Belize: travel books to read before you go

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This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Belize guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

The Last FlightBruce Barcott is a contributing editor for Outside magazine and an author. His latest book, The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman’s Fight to Save the World’s Most Beautiful Bird, is a compelling story of Belizean culture, society and politics. He recounts with unflinching honesty the story of Sharon Matola (local celebrity and founder of the Belize Zoo) and her fight against the construction of the Chalillo Dam on the Macal River.

Belize SurvivorIf your inner adventurer dreams of packing up and moving to paradise, take along Belize Survivor, by Nancy Koerner. The jungle and the sea are the backdrop for the author’s harrowing tale of betrayal, courage and survival.

Our Man in BelizeRichard Timothy Conroy’s Our Man in Belize is a fun, engaging memoir of his stint as US vice-consul to the impoverished British Honduras of the early 1960s, a period marked by the devastating Hurricane Hattie.

Following MateoIn Following Mateo, Jesuit Service Corp Volunteer Tom Molanphy writes of his two years in Southern Belize and his deepening friendship with a wise village elder.

Related article: Guatemala: travel books to read before you go

Time Among the MayaRonald Wright’s Time Among the Maya is an acutely observed account of travels through Belize, Guatemala and Mexico in the troubled 1980s, delving into the past and present of the Maya and the profound importance they attach to their calendar and the passing of time.

The Heart of the SkyPeter Canby also focuses on Maya culture in his insightful 1990s book The Heart of the Sky: Travels Among the Maya, which has one chapter on Belize.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.