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Hidden Cancun and the Yucatan (Hidden Travel) Paperback – November 1, 2006

3.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Hidden guidebook series hot-peppers its pages with little arrows that point to a multitude of off-the-tourist-track sites. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hidden Travel
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press; 5th edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569755450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569755457
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,706,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Daniel on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
If your idea of a vacation in Mexico is flying to Cancun and only leaving the Hotel Zone for hours of busrides to and from Mayan Ruins, you don't need a guide.
But if you have any idea what a wonderful spot on earth the Yucatan is, you need to break out from the Hotels and explore. This book and a really good map is just about all you need.
The level of information was perfect. Overviews of different parts of the peninsula, descriptions of major Mayan sites, and enough detail about places to eat and places to stay that you can really find your way around.
Fresh, usable, and very helpful. Take it with you, rent a car, and just GO!
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Format: Paperback
I just returned from a 2 week trip to the Yucatan peninsula. Starting off in Cancun and driving the cultural triangle route to the east to visit the Mayan ruins (Chichen Itza, Coba, Uxmal etc... and Spanish colonial cities (Merida, Valladolid etc...). For professional reasons I took along 4 travel guides (The Rough Guide to Cancun & Cozumel, DK's Eyewitness Top 10 Cancun & The Yucatan, Hidden Cancun & the Yucatan, and the Cadogan Yucatan & Mayan Mexico. In the past I've also used the frustrating Moon guide and weak Lonely Planet).

Of the 4 guides, each quite different in focus and style, I found "Hidden Cancun and the Yucatan" undoubtedly the most annoying and rate it 2 stars. Perhaps it's a bit stingy with the stars - other people have given it 5 stars, but with several other guides to compare it to, it's weaknesses became more and more apparent. Neither a good detailed history of the region nor particularly interesting or detailed in describing towns, cities and Mayan sites. The "Cadogan Yucatan & Mayan Mexico" though slightly larger and heavier was in a different league and perhaps the best book on the region for these purposes but also immensely enjoyable and readable with many excellent recommendations for food and accommodation.

The format "Hidden Cancun and the Yucatan" (a largish thick paperback seems) to suggest the same purpose but I think did a mediocre haphazard job. Even as a reference guide it fails to deliver with a pathetic lack of photographs and maps - those provided were as good as useless for reference (instead The rough Guide and Top 10 were infinitely superior and genuinely useful).
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Format: Paperback
We just returned from the Yucatan and using Hidden Cancun. We found much of it was not up to date. I think the author visited 25 years ago, revisited a few sites recently and used much from his previous visit without checking it out throughly. We did not think this was a good traveling book.
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Format: Paperback
I guess the "hidden" in the title suggested the author was familiar with the territory. So this was the only guide I took along on my recent trip to the Yucatan. Big mistake! A pre-trip reading made it this guide look worthwhile, but in actuality, it misinformed.

Take credit cards. Harris says, "Credit cards are just about as widely accepted in Mexico and Central America as they are in the United States." Has the author ever tried to use one in Tulum? Or even in the resort town of Akumal? The big hotels in Cancun and other places take them and a VERY few upmarket shops and restaurants do, but that's it. We couldn't even use ours at a gas station in Cancun.

And thinking you'll be able to navigate with the maps in the book is another mistake. The maps are inaccurate. The one of Cancun bears little resemblance to reality.

After a few days, I imagined the author having taken a hasty taxi ride through the Yucatan and jotting down "hidden" findings whenever the taxi left the main road.

A lot of research went into this book. But not all of it was on site and not all yielded accurate information. Harris writes: "Palenque was made famous by American adventurer and travel writer John Lloyd Stephens during his first expedition to Central America in 1837." Actually, Stephens and Frederick Catherwood first traveled and explored Coba.

Senior travelers are informed of Elderhostel trips, but told they must be 60 ( not 50) years old. This is being picky-picky, but when it's yet another of many inaccuracies (and you stupidly took along only this guide), it rankles.

A better, more accurate guidebook would have made our trip more pleasurable.
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