Yakumama Hostal was an unexpected yet pleasant surprise, a relatively new addition to the plethora of inexpensive hostels in Aguas Calientes. It was recommended by my host family in Cusco, but I was initially skeptical because the room rate was well below my alloted budget. I wondered if there might be something wrong about this place. Not at all! It far exceeded my expectations in every respect.
The owner, Alfredo, met me at the train station and pointed out a few key places along the way to the hostel: the hot springs, the bus stop to catch the shuttle to the archeological park, the ATM. At his suggestion, I bought my bus ticket right then so I'd be ready to go first thing in the morning. Keep in mind that Aguas Calientes (or Machu Picchu Pueblo, depending on who you talk to) is quite small, but I was grateful for this extra bit of attention.
I was given a room on the top floor at the rear of the building, which I presume is quieter than the street-facing rooms. I visited in the summer low season (late November), thus missing much of the peak season pandemonium. The room was ample, spotlessly clean, with abundant hot water, and with DirectTV. There is internet acess, but I cannot recall if the hostel is wi-fi enabled, as I didn't bring my tablet and did not test the connection. There is an inhouse massage service, which I enjoyed—and needed very much—after a day of climbing up and down the ruins. The masseuse, Celina (sp?) was delightful and caring and worked out all the knots and aches. I inadvertently forgot to check out since I left at 5:30 am to catch the bus to the ruins. When I returned, the room had alread been made up, but Alfredo told me I was welcome to go back to my room and take a shower, at no extra charge, if I so desired. I took him up on his offer, happy to freshen up before the train ride back to Cusco.
Yakumama also owns and operates the restaurant across the street. It serves many traditional Andean dishes along with pizzas, burgers, and pastas. Be sure to stop in for a complimentary pisco sour.
Like any visitor to Aguas Calientes, I came with the sole purpose of visiting Machu Picchu, so I only needed a room to store my gear, shower, and sleep. To that end, Yakumama and served its purpose well and I was more than satisfied with the accommodations and hospitality. I would absolutely stay there again.