THE FIRST PUBLISHED RECORD OF
THE EXISTENCE OF RÍA LAGARTOS

Map published in 1511 in "De orbe novo" by Peter Martyr d'Anghiera

Map published in 1511 in "De orbe novo" by Peter Martyr d'Anghiera. The above image is a facsimile of a facsimile in the Carter-Brown Catalogue, no longer protected by copyright. The original map was the earliest known published record of the place that came to be known as Ría Lagartos, which gave its name to the town of Río Lagartos.

On this map Ría Lagartos is named "Bahía de Lagartos" (Lizard Bay) and is highlighted in yellow. The Yucatan Peninsula is shown as a modest projection into the sea. When this map was published, Florida was thought to be an island, and, probably, that's part of its coastline portrayed at the map's top. Most of lower half of the map shows the Caribbean coastline of Central America and northern South America.

Along the coastline of South America depicted at the map's bottom the largest island just to the right of the the wide bulge extending farthest into the Caribbean is labeled "La Trinidad." That Trinidad Island off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. The smaller island to the northeast of Trinidad is labeled "Isla Verde," assumed to represent the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa -- one of several curious and sometimes-mysterious details of the map.