This very recent guide published by Lonely Planet in year 2000 is an indisensable and wonderful tool to take to Peru with you. As always, LP has explored the country, giving you advice on places to stay - from top 5-star hotels to low-budget accommodation - as well as restaurants, transport, etc. There is little or nothing which you won't find in this book, because this guide has it all... Including indispensable advice on local customs, how to deal with people, what to buy, etc, as well as historical, social and political overviews, all up-to-date ! A small piece of luggage, but well worth the weight and the price.
great country, good book, watch the altitude
Peru is a remarkably interesting country. This is a pretty good guidebook. One area where the guide could be improved is advising tourists on itineraries that work up to high altitude gradually. The easiest trips to arrange go straight from Lima at sea level to sleeping in a hotel in Cusco at 11,000' above sea level. At best you won't feel good and at worst you could get acute altitude sickness. A bit of planning, however, and you can either zip straight from the airport at Cusco to Aguas Calientes below Macchu Pichu (about 8000') or work your way up to Cusco from some towns that are at 7000'. Simply by reshuffling your itinerary you can have a trip where you are feeling good and strong all the time rather than a trip where you stagger around breathlessly and suck down aspirin for the pounding headache.
I adored the writing style of this particular guidebook. I felt I knew the author after spending so much time reading it. Alas, the Arequipa section is outdated in the following areas: restaurants, cafes and entertainment. Establishments seem to come and go in Arequipa.
Also note that Arequipa is a region -- not merely a town. I wish the guidebook had better expressed this reality. Nearly all of the "adventure" tours lie 5-6 hours bus ride away from Arequipa. Mind you, these are Peruvian buses that tend to break down. Allow enough time to travel between Arequipa and your adventures...
I also bought this book for my trip. The descriptions are a bit short but it has very updated information (when I was there).
Rating: 3.21/5 from 14 reviews
If you are looking for the complete guide to South America
This is not it. Sorry. Not that it is an aweful book, but hardly comprehensive. Lonely planet's individual guides are passable, but what little savve they have is sadly editted out in this oversized under norished number. Having travelled in a good few of the countries mentioned here, I eventually ended up ditching the book and using photostats of the South American handbook, a vastly better publication. Remember that a guide book defines, to no small degree, how you see the places you visit. Following the lonely planet guides gives you great generic lonely planet experience. But if you want something more or different, the options aren't there. Sure, its colorful, and yes, it is useful as a map book, but as you only source of information on vast continent, follow the footprint
The book wasn't updated, the bridge over Suriname river in the capital Paramaribo of Suriname wasn't mentioned instead they recommend the ferry! Good for the beginner to find a place to stay but otherwise not so good....
Hit and Miss
Just got back from 3 months with this book in SA...
Plusses: Great Maps...LP maps are the best guidebook maps Lots of Choices for Hostels/Restaurants...they aren't too detailed but do typically offer a lot of places, while Let's Go will offer 4 or 5 per city. Everyone has got it, you'll find a lot of people to hang out with when going to their recos.
Minuses: Everyone has got it, perhaps you don't want to run into a lot of gringos. Doesn't cover lots of small towns which are great to visit...yes of course this is a book that tries to cover a CONTINENT so it's not going to have everything, but I found Footprints SA book to be significantly more comprehensive. A bit out of date...new one is forthcoming, I believe.
Overall I would recommend Footprint's SA Handbook instead, although the maps do leave a bit to be desired.