I couldn't have done any travel in South America without it.
The hardcover makes very little difference to weight whilst protecting the book (needed when in/out of your bag all the time!) Very thorough, although sometimes a little too in-depth regarding the historical facts of towns/cities. The hostel guide is fairly accurate but sometimes it's worth double-checking online for reviews like hostelbookers.com etc as you should never rely on a single source for info when in a foreign place. Things like 'practical information' is pretty up to date, but did find even for a 2012 booked saying facts like: 'No ATM in town' when in fact there was one, not helpful. There you go.
Overall a great book and i rate better than Lonely Planet which seems to be geared towards slightly naive-minded travellers & graduates. Just my opinion. If you're going to South America, buy it, you won't regret it.
Purchased for 1p plus postage so a big bargain and you cannot tell the difference between this edition and the latest one. I thought that e mail addresses would not feature in the 2012 edition but they do and seem to be up to date. Looking forward to using the guide on our Saga Cruise around South America next year.
Carrying on the good form of the last few years, this updated Footprints guide is a must-have for the independent traveller. While the prose may not be as enlightening or entertaining as some of its rivals, its up-to-date listings for accommodation, transport and useful contacts is perfect for when you're left without internet. Well worth the investment!
Never will I ever be using Footprint guides again. I made the mistake of purchaisng the South American handbook in favour of Loneley Planet's South America on a Shoestring based on the strength of the reviews I read on Amazon. I have given it 2 stars because the restaurant recommendations are good for smaller towns and villages (NOT cities -I got the feeling that the author didn't bother eating at any of the places which featured in the listings, choosing to recommend any old place only because he had to). The other star goes for mentioning which hostels/hotels have parking -a godsend for anyone travelling by motorcycle/car (which I was). No other comprehensive guidebook features this information.However, I had to borrow other travellers' Lonely Planet guides if I wanted to extract any useful information on places... There was hardly any background/historical information on cities/sites etc, bus schedules were erroneous and the hostel recommendations were a lot worse than the recommendations you find on [...] or [...] (I ended up just using the aforementioned websites as the book was useless). This guide is completely unbiased, so places are presented to you with little to no descriptive clues... So if time is of the essence (which it always is when you're on the road -even if you're travelling for 6 months +) you have absolutely no pointers on what places are worth visiting. I ended up wasting *A LOT* of time visiting places that are not on the tourist circuit...for very good reason... Sometimes you just want people to cut to the chase and give it to you as it is. For this, I found borrowing other peoples' Lonely Planet guides invaluable... The Footprint guide has the strange ability to make wading through broken glass in 50 degree heat sound as appealing as taking the cable car up to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro... Needless to say I will NOT be purchasing a Footprint guide for my next backpacking trip. What a dead weight it was to lug around. In fact, after finding a motorcyclists' website where hostels with parking lots were featured, I threw the guide away thus was its usefulness...