Top critical review
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Pros and Cons
on December 27, 2008
I will start my review by saying I always buy the DK guides for everywhere I go. However I never just buy one guide for any trip and this is the first time I have done so and I have come to realize how lacking they are. this is not to say I will stop buying them and I will tell you why.
Pros: The pictures. Nothing beats these guides with the pictures. Trust me. when you go to Machu Pichu and someone says did you see the tres ventanas and you go "I hope so" well you won't hope so with this guide b/c this guide will show you what the tres ventanas looks like. In peru they have these HUGE churches. And each church has like dozens of these rooms of altars. but the most famous is "el negrito" maybe you are like me and just aren't into the church thing but want to see what the big deal is but don't want to miss the big must see with this guide you will make sure you won't. and in these churches you can't take pictures. so when you get back you can show your friends what you saw. brilliant.
The restaurant recommendations were excellent if a little pricey.
Cons: the maps suck. the map of lima was pretty good but there were none for any other cities. none of cusco and that is a major city! cusco is studiedly a maze, but some sort of map would have helped.
and it is short on information. it doesn't tell you how to get anywhere. I wouldn't have known to get a train from cusco to machu pichu that I couldn't take my suitcase on the train (or that i would be charged a HUGE fee to do so) how to buy tix for the bus to get up to machu pichu (which is sort of complicated) or that some places to climb in machu pichu are limited to 400 persons per day so you should arrive early (like 430 am early). This is important since this is the most major site of peru!
it didn't tell me about other ruins to see, or other cities, or give good itineraries, or how to travel around. Just that taxis were bad. Which they actually weren't.
I never realized how limited in info and scope in actually getting around these guides were when this was the only guide I took. I was lucky that I had a limited amount of spanish and people in peru were really nice and kind of directed me around told me what to see and what not to see.
bottom line: I still say to buy these books b/c I think they help you find what you are trying to see, but I also say check out the web and print out itineraries, information on how to get somewhere, or other info that you can discard so it doesn't weigh you down later! Happy Travels!