Visit and explore Costa Rica for an unforgettable adventure! This small country is known for its unique and diverse destinations, making the country a world leader in eco-tourism. It has incredible national parks and white sand beaches. Also, a jungle paradise with an abundance of wildlife and awe-inspiring volcanoes. You’ll find so many nature experiences and adventure activities. Whether you taste world-class coffee, hiking the cloud forest at Monteverde, or hit the best beaches, Costa Rica has something for every traveler. Costa Rica travel guide books are a great guide to help you plan to visit. In case you’re planning to explore Europe next or on your way from Costa Rica, check out our list of Best Italy Travel Guide Books and Best Poland Travel Guide Books after this!
How To Choose The Best Costa Rica Travel Guide Books?
Costa Rica has abundant choices of adventures and experiences to enjoy. With such an amount of things to do and places to visit, you may have many questions. That’s why the best travel guide book for Costa Rica becomes important. It aids travelers in exploring this exotic destination. You’ll find many guidebooks for Costa Rica out there. Below are things you should consider before getting one.
Printed Edition or Digital Version?
Both editions, printed and digital have their advantages and disadvantages. The printed edition may too thick and not very handy to carry while traveling. But, it has useful features, like the pull-out map. Meanwhile, the digital version is perfect for travel on the go. But, some features may be missing.
Most authors write Costa Rica travel guide books based on their experience. They also did extensive research. This way, they provide first-hand information and honest reviews for all travelers’ needs. If you need itineraries to explore Costa Rica, it’s best to buy a travel guide book from someone who has been living there permanently.
Unlike many other must-see places in the world, things don’t change too fast in Costa Rica. Most of the top sights have been around for a long time. But, choosing the best travel guide book for Costa Rica with the latest updated gives you reliable and useful information. It helps you to plan the most of your trip.
What is the best month to go to Costa Rica?
As a tropical and sub-tropical country, Costa Rica has an averages rainfall of around 100 inches per year. So, the dry season from mid-December to April is considered the best months to visit Costa Rica. It’s also the most popular and peak tourist season of the year.
Where should I stay in Costa Rica for the first time?
One of the best places in Costa Rica for first-time travelers is Manuel Antonio and San Jose. It’s also the most tourist-friendly destination in the country. There are plenty of services, such as ATMs, banks, car rentals, tour desks, and souvenir shops. For the LGBTQ community, we recommend staying at one of these top gay-friendly hotels in San Jose.
Which part of Costa Rica has the best beaches?
Costa Rica has plenty of beautiful beaches. The most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica are located in Guanacaste, the Nicoya Peninsula. The Puerto Viejo, Cahuita (the southern Caribbean) is another best one. Both regions offer warm tropical water and light sand.
Costa Rica Marco Polo Pocket Travel Guide
Are you looking forward to some adventures and explore the stunning scenery of Costa Rica? Or, visiting vibrant villages and watching exotic animal life? You can have them all with the help of the Costa Rica Marco Polo Pocket Travel Guide. The book offers everything you’ll need, from the best of sights, tailored tours, itineraries, to insider tips. Though it’s only available in paperback version, the book is pocket-sized, making it one of the handiest Costa Rica travel guide books.
In this book, top sights are organized by area. So, you can plan your itinerary easily. Whether you plan to visit the glorious tropical beaches of the Caribbean, the lush rainforests, or active volcanoes, it covers them all. Also, you’ll find the best things to do for free. Besides, the best things to do if it rains, best places to relax and spoil yourself, or best only in Costa Rica are also included.
Meanwhile, the tailored tours will get you to the heart of Costa Rica. You’ll love the road atlas and pull-out map, also full-color photos throughout the book. Other features in the book are useful Spanish phrases and Touring App. The free of charge app can be downloaded. So, you can use detailed route descriptions and maps offline.
Backpackers, adventurers, photographers, and hikers/trekkers.
Top 10 Costa Rica Itineraries
Top 10 Costa Rica Itineraries is written by Jennifer Turnbull and Matthew Houde, Americans who moved to Costa Rica in 2013. Not only have they been living in Costa Rica permanently, but they also explore the country for years. We recommend getting this easy-to-read guidebook to plan your adventure.
From the Table of Contents, you’ll see there are 10 insightful itineraries. They’re customized for different travelers and interests. From the best of Costa Rica, eco-trekking, family fun, wildlife, to beaches. It’s perfect whether you’re planning one week trip or a longer trip. Each itinerary has a great transportation guide. It includes cost, estimated time travel, even a short description of the road conditions. So, you can decide what mode of transportation you’re going to use for each.
