The best budget option is Hostel Kinsa Ccocha (Arequipa 307, tel. 084/20-3101, US$10 pp), which has several plain, clean rooms a block from the Plaza Constitución. Ask for a newer room, which has higher ceilings. Private baths are an additional US$5.
Hospedaje Samana Wasi (Plaza Constitución 509, tel. 084/20-3018, US$5 s, US$10 d) offers shoebox-size rooms overlooking the plaza, shared bathrooms, and a restaurant (7 a.m.–9 p.m.). Private baths are an extra US$3 per person. El Artesano (Calle Vigil s/n, US$8 s, US$11 d) is a family home that has a few rooms for tourists. Luckily, the guest rooms are big and clean, which makes up for having to share the bathroom with the family.
Pisac Inn, formerly Hotel Pisaq (Plaza Constitución, tel. 084/20-3062, www.pisacinn.com, US$45 s, US$55–65 d with breakfast) is a labor of love for Roman Vizcarra and Fielding Wood-Vizcarra, a Peruvian-American couple who founded the hotel in 1993. The adobe building, covered in bright murals, includes the excellent Cuchara de Palo restaurant, with balconies overlooking the market square.
Past the building’s threshold is a hushed, contemplative atmosphere that recalls Fielding’s hometown of Taos, New Mexico. Friezes of turquoise and scarlet fringe the sand-colored walls, and the atmosphere—neither Inca nor Navajo—is billed as a “celebration of indigenous culture all over the Americas.” Additional perks include a US$25 Cusco airport pickup, rock-heated sauna, laundry, and a constant supply of water from the hotel’s own well—a big advantage, given Pisac’s sporadic water supply. Rooms with shared baths are only US$35 for a single to US$55 for a triple.
Roman speaks English, Spanish, Quechua, Italian, and German and leads tours throughout the area that combine culture with a bit of spirituality. They have a range of trips described on their related website, www.peruculturaljourneys.com.
New Yorker Diane Dunn’s pride and joy Paz y Luz (off the road to the ruins 2 km outside of town, tel. 084/20-3204, www.pazyluzperu.com, US$35 s, US$55 d with breakfast, cash only) is her collection of earth-colored lodges on the edge of the Río Urubamba above Pisac.
The base of her healing center, the inspiration of her book Cusco: Gateway to Inner Wisdom, and the starting point of many long walks in the surrounding fields, the lodge truly offers all the peace and light that its name promises. The rooms are comfortable and tastefully decorated, with brand-new bathrooms. A central area has a woodstove, dining table, and polished wood staircase. In the back, in a separate building, is a one-bedroom apartment with its own kitchen.
The growing complex includes a restaurant, conference room, meditation room, and rooms for long-term residents. Prices for long-term guests and descriptions of massage services, spiritual workshops, and other offerings are on the website.
On the outskirts of Pisac, Hotel Royal Inka III Pisac (on road to the ruins 1 km outside of town, tel. 084/20-3064, www.royalinkahotel.com, US$53 s, US$80 d) is a charming, converted hacienda with a mid-19th-century chapel. Unfortunately, most of the rooms are in a cold and charmless modern addition. Some rooms have woodstoves, however, and the second and third floors offer views out over the fields.
There is a range of services, mostly included in the price, such as an Olympic-size pool (available to nonguests), private whirlpool tub, sauna, tennis court with rented rackets, horses, bikes, game room, restaurant, bar, and videos. There is also a spa, where you can get a massage for US$25 and other treatments. Without a deep discount, this hotel can seem overpriced, especially when compared to other, more charming and considerably cheaper options nearby.
Also outside town is Melissa Wasi (on road to the ruins 1 km outside of town, tel. 084/79-7589, www.melissa-wasi.com, US$120 for a bungalow), a charming hotel with separate bungalows built into the hillside. Owners Joyce and Chito have created a beautiful house to accommodate people for a breakfast of homemade bread, eggs, and fresh coffee before sitting in the colorful gardens. Bungalows sleep up to four people, and all have WiFi and a complete kitchen.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition