Hecht, John & Bao, Sandra , Lonely Planet, Cancun, Cozumel & the Yucatan, Lonely Planet Publications, 6th Edition, 2013.
-The indispensable reference guide for travellers to any and all countries. Loads of information about where to stay, how to get around and background about one’s area of travel. Now with internet support.
Travel Guide (Internet):
-Excellent site for travel in the Yucatan. Pleasant reading and beautiful pictures of all thing Yucatecan. This travelling duo has done a wonderful job of highlighting things to see and do in the Yucatan peninsula.
-Another great web resource for the Yucatan. Nice pictures and short descriptions of sites to visit and explore.
Stephens, John Lloyd, Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan, Harper, New York, 1843.
-The definitive Yucatan adventure relating the modern discovery of the Maya culture and monuments. Stevens, accompanied by illustrator Frederick Catherwood, explored the Yucatan on two trips in the 1840’s bringing the wonder and grandeur of the Maya world to the attention of the West. Beautifully written and along with the Catherwood illustrations it conjures up the romance and mystique of Old Mexico and the Maya.
-The Casa Catherwood is a small Museum in Merida highlighting the work of this wonderful illustrator. The web site has many of Catherwoods works to view and great background information. For many people, including this writer, the illustrations of Frederick Catherwood are the images first conjured up when thinking about the discovery and early excavations of the lost Maya civilization.
Carlsen, William, Jungle of Stone, Harper and Collins, New York, 2015.
-Modern companion book to the Stephens and Catherwood adventure.
Aldous, Huxley, Beyond the Mexique Bay, Chatto & Windus Ltd., London, 1934.
-Observations about Latin America, written like a journalist.
Greene, Graham, The Lawless Roads, William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1939.
-Green was commissioned to travel and write upon the condition of the Mexican peasantry during the anti-religious period of the Calle Presidency. The book follows his travels in Chiapas and Tabasco. This expose forms the inspiration for his famous novel The Power and the Glory.
Wright, Ronald, Time Among the Maya, Viking, Toronto, 1989.
-Travelogue of a journey through Belize, Guatemala and Mexico in the late 1980’s. Very good observations and analysis of the contemporary conditions of the indigenous Maya people with relational information about Maya history, calendar etc. Fun read if a little dated.
Coe, Michael, The Maya, Thamses & Hudson, New York, 2005.
-Excellent introduction to the history of the Maya people and their accomplishments. Scholarly enough to inform but easy to read and understand for the traveller.
Schele, Linda & Friedel, David, A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya,William Morrow & Company Inc., New York, 1990.
-Academic treatment of the Maya with examples and explanations of this complex people rendered through the analysis of various important archeological sites throughout the Maya world. Valuable background and context provided for understanding the Maya.
Schele, Linda & Mathews, The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs, Schribner, New York, 1998.
-A detailed analysis of Maya architecture and structure composition/ adornment through examples form seven major Maya sites. Detailed diagrams and maps of all sites discussed.
McKillop, Heather, The Ancient Maya: New Perspectives, W.W. Norton & Company, New York 2004.
-Comprehensive discussion of how Maya society was organized and functioned. This book looks at both the Royal elite and the common people.
Internet (Maya archaeological sites):
-Great starting point for research on Maya archaeological sites. Good descriptions and images of major sites and many lesser know or visited sites.
Diaz, Bernal, The Conquest of New Spain, Penguin Books, London, 1963.
-First hand account written by one of Cortes’ Conquistadors. Rough writing but brilliant adventure of daring, bravery and faith.
Prescott, William H, The History of the Conquest of Mexico, Random House, New York, 2001.
-First comprehensive history of the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs published in the 1843. Very literate read and incredibly detailed. While dealing mostly with the Conquest of the Aztecs this work provided incredible detail about the era.
Thomas, Hugh, Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes and the Fall of Old Mexico, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993.
-Modern treatment of the Conquest.
de Landa, Diego, Yucatan: Before and After the Conquest, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1978.
-Written in 1566, this work captures observations about the Maya peoples shortly after the Spanish Conquest.
Clendinnen, Inga, Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spanish in the Yucatan, 1517- 1570, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003.
-Insightful analysis of the interaction and subjugation of the Maya by the Spanish in the 16th Century.