18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2010
After reading a bunch of reviews, I noticed that all the reviews were written before April 2010. Well, this is a page for the new April 2010 edition.
Why doesn't Amazon account for this??
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2011
I have purchased about eight Lonely Planet books, and this one is probably the weakest. Maps and info sometimes wrong, info unclear, prices way off (used it just months after reprint date) leading me to assume some of this info is many years old, etc. Some of the accomodation recommendations were just outright awful, particularly in Canao Quebrada in Brazil. i would recommend the Footprints book over this one. However, here are the LP pluses. I did make a few awesome boxed recommendations, namely Astrid y Gaston restaurant in Peru and Sete Cidades in Brazil. If you get this book, I would just recommend getting Footprints or another to completment.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
I just got back home this morning from spending 3 weeks in South America. All I can say is that this book was great for referencing things to do in different places, but the prices were off about a third of the time, and I wish it had more information about how to get to places. Luckily I knew enough Spanish to get around and double check with the locals. As far as the food goes, I'd say the recommendations are pretty good, having tried at least one place in each major city visited (applies only to Colombia and Peru), but don't forget to check with locals for good local authentic and cheaper food, so that you don't have to pay tourist prices for the food. The hostel recommendations were good; my only gripe is that they were almost always more than what the book said (perhaps they raised their prices after being published due to increased demand?) Overall a useful book, although a bit heavy to carry. If you're only going to 1 or 2 countries like me, just get the country book. If you're doing a multi country trip over many months as most of the backpackers I met were doing, this book is great to cover many things, but perhaps try buying the .pdf version too! Trust me, the weight off your back will be wonderful when you're on the road. :)
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2011
Sent this email to Lonely Planet (and never got any response):
I recently bought the Kindle edition of South America on a Shoestring and I have some complaints about this book.
Besides the fact that a lot of information was inaccurate (I will submit this separately), I believe the Kindle edition was too hard to use (and in many cases unusable) for the following reasons:
1) The maps in the Kindle edition are HORRIBLE. The maps are cut up in various pieces (because they otherwise would not fit the screen) but this also means that the legends are randomly cut up as well and are mostly impossible to use. LP should have redesigned the maps for the Kindle but since it hasn't done this I found the maps useless. In some cases the cut up maps were scattered throughout a chapter making it impossible to easily navigate between them.
2) The navigation options are extremely limited and frustrating to use. "Table of Contents" always goes back to the main table and there is no option to go to a TOC of the current chapter/country. There should be a lot more links inside a chapter to navigate quickly to other pages in the chapter, e.g.: you could have a link on each page to the country TOC + a link to the map section.
3) Bookmarks are useless: since a Kindle bookmark only shows a limited amount of text + a location number, it is impossible to know which bookmarks is for which chapter or country. I understand this is a Kindle limitation but something that LP should try to address with Amazon.
All in all I found the Shoestring Kindle book very hard to use and very limited compared to a real book. Since it costs about the same I feel I overpaid and in retrospect feel that I shouldn't have bought this book at all.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
Overall, I found the basic information in this book to be useful and accurate (I purchased the 2010 edition). However, I felt the book really played up the negative aspects of all of the countries in South America. I planned on spending at least a month of my sabbatical in South America, but ended up changing my plans before I went because of this book. I ran into another traveler from the US on my trip who had the same book and asked him what he thought about the book. His response was, 'I feel like I am lucky to be alive and have made it this far because of all the warnings in this book'. I told him I wholeheartedly agreed.
Now, don't get me wrong, it is good to know the negatives of all of the places you will visit! I want to know that I shouldn't take unmarked cabs and that the border patrol is very likely going to steal everything of value from my luggage. However, the warnings in this book had me paranoid and quite frankly, afraid. I would say that I am a well traveled person and live in a large city, so maybe this book wasn't meant for me. Based on the title of the book, it might be more appropriate for people who have never traveled before, backpackers. If you are a fairly confident, well versed traveler, I would consider another book. If this is your first time traveling anywhere, this might be the book for you. I am sure that all of the stories in the book have happened, luckily, I didn't experience any of them.
Incidentally, I can't wait to go back to South America, but I will be using a different book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2012
I'm using this book now. I have found it really frustrating. The information seems about four or five years old. Seriously out of date. Lonely Planet is very popular and so you will be competing with many many other travelers for the very limited selection of hotels.
Notice the phrase, ¨On a shoestring¨ HA! Over and over it recommends mid to high range. Over and over it tells you, go with the most expensive. Or ask around. Well, many travel agents, hotels once they make it in, jack up their rates.
Most annoying, many of the recommendations are closed. And have been closed for years.
I wish I had taken Rough Guide. Lonely Planet is usually better on maps but this time many of the maps are off and travel times and agencies. Here they are often missing. For instance: in Cusco the book fails to note that almost all the bus service south to Puno and La Paz starts at night. I found one company, Libertad, during the day. Cheap but sooooooo slow that I missed the border closing time, had to take another hotel. Then I could not get the cheaper US visa at Puno because the buses to La Paz, tourist buses that will actually leave on time, leave at 7 30 and 8 am, before the Bolivian Consulate opens.
Rough Guide has problems with the maps too. And they are not as up to date as I would like. But the information, the sites (LP gives a very truncated version of what to see with recommendations to ¨hire a guide'over and over again) where Rough Guide gives more city recomendations, and much better background information.
So, until they update, go with Rough Guide.
Oh and I bought the online version too, Kindle. Dreadful. Each page does not have a chapter heading. You never really know where you are. And try searching. It gives you all kinds of tidbits but often not the ones I want.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
I flew in Buenos Aires having not been informed, despite my research, that Argentina charges a $150 10yr visa.
That is pretty much my experience in a nutshell with this book.
Every backpacker that I met with this book had the same issues I did.
ALL THE ESTIMATED COSTS WERE OFF BY 200%-300% AS INFLATION THERE IS SOARING.
That is no excuse as I talked with locals and the prices haven't changed in a while.
I had always dreamed to go to SA with Lonely Planet.
I can firmly say that Lonely Planet ruined my trip as most of its information was wrong.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
This is by far the biggest let down of a book I have had from lonely planet. It is completely outdated and under researched. The restaurants and hostels we used were overpriced and under run (having "made it" by being in lp). I know guide books get outdated and had I known before I bought it it was 4 to 5 years old I wouldn't have. The history of places is helpful but get a different guidebook, they have that info too. Just buy a different book, one more up to date and where the things listed are less frequented by only tourists. (Half the people I have met while traveling have this book...)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2012
I did travel to Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil with this guidebook. I was using Lonely Planet's guidebooks a lot during my other travels so I can say, that this particular book is just OK. Its main competitor - Footprint - is much more useful and has much more information, but is harder to use on kindle as it is PDF version. For example, Lonely Planet guide book, Brazil section - Rio is missing map of Copacabana and Ipanema. Hope it will be cover in next edition.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
I have used printed lonely planets a lot, and they are a very good resource.
This ebook is a joke. It is just a "photo copy" of the printed versions.
Nothing interactive, no hyperlinks to go from a written description directly to a map for example.
In addition, it is impossible to zoom on the map, making most of them unreadable. Really? You couldn't make it possible to zoom maps?
Just say no.