Travel book for Costa Rica

Old Sep 11th, 2002, 11:47 AM
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Travel book for Costa Rica

can anyone recommend the best travel book in the US for CR, that includes accomodations and earnest comments, etc. Thanks,
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 11:57 AM
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With all due respect, people will have different ideas of what 'the best' is. After you get all your recommendations, go to a book store, flip through them and decide for yourself.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 01:03 PM
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Yes. I've read them all and in my humble opinion, It's Christopher Baker's "Costa Rica Handbook" published by Moon Handbooks. (Wish I had taken it with me to Costa Rica instead of Lonely Planet, which I intentionally left in one of my hotel rooms because it was so useless.) My second choice would be the New Key to Costa Rica by Beatrice Blake.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 02:32 PM
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When are you going to Costa Rica? I'm also looking for a good travel book that will help with my visit there. I'm trying to figure out the highlights of what's there.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 03:23 PM
Scott Gauvin
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My favorites in respective order are:

1. New Key to Costa Rica by Beatrice Blake - Ulysses Press
2. Costa Rica Handbook by Christopher Baker - Moon Travel Handbooks
3. Costa Rica by Jean McNeil - The Rough Guide

Those are good general guide books. If you are looking for something that cuts to the chase and focuses more on a high end experience - Fodor's is a good option.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 04:18 PM
David Cook
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I have to disagree with Terri, I have been to CR 3 times and the LP book has always served me very well. Check the nearest Borders or B&N and look for yourself. No matter which one you use, it will never be exact or have all the answers; don't worry, you'll have fun anyway!
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 05:11 PM
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I usually find Lonely Planet books to be very helpful. However, the one on the market now for Costa Rica is approaching three years old, so much information is outdated. I do like Christopher Baker's book as well.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 08:30 PM
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We went to Costa Rica for two weeks in August. I started my research at the library and the one book which I liked the most I then purchased so that I could highlight in it and take it along for reference. The title is ADVENTURES IN NATURE - COSTA RICA by Ree Strange Sheck. The author lived in Costa Rica for eight years. Her reviews for each part of the country were very thorough and personal. I found her book to be a great resource and reference while on our trip. I highly recommend it.
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 05:05 AM
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I planned a one week trip last year using accomodation recommendations and the "earnest comments" from this web site. I then used Fodor's (the book) just to make sure I had not made any bad decisions.
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 10:21 AM
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i agree that Christopher Baker's book (from Moon handbooks) is really great for background info, nature info, and other things as well.

i'm surprised no one mentioned Frommer's... i thought it was the best as far as hotel and activity info went. i recommend that one highly.
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 10:33 AM
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In defense of my statement about Lonely Planet, I needed to make a shuttle bus reservation while in Costa Rica and couldn't find any phone numbers or schedules for Interbus or Greyline in Lonely Planet. They may be there, but I sure couldn't find them using the index. To me, that is a serious omission in a travel guide.
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 11:11 AM
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Also a word of advice, never book accommodation based on one travel books recommendation. Fodor's seriously let me down at one of our destinations on our last trip to CR. Live and learn!
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 08:28 AM
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I had found that after weeks of study and planning my trip, I was already tired - there seemed to be so much to discover it was hard to narrow down choices. But staying at a nice little B&B in Costa Rica (Cannon's Oasis) was a big help. Mark (the owner) helped me out with a lot of misconceptions I had had from various 'advice' and reading travel books. The books can never present completely current information and recommendations can be pretty subjective.

So my advice is to do something like get a general concept of what you'd like to do, then contact someone helpful who actually lives there for their ideas.
Old Sep 14th, 2002, 10:32 AM
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Cheryl - I had the same experience. I had my planned my trip for over a year and was feeling overwhelmed by the choices. I finally decided to just focus on the areas we wanted to see the most and not worry so much about timelines or reservations. (Of course, traveling during the green season made this really easy.) We elected to not rent a car and only made reservations at our first and last hotels. We sought a lot of advice and recommendations from those 2 hotels and from locals once we arrived. No one steered us wrong and we got some excellent tips that you won't find in any guidebook. I plan to do my next trip in May the same way.

By the way, I've heard really good things about Cannon's Oasis and Mark has been great at answering my questions via e-mail. It's nice to hear someone else had a good experience there. We plan to make it our first stop on our next trip.
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 12:14 PM
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Hi --
I agree with the recommendation for Nature Adventures in Costa Rica.

Terri Griffin -- I agree with you about trying to plan everything out way in advance.....we're planning to go in November and I, too, got overwhelmed by all the choices and by the idea of sticking to a schedule. We've made reservations for the first three nights, and then will go wherever the weather is good and where the locals recommend!

Julia -- good luck to you in choosing the right book!
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