Best guidebook

Jul 29th, 2008, 07:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 14
Best guidebook

I would like some suggestions on the best guidebook for Costa Rica. I already have our driver and hotels, so basically I just want a comprehensive guide on restaurants and activities. Any suggestions?
taratravelfreak is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Shockingly, we like Fodors.

I'd recommend just hitting a Barnes and Noble and thumbing through a few books to see which one has the format/information you'd find useful.
RAC is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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I really like Moon guidebooks for Central America. I think they just put out a new one for Costa Rica...
Amanda23 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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We bought a few, but the Dummies guide was the best.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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We got the DUmmies guide for our first trip, but it doesn't mention entire sections of the country (Sarapiqui, central highlands).

So, if you're going to the La Selva or Cerro de Muerte areas, it's not very useful.
RAC is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Moon is most detailed by far but
more budget moderate oriented.Small
print too.Frommers has good moderate
upscale restaurant tours routes hotels for me...

So kind of depends on your interests
mode of travel.Eyewitness guides have prettiest pictures by far...
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't use guidebooks for restaurant recommendations. Things change to fast, and they are never (rarely) able to stay up-to-date.

I use the internet for restaurant, or ask your hotel front guests, or other travelers who are regulars in the location for their advice.
suze is online now  
Jul 29th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Posts: 23,851
tara, where are you guys going and staying? I've found this board to be more helpful than any of our guidebooks.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 11:04 AM
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We are going to Arenal and Manuel Antonio. We're staying at Silencio and Villas Nicholas, based on the reviews here. We're also staying one night on each end of our trip in San Jose. I plan on compiling a list of good restaurants from this website, and tours, but I know my travel partners might like to read a book and it will be nice to reference a guidebook on our trip.
taratravelfreak is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I am another one who likes the Moon Handbook. They do a great job of giving you a complete picture of what CR is like and what to expect.
dishdelish is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Posts: 23,851
This will get you started until you find a guidebook you like - In Arenal, we liked El Novillo and La Choza de Laurel. In MA, Salsipuedes, Ronnie's Place/Mi Lugar, Cafe Milagro, Cafe Agua Azul, and Barba Roja.

For Arenal activities, the hot springs like Tabacon or Eco Termales, zipline at SkyTrek, the waterfall, a volcano hike, the Hanging Bridges, and best of all the Cano Negro Tour with Sunset Tours. I'm sure others will chime in with a lot more info.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 04:04 AM
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In Manuel Antonio I highly recommend El Avion, food is good, and the setting is not only gorgeous, it's very original. The restaurant at Si Como No is also very good.
blamona is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 14
I bought the frommer's book, which is ok. After looking through several of the books at the book store though, I think I liked some of the other books better, i.e. Lonely Planet.
traveler708 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 8
Moon for just a good guide on where to go and what to see. I love it because it has a lot on the central valley, my favorite part of the country. Frommers for upscale hotels frequented by Americans. Sleeping with the Toucans for interesting inns and lodges in unvisited corners of Costa Rica.
BocaGirl is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 06:31 AM
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I purchased Fodor's to prepare for our upcoming trip (woohoo only 15 days till we leave!). I also have collected lots of good info from just surfing and browsing many web sites (and of course here as well). The Fodor's guide seems to be very complete and has good coverage of the areas we will be at (flying into Liberia, then Arenal, then at Playa Panama and home out of Liberia).

Reisender is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 344
We find it useful to take a guidebook or two with us for when people suggest visiting a particular town or taking a certain trip - it gives you a reference and typically each section has maps so you can see if you are within a reasonable distance from the place you might want to visit, etc. Even though we don't do our own driving, we look at the map and follow along as we travel from one area to another. Some drivers have ideas of where they feel you'd enjoy stopping, others expect you to let them know where you want to stop. Even if you plan ahead, your route could change due to an issue with a particular road so if you have your guidebook, you can do some last minute research and come up with an alternate plan.

One way I determine which guidebook would work best for me is to look up resorts or activities I'm already familiar with and see what each book says. Some reviews say it like it is, some don't.

San Jose has some really great restaurants. Your hotel will call you a cab and tell you how much it should cost to get there, etc.
Linda137 is offline  
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