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Begins and Ends: San Jose, Costa Rica
Caravan Tours conducts eco friendly all inclusive tours in Costa Rica. Following Caravan’s day tour of Arenal volcano, your Costa Rica tour includes a visit to leatherback turtle nesting grounds in Leatherback Turtle National Park, Guanacaste, where Costa Rica has made impressive efforts in the past two and half decades to protect the endangered giant leatherback turtle.
Book Your Costa Rica Tour Now!
Call Caravan toll free at 1-800-227-2826
Costa Rica’s giant leatherback sea turtles are not only the world’s largest sea turtles but they also are the heaviest, swim the furthest, dive the deepest, and can dive the longest. Leatherback turtles are also designated as an endangered species and protected by international law.
Giant leatherback turtle migration is the furthest of any type of turtle since they can be found in every part of the world except the Artic and Antarctic. They have been known to swim in excess of 3700 miles one way to return to their Costa Rica nesting grounds.
Giant leatherback turtles are also the only turtles that do not have a hard bony shell. Their shell is soft, leathery, and flexible. Giant leatherbacks can also:
Costa Rica leatherback turtle nesting season is between October and February each year and once the eggs are laid the females return to the ocean, leaving the eggs to hatch (and the baby turtles to survive) on their own.
Costa Rica leatherback turtles mate at sea so all male giant leatherback turtles spend their entire life at sea while only the females return to their place of birth to nest and lay their eggs, which only happens at night. Interestingly, more female turtles are hatched when nest temperatures are higher and more male turtles are hatched when the nest temperatures are cooler.
Leatherback turtles used to number in the millions worldwide but today the global nesting female population is estimated to be only about 35,000 and only 1 in 1000 hatchlings will live to be adults.
In the 1980s these Pacific Coast Costa Rica beaches were covered by hundreds of nesting female leatherback turtles each night. That number has since dwindled down to less than half a dozen per night and unfortunately, this decline is a worldwide trend.
It is estimated that we’ve lost as much as 95% of the leatherback turtle population in the last two decades alone.
It is this threat of extinction that in 1991 prompted Costa Rica to create the Leatherback Turtle National Park and Wildlife Refuge (aka Las Baulas Marine National Park or Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas). Baulas is the Costa Rican name for leatherback turtles.
The conservation work is ongoing and while some Costa Rica leatherback turtle nesting beaches are restricted and accessible only to those conducting research, this Guanacaste national park has two accessible protected nesting beaches including Playa Grande and Playa Langosta (Big Beach and Lobster Beach respectfully).
There are only 7 leatherback turtle nesting beaches remaining worldwide and although Leatherback Turtle National Park is only 4 miles long it is home to the largest nesting beach in the Pacific Ocean and the level of protection it offers is the best in the world.
All the Leatherback Turtle National Park beaches are now under continuous surveillance by sea turtle advocacy groups, conservation workers, and park guards and most of what we have learned about leatherback turtles has been from research done on the beaches of Costa Rica.
Caravan’s Costa Rica tours include a visit to the leatherback turtle nesting beaches in Guanacaste where you will be accompanied by local, knowledgeable naturalist guides. Many of our Costa Rica tour guests find their experience of leatherback turtle nesting beaches to be quite moving and the experience of a lifetime.
Caravan Tours has been one of America’s most respected tour companies, providing all inclusive, fully guided tours since 1952 throughout the USA, Canada, and Latin America.
Contact our Costa Rica tour experts to make reservations now and come discover Costa Rica and Leatherback Turtle National Park!
Call Caravan Tours Toll-Free at 1-800-227-2826 or 312-321-9800
|Jan||5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31|
|Feb||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28|
|Mar||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31|
|Apr||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15*, 22*, 29*|
|May||6*, 13*, 20*, 27*|
|Jun||3*, 10*, 11*, 17*, 18*, 24*, 25*|
|Jul||1*, 2*, 8*, 9*, 15*, 16*, 22*, 23*, 29*, 30*|
|Aug||5*, 12*, 19*|
|Nov||3*, 4*, 5*, 6*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13*, 18*, 19*|
|Dec||1*, 2*, 3*, 4*, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31|
*indicates Super Value date
|Room Type||Super Value||Great Value|
|Double||$ 1,095||$ 1,195|
Plus Taxes and Fees:
Double $269; Triple $259; Single $319
Call 1-800-Caravan. You can reserve space free for up to 3 days, then a $300 deposit per person is due. Full payment due 60 days prior to departure.
In Latin America, Caravan transfers you between the airport and hotel on the starting and ending dates of your tour.
Airfare is not included or sold by Caravan. Here is a list of some of the airlines that service this tour.
