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Frommer's Costa Rica [With Pocket Map] Paperback – Nov 15 2011

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 566 pages
  • Publisher: Frommer; Fol Pap/Ma edition (Nov. 15 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118027523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118027523
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.5 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #657,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Eliot Greenspan is a poet, journalist, musician, and travel writer who took his backpack and typewriter the length of Mesoamerica before settling in Costa Rica in 1992. Since then, he has worked steadily as a travel writer, food critic, freelance journalist, and translator, and continued his travels in the region. He is the author of Frommer’s Belize, Frommer’s Ecuador, Frommer’s Guatemala, Costa Rica for Dummies, and Costa Rica Day By Day, as well as the chapter on Venezuela in Frommer’s South America.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Used it almost every day during my trip. It even had information on the small city i was at. So well worth it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa2142588) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1d98750) out of 5 stars Are there any reviews from non-Vine members? July 9 2012
By Steve - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What is up with all of the glowing reviews from Vine members, many who have not even been to Costa Rica!

Out of the 21 reviews, 20 are from Vine members, the only 1 star review coming from someone that actually paid for the book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa32c5c0c) out of 5 stars Great reference!!! May 4 2012
By Richard Staats - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I've been planning a trip to Costa Rica for several years, and this is the best guide that I have read yet.

Not only does Frommer's Guide cover the basics, e.g., getting there, eating, lodging, and transportation, the book is loaded with illustrations, photos, insightful comments, and helpful diagrams.

Travel Guides often fail because of one of two extremes being too inclusive, or being so general as to not give specific enough guidance.

The Frommer's Guide takes an excellent middle of the road approach.

While all travel guides try to convey where to go, the Frommer's Guide for Costa Rica is also willing to tell you where to avoid.

As a frugal traveler who values personal safety, I appreciate that. (Sadly, there are many areas in Costa Rica that are dodgy now that were perfectly safe a few years back, but I would rather know than be caught in a risky situation unaware.)

I found the nightlife descriptions and the shopping sections for each area to be the most unique and helpful in the Guide.

Pick up this book and prepare to enjoy the Pura Vida of Costa Rica!

In service,

The Original Dr. Games since 1993
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1cf6a98) out of 5 stars You REALLY need to know what you want out of your trip, before you purchase a book Oct. 27 2012
By Drew Cheney - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
My wife, 18-month-old son and I were able to get this book a few weeks before we left for a trip to Costa Rica, so I was able to compare information in this book to other information I found on-line, and to "on the ground" information once we were in Costa Rica.

I need to draw a VERY solid line before this review continues: If you're the type of person or group that feels comfortable with going to a new place and simply partaking of whatever "easily-accessible" activities or attractions there are, and not going too far off the beaten path, you'll have no problems with this book. If anything, this book will actually have more information than you actually need, so be sure you know what you expect from your trip before you simply read a travel book cover-to-cover.

That said, the only thing I can honestly say about this edition is that it's inconsistent. To be fair, Costa Rica feels a lot bigger than it is, and there are all sorts of awesome little things tucked away around the next corner, so there is NO way for someone to compile travel information that will cover every single type of traveler and every single slice of life in a country. With that in mind, this book does pretty well with giving you the general vibe/feel of an area, and tries to point out some good must-sees in just about every area.

Traveling with a toddler wasn't hard, but (not surprising) this book didn't cover that aspect. I really didn't expect that, though, as we're not exactly the target demographic of Costa Rica travelers (I'm guessing). As an aside: A LOT of friends and family asked us, "You're taking a TODDLER to COSTA RICA? Isn't that DANGEROUS?" To be honest, we felt more safe in Costa Rica than we did here in California. The book has some great safety/planning information, so that is a definite plus if you're not used to traveling in countries like Costa Rica.

Obviously, more popular places will have more information. Other super-awesome places that are off the beaten path won't even get a nod. The other problem is determining the starting-point for very subjective reviews: Some eateries we tried were recommended, but they were simply "gringo-style" Tico food, so we thought they weren't that good. Other eateries, however, barely got mentioned, and they were WONDERFUL. It's all about what you expect.

So. For an overall-vibe-get-to-know-Costa-Rica book, this is definitely a good start. When it comes to planning the perfect trip, however, you'll definitely need to diversify your sources.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa285a024) out of 5 stars Terrible, not comprehensive Dec 2 2012
By Liz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps it's just difficult to write good guide books on Costa Rica due to the ever-changing landscape of the country, but this is literally the worst guide book I've ever used in my travels and I go on 2 international trips per year. Prior to this book, I bought Moon Costa Rica which was equally as terrible so I returned that one in hopes that this would be better and it's still not. I don't know who is writing these good reviews, but I bet they are people who get the book for free through Amazon to review and then have never been to Costa Rica.

I was doing a lot of research on Costa Rica prior to receiving this book and a lot of the places/companies I've read about are either not in the book at all, or mentioned in passing as a one-liner. Including the gorgeous hotel I stayed at in the Arenal Volcano National Park (Arenal Manoa), which was not even mentioned in this book and yet has 481 reviews on TripAdvisor with an average rating of 4.5. I really think this book tried to mention as many places as possible. It reads like a list of mentions of various hotels and restaurants. Once in a while there is a more detailed description but this book really lacks the detail you would need to decide between 2 or 3 places. It justs lists the 3 and you have to go do further research to make educated decisions. Some of the suggestions are very outdated. One of the restaurants it mentioned in Brasalito is a shell of a building now, makes me wonder if this "updated for 2012 version" was actually updated at all.

In the case of the 2 guide books i bought for Costa Rica, i think i was better off with no guide book at all and just doing my own research on TripAdvisor. We luckily had Wifi at most hotels and restaurants in Costa Rica and relied quite heavily on the TripAdvisor app for our nightly restaurant selection.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1d0b0e4) out of 5 stars A good 'first guidebook' for those not wandering too far from the beaten path June 23 2012
By mathew - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Unlike several other travel guides, this guide is full color throughout, and printed on glossy paper. That may seem frivolous, but the use of color to draw the eye to names of attractions really improves the readability of the book at a glance.

Color also helps make the many small maps throughout the book a lot more approachable. There's also a full color fold-out map showing the entire country on one side, and San José and various national parks in mini-maps on the other side, along with an index.

The book focuses more on activities rather than places, which probably makes sense given that anyone can find hundreds of hotels and restaurants on the Internet. This makes it a good choice if you're going on a package trip or sorting out hotel accomodation before you go. Don't expect more than a half dozen token hotel listings for any given location. If you're looking to wander at random and want more detailed hotel and eatery listings, and better coverage of smaller towns, then the Lonely Planet guide is probably a better bet.

The same applies to other 'survival' information, like details of tropical diseases to be aware of, alternative transport options, and so on; if you're a backpacker or roughing it, the Lonely Planet guide is probably the one you want. If you're sticking to the beaten path and the touristy areas, this book is probably a better choice, and it's certainly a more visually appealing read. I'm not ashamed to admit that my primary interests in Costa Rica are coffee and parrots, and I don't plan to go anywhere near a tent, so I'll be referring to this guide first.

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