Books to Read Before Traveling to Peru


A dear friend of mine just set out for a trip to Peru. Instead of going green with envy, I decided to help her (and you!) answer the question, “What should I read before traveling to Peru?”

I sent her this list to help remind her of her travels and send her on her way with a Kindle full of great reads.

What to Read Before Traveling to Peru

Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

If you go to Peru and don’t go to Machu Picchu, did you really go? Of course the answer is yes, but chances are that you’ll find yourself there. This is a remarkably light read considering the thorough history it includes.

The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics by Orin Starn

If you’re looking for a guide to Peru’s political and social climate look no further than The Peru Reader.

Peru – Culture Smart! by John Forrest and Julia Porturas

I know I said no guidebooks, but this one is different. It’s a quick guide to customs and etiquette and less about what to do and where to go. It’s an important and simple step to take to respect the culture you’ll be visiting.

Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home by Nando Parrado

The legend of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes is engrained in our modern minds. This take was written by one of the 18 survivors 34 years after the fact.

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa

This list was feeling a little non-fiction heavy, yes? Vargas Llosa is unarguably the most prolific Peruvian writer of the modern day and this book of his is mischievous, layered, and hilarious. Set in Lima, and with a little off-color romance between a young student and his aunt (you’ve been warned!).

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