Along my trek, I learned the history behind many of the ruins in Peru from the trip guide. That taught me a lot, but it was sometimes difficult to retain because of all the long names. Luckily I had been given Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu as a gift before I left.
It gives you the story behind Hiram Bingham and how he re-discovered Macchu Picchu in 1911. Of course the story isn’t without controversy as Bingham removed thousands of artifacts and took them back to Yale University where they still reside. I’m still finishing the book as I was too exhausted to read as much as I’d like during the trip. This is definitely an interesting read, especially for anyone who enjoys history.