Know before you go. Check out some guidebooks about Peru so you can decide where you want to go. You'll also find out about health, safety, transport, and more.
If you’re traveling during the high seasons (Holy Week, Independence Days, or New Year’s), it would be wise to make reservations a few weeks ahead of time as hotels fill up and prices can double or triple. Another way to get cheaper accommodation is to book a suite rather than a couple of standard hotel rooms. The book, Peru - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs makes for an interesting read if you're looking to find out the basics about life in Peru.
Don't forget to ask for discounts, especially during the low season or if you're staying a couple of nights. You might also be able to save by booking at the last minute, like 24 to 48 hours before you travel. Hotels will give steep discounts because they'd rather have the rooms filled and guests pay less, than have the rooms empty and no guests at all.
One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.
If you've booked a hotel and found one with a lower rate, contact the first and ask them if they'll match the competitor's price. Try Real Adventures where you can find Peruvian Vacations, Travel & Adventures at a good price.
However, if you’re traveling during other times, sometimes the best thing to do is ask where good hotels are once you arrive. If you arrive, ask at the bus station or airport and often the staff can recommend some hotels that aren’t too expensive, yet are safe and tend not to be overcrowded with tourists so that you can get the “real Peru” feeling.
There are a couple of options to stay for free. If you want to trade homes, you might want to try a home-swap . If you aren't interested in that, try Couch Surfing, Global Freeloaders, or Hospitality Club. They have rating systems, and you can choose who you stay with, so they're pretty safe. The Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Forum also has a House Sitting and Swapping section that's worth checking out.
Hotels can be found on the official website for Peru . In addition, here’s a link for hotels in general and Hotelz. Try also Peru Hotels.
One travel tip: be sure to bring toilet paper as many hostels might not provide any and if they do it won’t be the best quality. Don't flush the toilet paper: put it in the waste basket.
The Ultimate Peru List recommends: