Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

I first heard about a jungle covered ancient city in Honduras on Kraig Becker’s Adventure Blog.

In 2017, Douglas Preston wrote the book about a project headed by documentary filmmaker Steve Elkins that used lidar to search for archaeological sites in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve of the Gracias a Dios Department in the Mosquitia region of eastern Honduras.

The Lost City of the Monkey God

After a privately funded lidar survey revealed complex archaeological sites under the rainforest cover, Preston accompanied a joint Honduran-American expedition to do ground truthing of the lidar results.

They were able to confirm the presence of large abandoned prehispanic settlements and to document plazas, terracing, canals, roads, earthen structures including a pyramid, and concentrations of artifacts, among them decorated cylindrical stone vessels and metates, confirming the existence of an ancient city.

The official name of the principal archaeological site that was mapped has been changed to the City of the Jaguar. …

The book is very well written. A fascinating story.

My main takeaway — however — was that nearly every person in their exploration party was exposed to leishmaniasis, a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted by the bite of sandflies.

What a horrible disease.

Between 4 – 12 million people are currently infected in some 98 countries.


There’s no vaccine for humans.

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