Our new book, Top 10 Costa Rica Itineraries, just hit the virtual shelves and a paperback version will be coming soon. We are beyond excited and have been waiting for this moment since we began researching and writing almost a year and a half ago. For those planning a visit to Costa Rica, we hope it will be a great resource and make trip planning fast and easy. In this post, we’ll tell you a little bit about the book and give you a behind-the-scenes look at how it came about.
How It All Started
It wasn’t our original intention to become travel planners, or to write a guidebook, but shortly after moving to Costa Rica in July 2013, people began to contact us through our website for help.
Luckily, before moving, we had already vacationed in many of Costa Rica’s top destinations and knew quite a bit about the country. But to add to our knowledge base, after making the move, we immediately started traveling all around Costa Rica. We ended up living in eight towns in 16 months. We didn’t come to Costa Rica intending to be so nomadic, but somehow stumbled across house sitting right before we moved and nothing has been the same since.
Since that first house sit in the Southern Zone, we’ve had five others, along with a couple of rentals, which have brought us to all different parts of the country. By staying for a month or more at a time, we’ve been able to really get to know each area, exploring hidden beaches and secret waterfalls, all while getting the local’s perspective. We found ourselves taking copious notes, photos, and video of just about everything we did. Even a simple trip to the beach or a hike in a national park included a notebook, pen, and armfuls of camera equipment. As we learned more and more about the country, the idea to put it all together into a book just made sense.
About the Book
Costa Rica attracts many different kinds of travelers, but after over a year of helping people with trip planning, we’ve discovered many similarities. From the hundreds of emails we’ve gotten and dozens of itineraries we’ve designed, we’ve seen a lot of recurring questions:
What destinations are the best for … families, seeing wildlife, beaches, etc.?
What are the best things to see and do? Do you have any local secrets to share?
Should I go to X town first or should I start my trip in Y? I don’t want to backtrack. What order makes the most sense?
What’s the best way to get around? Are the roads to Z really that bad?
These commonly asked questions became the framework for Top 10 Costa Rica Itineraries. Through any one of the ten, easy-to-follow itineraries, you can get all the answers and plan your entire trip.
Our main goal for the book was to keep things simple. We know how overwhelmed people can get while planning. Although guidebooks usually have tons of valuable information within their 500-plus pages, finding what you need can be daunting. To make it easy, we get right to the point. We provide the best order for each itinerary, pairing destinations that make sense, and include a simple map to show where you’ll be visiting. We then give an overview of each destination, its layout and available amenities, so that you know what to expect.
Once you know where you’re going, we tell you what to do. We highlight the must-see activity in each destination and give you a robust list of other activities unique to the area. We also incorporate many local insights and tips to give you an insider’s perspective. To further ease the process, more information about activities is provided in an Activities Guide at the end of the book. Here, you’ll find detailed information like hours, prices, website links, etc.
Similar to the Activities Guide, each itinerary links to a Transportation Guide. This guide will really help with your transportation questions. It gives the main transportation options that most people visiting Costa Rica use (rental car, shuttle van, and small plane), and gives you the information you need to decide which is right for you. Estimated drive times, general road conditions, costs, and trip times are all provided. Importantly, we also give you some essential tips, like when a 4×4 vehicle is required or if you’re better off taking a small plane because a destination is more remote.
We’re Here to Help
Hopefully you’ll be able to plan your dream vacation to Costa Rica with one of the itineraries in the book, and all you’ll have left to do is arrange hotels and transportation. If you do end up having a question or two as you plan, we’re here to help. Unlike those big guidebook companies, our full-time job is our website and helping people like you plan their vacations.
To make it easy, we’ve set up a Forum. Whether you’re just looking for a hotel recommendation or need more detail about something in the book, just ask a question in our Forum and we’ll get back to you right away. We’re also adding hotel recommendations to many of our Destination articles and have even teamed up with a car rental company to get a special discount for our readers (Click here to learn more.).
In the future, we’ll bring you even more resources, but for now, we’re heading to the beach. With all this writing, we’ve lost our tan. Don’t worry though, we’ll bring our notebook and camera along too.
We hope you enjoy the book! Leave us a comment below, or better yet, post your review of the book on Amazon to help spread the word.