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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Journey to Costa Rica: A Family Adventure

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 EXCRC80. Buy these 4 items as a set for $93 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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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, 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, Travellers' Wildlife Guides

Costa Rica, Travellers' Wildlife Guides

by Les Beletsky

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

This handy field guide features 350 color illustrations of commonly encountered birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. With chapters on habitats, parks and conservation. (CRC11, $29.99)

Eyewitness Guide Costa Rica

Eyewitness Guide Costa Rica

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 328 PAGES

This superb guide, divided geographically, features color photographs, dozens of excellent maps and a strong focus on wildlife. (CRC43, $25.00)

 
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)

Culture Smart! Costa Rica

Culture Smart! Costa Rica


by Jane Koutnik

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

History, religion, daily life, food, health and safety are all covered in this accessible pocket guide to Costa Rican customs, etiquette and culture. (CRC45, $9.95)

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)

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
  • BEST SELLER
  • 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)

A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica

A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica


by F. Gary Stiles | Alexander Skutch | Dana Gardner

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 511 PAGES

A masterfully researched and comprehensive field guide to the birds of Costa Rica, including an overview of geography, habitats and avifauna. Covers 800 species and features 52 color plates. (CRC05, $39.95)

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica


by Susan Fogdon | Michael Fogdon

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

Arranged by family groups, this pocket field guide to 250 common birds includes color photos, identification notes and range maps. (CRC42, $15.95)

Costa Rica Birds

Costa Rica Birds


by James Kavanagh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PLASTIC CARD

A handy, laminated fold-up card with full-color illustrations of birds commonly found in Costa Rica. Great for kids, too. (CRC56, $6.95)

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)

Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica

Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica


by Carrol Henderson | Alexander Skutch

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 560 PAGES

A comprehensive photographic guide to 300 commonly encountered and unusual species of birds, mammals and other wildlife, with a good overview of the geographic setting and natural history of the region. (CRC27, $39.95)

Mammals of Costa Rica

Mammals of Costa Rica


by Fiona Reid

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 28 PAGES

A palm-sized guide to 65 native mammals, with handsome full-color illustrations and helpful descriptions. Includes a map, viewing tips and a checklist. (CRC37, $7.00)

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide


by L.H. Emmons

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 298 PAGES

Compact enough to slip into your daypack, this field guide to the mammals of Central and South American features 29 color plates of more than 200 species. (GPS12, $42.50)

The Birds of Costa Rica

The Birds of Costa Rica


by Richard Garrigues | Robert Dean

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

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

Tropical Plants of Costa Rica

Tropical Plants of Costa Rica


by Willow Zuchowski

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 529 PAGES

Organized by habitat, this photo guide to 400 species has chapters on popular destinations, including Monteverde and Tortuguero. (CRC55, $35.00)

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.