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Best books to read before visiting Peru

24th April 2020

Eight Feet in the Andes: Travels with a Mule in Unknown Peru by Dervla Murphy

Dervla Murphy travels the length of Peru with her 9-year-old daughter and a mule named Juana, from Cajamaraca, in the north, over 1,300 miles to Cuzco. The stunning mountain scenery is described in vivid detail, and this is a humours and generous-spirited book containing plenty of nuggets of Peruvian culture, as well as the indomitable spirit of this slightly mad Irish woman and her adaptable and enthusiastic daughter.

Cloud Road: A Journey Through the Inca Heartland by John Harrison 

Author John Harrison spent 5 months walking through a country you won’t find on any map - the Andean nation. Living at over 10,000 feet for most of the trip, Harrison travels along the Camino Real, or Royal Road, hand built by the Incas over 500 years ago. Following some of the most difficult and dangerous terrain in South America, his journey brings him to the most magical Inca site of all; Machu Picchu. This is great travel writing, full of interesting facts about Peru and the Incas.

The Devil and Mr Casement: One Man's Struggle for Human Rights in South America's Heart of Darkness by Jordan Goodman 

Fresh from documenting the terrible atrocities committed by King Leopold in the Congo, human rights activist and anti imperialist Roger Casement travelled to Peru in 1910 to investigate reports of human rights abuse in the rubber industry. Casement’s findings, of tens of thousands of Indians dying to produce rubber, sent shockwaves around the world in 1912, but were soon overshadowed by World War One and largely forgotten. Jordan Goodman brings to light this story of corporate greed and colonial exploitation in this shameful episode of history.

Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa

Hailed by many as Peru's best novelist, this story by Vargas Llosa centres on a series of disappearances of workers in a remote part of the Peruvian Andes. The story takes in themes of worker exploitation, supernatural myths and the Shining Path guerrilla group.

Michael Pullman

Michael became interested in travel at a young age, when his father would come home with souvenirs and tales from work trips to exotic sounding destin…

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