Going to a new country is such an exciting experience, especially if it involves an adventure like trekking to Machu Picchu.
With such a long and fascinating history it is a shame that many trekkers arrive at the ‘Lost City’ knowing very little about the Incas, their empire and the extraordinary archaeological site that is Machu Picchu.
This article’s aim is to inspire you to take some reading material on your flight to Peru, and subsequent trip to Machu Picchu.
Below we have highlighted some of our favourite Machu Picchu books. From great Inca Trail guidebooks to seminal works on the history of the Inca and Machu Picchu, there is a book here for every type of reader.
But choice can sometimes be thwarting. If we were pushed to recommend one it would be Mark Adam’s super fun, yet brilliantly researched book, Turn Right at Machu Picchu, which provides fascinating insights on the ‘Lost City’ and it’s incredible allure in popular culture.
For a great overview on Cusco, the Inca Trail and the alternative routes to Machu Picchu we recommend Alexander Der Stewart’s Trailblazer Guide, or if you want a truly detailed guidebook on the city itself then you cannot go wrong with The Machu Picchu Guidebook: A Self-Guided Tour by Ruth Wright and Alfredo Zegarra.
Use the quicklinks to navigate to and browse the genre of book you are most interested in.
Our favourite book on the Inca Empire, it’s famous trail and the ruins of Machu Picchu. A fascinating, funny and intensely personal account of one man’s exploration of the Lost CityReview on Amazon
The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland
by Hugh Thomson
“So entertaining and appealing is Thomson’s story of his exploration of the Inca empire that readers will wish they could take off and follow in his footsteps.”
The Serpent, The Puma, and The Condor: A Tale of Machu Picchu
by Gayle Marie, Ph.D.
After traveling to Machu Picchu with an Inca shaman, Gayle Marie felt compelled to denounce the notion of conquistadors as national heroes. Her resulting novel, The Serpent, The Puma, and The Condor: A Tale of Machu Picchu, is a fictionalized account of the Spanish invasion of Peru, told from the Inca perspective.Review on Amazon
Not our favourite book on Machu Picchu, but certainly a classic and seminal piece, is Lost City of the Incas by the discover of Machu Picchu, Hiram Bingham.
Stone Offerings: Machu Picchu’s Terraces of Enlightenment by Mike Torrey
Over 100 incredible pictures taken of Machu Picchu during the June and December Solstices. Truly beautiful and a great coffee table book that can used to spark conversations about your Machu Picchu trek.Review on Amazon
Tags: Machu Picchu Books, Inca Trail Guidebooks, Peru Travel Guides, Guide books Machu Picchu
References: (1) Good Reads, (2) Lonely Planet
Disclosure: All the books mentioned above (except Kim MacQuarrie’s The Last Days of the Incas) have been read and reviewed by our team at Machu Picchu Trek. We are confident that you will enjoy them and find them useful. The links we provide direct you to Amazon. If you click these links and go on to buy the book, we get a small commission from Amazon. This doesn’t effect the price you pay but does go a small way to helping us maintain this free resource for readers such as yourself.