All Meals Included
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Real InterContinental Hotel
Lomas del Volcan, Arenal Springs, Magic Mountain
Guanacaste, Pacific Beach
J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa
San Bada Hotel
Quality Real Hotel
Master Card, Visa, or check.
Accommodations in the hotels and lodges are rooms with two beds and private bath or shower. A limited number of single rooms are available. Triple rooms are usually two beds, sometimes with a cot or rollaway. On your Costa Rica tour, Caravan often uses more than one hotel or lodge in a given area. Although each property is wonderfully different and may have many unique features, Caravan's goal is to offer a comparable overall selection so that you can experience the same enjoyment regardless of which property combination you find on your actual tour departure. Scheduled Caravan sightseeing will be the same from all the hotels.
San José is located in the central highlands of Costa Rica, midway between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. With an elevation of around 4,000 feet, San José has a temperate year-round climate. San José is Costa Rica’s largest city and is the country’s seat of government.
Real InterContinental Hotel
The Real InterContinental Hotel is located in the heart of San José's trendy Escazu area, adjacent to the Multiplaza, a large upscale shopping and entertainment complex. The hotel has three restaurants, two bars, gift shops, an outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi, a tennis court, a fitness center, and a full service spa and beauty salon. The hotel is fully air-conditioned. High speed internet access is available for a fee.
Fortuna is a small town located at the base of picturesque Arenal Volcano in northcentral Costa Rica. The hotels and lodges used by Caravan Tours are located in and around Fortuna. All of the properties are within easy viewing range of Arenal Volcano.
Lomas del Volcán
Lomas del Volcán Lodge is located in the countryside on the outskirts of Fortuna. The lodge sits in the foothills at the base of majestic Arenal Volcano, with excellent nature trails on its 300 acre reserve. Don’t be surpirsed if you are serenaded during your stay by the sounds of birds and monkeys in the adjacent tropical forest. The hotel offers comfortable and spacious air-conditioned “chalets” each with a terrace and a refrigerator. The hotel has a restaurant, beautiful jacuzzi, and swimming pool, all with volcano views. Intenet access is available in the Internet cafes for a fee in the nearby village of Fortuna.
Arenal Springs is a new hotel located in the countryside on the outskirts of Fortuna. This well-designed, modern hotel features colonial style “chalets", each with a view of Arenal Volcano. Every room is air-conditioned and has its own terrace, ceiling fan, refrigerator, telephone, security box and other modern amenities. Each room’s bathroom shower shares space with a skylight covered indoor mini-garden. The hotel has extensive grounds with lush gardens and a swimming pool. Internet access is available in the Internet cafes for a fee in the nearby village of Fortuna.
Magic Mountain Hotel and Spa is located on the northern end of Fortuna. All rooms have either a balcony or a terrace with a view of Arenal Volcano. Magic Mountain has a restaurant, sports bar, swimming pool with pool bar and two jacuzzis. The deluxe spa specializes in a variety of treatments including volcanic mud wraps, massages, facials, pedicures and manicures. Internet access is available in the Internet cafes for a fee in the nearby village of Fortuna.
J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa
The elegant JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa is located on Costa Rica's northwestern coast in a thousand acre private Hacienda. This oceanfront resort sits on a pristine secluded beach surrounded by a natural sanctuary with extensive landscaped gardens. The resort has a full service spa and the largest pool in Costa Rica (over 25,000 square feet). The spacious guest rooms are each furnished with a private balcony or terrace. Guest rooms feature luxury bathrooms with a separate deep soaking bathtub and shower.
San Bada Hotel
San Bada is a spectacular new hotel in Manuel Antonio, located directly at the entrance to the world famous Manuel Antonio National Park. It is the closest hotel to the Park and a short, easy walk to the breathtaking public beaches of Manuel Antonio. Here at San Bada, you'll sleep to the magical sounds of the jungle. The beautifully furnished guest rooms have balconies and include free Wi-Fi. The hotel features two pools. Enjoy magnificent views of the ocean from San Bada's unique Sunset Terrace Bar.
For comfort, convenience and mobility, San Bada is the best place to stay while visiting Manuel Antonio. Most hotels in Manuel Antonio are built on hillsides and spread out over large areas. This can require navigating numerous flights of stairs and walking substantial distances to access the restaurant, bar, or guest rooms – a challenge for anyone with difficulty walking. San Bada is built on level ground with no steps, and short distances between public areas. The hotel also has a modern elevator.
Quality Real Hotel
The Quality Hotel Real San Jose is located in the new business and entertainment district, within 15 minutes of San Jose's Juan Santa Maria International Airport (SJO). This smoke-free hotel features an outdoor pool, exercise room, restaurant and bar. Free wired high-speed internet is available in the business center. Guest rooms include coffee makers, ironing boards and free Wi-Fi.
