Pura Vida: The Waterfalls and Hot Springs of Costa Rica
Mitchell, Sam (author)
Menasha Ridge, 1994
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|Print Style||Black and White|
Reviewed by Dean Goss
"Pura Vida", literally meaning "pure life" is something of a catch phrase that translates to something more like "living well" in a laid back and thoroughly enjoyed way. This book points the casual visitor to 29 waterfalls and several hot springs, allowing one to casually pursue "Pura Vida".
The book has a somewhat homemade feeling, in many ways, roughly charming perspective. It's apparent that the author is very passionate about the places he visits, and enjoys them immensely. The drawbacks of the book involve the lack of maps--a description will only get you so far, and the photos are of relatively low quality. Of course, one must bear in mind the book was published in 1994, so waterfall guidebooks were still in relative infancy.
What the book DOES deliver are waterfalls. Costa Rica has some very good waterfalls that occupy ravines on the flanks of the volcanos, or lie in jungle festooned National Parks. Some are minor cascades and others are legitimately world class.
The Bottom Line: This book doesn't have much polish or panache, but it has substance worth the $9.95 retail price. If you're headed to Costa Rica to do a volcano/rain forest/waterfall trek, you should have this book.