If you are a lover of literature and planning to come to Peru in the near future, there are few books that you should read in advance or when you’re here, fact and fiction. Take a look at our list of the must-reads to brush up on your history knowledge, read a little Peruvian literature, and know what to expect when you get here.
Anything by Mario Vargas Llosa
Mario Vargas Llosa is a living legend when it comes to literature. Back in 2019, he won the Nobel Prize for literature and has a whole array of excellent novels. He was born in Peru and his stories are just fabulous.
A good one to get you started is Conversation in the Cathedral. Its set in Lima in the 1950’s and is a very interesting insight into the times back then. Death in the Andes should also be on your list if you like the other one.
The Lonely Planet, Peru
Most destinations around the world have a Lonely Planet these days, and it’s no wonder why. They are excellent at providing info about the place you choose to visit including restaurants to visit, things to do, and some great hotel suggestions.
This book is a must if you want to scoop out the best of the best In Cusco, and the rest of Peru. You can probably find plenty of second-hand ones online if you don’t want to break the bank as most people will sell them on once they’ve visited.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu
This one is actually a New York Times bestseller and it’s no surprise when you think about Machu Picchu’s status as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and the amount of visitors that go there every year.
It delves into the history of how Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu. It’s a mix of the 1911 history and the modern-day, as well as a bit of comedy! A really fun and interesting read that you won’t be able to put down once you’ve started reading.
The Conquest of the Incas
If you are a history buff, this is the book for you. It starts from when the Spanish first came to South America and leads off from there. It’s full of interesting facts and is perfect for helping you understand the history of Machu Picchu before you go. You may even know more than the guides by the end of it!
The Heights of Machu Picchu
The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda came up with this poem after he visited the marvel that is Machu Picchu. It’s a beautiful spiritual poem that is very well written and is another spectacular read before you come to Peru.
The Peru Reader
This is a big book that’s filled with Peruvian history, philosophy, poetry, literature, and loads more. It includes a range of history from per-Incan times to the present day. It may be the best book for a visitor to read in advance to get a good idea of everything Peru. It’s pretty heavy, though, so you might not want to carry it in your suitcase.
Get to the Book Store
Now you’ve got a full range of Peruvian books to read before your trip, you should get started. You’ll learn all sorts about the country and be prepared with places to go to eat and to keep you busy for your entire trip.
Written by: Liv Palmer
Featured photo: Brooke Kathleen