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The Machu Picchu Guidebook: A Self-Guided Tour Paperback – Jul 1 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Johnson Books; Revised edition (July 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555663273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555663278
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Bender on May 27 2004
Format: Paperback
I've travelled a lot, but rarely with guidebooks. It's easier to borrow them from the library, xerox the maps, and travel light. This guidebook is an exception. Its photos, maps, drawings, and diagrams are very informative as well as beautiful (rare), its explanations clear, and the understanding it gives is vital to wise use of time at a site which can be very confusing to navigate. It's NEEDED, to find your way through a very labyrinthian place. I found myself pouring over the book for hours before going to Peru, and learning more from the book and the research behind it than any of us knew was there. With it, I was able to understand a very complex site when I arrived there. Geology is a vital element in the power of this place, many of its most exciting places are hidden underneath the major temples or accessed from some remote corner, and the motivations for the very unusual siting and use of natural rock by the builders difficult to unravel. Its about the only guidebook I would recommend that people buy and travel with. Thank you, Ruth and Alfredo!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Saurenman on Sept. 12 2003
Format: Paperback
I went to Machu Picchu for the first time last year with nothing more than a camera, an issue of the April 2002 National Geographic and "Insight Guides- Peru". I thought I had planned my trip fairly well, but felt a little disappointed with the information I had read about Machu Picchu. After exploring Machu Picchu for 2 days, I ran into several tourists who were carrying Ruth Wright's book. They ALL seemed so confident and knowledgable during their treks because of the information and map contained in the book. I then ran into one of the Wright Water Engineers who came with Ruth to Peru to do some surveys of Machu Picchu. The gentleman was nice enough to give me one of his maps (the same one contained in the book), which was to become invaluable to me during my journey. When I got home, I read the book, cover to cover and have been reliving my journey through it. DON'T PLAN A TRIP TO MACHU PICCHU WITHOUT IT!! It's like taking Ruth with you to Machu Picchu.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter W. Van Arsdale, Ph.D. on Jan. 30 2002
Format: Paperback
Late one July afternoon in 1982, I found myself perched on a ledge overlooking the Machu Picchu archaeological site some 500 feet below. Having probed the bushes near the site's so-called guard tower, I had found some overgrown stepping stones and had begun hiking upward. One half-buried step led to the next, and within an hour I had reached this ledge. Along the way I had discovered a remarkable semi-circular stone staircase -- and managed to avoid the bushmasters said to be slithering nearby.
As an anthropologist myself, I wish that I had had a copy of a guidebook even half as good as that authored by Ruth Wright and Alfredo Valencia Zegarra. Combining a clearly written text with intriguing photos and practical diagrams, The Machu Picchu Guidebook is the single best publication on this site that I have seen. While written primarily for the astute traveler, it will be of use to professionals as well.
My own work with indigenous water systems in places like Guyana and Indonesia led to my cursory examination in 1982 of the system at Machu Picchu. It proved fascinating, but I had little time for study. To their credit, Ruth Wright and her husband, Ken Wright (in conjunction with a number of their colleagues from the U.S. and Peru) instituted a remarkably thorough archaeological/engineering investigation of this Incan system in the 1990s. This same degree of care and attention to detail is seen in the guidebook, which had its genesis in their archaeological research.
In conclusion, it should be noted that Ruth Wright is a former chair of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of The Explorers Club. Her book brings an explorer's enthusiasm to Machu Picchu, while maintaining high standards of authorship.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Hobbs on Sept. 19 2002
Format: Paperback
University of Denver Water Law Review,
Vol. 6, Issue 1, Fall 2002 (forthcoming January 2003)
Reprinted with Permission of the Author and the Law Review
Coloradans Ken and Ruth Wright have teamed with Peruvian archeologist Alfredo Valencia to place back in working order the sixteen fountains of Machu Picchu. You can see for yourself.
The Inca were master water handlers. They chose Machu Picchu as a ceremonial center because the mountains and the river spoke to them of life-giving power. The Urubamba River far below snakes triangular around the base of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountains. A saddle between these peaks cradles the temples, rock shrines, dwelling places and agricultural terraces that dance between the clouds in early morning and emerge to sunlight by noon.
Water at the center of it all. The paleohydrologic studies of the Wrights and Valencia reveal how the Inca predicated the design and construction of Machu Picchu upon the flow of a spring. From high on the side of Machu Picchu Mountain, a canal brings water across an agricultural terrace to the first fountain just above the Temple of the Sun. From there, 16 fountains splash, spout and sing down a staircase to the Temple of the Condor.
You can see for yourself. Inside of Ruth's and Alfredo's Guidebook is a foldout archeological map of Machu Picchu. Study it. See how the Inca trail leads into the upper and lower agricultural terraces. Notice how the Inca Canal cuts across the drainage moat to bisect the western and eastern urban sectors. Spot the Sacred Rock at the start of the Huayna Picchu trail, where Quechua families still hug the visible manifestation of Pachamama, the earth mother.
Now you are ready for your self-guided tour.
Read more ›
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