There is a little known tip that I like to use when choosing a place to stay: If it is on a hill, it probably has an awesome view. Hostal Wara Wara in Cusco, Peru, is no exception. Garren and I stayed at this charming, family-run hostel, and I’m happy to report that Hostal Wara Wara features the perfect combination of location, atmosphere and price. The best part? It’s home to the best view in Cusco. The hill might deter some tourists, but for us it served as Inca Trail training and helped us acclimate to the altitude before our trek.
Hostal Wara Wara, located 3 steep blocks up the hill from Plaza de Armas, is small and cozy, with an inviting lounge and patio that looks out over the entire city. The Plaza de Armas bustles below, nestled between red rooftops and cobbled alleys, framed on all sides by the Cusco mountains. As we sat on the patio overlooking the rooftops, we felt like we had discovered a hidden gem that the rest of the tourists missed.
What We Loved about Hostal Wara Wara
- The best view in Cusco – I never got over how amazing that patio view was. It really is the best view in Cusco!
- Location – Within walking distance from all the main sights plus just a few steps to San Cristobal church and a fifteen minute uphill climb to the great Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman (pronounced “sexy woman”) overlooking the city.
- Safe – We were never worried about theft in the hostel and felt quite safe walking to and from.
- Welcoming – Hostel owners, Miguel and Viviana, were the most welcoming hosts we have come across in our travels and we felt so lucky to have met them! They were both so friendly, and it was fun to hear stories of their own travels.
- Family business – Hostal Wara Wara is home to Miguel and Viviana, their adorable son Luciano, and their affectionate pup, Tito. They also have a sweet woman there that does the cleaning and cooks breakfast. Some days we saw her children there as well, playing with Luciano and Tito. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t influenced to stay there based on the fact that they had a dog. Let’s just say we bonded…
- Atmosphere – Travelers eat breakfast together and share stories and tips, and Miguel and Viviana invite their guests to hang out in the bar & lounge in the evenings. Travelers of all ages will feel right at home here.
- Bar & lounge – They had just opened their attached bar & lounge with the same great Cusco views, an Argentinean wine cellar and a great atmosphere for taking in the city lights at night.
- Price – For such a convenient location and amazing views, the $32 we paid per person seemed like a steal. Cheaper rooms are also available.
- Comfort – Nice rooms and private bathrooms. When the risk of getting sick is high, a private bathroom becomes much more important…
- Tasty breakfast – Made fresh each morning, we had bread, jam, omelettes, coffee and fresh squeezed juice. Garren may have slipped Tito some of his bread under the table…
- Free tea – Available all day long, and the coca tea helps with altitude sickness.
- Early check-in – We arrived at Hostal Wara Wara early in the morning after our long flight to Cusco with an overnight Lima layover. Unlike most hotels that have afternoon check-in, Hostal Wara Wara’s check-in is at 11am. We arrived around 8am and hung out on the patio for a while sipping coca tea and rubbing Tito’s belly as we took in the city views.
- Free wi-fi
- Customer service – Whether it was loaning us trekking poles, getting rides to/from the airport, finding us a driver for a day trip, or storing our luggage during our Inca Trail trek, Miguel and Viviana were always there to make sure we were taken care of.
Room for Improvement
Although we couldn’t have been more satisfied by the service, the people, and the atmosphere, as with any hostal, there are a couple things that could turn Hostal Wara Wara from a diamond in the rough into a real gem.
- Powerful heaters – We were glad to have the space heater in our room, but we felt like it could have been a bit more powerful. Once we were in bed, we warmed up quickly thanks to the thick blankets, but the extra heater would have been nice. Those Cusco nights are chilly!
- Bigger water heater – We were grateful Hostal Wara Wara had hot water 24 hours/day (some hostels only turn on their water heaters in the morning), but there were a couple times it seemed to run out, leaving us with a trickle of lukewarm water to finish up our shower.
Overall, I highly recommend Hostal Wara Wara for a stay in Cusco. We were so glad we chose to spend our time there and we would return in a heartbeat!
Writing this post has made me feel so nostalgic for Cusco and that sunny patio at Hostal Wara Wara. Someday I will return to soak up the best view in Cusco once again.
Have you found a hostel with an amazing view? Let me know and I just might have to check it out!
I stayed at Hostal Wara Wara on my own dime, and as always, you receive my honest opinions regardless of who is footing the bill. Feel free to check out Hostal Wara Wara using the links on this page. At no extra cost to you, a small percentage of any bookings will go toward keeping this site up and running. Thank you for your support!