Costa Rica: The Complete Guide – Book Review
Whether you are currently planning a trip to Costa Rica or it’s on your someday list, you will love reading the latest travel guide written by James Kaiser. James is a writer and photographer of exceptional talent and his new guide book brings Pura Vida (the pure life) into sharp focus.
Rarely does a guide book author capture the true essence of a destination and share it with readers with unabashed enthusiasm and candor. I have become a big fan of James Kaiser and his series of The Complete Guide publications. Having become a devote of Author Frommer in the 70’s and Rick Steves in the 90’s, I have now added James Kaiser to my list of favorite travel authors. His publications take readers on insightful journeys through some of the world’s most treasured ecological areas; Acadia National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park and now Costa Rica.
If like me, you can’t wait to flip through the pages of a travel guide as soon as you get your hands on it, you will be delighted by the vibrant photo essays by James. These are the types of shots we all try for, images that capture movement, color and culture. You know, the ones that start us hankering to book our plane ticket right now.
James Kaiser has spent the last 6 years living in Costa Rica and researching this guide, so he is able to share his reflections and impressions as a traveler from the US. Right away he delineates between Costa Rica’s perennial tour favorites (that have become quite crowded and overly developed) and suggests nearby “New Highlights” that every traveler should experience. The guide will walk you through practical matters, thrilling adventures, local cultures, culinary opportunities, wildlife encounters and more. His “Best of” lists include beaches, uncrowded beaches, wildlife destinations, waterfalls, seaside villages and mountain destinations.
I found his candid discussion of cultural differences to be entertaining and essential for every traveler to Costa Rica. Tips on maneuvering through a country that has few road signs – no street names or house numbers, is an example of key info that will save travelers lots of angst. Or, James recommends that it’s essential not to ask questions with a yes or no answer, because not wanting to let you down, the respondent will always answer YES! Is the bank down this way? YES….hmm, forewarned is forearmed. His rundown of common local words and phrases is priceless as well.
After you’re properly introduced to the cultures, history and idiosyncrasies of Costa Rica, it’s time to dive into descriptions of regions, towns, villages and activities – all highlighted by dramatic photography. Whether you’re looking to zip through a rainforest, surf the Pacific coast, snap a shot of a brilliantly colored tree frog, or roast some coffee beans, you’ll find that James has covered it all.
Costa Rica, The Complete Guide – Eco-Adventures In Paradise has just been published by Destination Press, so you should be able to easily locate it at your favorite book seller.