Ventanas del Lago
Puerto Varas, Chile
20,000 Chilean Pesos (approx $38)/night
Typically, we book our accommodation online a day or two before arriving in a new city. Doing the research can be a chore, but lugging our heavy backpacks all over town after a ten hour bus ride is a real pain in the ass.
The perk however of not booking in advance, is the freedom to try before we buy. Getting to take a peak at a bedroom before opening our wallet to pay for it beats reading website reviews any day.
Without internet access in Pucón, we arrived in Puerto Varas homeless. Luckily it's a small town, so we didn't have to lug the packs far to check out about six options. Well, most of them weren't options cause they were already fully booked. But of those that were, it was SO much easier to make a decision after getting to see them in person.
We've also discovered the in-person power of negotiation. When you're standing in their foyer, uncommitted by an existing reservation, it's amazing how quickly the price drops to keep you from walking out the door.
Anyhow, as you've probably guessed, we couldn't be happier with our accommodation in Puerto Varas. It's a small place right in the center of town, hosted by the loveliest little family and their pet cocker spaniel. Seriously, they are so warm and welcoming I pretty much want them to adopt me. The beds are outrageously comfortable and our private bathroom is immaculate. The kitchen and living area are spacious and comfortable in a visiting grandma's house kinda way. They gave us the deluxe matrimonial suite for the price of a small twin, cause the guy could tell I really wanted it. The sweet old woman even made fresh jam and insisted on washing my dishes after I finished my PB&J.