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The Best Travel Books of All Time

Vacations here at Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos are all about relaxing by the pool and letting the sunshine melt away the worries of daily life. When you go on vacation, you are looking for an escape from reality, and the right book can be a great help in doing that. Whether you are after a light read, or an intense thriller for your next poolside indulgence, there is something on this reading list to satisfy every traveler. Here are the best travel books that are guaranteed to take you on a journey through the vibrant streets, suburbs, and scarcely-seen parts of Mexico – all without leaving your lounge chair!

1. The Happy Hammock: How to Escape the Cold and Live in Mexico

This delightful novel by Kathrin Lake is set in paradise, and is the perfect poolside read for anyone curious about what it would be like to drop everything and move to Mexico. Kathrin and John fall in love and find themselves in an idyllic, sun-drenched town, where they impulsively buy a house (or so they think). Based on a true story, the couple’s many misadventures paint a beautiful and realistic picture of what life in small-town Mexico is like.

This story is funny, romantic, and charming – highly recommended for any reading list needing an extra boost of sunshine and adventure.

2. To Find: The Search for Meaning in Life on the Gringo Trail

From J.R. Klein comes a travel-memoir turned adventure novel of his time spent trekking through Mexico and Central America, after completing his doctoral degree. Low on funds and inspiration, he and his photographer friend decide to explore the deserts, tropical rain forests, and remote islands without any agenda or destination.

Heavy with a sense of absolute freedom, the pair wander into a journey of self-discovery and soul-searching. This is the epitome of vicarious traveling – ideal for any dreamer content with sipping a margarita under the palm trees and letting their mind do the adventuring.

3. Like Water for Chocolate

This touching romance novel written by Mexican novelist and screenwriter, Laura Esquivel, held its place as a bestseller in both Mexico and America for nearly two years. It tells the story of Tita, a young girl who has been forbidden to marry due to the age-old Mexican tradition requiring her to care for her mother until she passes. Despite this, Tita falls in love with Pedro, and seduces him with her otherworldly cooking. Because the two cannot be together, Pedro marries Tita’s sister to stay close to his true love. Only time and patience will bring the star-crossed lovers together.

This truly is one of the best travel books, as you will be carried away into the passionate world of Tita and Pedro. Sprinkled with delicious recipes, this book will satisfy the reader’s thirst for romance and may even inspire a trip to Blanca Blue for authentic Mexican cuisine.

4. The Book of Unknown Americans

This riveting story of young love by Cristina Henriquez offers a new and honest definition of what it means to be American. The novel tells a story of the connection that blossoms between a Panamanian boy, Mayor, and a Mexican girl, Maribel, who meet while living in the same apartment complex. Initially, they bond over the fact that they have both recently immigrated to the United States. Their connection grows beyond that too, as Mayor sees past the trauma Maribel has survived and underneath her intimidating exterior.

This inspiring tale shares an account similar to many other Americans’ journey to the United States, and tells intimate stories of many immigrants trying to create a better life for their children. This novel is perfect for the romantics, and is sure to keep anyone enchanted until the very end.

5. The Ruins

This novel by author Scott Smith will pick you up out of Garza Blanca Los Cabos and drop you in the middle of the Mexican jungle, on the biggest adventure of your life. The story begins with something that may sound quite familiar – a group of friends enjoying a relaxing Mexican vacation. However, the trip quickly takes a turn for the worst when one of their friends goes missing in the jungle. The group decides to go looking for him, but come across a site of ancient ruins … with something terrifying lurking.

This read will make a splash in any tourist’s vacation – and the best part? You can experience it all from your pool floaty.

6. The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo

This book is perfect for the vacationing art aficionado. It is a fictional imagining of what the famous artist’s life could have been like. Mexican novelist, F. G. Haghenbeck takes the reader on a tumultuous journey through Kahlo’s home in Coyoacán, Mexico City, and follows her turbulent relationship with Diego Rivera, the origin of her art, and her fierce feminism.

This novel was inspired by a notebook of recipes that Haghenbeck found in one of Kahlo’s former homes. He has incorporated these recipes into the novel, which adds a homey and intimate feel to the narrative. This is a great book for Kahlo enthusiasts and fledglings alike, and anyone wanting to learn something new on holiday.

7. Mexican Gothic

From the New York Times bestselling author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic is inspired by dark fairy tales – made even darker. This horror novel is set in 1950’s Mexico City. The tension begins when Noemí Taboada receives a letter from her cousin, claiming her new husband is slowly poisoning her and that their home, High Place, is brimming with evil.

This novel takes its reader on a trip to an eerie world – perfect for any vacationer who craves a twist of terror to spice up their trip.