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Costa Rica (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide) [Paperback]

Christopher Baker , Ana Voiculescu , Ian O'Leary
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, 3 Nov 2005 --  
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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Costa Rica DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Costa Rica 4.7 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

3 Nov 2005 DK Eyewitness Travel Guide
The guides that show you what others only tell you! Whether you want to soak up some history at the Museo Nacional or watch sea turtles nesting at Tortuguero National Park, make sure you don't miss a thing with this essential guide to Costa Rica. Unique 3D models and cutaways will take you around the country's finest architecture and spectacular scenery. And tips on where to sample some first-class coffee and local fare will ensure you have everything you need for an unforgettable holiday.


Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (3 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405310634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405310635
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 12.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 814,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars DK Eye Witness Guide to Costa Rica 20 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent guide accompanied by good town plans, recommended trips and accommodation. Colourful pictures and DK have a good reputation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Guidebook on the Same Subject 11 Dec 2000
By Christopher Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Over the years I must have read about 20 guidebooks about Costa Rica. Like the most of others this book does have something to offer the traveller. However, I prefer the author's other book, "The Costa Rica Handbook." If you're looking to move to Costa Rica or spend an extended period of time there, you should read "The Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica." It offers an excellent introduction to the local scene.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caters to more intellectual travelers 8 Nov 2005
By Karen C - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is much better at diving into the details and characteristics of the places and events than many of the other travel guides I considered. I wouldn't use this book if you're looking for a specific place to stay or cheap eats, but rather the historical context or anectdotal information that makes traveling more insightful. Don't get me wrong; there are plenty of lists, walking routes, maps and key data that will make travel easier. But National Geographic prides itself in making the leisurely travel experience much more encompassing to your senses. The photographs are incredible, and the text is in-depth. I would make this book (and the entire Series for that matter) a supplement that rounds out your vacation, alongside your "best restaurants and hotels" guide that will help find the basics.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book worth it for the photographs alone 16 July 2003
By Agnes Nagy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I agree with the other reviewer of this book that, as a guidebook, it is useful but not unsurpassed. When I went to Costa Rica I took it along with a copy of Lonely Planet Costa Rica with me and I was covered. This book is worth it though for the photographs alone. The photographs are so good they make you want to get to every nook and cranny of Costa Rica and find these stunning people, places, and things. National Geographic totally lived up to it's name with this one.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photos, good essays, and average maps 20 Feb 2006
By C. B Collins Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We recently spent 8 days in Costa Rica and used this guide. I will start the review with comments on the layout of the guide. Then I will give specifics regarding the content of the guide and our experiences. Then I will identify a few of the weaknesses of the guide. I will end the review with a general comment on travel in Costa Rica.

The guide is full of beautiful photographs and insightful essays. This is the strength of this book. Major landmarks are described and put into historic or geologic contexts. The book is organized by geographic region, making it easy to use.

We used the guide first when we spent 3 days in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast. Driving from San Jose to Manuel Antonio we passed many farms and farmhouses. The average Costa Rican family does not have central heating, air conditioning, and many do not have a hot water heater. The hairpin turns between San Jose and the beach road is exciting with continual new vistas at every turn. The beach road from Jaco, to Puntarenas, to Quepos, to Manuel Antonio gradually becomes more and more primitive. Along the way you will pass many turquoise school houses. Elementary school children wear white shirts and black pants or skirts. Upon graduation to 7th grade, the children wear bright blue shirts and navy blue pants or shirts. Mothers walk young children to school and then walk them home for lunch. The children return to the school houses around 1 pm and then the school day seems to end for younger children around 2 and for older children around 3. You will see beautiful Costa Rican school children playing and walking and riding bikes in every village. We selected Manuel Antonio for the famous beach and Mauel Antonio National Park. The beach was indeed fantastic. The Pacific was refreshing but not cold and the waves were pounding but manageable. The restaurants were exceptional and reasonable. For example one night I had a dinner salad of sauted grouper over heart of palm and greens for $8. Another night we had large tuna steaks cooked to perfection with blackbeans, rice, and slaw for $8. We were advised to drink bottled water but selected to drink the local water which was perfectly safe. We spent one whole day in the Manuel Antonio Park seeing spider monkeys, sloths, iguanas, humming birds, butterflys, and the wonderful pink faced Capuchin monkeys. Go early to the park since only 600 visitors are allowed in each day. Wear your bathing suit so that you can swim in the secluded beautiful beaches within the park.

We then spent 3 days in Heredia, north of San Jose, so that we could visit the volcanoes and the Guayabo archeological site. I wish we had more detail in the book about this aspect of the trip. We visited Poas Volcanoe first which was well described in the guide. However we should have visited earlier in the day becuase the cloud cover obscured our view. We hiked in the cloud forest observing the large navy blue humming birds. We then went to La Paz waterfall, a spectacular site. We then tried to get to Barva Volcanoe through beautiful mountain dairy and coffer farms. When we were 6 kms. from the top of Barva the road ran out and the undeveloped rock road would have broken our car's axle. We could have hiked the 6 kms. to the top but we would have had to abandon our car at the trailhead which we were reluctant to do. The next day we went to Volcano Irazu which is so high it is above the cloud line. It was very impressive, however we then drove to find Guayabo. There are very few road signs in Costa Rica so this was a search through beautiful mountain towns and farms. We finally found the entrance road but the pavement ended and the road was full of deep muddy potholes. We were still 10 kms. from the site and again we feared breaking an axle and we also feared leaving our car and hiking to the site.

In terms of the weaknesses of the book; we found the maps were not detailed enough for rural exploration. We wished more details on Guayabo and Barva had been included so that we could have made better decisions about our time. For example, the trip from Heredia to Irazu to Guayabo back to Heredia took 7.5 hours. Finally I wish the guide had told us more about car rental issues in Costa Rica. We used a travel website and selected the lowest rate, which was a Costa Rican company and not a US chain. They were $100 less expensive. However, the manditory Costa Rican liability insurance increased the rate from $150 to $400. We should have checked to see if other car rental companies included liability insurance in their quote so as to really select the best deal for a week long car rental.

The strength of Costa Rica is not only the beauty of the country but also the beauty of the people. Stunningly beautiful women and handsome men are seen walking or waiting for buses, tending cows or chickens or children, or working in small sodas (roadside stores). Everywhere we went we were treated warmly by the people. People were generous with their time and knowledge.

We found the guide to be very helpful and readable, with beautiful photographs. The maps could use some improvement so you may want to purchase a more detailed road map for your trip.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading for Sightseers! 28 July 2005
By W. J. Kibler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Purchase this book IN ADDITION TO any other travel guide you might want for a trip to Costa Rica. While others will provide info on lodgings, restaurants, rental cars and sightseeing tours, THIS book explores all the exciting wonders of this beautiful country as only National Geographic can do! Lots of photos to entice you to search out all kinds of exotic experiences. The book is divided by region, so it makes it quite easy to plan your itinerary based on what's available in each part of the country you are visiting. An excellent sightseeing planner!
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