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Explore Costa Rica Paperback – Dec 1 2006

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 622 pages
  • Publisher: Manatee Pr; 2nd Revised edition edition (Dec 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893643557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893643550
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 18.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,384,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

By Tami Brady HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 7 2007
Format: Paperback
There's nothing like looking through travel guides in the depth of a Canadian winter. It makes me feel a little warmer. Almost immediately, I start to dream about the places I'd someday like to visit.

Costa Rica is now definitely near the top of my list of places to go. This area is about the size of West Virginia with mild subtropical weather year round. As one would expect, there are great beaches with lots of interesting water activities such as snorkeling, diving, whitewater rafting, surfing, wind surfing, swimming, canoeing, and boat tours.

In addition to these beaches, the island also boasts four mountain ranges which include active volcanoes. Evidentially, the sand in these areas is black or light grey from the volcanic obsidian and the pumice. There are tours available to visit some of these areas.

Costa Rica actually has 12 different life zones that serve as the homes for all sorts of interesting flora and fauna species, including sea turtles, jaguars, anteaters, sloths, fruit bars, poison dart frogs and manatees (just to name a few). Visitors have their choice of informal visits or more formalized tours. Some places even allow volunteers.

Explore Costa Rica gives all the details a tourist needs to tailor fit their Costa Rican vacation. This book even includes entertainment opportunities that I would have never known existed: hot air ballooning, geological expeditions, tour of a pineapple plantation, and snake milking demonstrations just to name a few. There is also lots of good advice that will save time, money, and a good deal of frustration.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa504a6c0) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5241b34) out of 5 stars Better than Lonely Planet Jan. 15 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I do quite a bit of traveling and often buy a Lonely Planet guide as a basic reference. Lately, however, I've become somewhat jaded by its formulaic coverage and superficial approach. I'm also skeptical about how they go about choosing which accomodations and restaurants to include in their books.

Pariser's book at first glance looks remarkably like a Lonely Planet guide--the same format and much the same information. However, Pariser puts more of himself into it and the book clearly is a labor of love. Pariser's guide compares to Lonely Planet like a family restaurant to McDonalds.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa52328a0) out of 5 stars Not the best 'First Source' for trip planning Aug. 10 2007
By Casitagirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I should start by saying that I travel extensively and plan all my own trips. I enjoy the planning process almost as much as the trips themselves (sometimes more so, after a rainy trip to Switzerland when we did NOT see the Alps even once!!!). I've used countless guidebooks and internet sites, and consider myself pretty knowledgeable on travel information sources.

I bought this book as a starting point for planning a trip to Costa Rica and while it contains an incredible amount of information, I felt like it was too encyclopedic to be easily helpful for planning. For example, the first 170 pages deal with history, culture, national holidays, wildlife, etc., etc., etc. While I think all of this info is valuable and interesting, I don't want or need most of it when trying to decide where to travel within the country. This book, while providing a ton of detailed information, seems to assume that the reader has some previous knowledge of the country regarding possible itineraries and what the 'must see' areas are. Its 'Suggested Itineraries' section is one paragraph long and basically says 'do what you want and can afford' - not a big help, in my opinion. I don't always follow suggested itineraries but I find them helpful as a starting point, especially in a country as diverse and filled with so many wonderful possibilities as Costa Rica.

Additionally, I found the format to be kind of like a laundry list - lots of stuff but often no indication of relative merits between lodgings, attractions, etc.

I ended up going to the library and using Frommer's and Fodor's as a start for itinerary ideas and then used "Rum and Reggae's" Costa Rica (Jonathan Runge & Adam Carter) as a good source with a definite 'point of view' and lots of opinions. They make pretty clear WHY they like or dislike something, which helps determine if I'll agree or not.

Having said all of this, now that I've planned my trip (using other sources), I will read this book more closely and I'm sure I will benefit from it. It IS an exhaustive (and perhaps exhausting!) source of, I'm sure, everything you've ever wanted to know about Costa Rica.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5b072dc) out of 5 stars Harry Pariser's Great Travel Guides! May 1 2007
By Danai Lamb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been using and reading Harry Pariser's guides for years, through all the editions, and I find them enormously entertaining and helpful. Loved his guide to Puerto Rico, but more importantly: he has a FIFTH edition of the Explore Costa Rica, which I found before my trip. Although Pariser has always included a lot of background information and tips in his travel guides, this one is packed with more. The coverage of lesser known places was great, and the sidebars useful and informative. His images reveal the beauty of Costa Rica. This is a valuable resource for any person going to explore Costa Rica. Take this one with you!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa57dbe88) out of 5 stars Excellent guide for trip planning Nov. 4 2007
By D. Tighe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
We really found this book to be useful both in planning our trip and in traveling around Costa Rica. The background information on wildlife, history, culture, and politics was very informative and helpful. We didn't find a bus timetable in any other guide. And the beautiful color photos (of wildlife and flora) are a great addition. We found the itineraries and other information on the publisher's website to be a valuable resource for trip planning. Explore Costa Rica also helped us find some special places to stay we would not have found otherwise. Finally, the book is quite humorous and fun to read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53b857c) out of 5 stars Best Guide to Costa Rica! April 30 2007
By Brad Olsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I truly enjoyed Harry Pariser's 5th edition 'Explore Costa Rica' as it offered many insights on the history of the country, off the beaten trail destinations, travel tips, little known traveler spots, and much more! With very descriptive information and brilliant photos, Costa Rica's myriad of activities seems to come alive. I would strongly recommend this to anyone interested in *experiencing* Costa Rica through the lens of an expert who knows this country like the back of his hand.

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