Caravan's vacation packages include complimentary arrival transfers from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San José, Costa Rica to your hotel in San José on the day the tour begins. These transfers are only available on the day the tour begins. Please see Costa Rica FAQ’s “Airport Information” for more detailed information for all incoming passengers. Tour members arriving on earlier days will need to arrange transfers on their own. After you clear customs, Caravan’s representative will meet you at the taxi stand, about 20 feet from the international terminal, with a “Caravan” sign. You may have to wait a couple minutes as your representative might be transferring another client. Please be sure to call the Caravan office before your flight to make sure that we have received your correct flight information. The airport representative is available to meet all flights with Caravan passengers, but will only meet your flight if we have received your flight information and are expecting you on that flight. If you miss your flight please call the Caravan office at 800-227-2826 or 312-321-9800 to notify us. Driving time to your hotel can run from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic. If you take a taxi, use “Taxis Unidos Aeropuerto,” the official taxi service, and expect to pay $25.00 U.S. Dollars per taxi, plus tip.
To enter Costa Rica, you will need a U.S. passport valid for 6 additional months after the date of your arrival into Costa Rica. A three month tourist visa is automatically issued to U.S. citizens after clearing Costa Rica customs. Non U.S. citizens, please check passport and visa requirements.
Children under 18 years old, traveling internationally without both parents or legal guardians, should carry a notarized letter of authorization signed by the missing parent(s) or guardian(s). A notarized birth certificate showing only one parent, a parent’s death certificate, or a court order of child custody may also be permissible. Failure to have proper documentation could result in denial of boarding by the airline, due to international child protection laws.
Caravan's vacation packages include complimentary departure transfers from your hotel in San José to the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San José, Costa Rica on the day the tour ends, scheduled to arrive at the airport at 5:00 a.m, 7:00 a.m, 9:00 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. These transfers are only available on the day the tour ends. If you wish to extend your stay in Costa Rica, you will need to transfer on your own, at your own expense. Please ask the hotel bellman to arrange a taxi. Expect to pay $25.00 U.S. Dollars per taxi, plus tip. The driving time from the hotel to the airport is approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on traffic. Please advise the Tour Director if you will be taking your own taxi separately.
Airfare is not included or sold by Caravan Tours. Here are lists of airlines that service this tour:
|Air Canada, Air Madrid, Alitalia, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Aviateca, British Airways, Comair, Copa, Cubana, Delta, Iberian, KLM, Lanchile, Lauda Air, Lberia, LTU, Lufthansa, Spirit Airlines, Taca, United Airlines|
|San Jose, Costa Rica|
This is a casual tour. Casual wear is suggested for sightseeing and daytime travelling. Dress code for evenings is casual. Suit jackets for men and dresses for women are never required on the Caravan’s Costa Rica tour. It is recommended to wear drip-dry clothing (such as that offered by Columbia, ExOfficio and Travelsmith) in the rainforest. Shirts with long sleeves and long pants are recommended for rain forest and cloud forest hikes. Pants that zip at the knee to convert into shorts are very comfortable in the rainforest.
Virtually everything! Hotels, all meals, all of the activities described in the itinerary pages, airport transfers, gratuities to hotel porters, restaurant staff and local guides. Caravans professional Tour Directors conduct every land tour from start to finish. They are fluent in English, experienced and fun, ensuring a worry free vacation.
Prices do not include air travel, country entry or departure fees, airport porters, visas, phone calls, valet, laundry, all items of a personal nature, extra food and beverages not on the regular menu, and tips to the Caravan Tour Director and Driver. General fees and taxes are additional and listed separately beneath each tours price.
Usually, you find a mix of different age adult travelers on a Caravan Tour. Most tours will be joined by adults of all ages. Children age five (5) and over are welcome, and children usually join tours offered during Christmas holidays, summer vacation and spring break vacation.
A well paced and unhurried itinerary is our goal, after all, you are on vacation! Touring days begin and end at reasonable hours and include frequent stops. While the occasional early morning departure is necessary, we do our best to ensure a leisurely vacation and you will arrive at your hotels between 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. each day.
Group sizes will vary depending on the reserved rooms at the hotels and lodges and the capacity of the boats and motorcoaches used. Usually, group sizes range from 30 to 44 passengers.
All meals are included on your Costa Rica tour. Included meals for each tour are listed at the end of each day. Meals are shown by B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). Full, buffet, or deluxe continental breakfasts are included everywhere. Bottled water is provided free on the motorcoach and purified water is provided at the meals. Alcoholic beverages are not included unless specified.
