68 books like The Last Days of the Incas

By Kim MacQuarrie,

Here are 68 books that The Last Days of the Incas fans have personally recommended if you like The Last Days of the Incas. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

Andrew R. Thomas Author Of The Canal of Panama and Globalization: Growth and Challenges in the 21st Century

From my list on the Panama Canal and the Panama Railroad.

Why am I passionate about this?

My twenty-five books have explored topics around global trade, transportation networks, security, and development. Prior to becoming a writer, I had a moderately successful global business career; that came with the opportunity to travel to and conduct business in more than 120 countries on all seven continents. Being American (by birth) and Panamanian (by marriage), the role of Panama and both the Canal and the Railroad in the history of the world always fascinated me. My most recent book on the present and future of the Canal and Panama has been the fulfillment of much passion and interest over many years.

Andrew's book list on the Panama Canal and the Panama Railroad

Andrew R. Thomas Why did Andrew love this book?

The earlier books on my list lay the foundation for McCullough’s masterpiece, which focuses on the French and American efforts at Panama.

While many readers interested in Panama and the Canal often start here, this book is best served at the end: like a great dessert and aperitif following a wonderful meal.

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Path Between the Seas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Describes all the events and personalities involved in the monumental undertaking which precipitated revolution, scandal, economic crisis, and a new Central American republic.


Book cover of Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

James Lindholm Author Of Calypso Down

From my list on ocean adventures, both real and imagined.

Why am I passionate about this?

The two constants in my life to date have been ocean exploration by day and reading epic adventures by night. As a Ph.D. marine scientist, I’ve had the incredible good fortune to travel the world conducting marine science research, work which to date has resulted in forty-two research articles and a textbook. But as much as I’ve enjoyed conducting the research, communicating about the sea has been even more engaging, taking me to the White House, both houses of Congress, and many countries around the world. And perhaps best of all, I’ve been able to couple my love of stories with my own research experience to produce four adventure novels. 

James' book list on ocean adventures, both real and imagined

James Lindholm Why did James love this book?

I love this book despite the incredible discomfort I experience every time I read it.

Diving in the cold waters of the North Atlantic on a good day is no picnic. But diving deep into the wreck of a mystery U-boat, not knowing if you are going to come out? Epic.

I just recently listened to the Audible book while driving back from an undersea research project in a van filled with young scientific divers. The climax had us all squirming in our seats!

By Robert Kurson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Shadow Divers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller 

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the…


Book cover of The Conquest of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Author Of Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

From my list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vincent Lee is a professional architect and former Alpine climbing guide and instructor, US Marine Corps officer, Andean explorer, and author. Searching in the high Andes of Peru and the rain forests of the Upper Amazon for the remains of the long-lost final redoubt of the once-powerful Inca Empire not only appealed to his life-long interest in all of these disparate fields, but it called upon his many years of experience in each: wilderness trekking, mountain warfare, mapping and drawing the remains of the more than 500 ancient structures discovered.

Vincent's book list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did Vincent love this book?

The classic account of this fascinating, historic, and tragic event, unfortunately little known by western readers, is here masterfully told by the former Director of the Royal Geographical Society in London.  His amazing story of the once-great Inca Empire and its destruction by Francisco Pizzaro's ruthless Spanish Coquistadores captured my imagination in 1982 and sent me on a 40-year Odyssey of travel, discovery, and adventure still as vivid today as it was back then. It will do no less for any reader with a curious mind and a love of history.

By John Hemming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Conquest of the Incas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Conquest of the Incas, John Hemming's masterly and highly acclaimed account of one of the most exciting conquests known to history, has never been surpassed.

