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on January 30, 2001
What? A moral message in a travel guide? Yes. But first, let me say that the information content was top notch. I would recommend this book to a South American travel newbie. The coverage of the cultural aspects and scams was excellent in particular. What was very, very annoying was the pretext that Western people are bad. The author was astute to point out that just the fact that you are traveling indicates to natives that you have money. But, trying to pay the same price for goods and services as the natives is called (and I quote) "cutting them off at the knees." The author goes on to add that merchants simply can't survive on the price charged to natives, so it is your job to subsidize their business simply by your virtue of being a visitor. And in the section on Scams and Cons, we learn that it is OK for them to steal from you because they don't have as much as you. I became disgusted at the author's hypocracy several times. But, I will reitterate, that otherwise this is a good book and I would recommend it.
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on November 30, 2001
This book is designed for a first time traveller -- over half of it was advice about weather, shots, and traveller's checks. Detail about where to go and what to see is disappointing -- it only gives a very general outline about it country (they seem to all have jungles, mountains, and ruins) and then recommends other guide books. If you are only buying 1-2 guide books, just buy the other ones.
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on February 22, 2001
This book is probably a good start for anyone who has never travelled to Latin America. It does provide some good background info (weather statistics, cultural info, major festival times, etc) on how to plan a rough outline for a trip. It even has sections on travel themes (e.g. where to go whitewater rafting, where to go hiking, where the good beaches are, etc.) The problem is that the information is way too general and brief. For example, in this 300 page book there are only 1-2 pages covering the highlights of each country, and only a half page that describes possible itineraries in each country. Detailed trip planning will require more than this book, so you might as well start with a more complete book.
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on May 9, 2002
complete waste of time and money. wish id looked at the content in more detail before buying. i actually went through in disbelief at the scarcity of contents, compared with my other guide books and realised its exactly the same information which gets condensed into the front of other guide books.
lots of common sense information, only of use to someone who really wouldnt even know the first thing about travelling. this was the least useful resource in planning a trip to latin amrica, to the degree theres actually a lot of bad advice.
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on September 24, 2000
- (From Planeta Journal) Plan your trip. This is a terrific pre-departure tool to destinations in Latin America. This is the perfect book for readers who are interested in traveling in mainland Latin America, but lack a clear idea of where they want to go. You can plan the basic itinerary for trips to Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina and the rest of the gang. Missing are profiles of the Caribbean Islands, but perhaps the book will be expanded to include all of the Americas in the next edition.
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on August 12, 2002
This is Lonely Planet Lite, all of it material cribbed and repackaged from other Lonely Planet guides on the region, and in many cases the summaries grossly distort what appears in the individual country guides. It's like drinking non-alcoholic beer--so diluted that there's no satisfaction in it--and some of the original wasn't all that great to start with.
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