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Lonely Planet Central America On a Shoestring 6th Ed.: Big Trips on Small Budgets, 6th edition Paperback – Oct 24 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 820 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 6 edition (Oct. 24 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741045967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741045963
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 14 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #379,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

For sheer global reach and dogged research, attention must be paid to Lonely Planet...' --Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2003

About the Author

LONELY PLANET books are sold in more than 200 countries. Its website, www.lonelyplanet.com, receives over five million unique visitors per month.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 25 2002
Format: Paperback
Although a solid guide overall, I would recommend that travellers to this region of the world consider the Footprint guide and/or the Let's Go. LP looked to me to be up-to-date, but sadly this was certainly not the case when I hit C.A. last summer (especially in Costa Rica). Busing and transportation information were generally accurate. Costs though were often way off the mark. After looking through the Let's Go guide at the end of my trip, I noted that their prices were much more up-to-date. Don't be fooled into thinking that the LP online updates for this book are helpful.
Also, the LP book lacks serious detail about hotels. Their wording is scant and weak, and I often found myself wondering why they couldn't just get to the point. The Footprint guide is considerably better in this area, as their writers seem to be not as afraid to say what they really think of these places (i.e. they will tell you if a hotel has a reputation for petty theft - LP won't bother).

Overall this book has some good points, but I would recommend that you take another book along with it as a backup (or use this one as a backup). I should point out that this is a great book for someone with a very limited amount of time in each major place, as their agendas are solid. Also, I highly recommend their Latin America Phrasebook. Easy to use and it got me out of a few jams.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Katie on Aug. 8 2002
Format: Paperback
The Lonely Planet Shoestring Guides are great for backpackers: cheap hotels, restaurants, bus schedules, etc. This book was no exception. The information included was generally very up-to-date and thorough. That said, the LP writers must have been directed to gild the lily whenever possible. More than once I decided to visit a place that LP gushed about only to find myself in either a backwater or a noisy charmless city playing cards until the next day's buses rolled out.
Halfway through my trip I found a used copy of Fodor's UpClose Central America Guide (used to be the Berkeley Guide, remember those?) and bought it. The UpClose Guide, while incomplete, provided much more honest commentary on the places I wanted to visit. The book is no longer in print but you might be able to dig up a used copy somewhere.
I'd still recommend the Shoestring Guide: you need to know where to catch your bus!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Lajoie on April 8 2010
Format: Paperback
Overal : great book, Recommended by many travellers and other travel books !

+ : Well structured, good advice, really for budjet travel, covers the entire Central America.

- : Prices of some hostel have changed a lot (New edition comming soon), Maps are not in color, Could have used a few more maps. The cover is not well glued and starting to fall off after light use.
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Format: Paperback
Book was new as stated.. However, shipping took quite a bit longer than stated by the company and when i sent an e-mail a general e-mail with no real help was replied.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 30 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Use with Caution Sept. 25 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although a solid guide overall, I would recommend that travellers to this region of the world consider the Footprint guide and/or the Let's Go. LP looked to me to be up-to-date, but sadly this was certainly not the case when I hit C.A. last summer (especially in Costa Rica). Busing and transportation information were generally accurate. Costs though were often way off the mark. After looking through the Let's Go guide at the end of my trip, I noted that their prices were much more up-to-date. Don't be fooled into thinking that the LP online updates for this book are helpful.
Also, the LP book lacks serious detail about hotels. Their wording is scant and weak, and I often found myself wondering why they couldn't just get to the point. The Footprint guide is considerably better in this area, as their writers seem to be not as afraid to say what they really think of these places (i.e. they will tell you if a hotel has a reputation for petty theft - LP won't bother).

Overall this book has some good points, but I would recommend that you take another book along with it as a backup (or use this one as a backup). I should point out that this is a great book for someone with a very limited amount of time in each major place, as their agendas are solid. Also, I highly recommend their Latin America Phrasebook. Easy to use and it got me out of a few jams.
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Vastly overrated April 27 2006
By William J. Fickling - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recenty returned from a month long trip through Central America, during which I visited all 7 Central American countries, in this order: Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. I brought two guidebooks with me on my trip: this one and the Rough Guide to Central America. I soon found myself using the Rough Guide almost exclusively and this Lonely Planet Guide hardly at all. This was a surprise and a disappointment, because for the last 17 years I have consistently found the Lonely Planet guides to be the ones most consistently most useful for adventurous travelers. But not this one. Here are some of the problems I had with this guide:

--The maps are among the hardest to read and most unintelligible I have ever seen, anywhere. They are all in black and white, with shadings in gray. There is very little variation in font size. It is hard to find anything without poring almost microscopically over the maps.

--The book consistently focuses on the cheapest, most bottom end places, especially when it comes to lodging. Now I suppose I should have been warned by the title, but I honestly didn't expect the book to be so relentlessly downscale. So this is a book only for the truly impoverished. If you want to splurge a little, look in the Rough Guide.

--Like all LP guides, it is not well-organized, so a reader must take his time to get used to finding out where to look for information.

On ths positive side, it is chock full of information for overland travelers and those seeking to venture into the remote areas of the countries visited. But overall, this one is not one of LP's finest publication. Use the Rough Guide instead (see my review there).
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Better Take Two Books Aug. 8 2002
By Katie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Lonely Planet Shoestring Guides are great for backpackers: cheap hotels, restaurants, bus schedules, etc. This book was no exception. The information included was generally very up-to-date and thorough. That said, the LP writers must have been directed to gild the lily whenever possible. More than once I decided to visit a place that LP gushed about only to find myself in either a backwater or a noisy charmless city playing cards until the next day's buses rolled out.
Halfway through my trip I found a used copy of Fodor's UpClose Central America Guide (used to be the Berkeley Guide, remember those?) and bought it. The UpClose Guide, while incomplete, provided much more honest commentary on the places I wanted to visit. The book is no longer in print but you might be able to dig up a used copy somewhere.
I'd still recommend the Shoestring Guide: you need to know where to catch your bus!
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
You can't do better April 14 2005
By Pauley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
You can't really do better than this book if you're traveling in multiple countries in C.A. Overall, it was an invaluable resource. My complaints are that it almost provides TOO much detail, the kind of things people should find out on their own while they travel. Also, so many people use this book that you'll run into gringos every time you follow their 1st recommendation.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The backpacker's bible to Central America Aug. 10 2008
By Brian Stepanek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have used Lonely Planet's "Central America on a Shoestring" on a couple trips to Central America. Just like every other Lonely Planet Shoestring Guide, it's been amazing. There have been some bad reviews of the book, so I think I should clarify who this book would best appeal to. If you want to stay in three and four star hotels in the tourist parts of town, take guided tours of everything you see, eat at expensive touristy restaurants, and basically don't care whether you ever encounter the "real" Central America, this book is probably not for you. If you are a backpacker, want to stay in hostels with other backpackers, experience as many "adventures" as possible, find all the sights yourself, dive deep into local culture and history, eat at authentic restaurants that attract mostly locals, ride the chicken bus, and basically wouldn't consider your trip complete unless it's as authentic as possible, then this book is right up your alley. If you are planning on visiting just one or two countries, this book will be fine. Just be forewarned that it does cram all of Central America into one book, so some of the info on sights and attractions is very concise. This book generally sticks to times, costs, and locations, plus a very brief description of each sight, with certain exceptions (Tikal has 5 pages, don't worry). If you think you'll want more than that, you might consider the individual country guides. The maps and info have all been 100% accurate. The coverage of hostels, restaurants, sights, and treks cannot be beat. And it puts all of this into one compact, easy to carry book. Highly recommended.


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