From the first small band of Spanish adventurers to enter the mighty Inca empire to the execution of the last Inca forty years later, it is the story of bloodshed, infamy, rebellion and extermination, told as convincingly as if it happened yesterday. It also tells the social impact of the conquest, on ordinary Peruvians forced to work for Spanish masters or in hellish silver and mercury mines, on change of religion and government, and…


Book cover of Lost City of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Author Of Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

From my list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vincent Lee is a professional architect and former Alpine climbing guide and instructor, US Marine Corps officer, Andean explorer, and author. Searching in the high Andes of Peru and the rain forests of the Upper Amazon for the remains of the long-lost final redoubt of the once-powerful Inca Empire not only appealed to his life-long interest in all of these disparate fields, but it called upon his many years of experience in each: wilderness trekking, mountain warfare, mapping and drawing the remains of the more than 500 ancient structures discovered.

Vincent's book list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did Vincent love this book?

The story of the "discovery" of the now-famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu by an obscure Yale professor in 1911. During his first exploring expedition in the jungles of Peru in 1909, the author learned of the final redoubt into which the Incas fled after the arrival of the Spaniards. Called "Vilcabamba," the city had since become lost in the rain forests of the eastern Andes and Bingham was determined to find it. He did but stumbled upon the much finer Machu Picchu, a world-class architectural wonder, in the process.

By Hiram Bingham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lost City of the Incas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in the 1950s, this is a classic account of the discovery in 1911 of the lost city of Machu Picchu.

In 1911 Hiram Bingham, a pre-historian with a love of exotic destinations, set out to Peru in search of the legendary city of Vilcabamba, capital city of the last Inca ruler, Manco Inca. With a combination of doggedness and good fortune he stumbled on the perfectly preserved ruins of Machu Picchu perched on a cloud-capped ledge 2000 feet above the torrent of the Urubamba River. The buildings were of white granite, exquisitely carved blocks each higher than a…


Book cover of Antisuyo: The Search for the Lost Cities of the Amazon

Vincent R. Lee Author Of Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

From my list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vincent Lee is a professional architect and former Alpine climbing guide and instructor, US Marine Corps officer, Andean explorer, and author. Searching in the high Andes of Peru and the rain forests of the Upper Amazon for the remains of the long-lost final redoubt of the once-powerful Inca Empire not only appealed to his life-long interest in all of these disparate fields, but it called upon his many years of experience in each: wilderness trekking, mountain warfare, mapping and drawing the remains of the more than 500 ancient structures discovered.

Vincent's book list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did Vincent love this book?

Following up on Hiram Bingham's 1911 visit to an overgrown ruin in the forest at a place called Espíritu Pampa (The Plain of Ghosts) and dismissed by Bingham as unimportant, Savoy set out in 1964-5 to prove him wrong. Bingham had identified Machu Picchu as the lost Inca capital, Vilcabamba, but Savoy was sure there was more to be found at the Plain of Ghosts than Bingham knew. He was right, and in several adventurous expeditions found a large Inca city there that he thought better met the Spanish accounts of Vilcabamba.

By Gene Savoy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Antisuyo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This inspiring and historic book: Antisuyo by Gene Savoy, is about the search for the lost cities of the Amazon. Antisuyo is the full account of the authors' daring expedition beyond one of the few remaining uncharted frontiers, and of his glorious discovery of the fabled cities of Viacabamba and Muyok Viejo--two of the most important archaeololgical sites found in recent years. He takes the reader through the forbidding mysteries of the wild territory in search for of clues to puzzles that have remained unsolved since the days of Pizarro: Aztahualpa: the legendary Manco Capac; the famed El Dorado, City…


Book cover of Vilcabamba and the Archaeology of Inca Resistance

Vincent R. Lee Author Of Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

From my list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vincent Lee is a professional architect and former Alpine climbing guide and instructor, US Marine Corps officer, Andean explorer, and author. Searching in the high Andes of Peru and the rain forests of the Upper Amazon for the remains of the long-lost final redoubt of the once-powerful Inca Empire not only appealed to his life-long interest in all of these disparate fields, but it called upon his many years of experience in each: wilderness trekking, mountain warfare, mapping and drawing the remains of the more than 500 ancient structures discovered.

Vincent's book list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas

Vincent R. Lee Why did Vincent love this book?

