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Lonely Planet Costa Rica 9th Ed.: 9th Edition Paperback – Oct 5 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 9 edition (Oct. 5 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741794749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741794748
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #239,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Matthew Firestone is a trained anthropologist and epidemiologist, though he postponed his academic career to spend his youth living out of a backpack. To date he has authored more than twenty guidebooks for Lonely Planet, and covered far-flung destinations from the Darien Gap to the Dead Sea. His favourite destination is Namibia, where the stark beauty of the desert is completely overwhelming, though freshly sliced sashimi on any of Okinawa's beaches is a close second. When he's not in school or on assignment, he likes to spend his time exploring the American West with his parents, or catching up with the in-laws on the foothills of Mt. Fuji.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As in true lonely planet style, this book does not cease to amaze. It is an essential to travel in Costa Rica with. I have 3 different guide books for my trip that I am currently on, and this one is by far the best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How do you get a country in one book and understand it before even traveling to it...this book! It's great!! Detailed, with places, accommodations, things to do etc. I didn't know that CR had an archeological site until I looked at this book. Fascinating and looking forward to traveling to CR. For those that travel a lot (or dream a lot) this book is great.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an easy-to-use tour guide, full of useful information. For someone who visits Costa Rica for the first time, this guide is great.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this guide! Feb. 8 2011
By J. J. - Published on
Format: Paperback
We have been to Costa Rica quite a few times. Our focus is always nature and out of the way places. Because we travel light and always are carrying 2 or 3 field guides plus big binoculars, we take only one guidebook to save space and weight. Often in the past it has been the Lonely Planet guide because of size and the relative amount of truly useful info and good maps. So this last trip, in Dec. 2010, we decided to take the hot-off-the-press Lonely Planet. Seemed like a no-brainer. WRONG! This guide is one of the most irritating I've ever tried to use. The writer's decision to organize the broad sections of the country in a "fresh new way", as opposed to logical regions as most other guides do, was only the first of the many aggravations. If you want to find out about some place you heard about, but only have a sketchy idea of its location, good luck. Why? Because, in their wisdom, they also decided to include THE MOST MINIMAL index ever. So how are you supposed to find something small, that doesn't show up in the small blurb in the table of contents? You leaf through the book for a long, long time, that's how. In the age of computers, when an index is a pretty easy thing to generate, this is ridiculous. We resorted to using this guide very seldom because it made us furious each time we did. DON'T buy this book. Lonely Planet guides are in general very good guides. Not this one. If I could have given this book zero stars, I would have. Anyone want to buy one cheap though? I got one...
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Misleading Travel Guide July 21 2011
By chris boas - Published on
Format: Paperback
As someone who works and has frequently traveled in Costa Rica, and who is a long-time aficionado of the Lonely Planet guides, I am really sorry to have to write a negative review of the most recent edition (Nov. 2010) of this travel guide. But having used this latest edition on two recent trips, the extent of its inaccuracies, most likely a result of inadequate research and rush to publish, compels me to warn other readers away from this edition. I would recommend that readers switch to the Moon guide for Costa Rica, but if you want to stick with the Lonely Planet series, I would recommend purchasing the previous edition of Lonely Planet Costa Rica published in 2008.
While there are numerous examples of why this latest guide is so unhelpful, there can be no greater one than the book's review of a sustainable ranch in the Arenal region called Rancho Margot. In the 2008 guide, the authors got it right, devoting 2 pages of highest praise, and described a place "as a sustainable, self-sufficient working of the most exciting development projects in the entire country.". It was this review that led my family and I to take a chance on this remote eco-resort nestled between Lake Arenal and the rain forests leading to MonteVerde. Our family fell in love with Rancho Margot's magic immediately, and have returned every time we come to Costa Rica. Rancho Margot has only improved in its beauty, sustainability ethos, and quality of its service since our first visit in July of 2008, and has been recognized as a global leader of sustainable farm tourism.
So it was with great shock and disappointment to see that in the November 2010 edition, the LP editors, in their collective wisdom, decided to tell readers to stay away from Rancho Margot. It appears that they listened to negative gossip of some jealous nearby innkeepers, downgraded their review of the ranch to 'not recommended", without bothering to visit the ranch. For a place that receives near-unanimous praise as a "must-see" destination from guest reviews on Trip Advisor and other guides, the LP's review of Rancho Margot is clearly a huge disservice to its readers.
If it was only this one inaccuracy, perhaps this latest edition of LP Costa Rica would be salvageable. But there are numerous additional examples, which other reviewers have highlighted, and which I would only echo, that lead me to this one-star review.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars misleading information March 12 2012
By haha - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book gave me misleading information and false insecurity to backpackers. For example one can take the local bus and boat (vs shuttles which cost 10 times more) from San Jose to Tortuguero very safely. Costa Rica public bus company has published on the internet all the departure stations and time and the locals use the public transportation to travel to work every day. The bus like any buses are full of people commuting to work and to the markets. The locals are very polite and will help you in every way they can. Although Tortuguero is remote, there are buses and boats that go there direclty and you don't have to walk around for the transfer. The bus schedule and the boat schedules are in synch. The next bus or boat, all equal in quality, is right at your feet. You do not need to choose the type of boat as mentioned by the author. They haven't lost one local nor tourist due to weather or quality of boat. The author mentioned about incidents of robberies (???) on the bus and i have met many locals and expatriates who live on the island who go to the cities frequently to do chores and work. They haven't heard of such incidents. I think it's better not to write anything than giving out bad information and discourage tourists to venture and learn about other culture.

The book also misses all the good backpackers in many towns i visited. I was disappointed with the book and gives me reservation in making decisions to buy a Lonely Planet book for my next adventure.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great May 19 2011
By C. Robins - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a bit nervous after reading some of the other reviews on here. I ended up purchasing this guidebook for our 10 day Costa Rica trip; my boyfriend purchased Frommers. We each believe our own book was the best. We used both during the trip, and both contained different info. Lonely Planet had much more detailed sections on the places we wanted to go, and I didn't notice the negative tones other reviewers complained about. The authors got a bit snarky, but it was always useful info. Our trip was San Jose, Arenal, Guanacaste Province (NW), south along the Pacific Coast. We didn't go to the Caribbean side, and therefore can't really comment on that section of the book.

It's not complete, but it was definitely useful. With the Frommers and Lonely Planet, we were covered pretty well.

And if you're planning a trip to Costa Rica, BUY A REALLY GOOD ROAD MAP. There really are no road signs in Costa Rica.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As usual, LP crafts another fine guidebook Oct. 9 2011
By T. Burrows - Published on
Format: Paperback
I travelled around CR with a tour group, and every single person had a copy of this. I think it is safe to say that this is THE guidebook for the non-package tour traveller in Costa Rica. All the areas I went to were covered well in here, and most of their advice was on target. The places they pick as the most scenic and interesting turned out to be just that. The may have come up a little short with the restaurants - the best one I went to wasn't in the book, and some of the ones they thought were great I had a different opinion of - but this is forgivable because there are a lot of good eating spots in CR that all serve the same kinds of dishes within the same price range. LP still makes the most complete and interesting guides for the traveller who enjoys exploring the world, and not just lying around on a beach (altho you can do some of that in Costa Rica if that is your pleasure).