In 2015, a group of explorers, filmmakers and archeologists headed into the jungle to try to find the remains of this civilisation, aided by modern technology in the forms of LIDAR imagery that could pierce the dense foliage and map the terrain from above. This gripping book follows every step of the journey, from the initial germs of the project, to the first moments when the group step foot among the ruins.
“The White City is the stuff of legends, with rumours of its existence and location circulating for hundreds of years.”
Yet the inhospitable nature of La Mosquitia, as well as the fact that it is a favoured route of drug-smugglers, has made any meaningful search for the archaeological ruins almost impossible. Using LIDAR, the group is able to pinpoint a few potential sites. It’s not until they arrive by helicopter that the explorers really get a sense of the isolation of the valley and the challenges of simply surviving a few days there. Poisonous snakes, wild beasts, and foliage so thick you can’t see more than a few metres in front of you, make it almost impossible to get a grip of the ruins even when they are standing right on top of them. Whether it is the White City, or just a sprawling settlement that was abandoned 500 years ago as diseases brought over by Europeans devastated the continent isn’t really important (or ever likely to be known). It’s incredible enough that in this day and age there are still unexplored areas of the planet, and that there could be more lost civilisations out there just waiting to be found.