Puno is a must stop city... but only because it is the launching point to Lake Titicaca and the Uros Islands / Amatani Island. Puno itself is forgetable but there is nothing wrong with it. We ended up staying two nights here - one before and one after our Lake Titicaca tour.
If you too, find yourself needing to stay in Puno, then we recommend Presidente Inn (also called Hotel Presidente). It was nothing flash, but it was just fine.
We had a private matrimonial (double) en-suite room. The bathrooms were small but clean. There was only hot water in the mornings and at nights - if you want to shower when there is none, ask them to turn it on then wait half an hour. Our room had cable TV plus free wifi. The rooms were clean and the beds comfortable enough. Rooms on the back side are slightly quieter than on the street -- but we had no problem sleeping in either location.
The staff was friendly and helpful. They only spoke Spanish, but we were able to get by with our limited vocabulary. They also gave us a little map and showed us were a few budget restaurants were.
The hotel was dated and the walls a tad bit thin, but again it was not a problem for us. Do not expect five star elegance but do expect value for money.
Presidente Inn is close to Puno's walking street and the only place you will want to go. The walking street has travel agencies, ATMs, restaurants and two nice plazas.
The Hotel is far enough from the bus station that you will want to take a cab. Ignore the bus station touts that will claim this hotel has closed down - leave the station and look for the auto rickshaws. The ride to the Presidente Inn cost us just over one US dollar.
We saw this hotel listed on TripAdvisor in December 2009 (when we stayed here) so we just turned up and got a room at a great price. Our room cost 35 Soles which is 12 US$. Very good value. We left our luggage here when we did the Amatani Island tour and our bags were kept safe.
Jr Tacna No 248
Phone - 051-365573
Email - Presidenteinn@hotmail.com
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