Reading level: Everyone
Size: 620 pages
Publisher: Fodor’s; Pap/Map edition
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC through Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This is a great book with a lot of wonderful information on Costa Rica. Most of the information is focused on eco-tourism and adventure travel; although there are some pointers for family travel as well they are infrequent.
My family and I were considering taking a trip to Costa Rica this spring so I was very excited to be offered this book through the Amazon Vine program. The book comes with a very nice full size map that is easily removed from the book. The first section of the book does an excellent overview of the region and suggests some iteneraries for various lenghts of stays.
The second chapter focuses on the biodiversity of the region and tells what you can expect when visiting rain forests, volcanoes, cloud forests, dry forests, wetlands, and shoreline areas. After that the book is broken down by region. There are chapters focusing on: San Jose’, the Central Valley, the Northern Plains, the North Pacific, the Central Pacific, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean. The chapters start out with a map and then talk about the top things to see in that region. This is followed by more detailed information by city on where to stay, eat, etc (normal travel guide stuff).
Overall it is a very informative travel guide with nice pictures and a lot of great information. The only thing I noticed is that this book is pretty focused on eco-tourism and adventure travel. There is a little information here and there about traveling with kids, but it is definitely not the focus of the book. I think I tagged maybe three or four places in the book where there were mentions of good activities to do with kids.
There are also a number of comments throughout that hint that you have to be cautious traveling to Costa Rica and also many mentions of how few short hikes there are (most are all day activities). This, combined with the lack of things to do with small children, made us decide to hold off for a few years until my son is older for this trip (he is five now and many of the activities mentioned required an age of 8 or older). I think when we do plan our trip to Costa Rica we will find this book useful, but we will also have to get a more family focused guide that helps us find activities the whole family will enjoy. If my husband and I were going by ourselves this would be an excellent guide.
In general this is an excellent guide; but if you are traveling with children I would supplement it with something more family friendly as well.