Aside from itineraries, there’s an Activities Guide section. It provides additional information on the many activities. Business hours, information on tours (cost and duration), and website are among the info. It helps to plan your vacation quickly and efficiently. Get this guidebook both in paperback and Kindle for your next adventures.
Adventurers, hikers/climbers, family travelers, and nature lovers.
101 Amazing Things to Do in Costa Rica
Let 101 Amazing Things to Do in Costa Rica help you in preparing for your trip. It can be your best choice of Costa Rica travel guide books. The book gives you insights into the most amazing and spectacular to do around the country. Also, it provides more information on history, things to see, hidden gems, and shopping. All these are for your ultimate experience in Costa Rica.
Whether you’re visiting Monteverde, San Jose, Tamarindo, Tortuguero, and Liberia, you get to have the best possible trips with this book in hand. Planning to savor the indulgent slice of tres leches cake or try fresh ceviche from a beach shack? Or, visit the most happening festivals? You can go to a cowboy festival with live music and bullfighting. There’s a recommendation for these things in the book!
Also, the book provides cultural and historical insights you shouldn’t miss. These include the incredible archaeological site of Guayabo and the spectacular shows in the country’s National Theatre. What’s more, it includes the best places to make local friends, to catch some live music, and to shop for souvenirs.
The good-planner travelers, wildlife and nature lovers, chill-out and recharge retreaters.
Costa Rica Travel Guide Insiders
Do you love animals and nature? Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, despite its small size. You’ll discover pristine beaches, lush rainforests, dense mangrove swamps, and steaming volcanoes. These habitats support an incredible variety of wildlife. From tiny green frogs, loveable sloths, to macaws and toucans.
Costa Rica Travel Guide Insiders provides not only tourist information, but also cultural insights. It gives you a richer, more rewarding travel experience. You’ll also find plenty of information, like history, literature, architecture, pop culture, cuisine, festivals, and more. We recommend this book for travelers who want to explore every aspect of the country.
With highlight itineraries, you can customize your trip to your interests and budgets. It covers San Jose, Caribbean Coast, and Arenal & Northern Lowlands. Peninsula de Nicoya and Central Valley & Highlands are also included. There are sections about places to eat, sleep, shopping, and hidden gems for all budgets. Also, make the most of your trip to Costa Rica with insider tips. Unlike others Costa Rica travel guide books, this book was printed in black and white. However, if you prefer color photographs, you can opt for the e-book version.
Temporary and long term residents, backpackers, photographers, and adventurers.
Thrifty Traveler’s Guide to Costa Rica – A Perfect Journey for the Budget Traveler
Are you looking for the best travel guide book for Costa Rica for budget travelers? You should consider Thrifty Traveler’s Guide to Costa Rica – A Perfect Journey for the Budget Traveler. Your dream of visiting Costa Rica on a budget will come true! From the book, you’ll learn how to plan a great budget vacation while enjoying the best the country has to offer. Also, it provides a brief fascinating history of Costa Rica.
There are sections on the Spanish language. It provides crucial pronunciation plus common words and phrases. So, you could sound and act like a local for even better experiences. The author includes the best time to go and information on different seasons in Costa Rica. You’ll also find plenty of comprehensive tips: what to pack, the best ways to get around Costa Rica, and tips to save money.
This book provides the best destinations and sights. Do you prefer the best scuba sites? Or walking and hiking? How about going to the best beaches and get collections of waves? There’s also the best budget for accommodation. It includes hotels, budget motels/hostels, and Couchsurfing, plus a section about typical food and drinks in Costa Rica.
Backpackers, student travelers, and adventurers.
The Rough Guide to Costa Rica
Discover the diverse and compelling Costa Rica with The Rough Guide to Costa Rica. What makes this the best travel guide book for Costa Rica is how it’s well-written and researched by Rough Guides’ expert authors. It features much more info about Costa Rica’s history, landscape, and habitat. The book has six main chapters: How to Use, Introduction, Basics, The Guide, Context, and Maps & Small Print.
Get the most awe-inspiring scenery and most rewarding destinations in the introduction chapter. It provides information about Costa Rica, when to go, and author picks. The author also includes 23 things not to miss in this chapter. One of the things is enjoying the pristine white beaches in Islas Tortuga. Staying in an eco-lodge and experiencing the bird-eye view in Monteverde are among the others. You’ll also find several itineraries. From classic Costa Rica, wildlife watching, and outdoor activities.
The book covers all regions. It includes the capital city San Jose, the Valle Central and the highlands, and Guanacaste. Also, you’ll find all information you would need. From getting there, getting around, traveling with children, studying, and volunteering. Besides, up-to-date reviews of the best eco-lodges and hotels are provided. Plus, restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops for all budgets. For a richer experience, you can use some Spanish words from the glossary and maps.
