Here’s what to know about Peru: you’re going to love it! Not convinced? Consider this: climbing Machu Picchu as the sun crests will leave you feeling like you’ve plopped down into something near to magic. Cutting your way down the Amazon River in search of the elusive pink dolphin is the kind of experience that will leave you knowing nothing is more important than our wild earth. Harvesting bundles of powder pink quinoa on the banks of Lake Titicaca will have you appreciating the traditions of cooking in a way grocery store labels like “superfood” never will. If you’re Peru bound, or simply want to get there via a good read, here’s our list of the best books about Peru. From field guides to histories to a gorgeous cookbook by world-renowned chef Gaston Acurio, these books will help you prepare for your journey to the Land of the Incas.
Lost City of the Incas
by Hiram Bingham
A first-rate tale of adventure by the man who rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. This classic account is a gripping story of exploration, archaeology and natural history — and still an outstanding overview of the site itself. With original expedition photographs. Originally published in 1952, the book is still an excellent account, not only of the expedition but also of the site itself.
The Great Inka Road
by Ramiro Matos
Now over 700 years old, the “Qhapaq Nan” (the Great Inca Road) is an architectural gem so vast it connects Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. In this book, historians use the road as a window to the Incan civilization. Their essays, supplemented with more than 225 full-color illustrations, cover everything from the road’s engineering and practical uses to the great civilization that built it.
The Inca Trail, Cuzco & Machu Picchu
by Alexander Stewart
A practical guide to planning and walking the Inca Trail with good maps, lots of travel information, photographs and a brief overview of Inca culture and history. Not just for those hiking the Inca Trail, it’s an excellent compact guide to Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lima and surroundings. This fully revised fifth edition includes the seven-to-ten day hike to Vilcabamba.
The Encounter, Amazon Beaming
by Petru Popescu
Intrepid explorer Loren McIntyre seeks the source of the Amazon River in this work of creative non-fiction, based entirely on McIntyre’s thrilling adventure. Although he sought a geographic point deep in the rain forest, McIntyre’s journey took shelter amongst the Mayoruna tribe, the “cat people” of the Amazon’s Javari Valley. His journey branched off into a parallel exploration for spiritual freedom. A vivid narrative by a noted screenwriter and novelist.
Peru, The Cookbook
by Gaston Acurio
A look inside traditional home cooking from one of the world’s most popular culinary destinations. Peruvian cuisine is gaining popularity in America and chefs from San Francisco to New York are making Peruvian ceviche, quinoa and lomo saltado — dishes featuring unique ingredients like the distinct “aji amarillo” chile pepper. Includes 500 recipes. Author Gaston Acurio is a Peruvian celebrity whose flagship restaurant has been ranked in the world’s top 20. He even has a good shot at becoming Peru’s next president.
Peru, Travelers’ Wildlife Guides
by Les Beletsky and David L. Pearson
A convenient illustrated guide to the birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and insects from the Peruvian Amazon and Andes to the Pacific coast. Featuring 500 color illustrations.
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