Before setting off for adventures in far distant countries, you may want to do a little background reading. It will help you to understand the people and culture a lot better as well as appreciate the amazing history of Peru. We hope that Andean Travel Web provides you with a good start to finding your way around, but it's no substitute for a real guide book which you can sit and read for hours on a bus or a coffee shop balcony overlooking the town. Below we've recommended some of the best books to wet your appetite. All the books listed on this page can easily be bought online but we recommend that you support your local bookshop and buy them there (while they still exist!)
Lonely Planet Peru (8th Edition)
By Carolyn McCarthy, Carolina A Miranda, Kevin Raub, Brendan Sainsbury & Luke Waterson
This classic guide book has been brought up-to-date again in 2013. Highlights include 91 maps of regions, towns, and historical sites; extensive background on archaeological sites; advice on food and accommodations for every budget; a useful history section ranging from pre-Inca cultures to modern; helpful hints on outdoor activities; and a traveller's Spanish section. Well written, recommended
Published April 2013
Paperback 576 pages
Lonely Planet; ISBN: 978-1-74179-921-7
Discover Peru: Lonely Planet Country Series (1st Edition)
By Carolina A Miranda
A new series of country guides written by Carolina Miranda who also updated sections of the Lonely Planet Peru Guide. Obviously much of the information has been repeated from the Peru Guide so there is no point in buying them both but the Discover Peru edition is slightly more up-to-date (published in June 2011) and focuses more on the must-see-attractions rather than all of Peru. Of course Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca are all covered. This guide appears to be more user friendly for visitors spending just a week or so in Peru with plenty of maps and example trip itineraries.
Published June 2011
Paperback 384 pages
Lonely Planet; ISBN: 978-1742200026
South American Handbook 2013 (89th Edition)
By Ben Box
Countries Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Galapagos, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, The Guianas
This is THE travel guide to South America and is often referred to as the travel Bible. Invaluable source of information including just about everything you'll need to know to travel around this varied continent. Recommended. This handbook would be far better without being part-subsidized by advertisements. In recent years some of the listed companies and hotels have only included because they have paid for an advert and they really shouldn't be there so at times the guide's integrity has been compromised.
Published August 2012
Paperback 1816 pages
Footprint Handbooks; ISBN: 978-1907263620
Peru Handbook (8th Edition)
By Ben Box
Covers: Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, Cordillera Blanca, Amazon Basin. Special Features: Coverage of all the classic Inca sites and the all the more recently discovered sites, Adventure travel in Peru, climbing, trekking, rafting, skiing, surfing and the rest
If you are just planning on coming to Peru and have time to visit some of the more off-the-beaten-track places then this is the guide book for you. Basically its the section on Peru has been taken from the South American Handbook in slightly larger print with a little more detail and more maps. There's enough good reading material in this guide to last many a long bus trip.
Published February 2011
Paperback 706 pages
Footprint Handbooks; ISBN: 9781907263279
Peru Moon Handbooks (3rd Edition)
By Ross Wehner and Renne del Gaudio
Now on it's 3rd edition this guidebook has become increasingly popular over the years. It is easy to read and contains good clear advice for visitors to Peru with many maps and interesting articles. All the main attractions are covered including Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lima, Huaraz, Nasca, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon rainforest. The hotel, restaurant & tour operator recommendations are usually spot on and show a in-depth knowledge of the country. It's not surprising since this husband and wife team lived in Peru for many years. Ross Wehner is the founder of World Leadership School, an organization that sends volunteers overseas to work with and learn from community leaders.
Published December 2010
Paperback 656 pages
Moon Handbooks ISBN 9781598806007
The Rough Guide to Peru (8th Edition)
By Dilwyn Jenkins
Packed with detailed, practical advice on what to see and do in Peru; this guide provides reliable, up-to-date descriptions of the best hotels in Peru, recommended restaurants in Peru, and tips on everything from shopping to festivals in Peru for all budgets.
Based in rural Wales, Dilwyn Jenkins has a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University, has dedicated significant time and energy to sustainable development, particularly in the rainforest region. As well as writing travel books and working on community renewable energy development, Dilwyn has established a company, EcoTribal, to offer indigenous people a alternative income from sustainably produced crafts, organic forest gardens and ecotourism.
552 pages 78 maps (32-page full-colour introduction)
Published: October 2012
Cuzco & the Inca Heartland (5th Edition)
By Ben Box & Sarah Cameron
If you are just planning on visiting Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu on your trip to Peru then this guide book has it all. As the name suggests this guide book specializes in the Cusco region of Peru including Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, Choquequirao, Vilcabamba and the Southern Jungle. Includes detailed background information on the history of Incas and the Spanish Conquest. We were a little disappointed with the first edition of this book but this second edition has been thoroughly researched and updated making it, in our opinion, the best and most up-to-date guide to the Cusco region. Well-done Footprint Handbooks. Recommended.
Published April 2011
Paperback 368 pages
Footprint Handbooks ISBN: 9781907263361
The Inca Trail: Cusco & Machu Picchu
By Alexander Stewart
This is definitely the best guide to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu with plenty of excellent detailed route maps and trek descriptions. This 4th edition was published in 2011 and contains fully revised information about the new Inca Trail regulations. This edition has also been extended to include the Vilcabamba trail, Choquequirao trek and the Santa Teresa trek. The guide book also contains information about the cities of Lima and Cusco as well as the history of the Incas, help in planning your trip, green hiking and flora and fauna. Just about everything you really need to know. Highly recommended.
Published September 2011
Paperback 367 pages, 65 maps, 22 colour photos
TrailBlazer Pubns; ISBN: 978-1-905864-15-7 www.trailblazer-guides.com
The Conquest of the Incas
By John Hemming
If you thought history was boring then think again. The Conquest of the Incas by the Spanish is an absolutely incredible story and John Hemming makes it easy and enjoyable to read. It feels like a great novel rather than a history lesson. Learning about the history will help you to appreciate your visit to Peru and understand the significance of the battle sites and Inca ruins. Highly recommended.
Published August 2004
Paperback 640 pages
Pan books: ISBN: 033042730X
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