The best of Puerto Maldonado’s budget options is Royal Inn (Dos de Mayo 333, mitsutake4 [at] hotmail [dot] com, tel. 082/57-3464, US$12 s, US$15 d), with shared baths and cold water. It can get noisy here, so ask for a room away from the street and the central courtyard.
The other budget option is the rather crummy Hotel Wilson (Gonzáles Prada 355, tel. 082/57-1086, US$8 s, US$12 d).
Even for budget travelers, Puerto seems like a good place to upgrade to Cabaña Quinta (Cusco 535, tel. 082/57-1045, US$15 s, US$24 d with breakfast), with smallish, tile-floored rooms and nice gardens. Rooms have hot water, cable TV, and optional air-conditioning for twice the price. The setting is quiet, and the hotel restaurant is one of the better ones in town.
Don Carlos Hotel (León Velarde 1271, tel. 082/57-1029, www.hotelesdoncarlos.com, US$30 s, US$35 d with breakfast) is a pleasant hotel perched on a hilltop on the edge of town. There is a nice wood porch for having a drink, and a decent restaurant. The rooms have wood floors, nice beds, optional air-conditioning, and clean bathrooms with a limited hot water supply. Price includes airport transfer.
A better value is Brombu’s Lodge (Carretera Maldonado Km 4.5, tel. 082/57-3230, brombuslodge [at] yahoo [dot] es, US$23 s, US$30 d with breakfast), a 10-minute taxi ride outside of town on the way to the airport. The bungalows are large, sparsely decorated, but pleasant, and surrounded by plants and trees. There is a restaurant, probably Puerto’s finest, with river views and a full bar. Avoid this place on weekends because of a neighboring peña that cranks loud music all night.
The most charming and expensive place in town is Wasaí Maldonado Lodge (Guillermo Billinghurst, tel. 01/436-8792, www.wasai.com, US$36 s, US$48 d with breakfast), a mini jungle lodge overlooking the Río Madre de Dios. Stilts and wooden ramps support and connect 16 wooden bungalows and rooms, which include minibar, cable TV, hot water, and a choice of air-conditioning or fan. Features include a tiny pool with a waterfall, Puerto’s fanciest restaurant, and a gazebo bar with great views.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition