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Fodor's Costa Rica 2012 [Paperback]

Fodor's
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 18 2011 Full-color Travel Guide
Full-color guide
• Make your trip to Costa Rica unforgettable with 54 maps, illustrated features, and over 250 color photos.

Customize your trip with simple planning tools
• Convenient overview of each region and its highlights
• Practical advice for getting around
• Easy-to-read color regional maps
 
Explore Manuel Antonio National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Tortuguero National Park, and beyond
• Discerning Fodor’s Choice picks for hotels, restaurants, sights, and more
• “Word of Mouth” tips from fellow Fodor’s travelers
• Illustrated features on snorkeling and diving, canopy tours, and best beaches
• Best surfing, birdwatching, and game fishing
 
Opinions from destination experts
• Fodor’s Costa Rica–based writers reveal their favorite local haunts
• Revised annually to provide the latest information

Added bonus: At the end of each Fodor’s hotel review, we’ve included snippets from TripAdvisor reviews. Plan your trip with the extra peace of mind that comes from knowing each of Fodor’s expert selections is reinforced by consumer experience and feedback.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful as a quick reference guide. Dec 26 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I use Fodors as my second guide in the planning and implementation of many of my vacations. It is less detailed, but sometimes less detail or consise detail is better than more detail especially when you are on the move. It hits most of the highlights. As usual Fodors does a Greta job.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Guide intéressant March 6 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Informations concises et pertinentes. Photos et cartes complète bien l'information écrite. Complète bien d'autres guides plus complets sur les choix d'hébertement et de restaurants.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eugene Fodor, the spy who loved to travel Nov. 6 2011
By BrianB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The writers at Fodors say that they spend lots of time finding the best places in a destination "so you don't have to." Having used several of their guides for vacations, I believe that their claim is largely true. Fodor's guides are solid, reliable, comprehensive, and not terribly entertaining. They are more reliable than Lonely Planet, and more comprehensive than Frommer's. If you are part of their intended audience, which implies being over 30, financially secure, and not too adventurous, these are the best general guides for travel.

I read Fodors to extract information, not for pleasure or deep insight. This guide will provide needed information before a trip to the Costa Rica, including broad overviews of the country's regions, hotels and restaurants in every price category, details on major attractions, and a few "Fodor's choice" highlights.

I recommend this guidebook, although the suggested retail price, $21.99, may be a bit steep for your wallet. I received a free copy through the amazon vine program, and I am glad to have it, but I often wait for sales to buy last year's book. Things don't change too much from one year to the next. For the best up to date information, especially on hotels and restaurants, you should look at online sources. Some people insist that you don't need a book at all, since there is so much information online. That is true, but a book presents the information in a more useable format, one that you can access without batteries, cell phone signals or wifi.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many positives outshine a few big negatives Dec 22 2011
By Jennifer Kline - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Overall this guidebook provides a great overview of the entire country and will be especially pleasing to travelers who design a trip around the activities they want to experience. Other highlights include a map featuring Costa Rica's Eco-zones and National Parks that is helpful for vacationers wanting to pick their micro-climate. There are nice color photographs in the flora and fauna section which includes marine life.

Major thumbs down on the book's use of quotes from website users. Do the publishers at Fodor's realize how many fake reviews are on the internet? This is quite lazy on the part of the publisher. Am I really going to take seriously a comment by "volcanogirl" (pg. 311, 499)or "owlwoman" (pg. 486 who comments on her stay at the Iguana Lodge). owlwoman could own the Iguana Lodge! I would rather the guidebook author, not any old random, comment on lodging and restaurants. Isn't that why I'm buying a book to plan a trip instead of just reading online reviews? I thought guidebooks would provide their own discerning opinions.

The other negative is the book is organized around itineraries and activities and not by location or town. This makes planning a trip around activities like scuba diving really easy, but it makes planning anything around a location much harder. I'm not a fan of guidebooks with itineraries. I would rather have easy access to information rather than hand holding. Each "town" section is quite brief with little info, which makes finding what you may need difficult. This makes the book perhaps most appropriate when first researching a destination, but not so handy when on the ground and traveling.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book! Dec 7 2011
By Brian M. Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I was in Costa Rica earlier this year and wish I had this book with me when I was there. It is jammed packed with information on every aspect of Costa Rica and its warm welcoming people. Its coverage of tourist attractions is simply second to none, and I found it to be very accurate in regards to places I visited. I would only take exception to its comments on coffee which it says the best is exported and what is left is not that good. I disagree, I tried several local brands and brought back a suitcase full and everyone who tried it begged for more! Also, the tap water is safe and good tasting and the locals drink it. I visited several houses and none used bottled water!
This wonderful country felt more like a small European country in some ways and was absolutely safe. The book comes with a superb fold-out map in the back which itself is worth the price of the book. It is full of quality color photos. It's print is large enough for me to read comfortably yet the book is travel sized.
A simply excellent product about a fantastic country, I just have to return there and will take this little gem with me!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was impressed Dec 15 2011
By Tell Me a Story - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Going on a trip? I believe this guide will give you advanced insight to expectations and the direction you want in making the appropriate plans for your dream trip. Costa Rica is the gem of Central America and for many positive reasons.

This Fodor's Guide starts with providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions right at the beginning, which include (not a complete list): 1) Road Quality; 2) Type of vehicle needed to travel; 3)How to determine if you want a tour package; 4)Drinking water quality; 5) Food Quality; 6) Type of insect repellent needed; 7) Financial networks (thoroughout the guide they mention bank/ATM locations in each city and region (a great tidbit in my view); 8) Language barrier (most businesses have English speakers); 9) Documents for entry; 10) Medical precautions; etc.

The main guide is broken down in the following manner:
1) Experience Costa Rica -plenty of critical information on determining what you want to know to define your trip. From favorite attractions to making wedding arrangement to suggested itineraries, to "personality" of people of Costa Rica.
2) Biodiversity - a) Rain Forest; b)volcanoes; c)cloud forest; d)Tropical Dry Forest; e)Wetlands & mangroves; f)shoreline.
3) San Jose includes more than 40 pages of information on Eco-lodges to night life and the arts as well as shopping!
4)Central Valley - the area surrounding San Jose which includes the Irazu Volcano, eco lodges, white water rafting and standard tourist hot spots.
5)Northern Plains - multiple environmental must sees, including volcano sites a cloud forest, windsurfing, ziplining, and waterfalls to name a few option. The forest also has a profusion of plants,bird species, 500 types of butterflies and more than 100 mammals. This is the only region that does not have ocean access.
6) North Pacific - consists of 3 National Parks which include volcanic hot springs, climbing, birding, dive sites, beaches, hiking and horseback riding. Coco Island is found in this region, an underwater equivalent to a big game park according to the late Jacque Cousteau, "the most beautiful island in the world".
7) Central Pacific -known for incredible sunsets, this region has a lot of nature oriented activities as well from great fishing, to surfing, ATV mountain rides, ziplining and snorkeling.
8) South Pacific - encompasses two National parks, a Coast (obviously), a National Marine Park, great bird watching, plenty of eco-lodges and mountain hiking.
9) Caribbean - Two more National parks, the coast line (North and South). This is idyllic for those who enjoy sea creatures from turtles (one of the most popular sites worldwide to watch their nesting process); Dolphin watching!; and sport fishing. It is also known for its culture with a diverse musical scene.

Of course, it includes the typical guide information of restaurants, hotels, maps, theaters, and festival information and even helpful asides which appear on the various pages in each section with relevant factoids such as Monteverde (the Cloud Forest) was settled by a large population of Quakers. Also contains, crime alerts and prevention (something some travelers tend to forget when caught up in wonderous surroundings. Did you know that even today, the forests hold so many treasures that this tiny country covering .03% of land mass has 5% of world's plant and animal species? Many of them have yet to be named.

Are you going to find everything you want to know? Probably not, but no one source can anticipate the needs of each traveler. I have a preference for Fodors over other guides, I think they tend to be much more comprehensive in the scope of information offered.
The book has some awesome pictures as well. I think it is a great investment in planning a trip. If you are going to spend several thousand dollars for a trip of a lifetime, I don't think $20. is asking to much these days.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Picture Book June 22 2012
By jobiemac - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want a pretty picture book for your trip to Costa Rica, then this is the one. If you want a book that does not offer much useful detail or many helpful travel tips, then this is the book for you. I have been to Costa Rica numerous times. I bought this book because I have not been in a few years and thought it would be helpful to have. Well, it wasn't. I could write a better or at least more useful travel book in a few days. Given that Fodor's does a great job with many of their European books, I was really surprised at how near worthless this book is. Do not purchase this book if you are looking for a Costa Rican travel guide. If all you want is a general overview of the country, then this book will work.

Poorly written, little useful detail.
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