- Series: Footprint - Handbooks
- Hardcover: 1652 pages
- Publisher: Footprint Handbooks; Other edition (November 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781910120026
- ISBN-13: 978-1910120026
- ASIN: 1910120022
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.8 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,467,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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South American Handbook 2015, 91st (Footprint - Handbooks) Hardcover – November 4, 2014
“The South American Handbook shows why the printed travel guide will never die. It is so much more than a guidebook full of listings - it is an organic repository of nearly a century of courageous and serendipitous exploration.” Simon Calder, Senior Travel Editor, The Independent
“Simply excellent! Not only for backpackers but for everyone who needs detailed information on travelling in South America.” Consumer review
“This book provides the best information for those travelling to South America. Its content is precise, updated, and unique.” Consumer review
From the Back Cover
· Expert author Ben Box has travelled extensively throughout the continent researching this new edition
· Comprehensive coverage of the all main attractions, from Colombia’s Caribbean coastline to the wilds of Tierra del Fuego
· Extensive, reliable listings and advice to help you choose the right hostal, restaurant or trekking guide
· Updated annually, ensuring you have the most accurate travel information available
Showing 1-8 of 10 reviews
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For this edition, the chapters of historical and cultural contexts have been removed entirely, replaced by a vague reference to online material. Coverage is still good, and is generally comprehensive. There aren't going to be many places on this vast continent that this guide doesn't cover. As you might expect, the major tourist draws get the most attention, so this is not really an "off the beaten track" guide. The recommended itineraries in the front are well designed, provided you have at least a month to dedicate to your travel. Actually, the guide frequently mentions the fact that a real comprehensive tour of the continent is going to take a long, long time. Three months, minimum. This is a guide that can be easily used for a focussed tour, though it is really designed for a long-term journey.
Footprint and author Ben Box have been at this for a long time, so they have this guide down to a well-designed handbook to the continent. There's nothing really comparable out there. The major destinations - Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Cartagena, Cusco, Salvador - are right up to date and well documented. There are nice guides to the frequently overlooked countries, and the coverage of Bolivia is particularly good. The guide includes good coverage of important natural attractions as well. It's only when you escape into the provinces and the true hinterlands that you'll find this guide leaves you behind.
Maps are very, very basic but are accurate.
One thing I have noticed with Footprint guides lately is that they frequently come damaged. Bent pages, creased spines, bent covers, water damage, mis-cut pages. These are not things that happen during shipping, but happen at the printer. Footprint needs to seriously look at quality control.
Supposedly this book is the most up to date, but I lost count of how many restaurants listed in it are now out of business, how many hotels are misplaced on its maps, and how many providers in this book do not live up to its descriptions.
One example: the book mentions a place in Puerto Iguazu with ¨great showers.¨ Odd that the authors select this feature to shout out. I checked into the hotel and found the shower so small I could barely turn around inside it, and the flow of water from the showerhead is a mere trickle. Also, the shower door is coming off its rusted hinges, and the drain screen popped off the shower floor, leaving me standing naked over an open concrete hole. THIS is a GREAT shower?
Hotels, like the above, consistently fell below the book's descriptions and ABOVE the book's described pricing. When I stayed in places not listed in the book, I found myself much happier. Likewise, the restaurants listed in here are often completely crap, serving cold, undercooked food, and/or having pathetic service.
I seriously wonder if the authors have ever visited these establishments, or if they simply listed a bunch of random places they found on Google. Or perhaps the establishments listed PAID the authors for the listing. Either way, you're better off traveling with Yelp or just flip a coin to decide where to stay!
Here's the worst part about this guide: apparently its lists include a bunch of places the authors don't even recommend! The book lists hotels and restaurants, and then every so often it will say ¨recommended.¨ Wait, wait, wait.... Shouldn't they ALL be recommended? Isn't that why you PUT THEM IN THE BOOK? Why bother listing crap you don't recommend???? Why tell me to go some place that isn't worth my time!?
See, in a REAL guide, like a Fodor's Guide or something, then simply putting a hotel in the book means it's recommended, it's WORTH something, it's worth the ink, it's worth your time, it won't give you fleas or salmonella. If they want to go further, they give it a star ABOVE the regular recommendation. And if they really want to mark a place high, they give it the ¨Fodor's Choice.¨
But this Footpring book? No ranking system. Nothing. Apparently it just lists a bunch of random crap, a lot of which actually is crap (I have ended up staying at some HORRIBLE places listed in here.) And when the authors actually want to recommend a place, they write ¨recommended¨ in the description. And even when they give a place their ¨recommended,¨the place can STILL turn out to be a total craphole. I absolutely could not count on this book for descriptions. About two weeks into my trip, I stopped using the book for restaurants completely because it kept steering me to such awful places. Asking locals on the street for their recommendations was about 100 times more reliable.
I will never buy another Footprint Guide. Nor will I trust the chumps who rank these guides because they are even more ignorant than the authors of this book. I am SO disappointed.
We are going on a round South America cruise in 2016 and I am going to buy this. I only want to take one print travel guide.
There are no pretty pictures but 1664 pages of fine print, with scores of small monochrome adverts.
I already own 2 other South America guidebooks but they are markedly inferior to this one.
This book covers all the continental countries including Guyana, Surinam, and French Guinea plus the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica.
When this becomes available again, download the sample so you can see how detailed the information is.
Sept 2015 Update: I bought the 2015 print version online in August 2015