At the height of World War II, Erika Boeshure, a photojournalist, flees Nazi Germany and goes to Mexico on assignment for a New York magazine. There, in a sleepy Mexican village on the edge of the jungle, she meets Claus Boehm, a Danish-born archaeologist who is struggling to restore a career shattered by alcoholism. Erika is inspired to write about Claus and his quest to find Menche, a legendary city of the ancient Maya. She talks him into letting her join his expedition. In the heart of the rain forest, the explorers run into a rival expedition that plans to exploit the rain forest. Finally, they meet the elusive Lacandon Indians, descendants of the ancient Maya who have retreated into the forest to escape the encroachments of Western civilization. The son of the chief joins their search for the lost city of the Gods in order to redeem his sins. For Erika, the perils of the quest stretch her courage and physical resources. Amidst the mounting dangers, she and Claus fall in love. They vow that should they survive the search for Menche, they will dedicate themselves to saving endangered the rain forest and the Lacandon Indians.