If you want to splurge in the Sacred Valley of Peru and go all out with luxury resorts, you’ll find plenty to pick from these days, especially around Urubamba. If you’re headed to Machu Pichu though and want to spend a night near the most notable nearby archeological site on the way, Hotel Pakaritampu is a comfortable spot in a great setting in Ollantaytambo. It’s walking distance to one short-lived capital of the Incas, but close enough to the train station—the last major stop before Machu Picchu—that you could walk there with your suitcase without breaking a sweat.
This is the kind of adventurers gathering hotel where you may hear German coming by the group gathered around the fireplace, French from the couple sipping wine at the bar, and Portuguese from the Brazilian group in the restaurant. Meanwhile, local Andean women are set up on the lawn outside in their full colorful regalia, peddling their hand-woven blankets, hats, and skirts. This feels like an international travel crossroads for people that have gone beyond the backpacking stage but are still more focused on adventure than status, people going for experiences rather than bragging rights.
This is a cozy hotel designed for social mingling, with a large attractive lounge area on two floors filled with comfortable furniture and a well-stocked bar. The main restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and a la carte dinner, with a decent wine selection and a good sense of place in the dishes served.
There’s no swimming pool here since it would seldom get used in this climate, but there’s a terrace area at the back of the property where guests are often sipping wine or playing cards. There’s plenty of space for lounging and the Andes views are terrific. Throughout the property there are flowering bushes visited by butterflies and streams flowing through the well-kept lawns and gardens.
A quick taxi ride or long walk brings you to the ruins, impressive Inca structures with huge carved blocks somehow carried across a valley. Nearby there are all the trappings of tourism like coffee shops, ice cream stores, and pubs—which are met with joy by those who have been hiking through the mountains for days.
Rooms are somewhat basic and the included WiFi is best described as “iffy” in this town far from any city, but few people are here to hole up in their room and stare at a laptop. The sturdy beds are comfortable and the showers are hot, plus there are some helpful touches like shoe cloths to clean off your muddy hiking boots. All have cable TV, safes, drinking water, and hair dryers. The top level categories get more space and furniture, plus “chocolate and a can of Pringles complimentary.”