It sounds an awful lot like paradise, but what are its pitfalls? David Paul Appell, author of the affordable-travel guide book Pauline Frommer's Costa Rica, talks to WalletPop's Jason Cochran about the Central American dream destination, known for its rainforests and its wildlife.

Appell tips us off on how to pick the best region to explore, how to stay with a family that will teach you Spanish and cook your meals, and how to enjoy the tropical bounty without spending too much.

Appell, whom I worked with when he was former executive editor for Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine, has written for National Geographic Traveler and GQ and also runs the value-travel social media site Go-Lo.net.

Listen in the widget below, or click for one of the earlier installments in this series.

Go for Less: Miami

Go for Less: Paris
Go for Less: Rome
Go for Less: New York City



Some of the links David mentions:

Interbus
Grayline
Nature Air
Sansa
www.VisitCostaRica.com
www.VRBO.com (home rentals)
www.VacationRentals.com
Four Seasons Papagayo


More of David's picks:

Bells' Home Hospitality
U.S.-based package tour operators: Capricorn Leisure, Gate 1 Travel

Places to stay, by area:
San José: El Grano de Oro, Hotel Alta
Lower Caribbean: Cariblue Bungalows
Upper Caribbean: Laguna Lodge
Arenal: Tabacon
Pacific coast: Villa Mango
Monteverde: El Sapo Dorado
Manuel Antonio National Park: Sí Como No

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