Published by the Costen Institute of Archaeology Press at UCLA, this is a report of the first and only truly scientific excavations done to date in Inca Vilcabamba. Told in a reader-friendly manner not calling for any technical background, Bauer confirms on and in the ground, much of the history recounted in the other books noted here as well as unearthing hundreds of 450-year-old artifacts left on site when Vilcabamba was abandoned, finally, to the jungle in 1572.

By Brian S. Bauer, Javier Fonseca Santa Cruz, Miriam Aráoz Silva

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vilcabamba and the Archaeology of Inca Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sites of Vitcos and Espiritu Pampa are two of the most important Inca cities within the remote Vilcabamba region of Peru. The province has gained notoriety among historians, archaeologists, and other students of the Inca, since it was from here that the last independent Incas waged a nearly forty-year-long war (AD 1536-1572) against Spanish control of the Andes.

Building on three years of excavation and two years of archival work, the authors discuss the events that took place in this area, speaking to the complex relationships that existed between the Europeans and Andeans during the decades that Vilcabamba was…


Book cover of Jungle of Stone: The Extraordinary Journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya

Roy M. Griffis Author Of The Old World

From my list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history that is about people. The discoveries they made or the adventures they had (or endured) are thrilling and fascinating, but it’s the people who make it compelling. From Ernest Shackleton dumping handfuls of gold on the ice to show his stranded men he was committed to getting them out of Antarctica alive, to a fussy young William Travis writing desperately for help that would never come, and being of the first to die during the attack on the Alamo…the best books make those events, the times, and the stakes very very real. And the very best histories give you the humanity of the choices and decisions that led them there.

Roy's book list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction

Roy M. Griffis Why did Roy love this book?

One of the real contagions of contemporary life (for anyone in any time, I suspect) is the way one can become complacent about the existence we are experiencing: we can take “what everyone knows” for granted. Like the Ferris Wheel, which was invented for the Chicago World’s Fair to outshine the previous Fair’s Effiel Tower. Now, any carnival midway or small circus has one. 

The same with many “ancient ruins.” Cruise ships stop at Minos or the Mexican pyramids for organized tours. But these places had been lost for millennia until they were re-discovered in the last 200 – 300 years. In Jungles of Stone, the initial discovery was almost an accident. Seen as an opportunity by Stephens and Catherwood, the magnificence and majesty of what they find converts their commercial enterprise into something more like a crusade. While the book recounts their arduous efforts to uncover the lost…

By William Carlsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jungle of Stone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller (Expeditions) * THE "MASTERFUL CHRONICLE"* OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE LEGENDARY LOST CIVILIZATION OF THE MAYA--AN "ADVENTURE TALE THAT MAKES INDIANA JONES LOOK TAME"* In 1839, rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world's most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood-both already celebrated for their adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome-sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What…


Book cover of The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo--And the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation

Roy M. Griffis Author Of The Old World

From my list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history that is about people. The discoveries they made or the adventures they had (or endured) are thrilling and fascinating, but it’s the people who make it compelling. From Ernest Shackleton dumping handfuls of gold on the ice to show his stranded men he was committed to getting them out of Antarctica alive, to a fussy young William Travis writing desperately for help that would never come, and being of the first to die during the attack on the Alamo…the best books make those events, the times, and the stakes very very real. And the very best histories give you the humanity of the choices and decisions that led them there.

Roy's book list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction

Roy M. Griffis Why did Roy love this book?

One thing my selections have in common is my own awe for the amount of research that went into the work. In this instance, Mr. Donovan has gone back to original sources, found old letters, telegrams, newspaper reports, interviews with survivors, and so on, turning the famous participants (e.g. Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, etc.) from the stiff, stock characters of popular imagination or media and mockery into recognizable human beings: Jim Bowie with his tenacious will (see the description of a duel fought on an island in a river against several opponents) and a heart-broken by the death of a beloved wife, or Crockett, an out-of-office politician, and national figure, heading West in the hopes of finding a new beginning.

None of them planned on being a hero, but, at the end, were willing to die for their friends and their adopted home of Texas.

