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The Lost World of Quintana Roo

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  59 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
At the ripe old age of 21, back in 1957, Peissel gave up his Wall Street activities & went off alone to the Mexican jungles of the Quintana Roo territory where he discovered several Mayan cities lost for over 400 years. This seething jungle was the site of one of the highest civilizations ever achieved by humanity. The Mayan Indians have ruled the jungle there for 3700 ...more
Hardcover, 1st, 318 pages
Published 1963 by E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc. (NY) (first published 1962)
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Erik Graff
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adventurers
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: travel
I made three trips to Quintana Roo during my marriage, spending most of my time exploring rather than hanging out on the beach. The routine was to fly into Cancun, rent a VW and drive south to a dive shop north of Tulum to enquire as to available rentals. Ensconced along the sea, I'd approach younger locals for advice about Maya sites off the beaten trail and head off as they directed.

Linda, my wife, had other ideas. She'd want to sightsee by car, read novels on the beach, go to restaurants. We
...more
Terri
Dec 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Truly amazing tale of a man who explores the Caribbean coast of Mexico in the late 1950's before it was "discovered". Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys this part of Mexico and the history of the Mayans.

On a side note, I visited the Muyil ruins the same day I finished the book. The author's second trip to this coast was specifically to uncover more of the structures at this site. Seeing the ruins first hand and the surrounding jungle vegetation only increased my amazement of the author's f
...more
Greer Andjanetta
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A detailed description of the author's trips tp the coast of Quintana Roo in the early 1960's when there was little modern civilization present anywhere along that coast. His descriptions of life among the Mayas of the jungle and of discovering sites which are today gaudy tourist attractions are fascinating to read, especially for those of us who have travelled in inland Yucatan, into remote villages and jungle.
He concludes with a lament that his previously undiscovered world would probably not
...more
Pam Cipkowski
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Michel Peissel was 21 years old in 1958 when he decided to leave the business world and spend a summer exploring the untamed coast of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Most tourists who visit Quintana Roo these days don't even know they are there, as they are confined behind the walled compounds of the sanitized all-inclusives that make up the hotel zones of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. I've ventured to the region twice in the past 10 years, and have marveled at the swaths of undeveloped land o ...more
Brenda
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Remarkable exploration of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan peninsula in 1958. For anyone who has spent time in Quintana Roo before the increased development that encroaches on the jungle and the coastline, this book describes the heart of the land and of the last Mayas living there in the mid-20th Century. He shares the treasures he discovered of the cultural history and of the people. In addition, it's a great adventure story. It's an experience that definitely changed the course of Michel Peissel's ...more
Elise
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
we picked this up before going to Cancun. this was fascinating to see that in my lifetime a place could change so dramatically from barely inhabited jungle to tourist mecca.
The book is a bit like Thor Heyerdal's Kon Tiki wherethe author gets an idea and manages to make it a reality with quite a bit of luck and pluck.
Leonide Martin
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maya-nonfiction
Fascinating adventure-journey through jungles of Quintana Roo when it was wild and dangerous. Hard to imagine such wilderness along the Maya Riviera now completely covered with luxury resorts and 4-lane highway and thousands of tourists. It was really fun for me to read, having lived 5 years in Merida (capitol of Yucatan) and visited the Caribbean coast many times.
Tony Fitzpatrick
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable travel book - although very superficial coverage of detail on the shards of Mayan civilisation encountered. General patronising attitude to the native people the author met did however annoy me.
Peggy
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone who loves the Yucatan. Mr. Peissel's adventure will give you a greater appreciation of the wonders of this part of Mexico and will have you marveling at how much can change in 50 years.
Mary Lou
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read. We have a winter home in Merida and the Mayan culture and history are right here on our doorstep, so it really felt close to home to hear Mr. Peissel's account of his journey. I was truly captivated by this book and plan to read more of his work.
Juan  Mayen
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Makes you want to go out there and explore the mayan world still left to be discovered. Recommend it for explorer enthusiasts!
Ktschreck
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Written in 1950's about this guys trip, walking thru Quintana Roo, Mexico. Out of print book. We both loved it, my husband and I. We vacation in that area every year, so it had special appeal.
Jeffrey
Second printing 1963. An adventure book. French guy got lost and wandered 500 miles of yucatan coast.
Ian
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: riviera-maya
Take this book on your next trip to Tulum, Playa del Carmen, MX, etc.
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Michel Georges Francois Peissel was a French ethnologist, explorer and author. He wrote twenty books mostly on his Himalayan and Tibetan expeditions. Peissel was an emeritus member of the Explorers Club and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Raised in England, Peissel later studied a year at Oxford University and the Harvard Business School and obtained a doctorate in Tibetan Ethnology fr
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