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"The Lovely Bones" Photo: Saoirse Ronan

Costa Rica is Central America's most popular destination by far. It's safe, reasonably priced, and hands-down one of the most beautiful countries on earth. And there's so much to do: simmering in volcanic hot springs, enjoying the many Costa Rica beaches, shopping in San Jose, sipping fresh coffee, hiking in Costa Rica national parks. Here's a selection of Costa Rica guidebooks to help you decide where to go and what to see on your Costa Rica vacation.

1. Moon Costa Rica

Moon Costa Rica is an updated, comprehensively researched guide to Costa Rica travel. If you're considering joining the many thousands of happy ex-pats who've made Costa Rica their home, check out Moon Living Abroad in Costa Rica.

"Award-winning travel writer Christopher P. Baker shows travelers the way to the best of Costa Rica—whether it's surfing the beaches of Golfo Dulce, hiking in Corcovado National Park, or dining in the upscale Escazu barrio in San Jose… Complete with details on the best beaches for surfing and a variety of opportunities to get outdoors, Moon Costa Rica gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience."More »

2. Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Calling itself "a travelogue with a guidebook twist", Two Weeks in Costa Rica is a unique, immersive guidebook choice for prospective Costa Rica travelers.

"In a style that is part narrative, part guidebook, these seasoned travelers bring us along as they trek through lush jungle, brave the local bus, and explore far-off towns… But this book isn’t just another travel story. Through their journey, Matt and Jenn learn that life is about more than the daily grind and discover what it means to live pura vida."More »

3. DK Eyewitness Costa Rica

DK Eyewitness Costa Rica is an attractive Costa Rica guidebook filled with all kinds of helpful visual delights, like full-color maps and 3D city models.

"Perfect for novice or seasoned travelers, Eyewitness Costa Rica is packed with illustrations and photographs — as well as full-color maps, 3-D models, and comprehensive hotel and restaurant listings. New in this edition is a fifty-two-page field guide to Costa Rica's fascinating and varied wildlife and habitats, providing detailed information on local species, national parks and preserves, plus practical tips on how to plan your trip and photograph wildlife."More »

4. Fodor's Costa Rica Travel Guide

Costa Rica looks great in color, and Fodor's Costa Rica Travel Guide is a full-color, illustrated travel guide updated yearly.

"In full-color and with helpful magazine-style illustrated features, Fodor’s Costa Rica shows off the splendor of country’s stunning natural landscapes and its varied flora and fauna like no other guide… Fodor’s Costa Rica 2013 has 54 newly updated maps and over 250 color photos."More »

5. Lonely Planet Costa Rica

Lonely Planet's 10th edition of its Costa Rica guidebook is a great choice for budget-minded travelers, from mid-range to backpackers.

"Nobody knows Costa Rica like Lonely Planet, and our 9th edition helps you build the perfect itinerary. Whether that's whitewater rafting down the Rio Reventazon, sunbathing in laid-back Montezuma, quetzal-spotting in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, or swaying to reggaeton at an open-air bar in Cahuita - you decide."More »

6. Frommer's Costa Rica

Frommer's Costa Rica 2013 is another full-color, ultra up-to-date guidebook to the popular Central America country, and includes a free foldout map. Also check out Frommer's Costa Rica Day by Day.

"With Frommer's in hand, you'll experience the wonder of Costa Rica's amazing biodiversity, as we point out the best places to see hundreds of unique, colorful species of animals and plants. Completely updated every year, Frommer's Costa Rica features gorgeous color photos of the lush rainforest and the spectacular beaches that await you."More »

7. The Rough Guide to Costa Rica

Rough Guides is always a fantastic travel guide choice for budget travelers and backpackers.

"Find detailed practical advice on what to see and do throughout Costa Rica, whether you want to go turtle-watching in Tortuguero or surfing in Santa Teresa. Plus, you can rely on up-to-date descriptions of the best hotels, eco-lodges, restaurants and cafes for all budgets. The guide also includes a full-colour section highlighting some of the country's amazing outdoor activities, with an engaging field guide to its abundant wildlife."More »

8. Costa Rica for Dummies

The "For Dummies" company produces books on almost everything: why not Costa Rica travel? Experienced guidebook author Eliot Greenspan's expert knowledge ensures even the brightest travelers will appreciate this book.

"Personally researched by a longtime resident, Costa Rica For Dummies covers all the highlights of this fast-changing country, with recommended accommodations in every price category."More »

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