Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
Former Frommer’s author to offer Costa Rica tours
Two months ago I had dinner in San José, Costa Rica, with my pal Eliot Greenspan, author of Frommer’s Costa Rica guidebook (yes, many guidebook authors have evolved friendships with authors who write competing guidebooks for other companies).
One of our talking points was our mutual concern about diminishing print-edition sales of guidebooks in general, and uncertainty about whether our falling revenue would be off-set by the parallel rise in sales of electronic format editions. My Moon Handbook Costa Rica is, of course, available as an e-book for the iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader, etc.
Eliot’s greatest concern, however, was that Google had just purchased Frommer’s from John Wiley & Sons, which was selling off assets to “re-focus the company.” The purchase was the latest move by Google to buy up travel-related search sites, including the Zagat label, which publishes restaurant reviews.
Early reports were that Frommer’s editorial staff and operations would be merged into Zagat. Within 24 hours, the layoffs began, including the entire Frommer’s website team (see Rafat Ali’s post for Skift).
Eliot (who has authored five guidebooks for Frommer’s) feared that he and other writers would soon be let go, and that the Frommer’s guidebooks themselves might even disappear.
Yesterday he sent me this email: “So, as far as I go... instead of trying to piecemeal a life freelancing, I've decided to take my experience and knowledge and put it into opening a small agency. I do custom designed itineraries and trip planning, offering up years of experience and insider knowledge.”
Check out his website.
Over the years, Eliot and I have enjoyed quite a few meals together… and one thing I’ve gathered is that’s he’s quite a foody. As a full-time resident of San José, he also had his finger on the pulse of local dining. Thus, he continued:
“I'm also focusing on culinary tourism, and have a sister site/blog: http://costaricaeats.wordpress.com
that will actually, within a few weeks, be simply www.costaricaeats.com (getting rid of the Wordpress). This is going well, and I've already booked a custom tour for folks from Culinary Institute of America.”
So if you fancy yourself a gourmand and want to experience a Costa Rican culinary experience at its best, check in with Eliot.
You’re surely too late to sign up for his forthcoming inaugural two-day trip—“Central Valley Epicurean Extravaganza: Saturday & Sunday” (November 10-11, 2012)—but I’m sure it will be repeated. After all, it’s based at one of my favorite boutique hotels: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn.
Great idea, Eliot. ¡Suerte! (Good luck!)
Now that you’re excited to visit Costa Rica, be sure to buy the latest edition of Moon Handbook Costa Rica.
If you're traveling only to San José and the Caribbean, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to the beaches of Nicoya, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula pocket guide.
If you're traveling only to Arenal and/or Monteverde, buy Moon Spotlight Costa Rica's Arenal&Monteverde pocket guide.
Learn more about Christopher P. Baker.
Disclosure: I occasionally accept free or discounted travel when it coincides with my editorial goals. However, my opinion is never for sale. The opinions you see in Cuba & Costa Rica Journal are my unbiased reflection of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Copyright © Christopher P. Baker