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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  10,121 Ratings  ·  1,229 Reviews
What happens when an adventure travel expert-who's never actually done anything adventurous-tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu?

July 24, 1911, was a day for the history books. For on that rainy morning, the young Yale professor Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encountered an ancient city in the clouds: the now famous
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published June 30th 2011 by Plume (first published January 1st 2011)
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Apr 13, 2013 Librariasaurus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. And now I want to go to Machu Picchu.
You can definitely tell this was written by a journalist, but Mark Adams had fun writing this book.
As with many adventure travel stories, you can feel yourself going along for every step of the journey. Adam's writing makes you sympathise. You can feel every bead of sweat, every ache of sunburn, you can taste the coca and you know exactly how it feels to get blistered toes because you forgot the rule of mountaineering: Always wea
Sep 12, 2013 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rose by: Erma Aker
What a fun filled, laugh out loud romp through history as travel writer mark Adams follows the footsteps of the so called discoverer of Machu Picchu. Mark Adams quits his day job, hires some very interesting, characters and sets out to hike to Machu Picchu. His travel guide is an Australian survivalist, Jon, who very much resembles Crocodile Dundee. A very scrappy interesting man who I would love to see write his own book on his life time of adventures in places people would only dream of ever s ...more
Jean Poulos
The author, Mark Adams, retraces the steps that led Yale Professor, Hiram Bingham, to discover Machu Picchu one hundred years ago, on July 24, 1911.

The chapters more or less alternate between Bingham’s and Adams’ expeditions. Adams packs a lot of information into the book. He includes anecdotes, observations and sometimes he tosses in hilarious tidbits. He also includes information on the flora and fauna as well as Inca history of the area. He also describes what it is like today. I picked up a
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mark Adams decides to trace the journey of the man who claimed to "discover" Machu Picchu, Hiram Bingham, and takes a very strenuous hike through Peru. This book chronicles that journey, as well as a return trip he took to hike the "Inca Trail."

If Adams had only written about his own journey, I'm not sure it would have been that interesting. He has worked in travel writing, albeit more as an armchair editor than a traveler, for years. He had connections to help him prepare, research, and advise
Grace Komjakraphan
Machu Picchu was ON the list, but after reading this book, THE INCA TRAIL is on the list.
Gerry Claes
For most of my life I have been fascinated with Machu Picchu and have always had a desire to hike to this famous lost city of the Inca's. My daughter who is 33 years younger than me hiked to Machu Picchu a few years ago and the two of us have a competitive history of visiting the most locations. I have her beat in states (48 to 46) but she left me in the dust a number of years ago in number of foreign countries visited. I decided to read this book to live my daughter's hike vicariously and perha ...more
Dec 16, 2014 MaryG2E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I greatly enjoyed this well-written travel adventure by Mark Adams. A New York resident, Adams worked for many years in travel publishing, and his writing style reflects his journalistic skills. Turn Right at Machu Picchu is a warm-hearted, funny and entertaining account of Adams' journeys in a remote part of Peru to retrace the steps of Hiram Bingham III, the 'discoverer' of the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. It is also an affectionate portrait of a remarkable man, John Leivers, the Australian ex- ...more
I read this book for a book club I belong to that is currently following a travel theme. The book follows Mark Adams as he retraces the steps of Bingham, the explorer/adventurer/professor who “discovered” Machu Picchu, on the 100 year anniversary of the discovery. This should have been a great travel adventure but there were some issues with the book. Mark Adams tells his present day story interspersed with Hiram Bingham’s original tale and then with tales from Pissaro and the Conquistadors. The ...more
In Turn Right at Machu Picchu Mark Adams interweaves his own adventure treks to important Inca sites in and around Machu Picchu - under the expert guidance of Australian John Leivers (and, on the Incan Trial, Ephrain Valles) - with Hiram Bingham’s Peruvian expeditions and controversial discovery of Machu Picchu as well as with the history of the Incas both before and after the Spanish invasion.

