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The Machu Picchu Guidebook: A Self-Guided Tour [Paperback]

Ruth M. Wright , Alfredo Valencia Zegarra
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.88 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

July 1 2011
This revised edition includes newly discovered sites. New photos and maps with full-color illustrations of real life scences from National Geographic Magazine.

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The Machu Picchu Guidebook: A Self-Guided Tour + Lonely Planet Peru 8th Ed.: 8th Edition + Peru Adventure Map
Price For All Three: CDN$ 56.82

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From Library Journal

Machu Picchu is one of the most stunning archaeological sites on Earth. Located in the heart of the Andes in Peru, this five-centuries-old Incan relic attracts some 300,000 tourists yearly. Yet the significance of the site itself is difficult to unravel without a lot of personal knowledge or a comprehensive guidebook. Wright, who has studied the site for 25 years and has worked at Machu Picchu since 1994, and Zegarra (anthropology and archaeology, Univ. of Cuzco) have teamed up to produce a handy book for visitors who wish to guide themselves at their own pace through the site. A bound-in, fold-out color archaeological map of Machu Picchu keyed to the book's chapters and an array of black-and-white as well as color photographs will help users find and navigate the site easily and not depend on fractured live tour guide information. After reading this book, you will want to hop on the next flight to Peru. If you are unlucky enough never to visit Machu Picchu, the guide will serve as an excellent virtual tour. Recommended for general travel collections. Olga B. Wise, Compaq Computer Corp., Austin, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Promotes a satisfactory low impact visit offering an early step-by-step trail through the legendary Incan site. -- Publishers Weekly, June 4, 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS ONE TO BUY May 27 2004
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't plan a trip to Machu Picchu without it!! Sept. 12 2003
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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Reading This Book Enhanced Our Trip Sept. 19 2002
...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. Just inside the entrance gate, climb to the Guardhouse. Pause to see how the water supply canal passes right by food storehouses. Cross the Inca trail coming in from Cusco and stand beside the Guardhouse. Below you stretches the whole of this incredible cradle of civilization-lovely green of the main plaza feeding llama and alpaca; Inca stones rising on either side to form the ceremonial and residential edifices; and the crop-growing terraces on the flanks of the cradle falling away to the Urubamba River.
Step-by-step, Ruth and Alfredo talk you by the printed page through these wonders. Plan on several days. You will have the joy of misty morning and sun-streaked afternoons. The day-traintrippers will be gone. Wind through the Rock Quarry. Pause in the quiet of the Unfinished Temple. You can take the time to side hike to the Sun Gate, Machu Picchu Mountain, the Inca Drawbridge, and Huayna Picchu Mountain. Talk with other visitors. The world is here for good reason.
Ruth and Alfredo immensely aid the visitor's Machu Picchu experience. They bring new information to old understandings:
"There are many different ways to experience Machu Picchu. We hope this guidebook will give you the tools to do it in your own way.
Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
I haven't actually used this book yet but it appears to contain all of the information for our upcoming trip to Machu Picchu. Small and light for travelling.
Published 11 months ago by Barbara J Burton
2.0 out of 5 stars Alright
I thought it was a very educational book, but would have liked to have more pictures (maybe even in colour) in the book.
Published 12 months ago by Janelle from Canada
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading This Book Enhanced Our Trip
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... Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2002 by Gregory Hobbs
5.0 out of 5 stars A Required Part Of Any Trip To Machu Picchu!
I recently returned from a trip to Peru and Bolivia, and I found this Guidebook to be as necessary a part of my visit to Machu Picchu as my backpack, water and camera were. Ms. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2001 by David Pittman
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
DO NOT visit Machu Picchu without this book! Your experience will be severly diminished!! Follow the author's suggested route, starting up top at the guard house. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2001 by Kathy Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Enhanced with a full-color fold-out map & 150 illustrations
Built in the mid-fifteenth century by Inca royalty and found by Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu has become one of South America's premier travel destinations, experienced by... Read more
Published on July 3 2001 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and Architecture Book Parading as a Guide Book
Hats off to publisher Johnson Books for making this wonderful ... book available to serious travelers headed for Machu Picchu. Read more
Published on June 5 2001 by Kenneth R. Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientifically Based Guide Book
The Wright/Valencia Guide to Machu Picchu provides an up-to-date, step-by-step, scientifically accurate and highly interesting walk through of this mangificant archaeological... Read more
Published on June 5 2001 by Kenneth R. Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and Architecture Book Parading as Guide Book
Hats off to publisher Johnson Books for making this wonderful ... book available to serious travelers headed for Machu Picchu. Read more
Published on June 5 2001 by Kenneth R. Wright
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