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Costa Rica & Nicaragua

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXCAM174. Buy these 4 items as a set for $70 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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The Jaguar Smile, A Nicaraguan Journey

The Jaguar Smile, A Nicaraguan Journey

by Salman Rushdie

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

Rushdie's account of visit to the country at the height of the Contra war goes underneath the headlines. It's a cultural portrait -- simple, straightforward and "Written with a novelist's eye for irony," wrote the New York Times. (CAM43, $14.00)

Lonely Planet Nicaragua

Lonely Planet Nicaragua

by Paige Penland | Gary Chandler | Liza Prado

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

This practical guide to Nicaragua features maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature, and much nuts-and-bolts information on accommodations and sightseeing. (CAM116, $24.99)

National Geographic Costa Rica

National Geographic Costa Rica

by Christopher P. Baker

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This stylish and informative travel resource features 200 photographs, many maps and good information on the country's history, nature and culture. (CRC26, $22.95)

Central America Map

Central America Map

by ITMB

  • 2012
  • MAP

A detailed map of the Central American isthmus at a scale of 1:1,100,000. (CAM20, $12.95)

 

Nicaragua Map


by ITMB

  • MAP

A map of Nicaragua at a scale of 1:750,000 with good topographic relief. (CAM74, $11.95)

Costa Rican Spanish

Costa Rican Spanish


by Lonely Planet

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A pocket guide to understanding idioms, slang and Spanish as it is spoken by the Ticos. (CRC25, $8.99)

A Brief History of Central America

A Brief History of Central America


by Hector Perez-Brignoll

  • HISTORY
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 223 PAGES

A good overview of the region's economic, political and social history through the 1980s by a professor at the University of Costa Rica. Well-written, informative and concise. (CAM49, $29.95)

A Forest of Kings, The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya

A Forest of Kings, The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya


by Linda Schele | David Freidel

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 542 PAGES

The history of the Maya, as it was recorded in the previously undecipherable hieroglyphs of the Maya. This excellent account traces the kingships and politics of the Maya, and features narratives recreating scenes of burials, blood sacrifices, battles and other events. (MYA22, $26.99)

Banana, The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

Banana, The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World


by Dan Koeppel

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Koeppel traces the history, natural and otherwise, politics and precarious current status of modern monoculture, touching down in India (world center of banana diversity), Ecuador (world's largest producer) and Central America. (CAM137, $17.00)

Forgotten Continent

Forgotten Continent


by Michael Reid

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

Economist editor Reid draws on his years in the cities, presidential palaces and shantytowns of Central and South America in this portrait of a region rich in oil, farmland and culture, with consideration on its prospects in the face of globalization. (SAM123, $26.00)

The Ticos

The Ticos


by Richard Biesanz

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 307 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

This insightful, fact-filled portrait of the Costa Rican people details their culture, history and society. (CRC32, $22.95)

Maya Art and Architecture

Maya Art and Architecture


by Mary Ellen Miller

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

An illustrated overview of the art and architecture of the Maya, making use of the latest discoveries at Tikal, Copan and Palenque to demonstrate the range of Mayan artistic influence. Revised and updated, this new edition includes color illustrations throughout. (MYA20, $20.95)

Costa Rica, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Costa Rica, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Barbara Ras

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 238 PAGES

These 26 well-chosen stories by Costa Rican writers introduce the people, culture and land. (CRC03, $14.95)

Costa Rica, A Journey Through Nature

Costa Rica, A Journey Through Nature


by Adrian Hepworth

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

Dividing the book by ecosystem and geographic area, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Hepworth's color photographs showcase the diversity of Costa Rica's wildlife and habitats. (CRC68, $39.95)

The Monkey's Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America

The Monkey's Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America


by David Rains Wallace

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 280 PAGES

Opening this absorbing account of the history and biogeography of the Central American isthmus with the tale of Columbus, Wallace often weaves his own travels in the region with a crisp overview of exploration, nature and evolution. Natural history buffs and ecologically minded travelers will appreciate this valuable resource. (CAM56, $18.95)

Tropical Nature

Tropical Nature


by Adrian Forsyth | Ken Miyata

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1984
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists offer a lucid portrait of the tropics through 17 marvelous essays that introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforests. (GPS13, $16.00)

Volcanoes, Crucibles of Change

Volcanoes, Crucibles of Change


by Richard Fisher

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 344 PAGES

A complete primer for the volcano lover, this heavily illustrated book covers types of volcanoes and eruptions, worldwide distribution and the physics of their formation. (GEO02, $30.95)

Wild Costa Rica

Wild Costa Rica


by Adrian Hepworth

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2008
  • HARD COVER
  • 176 PAGES

This beautiful, informative survey of the habitats, wildlife and protected areas of Costa Rica features 200 color photographs and chapters on natural history and conservation. (CRC69, $31.95)

Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths

Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths


by James Kavanagh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PLASTIC CARD

A handy, laminated fold-up card with color illustrations of Costa Rica's more visible species of butterflies and moths. Includes the distinguishing markings or behaviors of each species. (CRC57, $6.95)

Costa Rica Wildlife Guide

Costa Rica Wildlife Guide


by Rainforest Publications

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PLASTIC CARD

A richly colored fold-out, 14-panel laminated plastic card featuring beautifully rendered illustrations of the assortment of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, butterflies and primates found in Costa Rica. (CRC51, $7.95)

Costa Rican Wildlife

Costa Rican Wildlife


by Pocket Naturalist

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2000
  • PLASTIC CARD

Put it in your pocket! This handy, fold-up card includes color illustrations of dozens of typical birds, mammals and reptiles. We also carry plastic cards for Costa Rica Birds (Item CRC56) and Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths (Item CRC57), $5.95 each. (CRC24, $8.95)

The Birds of Costa Rica

The Birds of Costa Rica


by Richard Garrigues | Robert Dean

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 387 PAGES

Designed for the field, this new guide includes multiple illustrations for 820 species of birds. (CRC53, $29.95)

The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide

The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide


by Zona Tropical Publications

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 360 PAGES

This Zona Tropical guide includes 450 of the most common, interesting and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods that you are likely to encounter. Each has exquisite full-color illustrations by Fiona Reid (mammals), Robert Dean (birds) and friends. (CRC77, $29.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.