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South of the Rio Grande you'll find a wealth of great literature, from the outstanding works of Mexican writers Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz to present-day portraits of Mexico City. If the jungle-draped cities of the ancient Maya or the "conquistadores" have captured your imagination, a history or good novel will make your trip more rewarding. ¡Feliz viaje!

Follow the links below to see recommended reading for each destination.

The Longitude Blog – Mexico
Preparing for Baja

The long arm of Baja, fastened on Southern California, seems quiet, beautiful and remote. To the west is the Pacific and nestled in the peninsula’s flank is the Sea of Cortez, what Jacques Cousteau called “the aquarium of the world.” Last summer I trailed Cousteau to the Belize Barrier Reef. This time I’ll cross his path in the Gulf of California after a desert road trip between both sides of the peninsula.

A Visit to Don Otavio
MEX126A Visit to Don Otavio, which the esteemed travel writer Bruce Chatwin called “the most perfect travel book of the 20th century,” is back in print in a new edition from New York Review of Books (Chatwin, in fact, delivers the introduction). Originally published in 1953, Sybille Bedford’s account of her travels through Mexico just after World War II is full of astute detail and novelistic flourishes—the author herself described it as “a travel book written by a novelist.” Her vivid scenes, larger-than-life characters and charming descriptions of her adventures with her traveling companion, “E.
Kindly contributed by John Harrison, author of several travel books including his most recent historical travel narrative 1519, A Journey to the End of Time. Harrison spent four months on the trail of destruction left by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, walking the Mexican coast, cross-country to Mexico City and to sites in Guatemala. As he explores the worlds of the Spanish and Aztecs, people groups that believed that the world was about to end, Harrison receives a diagnosis of cancer. He must face his own mortality even as he probes the larger questions of human history.