The most basic notion is that if rooms do not have private hot water baths and telephones, as well as amenities such as a restaurant before they can be called a hotel. As you will see, however, this rule is not greatly enforced. The star rating system is not consistent here. It does exist, but you will come to find that a 3-star in Trujillo is not the same as a 3-star in Puno. They are legally supposed to base their number of stars on certain amenities that they may have, but again the system is not very well enforced. Most rates vary by city and by season. During the high season (May-September) in a place such as Cuzco the rates will likely increase by 10-20%. On holidays rates can triple. All rates listed in this book are based on the high season. During this time of the year it is important to book the best hotels at least a month in advance. For the smaller budget options or in out of the way cities, a few weeks or days will usually be enough. Walk in rates tend to be cheapest, and you can often bargain down the price if there are rooms available.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.