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on September 8, 2007
For someone who only had enough vacation days to hike the Inca Trail with a few days to spare in Cusco, and a single day in Lima, this book was indispensable. The size was perfect for carrying in a daypack with sufficient pages devoted to the history and culture. My friend and I explored many of the restaurants and sites mentioned by the author and all of the descriptions and directions were clear and accurate. I've already lent the book to two other friends who returned from their trips with the same comments. A very efficient guide book for exploring the Inca Trail and surroundings.
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on December 2, 2009
Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail & Machu Picchu. This book offers the perfect amount of scope for a Peruvian vacation. Only problem is that the information is severely out of date already. In only a couple years prices have changed dramatically. We found we had to double or quadruple some of the prices found in the book - it's still cheap and we found competitive rates, but from 2006 to 2009, things have changed a lot.

While the hand-drawn maps seem like they would be very helpful -giving just the right information- they are confusing and don't contain the information you expect to see when standing in the actual places.

Someone needs to take this book and update the information and make more coherent maps. Great idea for a book, but use it with a grain of salt.
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on September 12, 2009
This book is quite informative! It gave more detail for hikes than we need, since we will have a tour guide. I'm sure anyone without a guide will find this an outstanding book.
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on August 7, 2012
Book was awesome. Carried it from Cachora to Choquequirao to Yanama to Machu picchu for 12 day trek. Used it all over Cusco and Sacred Valley tours. Could use a little update with newer trails and places. Includes a little of everything. Very informative. My copy is now well worn.
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on September 1, 2007
Fantastic. Thorough. This book will be our constant companion while traveling to the sacred sites in Peru.
Thank you.
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on December 25, 2015
In depth, informative very useful for our trip to Peru.
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on April 23, 2015
This has all the info I need for my trip ..Thanks
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on May 15, 2008
excellent, detailed, in depth summary of Cusco's attractions and major treks. Good, clear, informative write ups on the ruins, towns and hikes in the area with maps.
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on July 7, 2006
As the author of "The Complete Guide to Easter Island" (Easter Island Foundation, 2004), I recently read with keen interest the sidebar "The Incas and Easter Island" in the 2005 edition of "The Inca Trail" (p.97) and thought readers would find it helpful to know that the information in the sidebar is significantly out of date. In one case, it is completely erroneous.

While it is true that Thor Heyerdahl compared Inca and Easter Island stonework and, while they are superficially similar, its vitally important to distinguish between the solid stone masonry of the Inca and the rock-filled veneer of Easter Island ahu (platform) construction. Moreover, only one ahu on Easter Island (at Vinapu) really significantly resembles Inca stonework and, besides, the earliest available date for Peruvian polygonal block masonry is after 1440 ce, while that for comparable stonework on Easter Island is c. 1200 ce, so the parallel isn't particularly robust.

More crucially, when the author says that "Heyerdahl spectacularly proved that it is possible to float from Peru to Easter Island on a raft when in 1948 he did just that aboard his reed raft, Kon Tiki", the reader should know that Heyerdahl's expedition did not go to Easter Island. Nor was Easter Island the expedition's intended destination. The Kon-Tiki raft actually beached in the Tuamotus, 2000 miles northwest of Easter Island.

True, Heyerdahl proved that a raft could drift from South America westward into the Pacific, but rarely given much attention is the fact that the Kon-Tiki raft had to be towed 50 nautical miles out to sea by a tug boat before beginning his long and courageous journey because of the strong Humboldt Current off the Peruvian coast. Hardly representative of the way ancient Peruvian seafarers would have dealt with the daunting task, assuming they even could have.

Finally, to say that it is sad that Heyerdahl's theories have never been accepted by mainstream scientists makes it sound as if he's a misunderstood maverick who will one day be vindicated -- yet I'm constrained to point out that his theories and methods are understood unequivocally and few lament the loss of, say, the Ptolemaic view of the cosmos, precisely because it was wrong and still is. The problem with Heyerdahl's theories isn't just that no Peruvian evidence has turned up on Easter Island but that an overwhelming array of other evidence -- linguistic, socio-cultural, osteological, and genetic -- proves conclusively that the Easter Islanders are the direct descendants of Polynesians. Heyerdahl tried to assert that two waves of settlers -- one Polynesian, another South American -- visited Easter Island (a theory he tried to bolster by references to Easter Island legends which have turned out to be unsupported by scientific fact). But this was emphasized only after the evidence indicating Polynesian origins proved impossible to refute. And while the presence of the sweet potato on Easter Island clearly suggests some form of South American contact, the prevailing theory is that eastern Polynesians visited South America and returned, spreading the sweet potato as they migrated further eastward across the Pacific.

So, if I may be so bold, when the author says that Heyerdahl's theory is an "intriguing possibility", it's really neither. Even a possibility must be grounded in some plausible facts and Heyerdahl's theories don't hold up to scrutiny. There continues to remain some unanswered "mysteries" about Easter Island (though far fewer than most tabloids and "ancient astronaut" authors would have us believe) -- but Heyerdahl's defunct theories aren't among them.

This may all seem like a small matter but, when it comes to Easter Island, the more accurate we can get, the better!
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