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Puerto Rico (Lonely Planet Regional Guides) [Paperback]

Randall S. Peffer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 30 Sep 1999 --  
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Book Description

30 Sep 1999
Lonely Planet's latest Caribbean destination covers Puerto Rico from beach resorts to secluded rainforests and unspoiled off-shore islands. It includes the scoop on the hopping bar and club scene along the Paeso de al Princesa, in-depth background on the architecture of Old San Juan, and coverage of the Spanish Virgin Islands.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications (30 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 086442552X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0864425522
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 13.1 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,689,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Times Union, March 12, 2006
'...Lonely Planet's Puerto Rico guide includes detailed trail descriptions and history.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From discoveries of conch shells and hatchets in a limestone cave at Loiza Aldea, east of San Juan on the north coast of the island, archaeologists have traced human habitation of Puerto Rico to the 1st century AD. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's worth it!! 6 Dec 2002
Format:Paperback
Puerto Rico is a small part of heaven in the Caribbean. This guide has an excellent history and culture section, and the reviews of villages/towns are usually spot on. Sometimes basic details are missed out, and two places missing that are definitely worth a visit are Buyé Beach in Boquerón and Sandy Beach in Rincón. Perfect!!!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Puerto Rico is a bit of the US of A in the Caribbean. The home to hundreds to cruise ships, it is often overlooked by travellers heading to the Caribbean. This is possibly because it is stuck between greatness - better wildlife in Costa Rica, better beaches in Barbados, better culture in Cuba...Puerto Rico combines all of these attractions into a sizable island where you could spend over a week travelling.
This book is great if you go to Puerto Rico for more than a stop over. Most guides to Carribean Islands try to cover the whole region in one text - this is concentrated knowledge. The only criticism, as with all of this series, is the lack of pictures and maps - its all a bit too wordy to really help you make choices.
Having said that, its the only decent guide I could find to this island!!
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun to read before the trip; extremely helpful during it 28 Mar 2000
By Tina Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Randy Peffer's book inspired our family to tour the entire island, not limiting ourselves to a resort where we would be isolated from life on "la isla." With Peffer's advice, we selected paradores, inns, and small hotels on the coast, deep in the mountains, and in Ponce and Old San Juan. In every case, Peffer described the travel, accomodations, culture, recreation and dining options so well that we felt we had a personal introduction to each locale. With a sense of humor and great respect, Peffer prepared us for everything we encountered. His book encouraged us to appreciate and enjoy the differences of another culture. We would definetely have missed out on some great towns, night spots for music, snorkeling, restaurants, and local color without the guide. I would recommend Peffer's as the one must-have book to read when planning the trip as well as consulting daily when touring. By the end of our vacation we were referring to "Randy sez" as if he were in the car with us helping us get the most out of our trip.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very UNHAPPY with this book 3 May 2006
By Yume - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We just came back from a 10 day trip to Puerto Rico (04/21 - 05/01, 2006) and we have to COMPLETELY disagree with the previous review. In fact, we were thinking about burning this LP copy. Don't get us wrong, we own several copies of LP for China, Eucador, South America, Guatamala, and etc. But we have serious reservation about recommending this one to anyone else. Here are some of the reasons:

1. Several budget restarurants in Old San Juan no longer exist. They include St. Germain, Brenda's Cafe, and Los Amigos. It became very frustrating after going to several places and finding out 3/4 of them were closed.

2. The same happened in Ponce, but for hotels. Two out of three hotels listed on pg. 166 (center of Ponce, by the Plaza las Delicias) were not there - they simply don't exist.

3. Now, telephone numbers. we can't say that all of them in the guidebook are wrong, but the ones we called are either disconnected or a wrong number. This goes for the UA Cinema 150 in San Juan (pg. 105), which we found out at a Holiday Inn in Isla Verde that it was torn down a year ago. Or the Museo de Art Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico, which doesn't open on Monday, as the guidebook indicated - in fact, no museum in San Juan opens on Monday!

4. We can list more annoyances, like the lack of good maps for most of the cities described, or bad driving directions...

We are not saying that this book has no value, but when you finds enough inconsistencies and errors, you has to wonder what else is wrong, and more importantly, whether or not you can actually trust and rely on the guidebook. And in that respect, our answer is NO.

The take home message: carefully compare this book with another. If you do decide to buy this LP, always call the places ahead to see 1) if it still exist, and 2) if the number is correct.

