Turn Right at Machu Picchu

Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at A Time

Adams, Mark, 1967-

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu
Penguin Putnam
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 citadel of Machu Picchu. Nearly a century later, news reports have recast the hero explorer as a villain who smuggled out priceless artifacts and stole credit for finding one of the world's greatest archaeological sites.

Mark Adams has spent his career editing adventure and travel magazines, so his plan to investigate the allegations against Bingham by retracing the explorer's perilous path to Machu Picchu isn't completely far- fetched, even if it does require him to sleep in a tent for the first time. With a crusty, antisocial Australian survivalist and several Quechua-speaking, coca-chewing mule tenders as his guides, Adams takes readers through some of the most gorgeous and historic landscapes in Peru, from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to the enigmatic ruins of Vitcos and Vilcabamba.

Along the way he finds a still-undiscovered country populated with brilliant and eccentric characters, as well as an answer to the question that has nagged scientists since Hiram Bingham's time: Just what was Machu Picchu?

Watch a Video

Baker & Taylor
Traces the author's recreation of Hiram Bingham III's discovery of an ancient Andes Mountains cloud city, describing the author's struggles with rudimentary survival tools and his experiences at the sides of local guides. By the author of Mr. America. 25,000 first printing.

& Taylor

Traces the author's recreation of Hiram Bingham III's discovery of the ancient citadel, Machu Picchu, in the Andes Mountains of Peru, describing his struggles with rudimentary survival tools and his experiences at the sides of local guides.

Publisher: New York : Dutton, c2011
ISBN: 9780525952244
Branch Call Number: 985.37 A
Characteristics: 333 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

January 10. In his visual presentation, "The Hard Way to Machu Picchu," Mark Adams explores how an adventure travel magazine editor with little actual outdoor experience attempts to recreate one of history's most famous expeditions, the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Accompanied by a t... Read More »

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Aug 29, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Whether you are an armchair traveler or you never take your hiking boots off, this is a fun read. Adams spent years working for various adventure travel magazines but never actually left the office. With the 100 year anniversary of Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Pichu on the horizon, he decided it was time to hit the trail himself. Meeting up with a modern-day Indiana Jones, Adams sets out to follow in the footsteps of Bingham’s travels through Peru. If you enjoy Bill Bryson or you just like a good adventure read, then this is the book for you.

Sep 28, 2013
  • gracindaisy rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A sublime mix of Peruvian history, Andean culture and adventure travel focusing on Machu Picchu and the surrounding area. Makes the reader want to go to see it in person!

Aug 12, 2013

"Travel magazine editor Mark Adams leaves his desk behind for an adventure of his own - even though the last time he slept in a tent was as a kid in 1978... in his backyard. In his determined effort to recreate the 1911 "discovery" of Machu Picchu by now-controversial explorer Hiram Bingham III, Adams spent several weeks hiking through Peru with his experienced expat Australian guide and some local mule tenders. He shares fascinating facts and amusing anecdotes from his trip in this "entirely delightful book" (The Washington Post). For more on Inca history, pick up Kim MacQuarrie's well-reviewed The Last Days of the Incas." August 2013 Armchair Travel newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=664860

Jun 16, 2012
  • khintz rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Worth reading before or even after a pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.

May 17, 2012
  • TooManyBooks rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed historical content about Hiram Bingham, but overall did not care for the writing style of the author.

Sep 14, 2011
  • athenagroup rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Found this book to include very interesting information re: Hiram Bingham's travels. Written in a very entertaining style.

Jul 31, 2011
  • 22950009541673 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

An "I" book, as in "I did this".


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Turn Right at Machu Picchu
Adams, Mark, 1967-
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