With a light, and often humorous touch, Adams covers over 500 years of Incan history, major Inca sites
Sep 26, 2012 Susy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the suggestion of a friend who said she "was LOLing" while reading this book and praised it as being written in the manner of Bill Bryon's A Walk in the Woods, I decided to be an armchair traveller to Machu Picchu. Adams does have the same self deprecating style as Bryson; he's an ah shucks writer about his own lack of skill, but let's face it - he made it to all the sites supposedly discovered by Hiram Bingham whose travels of 1911 he decided to follow. Along for the trek and leading the way ...more
The best thing about this book, besides the cover, is the fact that Adams, paradoxically, manages to demystify Macau Picu while making it an even powerful symbol of mystery and discover.
IT’s a wonderful travel log, interspersed with history. Adams has a great since of humor.
Jason Golomb
Mark Adams' "Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time" is a book that's a bit hard to classify. All at once, it's a serious (and seriously funny) travelogue; a smart and tightly written history; and an investigative report into the greatest archaeological discovery of the last century.

Author Adams spent time writing and editing for the now defunct National Geographic Adventurer magazine and despite working with and alongside some of the world's hardest core adve
Apr 19, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it
A fascinating story and wonderful account of Machu Picchu. Excellently researched, very well written, and a page turner to boot! I'll have my eye out for a print copy so I can see some of the photos in color. Recommended!
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams is an adventure travelogue, a history of Peru, Machu Picchu, & various expeditions, and an investigation of allegations against explorer Hiram Bingham III.

As an adventure travelogue, Turn Left is highly successful due to Adams' insightful, clever writing, based on meticulous research, and his subtle, self deprecating humor. The short chapters keep the tale moving along, as do the honest portraits of the
Sep 01, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, peru
Most travel books tend to be rather mediocre: There is no sense of wonder, no reason why anyone would envy the traveler and dream of following in his footsteps. Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time is a welcome exception to that sad rule. The author, Mark Adams, spent much of his life writing for outdoor magazines, but never had caught the travel bug himself ... until he decided to visit in person and on foot the Inca cities clustered north of Cuzco.

It help
Nov 19, 2016 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here’s how to write a great history/exploration book: do tons of research on an explorer, put it in writing, and then re-create the adventure. Adams did it perfectly.
Oct 01, 2011 edj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One hundred years ago on July 24, 1911, explorer and Yale lecturer Hiram Bingham excitedly cabled the US from Peru about his discovery of an ancient site, potentially the “lost city of the Incas.” That site was Machu Picchu, or “the old peak” in the local language of Quechua, a city of architectural grandeur and ancient temples. Now in 2011, his claim is disputed, and he is accused of stealing historical artifacts and trumpeting up a “discovery” of something that was never actually lost. But the ...more
Jun 11, 2012 Deidre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently out in paperback, Turn Right At Machu Picchu is a uniquely charming travel tale. When Mark Adams, a travel editor in New York city decides he needs an adventure of his own he doesn't start small. Instead he heads to Peru to trace the path of Hiram Bingham III, the explorer famous for the discovery of Machu Picchu. Adams, a mostly desk-bound sort, faces the epic journey with charmingly told trepidation. He begins the book by interspersing tales of Bingham's life with sections of personal ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Tim rated it liked it
I liked this book initially. The self-deprecating humor was Bill Bryson-esque, even if it lacked his page-turning hilarity. I felt like I was there on the trail with Mark and John, and could hear everything John said in a thick Australian accent.

The angle is unique. Retracing the steps of Machu Picchu's "scientific discoverer", Hiram Bingham III, Adams attempts to blend his own, Bingham's, and the Incas' stories into one. I don't think he quite pulls it off, though. It jumps hectically across t
May 30, 2016 Caroline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Susan
Shelves: history, summer2016
I was expecting to read about a first-time hiker's experience on the Inca Trail. Instead, I found myself in the middle of a 300-page bromance. I liked hearing about Mark's trip, and getting to know John, and learning about Hiram Bingham, and hearing how Mark met his wife, and reading some of the theories about Macchu Picchu's significance, but maybe not all in the same book.

An accurate summary: "Intrigued by tales that Aurita had told me of even greater wonders along the Inca Trail, my friend a
Jul 17, 2015 Erica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Why did it take 250 pages for Mark Adams to admit Machu Picchu was never lost?

The indigenous peoples of Peru knew of it the entire time.

Why did Mark Adams take so long to build up the beauty and importance of the Inca, only to never spend a sentence on the modern day Inca, those who descended from the original peoples by building lives in the jungle?

