Gary Chandler grew up in a small ski town south of Lake Tahoe, California. He earned his bachelor's degree at UC Berkeley, including a year abroad in Mexico City and Oaxaca. After graduating, Gary backpacked through much of Mexico and Central America, and later through Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. His first guidebook assignment was covering the highlands of Guatemala, followed by assignments in El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere.
Gary has contributed to more than 20 guidebooks in all, many coauthored with wife and fellow travel writer and photographer Liza Prado. Their Moon Yucatán Peninsula was named Best Guidebook by American Journey magazine. Between assignments, Gary has earned a master's degree in journalism at Columbia University, worked as a news reporter and criminal investigator, and published numerous articles and blogs about travel in Latin America.