Fans of the South American Handbook

The South American Handbook has provided invaluable advice to many travellers throughout the decades. 

But don't just take our word for it... here's what those in the travel business have to say about their experiences with the Handbook.


"The one indispensable guide for anyone interested in South America." Michael Palin


“The South American Handbook shows why the printed travel guide will never die. It is so much more than a guidebook full of listings - it is an organic repository of nearly a century of courageous and serendipitous exploration.” Simon Calder, Senior Travel Editor, The Independent


“90 years is an incredible achievement. It's a testament to the unparalleled depth and breath of content of The South American Handbook that it remains the single most essential guide to the region despite all the other sources of information available in this digital age.” Amy Sohanpaul, Editor, Traveller Magazine


“Packed with intelligent, practical info and written with passion and love: if there’s one catch-all guide for South America, the South American Handbook is it. It went with me on my first trip to the continent, over two decades ago and it’s been on most visits since, serving me with tips, maps and cultural background from Guyana to the Peruvian Amazon, the Colombian Andes to Rio and beyond.” Sarah Barrell, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK)


"I took the 1990 edition of the SAH - a lovely little brick of a book with a jaguar on the front - with me when I went to live in Buenos Aires and took it all over Argentina with me on my many trips. For all its listings and facts, I never really thought of it as a practical guide; for me it was more of a dream-Bible, the wispy thin pages full of possibilities of travel and exploration. It got nicked when I was in Salta and I was inconsolable." Chris Moss, The Telegraph


“In 1992, the UK was deep in recession, not helping our plans to start a travel business, so, my partner, Paul Morrison, and I decided to head off to South America for several months. We narrowed our trip down to Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. But, what about the practicalities? That is when we discovered the South American Handbook, rightly considered the bible for travellers. We referred to its treasured pages daily, as they became the trusted friend that guided our way. In towns, the exhaustive listings would give us an insight into each sleeping place and each restaurant; while the SAH also took us well off the beaten track to little-visited reserves, wildlife hotspots, and into the orbit of some extraordinary people. 

That was the trip on which Wanderlust was conceived. So, it is no wonder that the ‘bible’ will always hold a special place in my heart.” Lyn Hughes, Editor in Chief, Wanderlust Magazine


“The South American Handbook is an essential companion for everyone setting foot in the region. I explored this wonderful part of the world with the 2001 edition of the guide in hand, and its 90th anniversary is testament to its reputation for quality, accurate information.” Andy Hoskins, Editor, Long Haul Magazine


“I relied so much on my Handbook that I fought hard for it when I was in danger of losing it. Once when I crossed from Ecuador into Peru, I put the Handbook down on a desk just in front of me inside the border police station where our passports were being checked. By the end of the process, the book was gone, presumably stolen by one one the many money changers or taxi drivers. I raised hell with the border police, and they were obviously embarassed that somebody had stolen something right under their noses. So one policeman asked us to wait, went outside to shout at or negotiate with the moneychangers. After 5 minutes he came back with my Handbook and handed it to me. Now much more relaxed, I traveled on.” Sebastian Heinzel, Founder, Tripwolf


"The best travel guide in the world" Graham Greene, author & traveller 


“My dog eared, coffee-stained 1997 edition Peru Handbook was an invaluable reference during my time as manager of the South American Explorers Club, and later as an AP correspondent. But the reason I will never part with it is because it also was the guidebook that helped steer me in the right direction during a journey with my then-sweetheart — and soon-to-be wife — to northern Peru. One of my most memorable, truly joyous adventures” Rick Vecchio, Journalist and Tour Operator, Lima, Peru


“In 1975/6 I travelled the complete continent and it was the most precious and essential item in my rucksack, and those I met along the way would borrow it!  It was my bible and I owed it the success of my trip” Meriel Larken, founder of the Yavarí project at Puno on Lake Titicaca


"If Footprint briefly mentions a place - which means everyone else doesn't mention that place - go there. It will be amazing." David Slenk, photographer/author of South America: A Photographic Journey

"Living in Rio de Janeiro I became accustomed to friends or friends of friends, and even complete strangers, turning up on my doorstep clutching their copy of the South American Handbook. It was their bible, and very often their lifeline for travelling in and around South America. It did not seem to matter if they were only visiting Rio for a few days - and staying in one of the top hotels  - or backpacking around South America, the South American Handbook was a must read for all.

I remember a Scotsman turning up at my door in 1978. He had taken a ship from the UK to Recife, in the Northeast of Brazil, and had planned to travel overland by bike to Buenos Aires, a distance of some 2,400 miles. His only map and source of information was his battered copy of the South American Handbook. The gentleman’s aim had been to get to Argentina to watch his beloved Scotland play in the 1978 World Cup. But by the time he got as far as Rio the World Cup was well and truly over, and Scotland hadn't been home for some considerable time. Our intrepid traveller was not bothered, however, and laid the blame for his tardiness at the door of his South American Handbook. The reason was simple. The book had introduced him to so many interesting things and places on his travels that he just had to stop to see and appreciate them all.

After a few weeks in Rio I waved him off en route to Buenos Aires. It did not matter to him that the World Cup was over, because he knew the South American Handbook was going to take him on another voyage of discovery from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires and beyond. As far as I know he may still be touring South America on his bike and clutching a copy of the South American Handbook. If he is, I just hope he has stopped and bought himself a copy of the 2014 edition." Christopher Pickard, Chairman of LATA


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