Long-term travelers, photographers, outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and hikers.
Moon Costa Rica
If you need Costa Rica travel guide books that provide everything you need to know in one place, Moon Costa Rica is a good choice. The book provides flexible itineraries. So, you can customize your own. Whether it’s your first trip or your third, this book is good for you, as it suits every traveler’s needs. The 10 Top Experiences section shows what you can experience through colorful photos. You’ll also get background information on Costa Rica. History, landscape, and cultural customs are included.
The book has several chapters on area coverages. It includes Caribbean Coast, Southern Islands, and Central Pacific. These chapters allow you to have plenty of unique and authentic activities and sightseeing. Are you planning to hike the summit of Mount Chirripó, the highest point in Costa Rica? Would you prefer to soak in a volcanic mineral pool or explore a mysterious cave? Or, you want to take your family snorkeling with sea turtles in warm turquoise water? There’s also a section on top things to do in San Jose.
Get recommendations of restaurants, shopping, entertainment, events, and accommodations for any budget. Besides, you’ll find insights on how to experience Costa Rica like a local, including how to avoid crowds, respectfully engage with the culture, and support local and sustainable business. The book has parts about transportation, health and safety, and travel tips. What’s more, it includes a wildlife guide. There are sections about birds, marine life, and land mammals.
Family travelers, nature lovers, adventurers, beach-lovers, and backpackers.
Costa Rica: The Complete Guide
Costa Rica: The Complete Guide is very informative. The book may be quite heavy, but it’s easy to use and simple. Also, you can get in on Kindle as your on-the-go guide. James Kaiser, the author and travel photographer, has spent more than a decade exploring Costa Rica. Hence, the book is very recommended, especially for travelers visiting Costa Rica for its ecotourism. It features lots of information about Costa Rica’s nature, culture, people, and history.
No matter where in this country you’re traveling to, the book is your fantastic guidebook to Costa Rica. Are you planning to soar above the cloud forest on a Monteverde zip line? Watching sea turtles lay their eggs at Tortuguero or sun-soaked in the pristine beaches of the Caribbean Coast? Whichever it is, this book helps you plan the perfect Costa Rican adventures.
The destinations coverage includes Northern Mountains and San Jose & The Central Valley, plus Central Pacific, Nicoya Peninsula, The Caribbean, and more. Each destination comes with useful information.
Meanwhile, the best of Costa Rica sections provides the best sights. These are the best beaches, best wildlife destinations, and best waterfalls. Others included: best mountain destinations, best seaside villages, and best-uncrowded beaches. What we love most about the book is the detailed maps and hundreds of beautiful photos.
Adventurers, hikers/trekkers, nature lovers, party-goers, and photographers.
Fodor’s Essential Costa Rica
Planning a vacation to Costa Rica and need some help with your trip planning process? Fodor’s Essential Costa Rica newest edition gives you up-to-date information on each region. The book is here to help, whether you want to zip-line through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, surf in Manuel Antonio, or hike around Arenal Volcano. It’s is fully redesigned with an easy-to-read layout. Also, it’s packed with plenty of information, from itineraries, maps, and colorful photos.
To start planning your trip, you can check the Experience Costa Rica chapter. This section provides anything else you need. It includes 18 ultimate experiences, recommended best eco-lodges, restaurants, hotels, and nightlife. Plus, there are sections about Costa Rica’s history and culture. Besides, it provides useful words and phrases in Spanish. It helps you understand and interact with the locals more easily.
The coverage includes San Jose, The Central Valley, Guanacaste, The Nicoya Peninsula, Tortuguero & The Caribbean Coast, and more. To get you inspired, it also includes illustrated experiences. The curated itineraries help you organize your days effectively. Meanwhile, there are practical tips, such as when to go and getting around. What’s more, more than 30 detailed maps and a free-pull-out map help you navigate the country.
Family travelers, surfers, adventurers, couples, and hikers.
Frommer’s Costa Rica
Preparing for a trip to a new place can be overwhelming and confusing. That’s where Frommer’s Costa Rica comes into play! Nicholas Gill, the seasoned journalist offers advice on how to explore the country smartly. It features updated and provides much more info on tourism in Costa Rica, making it the best travel guide book for Costa Rica. Also, there’s plenty of information about the different areas in the country. These are San Jose, Guanacaste, Puntarenas & The Nicoya Peninsula, and much more.
You’ll also like the suggested adventure itinerary from the book. It helps to make your great own itineraries. Whether you plan to windsurf on Lake Arenal, white water rafting, or hike to the waterfall, the book has your back. The book provides some of the best of Costa Rica, like the best authentic experiences, best family destinations, best outdoor adventures, best beaches, and best day hikes & nature walks. It also includes the best hotels and eco-lodges & wilderness resorts suitable for any travelers.
