Introduction

Frederick Catherwood, accompanied by John Loyd Stephens, traveled to the Yucatán peninsula in the nineteenth century to document and study previously unexplored archaeological sites. Their discoveries, along with what remained of the majestic Maya cities they saw, became the inspiration for astounding archaeological illustrations that dazzled the entire world Incidents of Travel in the Yucatán, text by Stephens and illustrations by Catherwood, was published in 1843.

It is an invaluable reference to the state of archaeological sites during the second half of the nineteenth century. In an era when the creation of the Mayas’ cities was attributed to the ancient Carthaginians, Egyptians or Phoenicians, Catherwood asserted “ such extraordinary cities were erected y the people of the region,” i.e., the Maya.

Now Catherwood means the travel adventure par excellence that dazzles twenty-first century travelers, offering them specialist-led, bespoke travel experiences as they explore the marvels of two worlds: that of the Maya, whose knowledge becomes the source of a whole new consciousness; and that of colonial Yucatán, whose study takes us deep into the origins of modern Mexico.