Why couldn't Adams censure Yale for keeping artifacts when they really, really shouldn't?

Why was he so fascinated with Bingham, explorer of 100 year
Connie Greenleaf
Mar 17, 2013 Connie Greenleaf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark Adams’ Turn Right At Machu Picchu was a temporary lapse on my part from my decision to read only Indian writers this year, or books written about India. Whatever, I bought it at an Indian bookstore, so that counts, right? This is one of those books that is so delightful and funny that you find yourself walking around your home following a person who you are reading aloud to. Then you laugh again, and get back at it. But it’s not JUST funny. It’s one of the most approachable books with a ver ...more
I have always had a love of ancient (and not quite so ancient) civilisations as well as a dream to travel the world. Machu Picchu has always been near the top of my list to places to go and, knowing that, my wife gave me this book.

It is about a long-time travel writing editor who finally decides to go on a journey of his own. He settles on Machu Picchu as it, and it's American "discoverer", was back in the news, as well as his wife and her family being Peruvian. But instead of just visiting the
Apr 15, 2012 Cleffairy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed at: Library of Lights
Review date: 15 April 2012
Review link:

I’m a huge fangirl of the fictional archeologist cum adventurer, Indiana Jones. And when I requested this book ‘Turn Right at Machu Pichu’, I was expecting something like Indiana Jones to be written within the pages. But boy, was I wrong. There’s nothing like Indiana Jones in there, but I was not disappointed. It was the other way around.

This book is an absolutely delightful read with plenty of quir
Apr 08, 2014 Marisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is a book that couch- and world-travelers alike will enjoy. Adams does a fantastic job weaving history with his personal experiences in Peru. When wanderlust strikes, even the most unprepared are willing to start a new adventure – often with hilarious results. I particularly enjoyed reading this novel in advance of my own trip to Machu Picchu. There were many things on my trip I remembered from the book and it was neat to see contrast of the old/new. I had learned a little about Machu Picch ...more
Jenn Steidley
I went to Peru in the Summer of 2012, and while I was there, I was asked if I had read this book. Obviously, I had not. Thus, when I got back to the US, I decided that I would start to read it. I experienced so many amazing things in Peru, and what I experienced at Machu Picchu was breathtaking and truly indescribable. I was hoping to retrieve done if those awe-inspiring feelings as I read this. Instead, I was disappointed. The writing was lackluster and shifty. The bouncing through history appe ...more
Oct 04, 2011 Carrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I cannot finish this book. It's a good thing the chapters are short or I wouldn't have gotten half way through. However, I've had it with the author's writing style. The subject is interesting; the author is following in the footsteps of Hiram Bingham III, long credited with the rediscovery of Machu Picchu. The author's guide is a colorful Aussie and it would be great to get to know him better, but the author doesn't seem that interested in telling us more than "he's a really interesting guy". I ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Sook-Yi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book sounded promising. However, I was unable to get into the author's writing style, particularly with him switching back and forth between Hiram Bingham III's journey to Machu Picchu and his own journey of mapping Bingham's steps. For his part of the journey, I don't think he did the place justice as he sort of skipped the finer details. Unlike Cheryl Strayed's "Wild," I didn't feel like I was actually trekking the Inca Trail with the author. It just wasn't a very engaging read. That bein ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Sherri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend had some books she was giving away and this one seemed interesting. After several weeks of not wanting to pick it back up and seeing it just sit there on my Good Reads currently reading list I had to just give up on it. I enjoyed it when I was reading it most of the time but I found going back into the history so much became boring to me. I learned things I did not know and wish I could have stuck with it but I have way to many other books to read. If you like travel books, a lot of hi ...more
Yuko Shimizu
Mar 08, 2016 Yuko Shimizu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not an outdoorsy type, so I wasn't sure if I was up for 300 pages of hard-core hiking. But I flew through it, feeling 20 imaginary pounds lighter, with lots of imaginary blisters all over my feet, and a bit of real stomach muscle ache from laughing so hard from the start to the finish.
While I enjoyed the imaginary hike the beaten paths, I also familiarized myself with the history of the Incas, life of Hiram Bingham, and those proud Andeans who make our visit to Machu Picchu fantastic and m
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