By James Donovan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blood of Heroes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For almost two centuries, the last stand at the Alamo has been recognized as a defining moment in America's history. On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army thousands of soldiers strong attacked a makeshift garrison of about 200 Texas settlers-among them, Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis-holed up in the abandoned mission on the outskirts of San Antonio. The Texans refused to surrender, and for almost two weeks, the immense force lay siege to the fort, bombarding its occupants with a constant barrage of artillery fire. Then, in the predawn hours of March 6, the Mexican troops unleashed…


Book cover of Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley & Livingstone

Roy M. Griffis Author Of The Old World

From my list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history that is about people. The discoveries they made or the adventures they had (or endured) are thrilling and fascinating, but it’s the people who make it compelling. From Ernest Shackleton dumping handfuls of gold on the ice to show his stranded men he was committed to getting them out of Antarctica alive, to a fussy young William Travis writing desperately for help that would never come, and being of the first to die during the attack on the Alamo…the best books make those events, the times, and the stakes very very real. And the very best histories give you the humanity of the choices and decisions that led them there.

Roy's book list on history that reads like the most gripping fiction

Roy M. Griffis Why did Roy love this book?

This is another story that has been parodied out of any semblance of the magnificently foolish endeavor that ended up becoming almost noble. While today the idea would be risible, this book contextualizes the time and culture that created a national hero of the Reverend Livingstone, a clergyman traveling to “darkest Africa” to spread the Good Word to the savages and why finding him became a Western obsession. The insights into the day-to-day life and difficulties of the many and varied characters, tribes, and nations are balanced nicely against the struggles of the main characters to find their way through Africa and life itself.

By Martin Dugard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Into Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1866 Britain's foremost explorer, Dr David Livingstone, went in search of the answer to an age-old geographical riddle: where was the source of the Nile? Livingstone set out with a large team, on a course that would lead through unmapped, seemingly impenetrable terrain into areas populated by fearsome man-eating tribes. Within weeks his expedition began to fall apart - his entourage deserted him and Livingstone vanished without trace. He would not be heard from again for two years.
While debate raged in England over whether Livingstone could be found in the unmapped wilderness of the African interior, James Gordon…


Book cover of The Autobiography of María Elena Moyano: The Life and Death of a Peruvian Activist

Miguel La Serna Author Of With Masses and Arms: Peru's Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement

From my list on reads before your trip to Peru.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of Latin American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My teaching and research focus on Andean history, and I have written several books on the period of political violence that pitted guerrillas of the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) against Peruvian security forces and peasant militias during the 1980s and 1990s. I have been researching in Peru for twenty years, from Lima’s shantytowns, to the Andes mountains, to the Amazon jungle. A Peruvian-American, I maintain strong family ties to the region and am a proud, yet frequently heartbroken, supporter of the national soccer team.

Miguel's book list on reads before your trip to Peru

Miguel La Serna Why did Miguel love this book?

María Elena Moyano is perhaps the most fascinating Latin American historical figure you haven’t heard of. A Black activist, feminist, and community organizer, Moyano led a brave and suicidal campaign for peace against the Shining Path, a fearsome guerrilla group that brought Peru to its knees in the 1980s and early 90s. Moyano describes, in her own beautiful prose, her meteoric rise as a champion of the urban poor, political leader, and women’s rights warrior. She speaks candidly of her repudiation of the “terror of the Shining Path,” and of the group’s obsession with smearing her good name. Diana Miloslavic’s illustrative annotations help further humanize Moyano and contextualize her sacrifice, offering a moving portrait of the woman popularly known as “Mother Courage.”

By Diana M. Tupac (editor), Patricia Taylor Edmisten (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Autobiography of María Elena Moyano as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Using Maria Elena Moyano's own words, the editor of this story recreates the voice of the martyred Peruvian activist. In 1992, aged 33, Moyano was assassinated by guerrillas of the revolutionary movement Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path). Her murder galvanized the Peruvian people against the group.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Peru, the Inca Empire, and Panama?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Peru, the Inca Empire, and Panama.

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