The first time I set eyes upon this Posada it was barely 5am and bitterly cold. We’d miscalculated the weather over to Puno and we’d literally frozen our limbs on the overnight bus ride from Cusco. I don’t ever remember being so cold-the bus windows barely closed and the only thing we had to huddle under was my sweatshirt-and it really didn’t do a good job of covering us both! When we finally got our backpacks the only thing I could think of was a nice warm bed. There were some other backpackers that got off the bus at the same time-they had nowhere to go and asked us where we were headed off to. We loaded up into a tuk-tuk (yes there are tuk-tuks waiting at 5am at the bus station) and told them to follow us to our hostel. We weren’t sure what the owner was going to say when we showed up at 5am with 6 other people with no reservation. When we arrived at the Posada and rang the doorbell, I saw a small female head peek out the window. “Hola!” she said. We smiled and I hoped I’d wiped all the sleepiness off my face. When she opened the door, I introduced us and mentioned the extra travelers. “No problem! Pobrecitos! Are you cold? Hungry?” she asked us. And before I knew it, there was hot coca tea in front of me, and half hour later she had cooked up a whole eggs breakfast with butter and jam. Absolutely lovely and the best hospitality we’d ever gotten-especially at that early hour. This was the magical Jenny and her hugely popular hostel, Kusillo Posada.
Kusillo Posada is owned and run by Jenny Juno, the most amazing Peruvian hostess/mom figure I’ve ever met. She knows just how to run a hostel. The hostel is located right across the street from the Telefonica-the telephone company in Peru. Tell any taxi driver and he’ll know exactly where to take you. Right across the street from the hostel there are pharmacies, places to make copies, buy calling cards, or if you want the best Chinese food you’ve ever had-then you’ll have to visit a Chifa restaurant. They really make good Chinese food here. Peru is known for its Chifa-there are restaurants all over that try to entice you with fried rice and wonton soup. Don’t eat it anywhere else before you have it here in Puno. I guarantee you will have to make special trips back to Puno just for the Chifa-and to visit Jenny, of course.
The hostel has dorm rooms and single rooms as well. Another wonderful treat? Hot water. And lots of it. My last trip back from Bolivia saw me crossing the border at Copacabana and stopping here on my way back to Cusco. I stayed in the shower for a good half hour and the hot water just kept coming. This place is heaven. Hot water 24/7. Not something you find in all hostels in South America. They’ve got internet and wi-fi. A computer sits upstairs so while you check your facebook you can watch the people walking by through the big glass windows. Jenny also serves breakfast every day-make sure you ask her for one of her famous pancakes complete with coffee, juice, and fruit. Jenny and her daughter Gevi make sure all your questions are answered-whether you need information for a tour to Lake Titicaca (which they can organize for you) or info on crossing the border into Bolivia. The hostel is super clean and has recently added a few new rooms since they sometimes have to turn travelers away from being so full! You have full use of the kitchen to make meals-purchase fresh fruit and veggies from the markets that line the streets if you’re trying to save money on food.
I have recommended this hostel to backpackers that have told me after that they didn’t want to leave. Everyone falls in love with Jenny. My first visit here had me befriend Jenny’s son Gerson and his girlfriend Byrnna. I cried when I left and promised I’d be back. I have seen Jenny many times since my first visit and every time she is more and more like my Peruvian mom away from home. Sometimes when you’ve been traveling for so long its nice to get hugs and kisses from genuinely nice people. Well, if you want them.
If you are planning on heading to Puno make plans to stay at Kusillo’s Posada. And tell Jenny that Mica says hi.
Calle Federico More 162