Part of the inspiration for the book, Lizard Key, came from my travels to the Yucatan Region of Mexico many years ago. This was before the region became as large a tourist destination as it is today… before the cruise ships came! Back then the large hotels and resorts didn’t exist… only a handful of hotels and lots more jungle around them. It’s still a great place to visit with a great deal of history. Just a couple of photos to see where the book started. There are many books written on the history of the region but the two I like the best are; Incidents of Travel in Yucatan by John L. Stephens and The Americas Before Columbus by Dewey Farnsworth (the old photos in this book are great). The Stephens book is the classic. It documents his archaeological exploration of the region between 1839-1842. Since photography wasn’t available all the pictures are illustrations. There is some level of controversy around the Farnsworth book (primarily involving his religious beliefs) but that withstanding, it is interesting and has lots of old photos.
This is the famous pyramid in Chichen Itza.
As I would travel through the jungle in the region you could see many sites of unexcavated ruins. Most were taken over by jungle growth and almost unrecognizable as sites of ancient buildings… certainly not as easily seen as this.