CR books / Guides need recommendations

Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 06:55 PM
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aby
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CR books / Guides need recommendations

Hi
i need your views of some good info about Costa rica

1. which Guidebook has the best info? i'm not interested in hotels etc' but in info about the country, natural history etc'
(in my place i can find in English only LP and Footprints guides. i've seen the Moon guide has more information. any other?

2. what is the difference between
Fodor's Exploring Costa Rica, 4th Edition (Exploring Guides) and the "regular" Fodor's guide to CR ?

3. Does the "Key" have good background chapters or is it focused mainly on places?

4. would you recommend The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica ?

5. Very important for me: Les Beletsky's book - does it include plates of Mammals + birds + Reptiles + Amphibians (& Flora ?)?

6. your opinion about How Monkeys Make Chocolate: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Rain Forest

i need help since i'll order a few books without actually seeing them in the bookshop or library beforehand
thanks in advance

aby
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Old Nov 24th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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I have reasons for being very partial to Fodor's but I'll leave the distinction between the "regular" guide and the Exploring series to an editor here, since this is Fodor's site, after all.

"The Ticos" is a good intro to the people of Costa Rica. It's written by various members of the expat Biesanz family, originally from the United States but who have lived in Costa Rica, oh, forever. I think parts of it are a bit dry, but all in all, it's quite well done. I like it becasue it goes beyond the superficial "Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949 and everybody is happy and they are wonderful people" view you get of the country from so many writers. This book gets into real issues and provides a more complex picture. The most recent edition is (I think) about eight years old, and Costa Rica has changed greatly in that time, but still, it's a decent foundation.

"How Monkeys Make Chocolate" doesn't focus specifically on Costa Rica, but is more an introduction to rainforests worldwide. It's billed as a children's book -- I think more for older kids -- but it contains a lot of good information about the way different plant and animal species relate and co-exist in the rainforest.
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Thanks Jeff_Costa_Rica !
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 03:09 AM
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Les Beletsky's book has plates for birds, mammals reptiles and amphibians. Excellent background information for the wildlife as well. In my opinion a very good book that provides more than just the basics of identification.

Jerry
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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Thank you Jerry !

i've used Beletsky's guide to Hawai'i, wanted to know if it's basically similar...

Would you know by chance if there's any difference between Beletsky 2 different titles:
Ecotraveller'swildlife guide - 1998
Traveller's wildlife guide - 2004

thanks again

aby
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 07:02 PM
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Aby,

When will you be in Costa Rica? Where will you be going?

From your questions, it appears your trip will be wildlife driven.

This is looking interesting!
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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When I went, my Lonely Planet guidebook was in my pack the entire time. I loved it. Very informative, with great history and eco articles
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 03:28 AM
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Lynn dear

I'll be in Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Tortuguero NP etc'
time: Jan-Feb

"it appears your trip will be wildlife driven." isn't it what CR is all about?
well, on second thought, maybe some folks come for a beach holiday?!

aby
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 03:35 AM
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thanks mikebonocore

i'll take a look at the CR Lonely Planet.

from my experience, in numerous destinations, other guides beat LP on the info side. IMHO, LP is good for backpackers, but even in South America where i've met many muchileros FootPrints is considered far better than LP
& i'll be happy to have others tune in for their insights/experinces

aby
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Aby, I agree with you about what constitutes a good Costa Rica trip. I've gone once, for just 10 days long ago.

Please tell us all about it when you get back.

But before you go, why did you pick Jan-Feb?
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Old Nov 29th, 2007, 11:52 PM
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Lynn

So... the experience was not as mesmerizing as Africa? not enough to back again?

Jan-Feb is relatively dry
it is also a vacation
& actually it was a chance that came
(you probably researched, figured out what and when... made your own "perfect" itinerary.
i go with a group, so my personal preferences will be fulfilled on another occasion...)

aby

anyhow, before Jan, in a few days i'll be in TZ for a short "recharging" safari
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Old Dec 1st, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Costa Rica, like most other places I have been in the world, was lovely, but Africa is where my heart is.

I went with a friend and we had about one week of set vacation time in mid-April to spend in the country itself. We returned to San Jose after each outing. Only a week is not much but the trip was good enough to make me want to come back again.

May I ask what group is privileged to have your participation for this trip?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 08:04 AM
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just a regular group of ordinary people... (i hope...)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 09:14 AM
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...doing extraordinary things.

Have fun.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 02:47 PM
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Aby,

Are you back? Did you do extraordinary things? How'd the guidebook work out? I'm interested in your sightings! I'll be looking for you over on the Africa forum.
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Old Feb 14th, 2008, 05:10 AM
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Aby,

Quit hiding out over on the Africa board and tell us about your wildlife sightings in Costa Rica.
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Old Feb 14th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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The book The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica is interesting to read and helps to understand the culture and the habits.
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