The region’s only commercial airport makes Juliaca, the largest city on the altiplano, an unavoidable transit hub. The city bustles with commerce (and contraband) due to its handy location near the border. Daytime muggings and drunks on the street are not uncommon. Since Juliaca has little to offer travelers, it is advisable to stay in nearby Lampa or move on to Puno.
Hotels, restaurants, casas de cambio (money exchangers) and internet cafes abound along San Román, near Plaza Bolognesi. ATMs and banks are also nearby on Nuñez.
If you are in a pinch, Royal Inn Hotel is an excellent choice for the price. This towering hotel boasts recently revamped modern rooms with hot showers, heating and cable TV, plus one of Juliaca’s best restaurants (mains from S18).