On a side note, at one point during the trip, we thought that we would probably have had more luck with a coqui as our guide than using this guidebook! =)
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly accurate and reliable, with a few oddities 17 Mar 2006
By V. C. Wald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In general, this Lonely Planet "Puerto Rico" (there are more than one; this one is by Ginger Adams Otis) is overall reasonably accurate and up-to-date as of February 2006. There are a few oddities within, however:

One is the pronounciation of the word for chicken, pollo. As many times as I've been in Puerto Rico, I've never heard it pronounced PO-lyo, as indicated on page 67. It is PO-yo, or sometimes more like PO-djyo. I never heard any Puerto Rican pronounce the "l" sound in this word.

Second, some of the hotel classifications seemed to based on the hotel's self-classifications (or wishful thinking) more than anyone's actual experience. For example, although the author's description is reasonably accurate, on page 95, Otis lumps Hotel El Milano into the same midrange category as El Convento. El Convento is truly upscale, and always has been, both in accommodations and in price. El Milano is very firmly mid-scale in all dimensions.

Of course guides like this are very hard to keep up-to-date, especially in countries like Puerto Rico where businesses are easy-come-easy-go, and change owners constantly. We found big differences in restaurant qualities in several cases, and in others, eateries she recommends were dark and locked the whole time we were there. My advice is to check with your hotel concierge or call ahead rather than depending on any guidebook when making dining choices.

The author also exaggerates the wonders of the Ruta Panoramica and various state parks in the central mountains. Some of the reservas forestales were total junk yards with burned out auto hulks literally every 300 yards for miles on end, and loads of roadside litter (alas, typical of Puerto Rico.) This is not to say that a drive through the mountains of Puerto Rico is not a must-do, because it is, but just be prepared for a big dose of reality that the author choses not to mention. Lift your chin high and enjoy the flora and fauna (mainly roosters wandering all over the road, with the occasional paso fino horse, with a long-leggedy bareback rider on board) and the gorgeous views in the distance.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Travel Guide to the "Isle of Enchantment" 26 May 2000
By Luis Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Lonely Planet does it again! This time they have researched and presented a through and excellent travel guide to Puerto Rico. Everything from culture, to popular sayings are covered here. The series, which is well-known for covering off-the-beaten-track locales has done an excellent job of covering the rarely visited satellite islands of Vieques, Culebra, and Mona excellently. Mona was esepcially interesting to see seeing that it so hard to reach from even the main island. The only thing I found inaccurate in the book was the author's classification of Puerto Rican Spanish as "Boricua". The language is Spanish, but the dialect that is spoken on the island is also commonly heard throughout the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean Basin. It is know as Antillean Spanish. Boricua (derived from the indigenous name of the island, "Borinquen") is an affectionate term used by islanders to refer to one of their own (just in the same way native Floridians are known as "Crackers," and Northerners are known as "Yankees"). With that exception, this book is the best book on the market when traveling to this beautiful island. I also highly recommend the Insight Guide to Puerto Rico. A must have for every traveler!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than nothing 15 Sep 2006
By Deirdre M. Yambo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book 2 years ago for a trip to Puerto Rico. It was a bit outdated than. I traveled there again 9/2/06 to 9/11/06, this was my fifth time, so I have a bit more knowledge than the first timer. For the most part every bit of information about Rincon is inaccurate. Everything closes the week of labor day until around the end of October, so do not go there during those dates, you will have wasted your day. Well not everything is closed, Rincon proper is still open. And you can always watch the surfers at sandy beach or go snorkeling at steps beach (rent your gear at Taino Divers, they are still open). In fact there is a great coffee house that stays open,(better than starbucks and they have soy milk!) it is called Taino international cafe, try their frozen coffee drinks, they also have WiFi.

Prices have gone up for the camuy caves and the ferry ride to Gilligans Island, but only by a couple of bucks. There is a lot more traffic than the last time I went there, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time, otherwise you would have wasted a day in the car, when you could have been happier sitting at a beach. I stayed on the west coast, so I was traveling mostly going east, but from what I could tell the traffic was equally bad going west. I believe most travel guides say it takes 2 1/2 hours to travel from San Jaun to Rincon, bank on it taking ATLEAST 3 and perhaps up to 5. So leave very very early.

Anyway, I think this book is better than having no book, the directions are generally the same, some places do not exist anymore, but just call up before you venture out. Pretty much you will find a decent amount of people that speak English (especially in Rincon, where almost everybody is from the states, talk to them they have good stories, most of them went to Rincon for a vacation and stayed).
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