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Lonely Planet Central America on a shoestring (Multi Country Guide) Paperback – October 18, 2016
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From the Publisher
Welcome to Central America
With turquoise seas and lush forests, magnificent Maya ruins, bustling markets and flourishing farms, Central America is packed with opportunities to chill out – or thrill out.
This guide includes information on:
- Mexico's Yucatan & Chiapas
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
- and more
- Item Weight : 1.34 pounds
- Paperback : 768 pages
- Product dimensions : 5.04 x 1.18 x 7.76 inches
- ISBN-13 : 978-1786571113
- Publisher : Lonely Planet; 9th edition (October 18, 2016)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1786571110
- Best Sellers Rank: #737,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The information isn't bad, so far it mostly seems to align with what I've found online, haven't left for my trip yet though so I can't really verify that yet. Does a decent job of providing a little information about a lot of different places...CA is pretty big so expecting one book to cover everything would be unrealistic.
Mostly just disappointed that more focus isn't given to true low budget options.
Firstly, I noticed that when I went to the contents and selected, for instance, "accomodations", it would send me straight to the mid to high price range BnBs and Hotels, instead of sending me to the first pages within the "Accomodations" section, which is where the economic options are listed. This happened also with restaurants. My guess is maybe the more expensive options pay Lonely Planet to get featured and be linked directly from the content section. This totally annoys me since I'm the one buying the book to, arguably, travel "on a shoestring". It is convenient to direct the user to the first page of a section (accomodations or restaurants), where one would usually start searching for places and see a price or quality increase with every turn of the page.
Secondly, I was terrible annoyed by the links to Google Maps. I've been using travel guides since 2004 (especially Lonely Planet, La Guide Du Routard, and The Rough Guide). It was disadvantageous back then to have to pack a bulky and heavy guide when you are trying to backpack with the essentials only, but the usefulness outweighed the inconvenience. What I loved the most was having at hand detailed maps of all tourist destinations. In this guide, the maps offered were extremely lacking in detail, and worst of all, many of the places recommended weren't pinned on the maps and only offered a link to Google Maps. I do use Google Maps, but when backpacking, you are not always able to be connected to a data network or WiFi. In this trip, such was my luck, that my smartphone broke on day 2. I had to be phoneless for a week. Internet Cafes (the old kind that rent computers) are not a thing anymore (obviously), and so I was left having to try to browse the Web when/if I could find a WiFi and using my Kindle Paperwhite's experimental browser. Truly, I felt like I was back in the 90s. Of course, this is not the Lonely Planet Guide's fault, but I'm trying to point out that ANYONE that travels "on a shoestring" knows that sometimes unexpected things happen and Internet connectivity can be very limited depending on the destination. So, in my opinion, it is useless when incomplete maps are offered on a travel guide, and when such basic information as maps is only available online -in this case, through Google Maps-. Given that we are dealing with an electronic book, it's easy to include the full detailed maps without the user needing to be connected to the Internet. The smart thing would be to include the full maps (as it was done before, in printed editions) along with links for Google Maps, in case that the user is connected and wants to get directions from the online app.
I'm a book designer and I'm frankly disappointed at this oversight. It's almost as if the authors of the guide have no experience of what traveling on a shoestring or backpacking even are. Also, the misleading content links that go straight to the more expensive options instead of the beginning of a section where the more economic options are, are problematic. It's not like this book is for free. We, customers, are paying for this guide a fair price, so it shouldn't come with hidden adds. I noticed that many people complained in the reviews that all the accomodations and restaurants recommended were expensive, and I think that that's the reason why. You are directed straight to the expensive options and it is illogical and not user friendly to have readers backtrack on the pages to find what they were looking for (affordable options).
I don't recommend this guide at all. I returned it and asked for a full refund, which I got (Amazing customer service from Amazon!).