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Costa Rica
Book Categories
guidebooks
field guides
birding
language/phrasebooks
leisure/fiction
natural history
adventure
coffee table/picture
retirement
e-books

Recommended
Collections for
Naturalists/Scientist
Budget Backpackers
Tour & Resort Vacations
Adventure Seekers
Free

 

 

Costa Rica Books
GoTo>All the books in Alphabetical Order

Over the past eleven years we've read hundreds of books about Costa Rica. The best are described, recommended and categorized here in the book shop. All of the books are available through Amazon, most through Barnes&Noble, and if we've found a lower price elsewhere we'll tell you about that too.


COLLECTIONS

If you're in a hurry, see the collections that include everything you'll need for your travels in Costa Rica: a guidebook, map, Spanish phrasebook, and suggested leisure reading from fiction to essays about the rainforest.

:: Scientists/Naturalists
:: Budget Backpackers
:: Travelers on a Tour
:: Adventure Seekers
:: Free


CATEGORIES

Browse the brief descriptions on this page, or jump to:

:: Guidebooks
:: Field and wildlife guides
:: Birding
:: Spanish phrase books
:: Leisure reading
:: Fiction
:: Natural history
:: Retirement
:: Adventure
:: Coffee table picture books
:: e-books

 

Each book comes with a recommendation of zero to five toucans, for example, three and a half toucans would be a recommended book, four highly recommended, and five... don't leave for Costa Rica without it.

Nearly all the books have ratings higher than three toucans. We didn't over-rate every book we simply chose to be positive and include only the best available choices. There are a few exceptions when we've warned you away from a particularly bad book.

 

 


Costa Rica Guidebooks
A guidebook is a necessity for independent travel, fun to have when you're on a group tour, and the wrong one can literally leave you out in cold. After bicycling thousands of miles in Costa Rica we've come to respect all aspects of guides, from how fast it can get you out of the rain and into a comfortable room with a beautiful view to how good the bocas are at the bars it recommends.

Strengths and weaknesses of the best three Costa Rica guidebooks

Side-by-side comparison of the three best Costa Rica guidebooks

 


 

Field Guides to the Birds and Wildlife of Costa Rica
Most travelers to Costa Rica are interested in the ecology and while it's no substitute for a good human guide, a good field guide will help you discover the natural wonders of Costa Rica.

Recommended Field guides to birds, wildlife, insects and botany in Costa Rica.

Natural history books for the naturalist and scientist.

 


 

Spanish Language & Phrase books for Costa Rica Travel
In suburban areas some English is spoken, and Costa Rica has a diverse European population, but some rudimentary Spanish is very handy. Your two semesters in high school will probably serve just fine, but these books specialize in some of the usages and words peculiar to Costa Rica.

Tico Spanish Phrasebooks

Audio Language courses (compact disc or tape)

Costa Rica
Book Categories
guidebooks
field guides
birding
language/phrasebooks
leisure/fiction
natural history
adventure
coffee table/picture
retirement
e-books

Recommended
Collections for
Naturalists/Scientist
Budget Backpackers
Tour & Resort Vacations
Adventure Seekers
Free

 

 

 

Leisure Reading
It's fun to read a short fiction piece or a well written essay about the country you're traveling through, but these books are hard to come by in English. If you are fluent in Spanish, just stop at la librería for a wide selection. If not try these

Costa Rican fiction

General Non-fiction

Books for the naturalist and scientist

 


 

Natural History
Daniel Janzen says in his introduction to Costa Rican Natural History "I shudder to think that book might become a definitive statement about Costa Rican natural history. It is neither that nor a thorough review on the literature on the subject." Fortunately, as editor, he created the de facto "Bible of Costa RIcan Natural History" anyway.

Costa Rica Natural History

Armchair Natural History (less scientific, more casual)

 


 

e-books
Although most are not technically "e-books", there are a limited number of publications about Costa Rica available in digital formats. Many are free or relatively inexpensive.

Digital book format resources

Free digital resources


Maps
Maps are usually found on a rack right next to the books...So here they are

Maps of Costa Rica


Page Summary

Books about Costa Rica for travel or your library. Grouped in categories including guidebooks, field guides, & phrase books, or recommended according to the type of travel you are planning in Costa RIca (e.g. beach resorts & nature cruises, surfing & thrill seeking or budget backpacking & camping).


 

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