ecosensitive approach. (“We’re trying to return to what we’ve destroyed,” Beto told us.) Additional services include guides for walks, security boxes, laundry, and a DVD player with more than 150 movies. They also offer better rates in the restaurant for guests of the hotel.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition