Buen viaje: 10 best South America travel books

Whether you’re trekking to Machu Picchu or taking in the sun - and football – in Rio, take your pick from these inspirational and useful reads, chosen by Stanfords, the travel information specialists

With the World Cup in Brazil this year and the Olympic Games happening in Rio in 2016, South America's largest country, along with the rest of the continent, is firmly in the spotlight - and top of many travellers' lists.

For anyone planning a trip to the diverse and fascinating land, Stanfords, known for their huge range of travel books and maps, have stepped in to recommend the most absorbing and useful guides, travelogues and novels.

From Footprint’s South American Handbook for backpackers on a shoestring, to Death in the Andes, Mario Vargas Llosa’s captivating tale of murder and mystery at 4000 metres, there’s a book on the list for every adventurer.

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Michael Palin’s Brazil, written in his inimitable style, is a fascinating look at the country we’ll be hearing a lot from in the next few years. Backpackers can’t go wrong with the Footprint guide, and for a literary look at an important time in Chile’s recent past, Isobel Allende’s The House of the Spirits is an ideal place to start.

Buy now

  1. Footprint South American Handbook: 2014, £25

  2. Brazil, Michael Palin, £7.99

  3. The Robber of Memories: A River Journey Through Colombia, £9.99

  4. Trekking in Peru, Bradt, £12.99 (published February)

  5. The House of Spirits, Isabel Allende, £8.99

  6. Lost City of the Incas, Hiram Bingham, £9.99

  7. Inca-Kola, Matthew Parris, £8.99

  8. In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin, £8.99

  9. Death in the Andes, Mario Vargas Llosa, £8.99

  10. 36 Hours in Latin America & the Caribbean, £19.99


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