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Moon Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras (Moon Handbooks) Paperback – October 11, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"I don't even sneeze in Central America without asking Josh Berman how to hold my hanky. Simply put, he knows it all." —Andrew Zimmern, chef, author, and host of Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern"

"An essential guide for travel in the Maya world at a pivotal moment in time." —Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones and Mayaquest expedition team leader

"A unique travel and practical." —Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn't Go There

About the Author

Joshua Berman has been traveling, living, teaching, and leading trips in Central America since 1998, the year the Peace Corps sent him to Nicaragua as an education volunteer. During his two and a half years there, he heard tales about “lost worlds” and Maya pyramids somewhere up the isthmus, and eventually worked his way north, stopping along the way to dive in Honduras and write a guidebook to Belize. He has taken students to Guatemala and El Salvador, guided film crews into caves in Belize, and shared some truly bizarre foods with Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern.

Joshua is a freelance writer, Spanish teacher, and television production fixer who bounces between Colorado and Latin America. He is a proud alumnus of Brown University, AmeriCorps, Outward Bound, and the Whiskeytown Fire Use Module. In addition to Moon Maya 2012, Joshua is the author of Moon Belize and the coauthor of Moon Nicaragua and Moon Living Abroad in Nicaragua. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, Outside Traveler, 5280, Sunset, National Geographic Traveler, The Boston Globe, Worldview, and Mountain Gazette. He hopes 2012 will be a year of continuing discovery for himself and his family.


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Product Details

  • Series: Moon Handbooks
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612381197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612381190
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,729,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mamabear Cherei on March 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We went to Chichen Itza in January 2012.. and I wish.. we would have had this book then! Now, it has me itching to go to Belize and see some of the upcoming festivals and the various ancient Mayan sites. This book is full of superb photographs. It's VERY well written! Has lots of helpful hints for the traveler! Seriously looking at flying into Mexico.. and then.. taking a bus into Belize City. Did NOT realize.. that Belize City is one of the more expensive places to fly into. Again.. the author gives wonderful tips on traveling through the path of the Ancient Mayans.. in a modern world!

If you're interested in the Mayan calendar, the Mayan people and the Mayan archaeological sites.. and, plan on visiting any of them in 2012.. this book condenses all that you will need for traveling and the various celebrations that are planned for 2012!

The maps are fantastic too! When one is at the various sites.. you have to crowd around a guide.. to get a glimpse of the maps... far better to see it in advance.. and know which areas are a MUST see! At Chichen Itza.. we had gone in 2011.. and missed the Solar Observatory.. after reading more.. we realized how much we'd missed.. and had to return in 2012 to see it! Lots more hidden in the jungle.. you just need the information.. to know.. where to look! This book.. gives you that information!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Gustafson on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an author myself, I wasn't sure what to expect from Josh Berman's latest MOON guide. I had just been down to Honduras in June 2011, and we'd spent two days in Copan, visiting the Mayan ruins there. Reading "Maya 2012," I realized that there was so much that I missed out on while we were in Copan even though we had a top-notch guide with us. But that's not the reason why I give Josh 5 stars and why I say this book is THE essential guide for your Maya 2012 planning.

Josh knows the Mayan countries and the Mayan culture. His book takes you on a journey through the most important sites to visit; why you want to visit them; how to visit them; he even tells you which ones to skip. The book is full of so many details, with maps, websites, detailed descriptions -- that if you have any interest at all in the Long Count Calendar and the importance of December 21,2012 -- you MUST read this book. Once you read it for the first time, then go back, read it again and take notes of the places that you want to visit first, start making your schedules and plans, and then check out Josh's recommendations. Make sure you "take Josh" along with you on your trip -- he'll be a great silent guide and companion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Trew on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very useful quick immersion into the Mundo Maya (World of the Maya) for those interested in having their own 2012 Mayan experience. The book gives detailed maps and guides to the major Mayan sites in 4 of the 5 modern-day countries the Maya lived in -- Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. The Maya reached into a portion of El Salvador but there are only some small sites existing today. The entire countries of Belize and Guatemala were inhabited by the Maya and several eastern Mexican states covering a large area were as well. Only a small area of Honduras hosted the Maya but it has one of the greatest of sites - Copan. And Quirigua, with it's wonderful stellae is nearby in neighboring Guatemala.
The book also lists many of the special events and tours that are being conducted during 2012 by the host countries, tour agencies and various resorts and hotels. And, yes, as one reviewer noted some of the offerings are expensive. I operate of Succotz in Belize next to the Mayan site of Xunantunich and some of the places mentioned for that country, like Chaa Creek, are high end and expensive. But make no mistake, you are likely to get your money's worth. *However* any place you stay at in these countries will be able to hook you up with local tours and you will see these advertised all over the place. You can easily find other places that are much cheaper and still nice.
The book has plenty of website listings and other sources of information for doing your own planning. With this book you can easily do these sites yourself. If you are unfamiliar with Mayan history it can be well worth hiring a guide. Licensed guides are frequently out at the entrances to sites, especially the larger ones.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence F. Lihosit on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Travelers who plan to explore the Mayan world this coming year need this book! Even the seasoned trekker with a worn and patched backpack, creased boots, frayed hat and a passport bulging with extra pages will want to buy Maya 2012 before it's sold out. It has it all: great maps, background information, descriptions of tours, transportation and discount hotels. It also contains conversion tables, an index, Mayan words and phrases, interesting interviews with important Mayan scholars and even a suggested reading list. This ain't no guide to overpriced hotels and do-dads but a book written for us serious wayfarers.

For those with only a whiff of Mayan history, this book will convince you that the place to be on December 21, 2012 is standing within the shadow of a Mayan pyramid. That is the date when a 5,126 year Mayan era ends and a new one begins. That's right- a new one which means the world ain't going to end just yet. Real estate prices have to increase first. Mayans predicted that this new era would be of "transformation" or possibly "movement." Scholars disagree on the translation. Across four nations, there will be celebrations. I'll be there too, doffing my cowboy hat to pretty girls, smiling and talkin'. "Bax ka' wali?" If they don't smile, I'll add in Spanish, "¡Qué linda! Ven por acá bonita." Course I'll only do this while my wife is off buying a soft drink. She has no sense of humor but quite a good sense of revenge (like Lorena Bobbitt). Being an Aztec, you can't be too careful, especially when you're sleepin'.

If you are a Central American novice, the Mayan people created a great civilization between 1800 B.C. and about 900 A.D. (about when Rome fell).
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