You’ll find great insight into the history and culture of Costa Rica. Get the best advice and tips on where to stay, getting around, food and drinks, tips on shopping, and when to go. Even there’s a section about relocating to Costa Rica. The Spanish terms and phrases will definitely help you interact with the locals. We love the beautiful photos in the book, especially in the long section on Costa Rican wildlife. Also, the fold-out map in the back! Not only printed, but the book is also available on Kindle.
Backpackers, adventures, family travelers, long-term travelers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
National Geographic Traveler Costa Rica 5th Edition
For travelers looking for Costa Rica travel guide books, we recommend getting National Geographic Traveler Costa Rica 5th Edition. It offers thorough and up-to-date information with excellent photographs and maps. This dazzling guidebook is written by Christopher P. Baker. He’s a travel writer, photographer, and tour leader for the National Geographic Traveler series. Although there’s no digital version for this latest edition, it’s available in a printed edition.
The book covers all the regions, cities, and towns of Costa Rica. You’ll find travel tips for San Jose, Guanacaste, and Nicoya are fully revised and updated for this latest edition. Whether you enjoy the vibrant San Jose or the pristine beaches of Guanacaste, it covers all. Plus, the book outlines detailed city walks and regional drives with complete maps.
The book also provides insider tips and expert advice about hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and not to be missed activities. How to rent a car, what to take, and the best time to visit are also included. You’ll find suggested itineraries, either you’re visiting for a week or more. Besides, it features geography, history, and culture. It promises you a more authentic and rich experience.
Wildlife enthusiasts, adventurers, photographers, and backpackers.
DK Eyewitness Costa Rica
If you’re looking for the best travel guide book for Costa Rica that focuses on culture and adventures, DK Eyewitness Costa Rica is a great choice. It offers many different sights of Costa Rica’s natural beauty, from ruins of ancient churches, volcanoes, jungles, seashore, and wild animals. It also includes cultural events and different focus parts. These include native crafts, what photographers take pictures of, and what food lovers eat. Get inspired from the beautiful pictures in the section of The Reasons to Love Costa Rica!
This thorough book also provides tons of great information and tidbits to help you plan your future trip. Plus, it helps you navigate around Costa Rica. It features Costa Rica’s top experiences, must-sees, and hidden gems. It covers San Jose, Southern Zone, the Caribbean, and the Northern Zone. Central Highlands, Central Pacific and Southern Nicoya, and Guanacaste and Northern Nicoya are also included. Besides, you can find info on recommended spots to stay, eat, drink, and shop.
There are easy-to-follow itineraries to help you decide the best way for you to experience all you want. We appreciate the expert advice on how to get ready, get around, and stay safe. What’s more, the detailed maps are really helpful to explore the country. Unlike most travel guidebooks, it’s small and compact, making it easy to carry while traveling. But, you can also get the book in Kindle if you prefer a digital version.
Photographers, food-lovers, city-slicker travelers, adventurers, and backpackers.
Lonely Planet Costa Rica
Lonely Planet Costa Rica 14th edition is the latest and the most updated Lonely Planet’s Costa Rica travel guide book. It’s a great book to learn about Costa Rica and to use for planning your travel. With clear descriptions and accurate information, you’ll feel like having a tour guide with you. The highlights itineraries section helps you tailor your trip to your personal interests. Get the insider tips, like avoiding crowds and trouble spots or getting around like a local. Before publishing, Lonely Planet checked all businesses to ensure they’re still open after 2020’s Covid-19 outbreak.
The book is well organized by the regions. It covers Central Valley, Highlands, Northern Lowlands, San Jose, Peninsula de Osa, and more. It helps travelers get to the heart of Costa Rica and begin their journey, whether it’s visiting a beach yoga retreat in the Caribbean Coast or canoeing through thick jungle in Parque Nacional Tortuguero. Moreover, there are cultural insights for more travel experiences. Landscape, people, cuisine, wildlife, and politics are among the others.
Each region has subsections with some recommended things. Activities, places to sleep, eat and drinks, shop, and nightlife for all budgets are some of them. The book provides the newest features, like accommodation and a pull-out ‘Just Landed’ card. It contains information about ATMs and transportation for your journey from the airport to the hotel. Besides, there are improved planning tools for family travelers. It gives you info about where to go, fun stuff for kids only, and how to save money. Like other Lonely Planet’s Costa Rica travel guide books, it also includes maps and beautiful photos.
Backpackers, yoga travelers, adventurers, temporary residents, and family.