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In This Chapter
* Scoping out Costa Rica's top accommodations
* Finding the finest restaurants
* Exploring the best beaches, adventures, and attractions
For such a small country, Costa Rica is a rich and varied destination. You can visit rain forests, cloud forests, and active volcanoes. You can walk along miles of beautiful beaches on either the Pacific or the Caribbean coast. And, you can stay at luxurious large resorts or romantic boutique getaways.
Adventure hounds will have their fill choosing from an exciting array of activities, and those just looking for some rest and relaxation can grab a chaise lounge and a good book.
This chapter is designed as an at-a-glance reference to the absolute "best of the best" that Costa Rica has to offer. These attractions are highlighted by - what else - a Best of the Best icon when they appear elsewhere in this book.
The Best High-End Hotels and Luxury Resorts
As recently as five years ago, finding anything to fit in this category was difficult. Not any longer. Costa Rica now boasts quite a few top-notch luxury properties ranging from isolated and unique boutique hotels to large beach resorts. The following are the best of the best:
The Best Accommodations Values
Not looking to spend a fortune? No problem. Costa Rica is chock-full of excellent hotel and lodging values. Get the most for your accommodations dollar by booking into one of these fine establishments:
The Best Ecolodges
Costa Rica is a major ecotourism destination, and you'll find a wealth of wonderfully run ecolodges and nature resorts. Some of them, including several listed here, make a strong case for being listed among the top luxury hotels in the country.
The Best Restaurants
Although Costa Rica is not known for its fine food, you'll have no trouble dining well. The following restaurants run the gamut in terms of cuisine and ambience, from local fresh seafood served on plastic lawn chairs set in the sand to top-notch Pacific-Rim fusion served in an elegant and refined setting. If your travels take you near any of these, don't pass up the chance for a meal:
The Best Beaches
With more than 1,200km (750 miles) of shoreline on its Pacific and Caribbean coasts, Costa Rica offers beachgoers an embarrassment of riches.
Excerpted from Costa Rica For Dummies by Eliot Greenspan Excerpted by permission.
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Part I: Introducing Costa Rica 7
Chapter 1: Discovering the Best of Costa Rica 9
Chapter 2: Digging Deeper into Costa Rica 19
Chapter 3: Deciding Where and When to Go 27
Chapter 4: Following an Itinerary: Five Great Options 36
Part II: Planning Your Trip to Costa Rica 47
Chapter 5: Managing Your Money 49
Chapter 6: Getting to Costa Rica 60
Chapter 7: Getting Around Costa Rica 66
Chapter 8: Booking Your Accommodations 71
Chapter 9: Catering to Special Travel Needs or Interests 77
Chapter 10: Taking Care of the Remaining Details 83
Part III: San José and the Central Valley 93
Chapter 11: Settling into San José 95
Chapter 12: Exploring San José 124
Part IV: Guanacaste and Environs 149
Chapter 13: Going for Gold in Guanacaste 151
Chapter 14: Exploring Guanacaste 173
Part V: Manuel Antonio and Environs 185
Chapter 15: Enjoying Magnificent Manuel Antonio 187
Chapter 16: Living the Lush Life on the Central Pacific Coast 208
Part VI: Monteverde and Environs 237
Chapter 17: Visiting the Cloud Forests of Monteverde 239
Chapter 18: La Fortuna and the Arenal Area 259
Part VII: Touring the Rest of Costa Rica 281
Chapter 19: Seeking Solitude in Southern Nicoya 283
Chapter 20: Exploring Southern Costa Rica 301
Chapter 21: Chilling on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast 326
Part VIII: The Part of Tens 355
Chapter 22: Ten Myths about Costa Rica 357
Chapter 23: Ten Costa Rican Moments 360
Appendix: Quick Concierge 363
Posted April 8, 2010
Easy to use - The book is divided by area and information for each area is presented in a set format so we knew right where to look for specific information as we traveled across country.
Accurate information - We found the tips on where to stay, eat, and shop very helpful. Activities information was up to date and more extensive than could be provided by hotel staff.
We appreciated the additional general information about traveling in Costa Rica - re: money, innoculations, tipping, etc.
I would recommend this book and a trip to Costa Rica.
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Posted September 23, 2014
This has been the best book so far. Very, very helpful to plan a trip to Costa Rica. It was the most in depth of descriptions of attractions, transportation, etc. I was truly impressed that it answered almost every question I had. The layout was logical, and most of all easy to read. Transportation from Liberia was missing often. If you fly into San Juan its all there. Don't waste your money on the National Geographic travel guide.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.