Rating: 3.33/5 from 3 reviews
Good on Frommer's!
It appears to me that the first reviewer may have a chip on his shoulder and ought to have stayed home, wherever that is. As someone who was raised in Per� and return often, I believe that the author of Frommer's Per� did a very good job, especially considering that most guidebooks don't include much about how tourism is endangering many heritage sites in the country. Neil Schlecht obviously cares and let's readers know, politely, that they need to walk softly through this beautiful nation.
I loved the fact that I recognized many of the places he recommended - La Casa de Melgar in Arequipa is indeed a marvelous place to stay, for example and it was a thrill to read his section on Cajamarca, my second favourite Peruvian city, after Arequipa.
I liked his Best of Per� section, although I believe that he missed on the best markets/shopping section and would have liked to read more about how tourists are also endangering the textile and folk art traditions given that they want cheap shopping. For example, more and more textile artists are using synthetic yarns and dyes because they're fed up with visitors bartering them down to pennies for an object that took weeks, if not months to make. Take a moment to consider that the folks who make authentic Peruvian textiles and folk art need to eat, feed and educate their children and have a right to have their work and themselves treated with respect and dignity - heads up to the first reviewer!
Per� is, in many ways, like India in that one could travel there every year for the rest of one's life and not see everything. Personally, I would follow Schlecht's advice and get off the "tourist trail", into the north, the central highlands - the Mantaro Valley, Tarma, the Chanchamayo Valley for a taste of the *real* Per�, not yet the flavours of the month.
Good for you, Neil Schlecht and good for Frommer's. I hope that you will continue to publish Frommer's Per� and update it frequently.
Overpriced and overrated
I was really disappointed with this, the most 'recent' book about Peru. I have recently moved here, and was looking for some information about places to go and things to do when I had holiday time. The information is often incorrect, the prices are exorbitant and the whole book reads more like "go where I suggest because they let me stay here free in exchange for a promotional blurb" than a truly objective presentation of options.
The whole book is skewed towards the requirements of people who are going to use their two weeks holiday to come here and spend all their money with people who will tell them what they should and shouldn't see, (and screw them on the prices in the process), and really only see the Peru that they could have just as easily seen on the Discovery channel for 1000th of the price!
Prices quoted mostly all pander to(and therefore legitimise)the inflated prices that the tourist industy sharks try to inflict on travellers. General rule - take prices quoted and reduce them by a third, and you are still being generous.
Travellers here should try to ensure that their money is going to the people who actually work for it and need it - not to those who live in the top 15% of the income bracket - and Frommer's Peru is just helping the rich keep the poor down.
I say go with the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide, and buy the "Inca Guide to Peru" when you get here (if you can't buy it elsewhere). It is a little older now, but the maps are excellent.
New Frommer's Guide
Frommer's Peru, First Edition; is a comprehensive and informative guide covering all the main tourist destinations in the country. The new star system helps in zeroing in on the best hotels, restaurants and attractions. I particularly like Chapter 3, The Active Vacation Planner. It lists the best places to go according to various interests. The book also lists various tour companies which specialize in that area. Highly recommended.
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...
Overall I would recommend Footprint's SA Handbook instead, although the maps do leave a bit to be desired.