6 Books You Should Be Reading If You Want to Visit Costa Rica

person lying on the shore reading a book next to bags and towels

Whether you want to be inspired, informed, or simply entertained, you can find a Costa Rica book out there for you. Read these books while you’re dreaming of visiting, while you’re on the plane over, or while you’re lounging in your private poolside chair at Casa Teresa Luxury Villa

1. Lonely Planet Costa Rican Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary by Thomas Kohnstamm

This isn’t really a book you pick up for leisure, but it’s a Costa Rica travel book that’ll come in handy again and again, even if you speak Spanish!

Costa Rican Spanish is a variety that branches out from Central American Spanish and adds lingo all its own. You’ll need a little phrasebook to get you through the day-to-day, and this is the perfect one. 

2. Monkeys Are Made of Chocolate: Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica by Jack Ewing

Naturalist Jack Ewing wrote this delightful Costa Rica book about his experiences living for over three decades in Southwestern Costa Rica. Written as a set of essays, this book explores his intense lifestyle in the rainforest, the bizarre and wonderful world of nature, and the incredibly unique species that coexist in Costa Rica. 

Full of clever anecdotes and fascinating tales about the wildlife in Costa Rica, this is the perfect book for you to pick up if you’re planning to visit. If you could only read one book on this list before your travels, we’d choose this one.

3. La isla de los hombres solos by José León Sánchez 

This famous Spanish-language Costa Rica book (in English, “The Island of Lonely Men”) is one of the bestselling books in Latin American literature. It’s heart wrenching, tragic, and powerful, so don’t go into it thinking it’s a feel-good novel. It details the horrors of the historical prison of San Lucas, an island off the coast of Costa Rica (that you can actually visit today).

It follows the author, Sánchez, as he’s wrongfully accused of a crime and sent to San Lucas prison, only to wage a 48-year war against his sentence. This is an autobiography, written by Sánchez after he was finally released. 

If you love history and sad, moving tales, give this classic Costa Rica book a try.

4. The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide by Richard Garrigues, illustrated by Robert Dean

Are you one of the thousands of tourists that come to Costa Rica each year for the birdwatching? This book is your perfect companion! It’s a thorough examination of 903 species of birds native to Costa Rica, accompanied by detailed illustrations, range maps, and information. Even if you’re not into birdwatching, this guide could inspire you to pick up the hobby!

5. Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion by Barbara Ras

This Costa Rica travel book illustrates the beauty and wonder of Costa Rica through twenty-six individual stories. Written for a curious traveler, the book is divided by region so you can see the diversity of the landscape. 

It’s designed to be your companion throughout your travels, so you can take it with you on your trip for a delightful anecdote to each place you visit. From mountains, to savannahs, to rainforests, to the coast, you’ll get an accurate glimpse into life in the most beautiful country in the world.

6. Cut the Crap & Move To Costa Rica: A How-to Guide Based on These Gringos’ Experience by Steve & Nikki Page

This Amazon bestseller is all about why you should take the plunge and move to the “Happiest Place in the World.” It’s your all in one how-to guide to being an expat to Costa Rica. If you’re planning on moving for a long time, this is all you need to know about finding employment, housing, medical care, schooling, banking, transportation, and much more. 

This is a serious, comprehensive Costa Rica book that “cuts the crap” and guides you through tough and confusing legal processes with ease. In addition to the great information, you’ll also get fun personal experiences and insights from the authors.

Stay at Casa Teresa Luxury Villa

Casa Teresa view of sea from the kitchen

The finest place for a luxurious getaway in Costa Rica is Casa Teresa Luxury Villa. Located right on the picturesque Santa Teresa beach, the villa is awash in the natural beauty that you read about in all your Costa Rica travel books. From a thrilling ecological adventure to a relaxing destination wedding, we can make your dreams in paradise come true.

For inquiries or to make a reservation, contact us. We’ll be delighted to have you stay.

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