“We really enjoyed the trip in a beautiful country and the price was right!”Mr. & Mrs. D.P., Prescott, Arizona
“The pace of the sightseeing and activities was well thought out and executed. Our tour director always prepared us for the next activity. I really enjoyed this trip and have recommended it to others.”Ms. B.T., Pasadena, California
“The sights were absolutely fabulous! We visited both coasts and many places in between ... all the places we were interested in seeing. I wasnt sure I wanted to visit Tortuguero, but it turned out to be one of my favorite destinations! This was an exceptional tour at an exceptional price. The guides were very eco-minded. We received a good education from them and their passion for preserving their environment was contagious. We totally get it. Your Costa Rican tour was awesome.”Mr. & Mrs. B.H., Burton, Michigan
“The sightseeing and activities, these were all that were promised and more! We would never have seen and done everything on our own! Very satisfied with this Caravan tour. Will definitely use your tour company again and have and will recommend it to friends. Pura Vida.”Mr. & Mrs. L.R., Fort Myers, Florida
“You have put together an outstanding package at a very reasonable price. Costa Rica is a great vacation destination!”Mr. & Mrs. M.M., Laguna Niguel, California
“As a travel agent, I would recommend clients to Costa Rica with Caravan. This was an excellent tour, especially since everything was included. We saw and did a great deal in a short period of time.”Mr. & Mrs. B.S., Rochester, New York
“The meals were fabulous and the final with ‘sit down’ and filet mignon was especially nice. The sights were very good, enjoyed the coffee plantation and the cart factory. Had not traveled with Caravan before, but will recommend it to my friends. ”Ms. J.M., Laguna Niguel, California
“The meals were very good and well presented. I enjoyed the lunch stop locations too. Our tour director made this trip very comfortable and fun. This was my first Caravan tour. I would book another one in the future.”Mr. & Mrs. B.R., Oberlin, Ohio
“The hotels were all great in their own way. The meals were very good, tasty,, plentiful and fairly well-balanced. The tour director was unbelievably great, an encyclopedia of information convey tours in an entertaining, caring and interesting manner. You have set very high standards with your tour and guides.”Mr. & Mrs. W.H., Henderson, Kentucky
“The hotels were all nice and a nice variety of different types or styles of doing things. The sightseeing and activities were wonderful. Loved the whole experience of everything offered. A wonderful experience and great value, I will be using you again and will recommend to others.”Ms. N.L., Winsted, Connecticut
“The meals were delicious! It was very easy to keep my vegetarian diet with this tour. Your tour director was WONDERFUL! Never let go of her, she was knowledgeable about everything any of us wanted to know. She was so personable and always happy too. Costa Rica is BEAUTIFUL!”Mrs. P.H., Gainesville, Florida
“Our tour director was always accessible and approachable to the group. All in all, this tour was excellent, well planned and varied! I enjoyed it and recommend Caravan to everyone. Next trip, I plan to use Caravan due to the quality and knowing you take care and time to arrange good tours whenever they are offered. Thank you!”Mrs. E.M., Phoenix, Arizona
“This was the best vacation I had. It is the only way to see Costa Rica.”Ms. P.H., Plano, Texas
“We had the perfect tour director, very knowledgeable of Costa Rican history, local cultures, and coconuts. Caravan, you should be proud! Besides the fact that you guys do a great job staging all of the sights, wildlife and timing (it was all fake right?!),it was obvious to us that the guides, the hotel staffs, the tour director, the restaurant personnel, etc. All seemed to rise to the occasion for a Caravan tour. You guys are doing something right. Keep it up!”Mr. & Mrs. M.G., Pleasant Hill, California
“The local guides were good at Tortuguero and the rain forest and wildlife park, especially seeing Blondie, the orange colored Howler. The trip was well conducted and we saw a lot of Costa Rica.”Mr. A.S., San Diego, California
“I liked the diversity of the trip. It was well planned with nice accommodations. It was a pleasant experience, would recommend tour.”Mr. & Mrs. S.S., Hopatcong, New Jersey
“I very much appreciate the professional manner that we were treated. I am a travel agent, and working in this industry can sometimes be a thankless job, therefore when I am treated with respect, I try to acknowledge. We are truly grateful to Caravan and our tour director for being so accommodating. I can guarantee you that I will be selling Caravan tours enthusiastically in the future! Our tour directors knowledge and passion for his country is so evident by the way he describes customs, culture, education, wildlife among many other things. All of the sightseeing, I loved every minute of it, great activities and some free time.”Mr. & Mrs. J.C., Caledonia, Michigan
“There was so much food. I got a good idea of foods of Costa Rica. There was variety and lots of bottled water! There was great diversity in visiting different parts of country with attractions, just enough shopping opportunities. The tour director was the sweetest person I ever met. She was always smiling, had great English, always available, very knowledgeable on history, vegetation and country of Costa Rica. She kept things moving, always left on time, very respectful of everyone on tour. She was conservation and safety conscious, had good sense of humor and very accommodating.”Ms. J.M., Abington, Pennsylvania
“The hotels were excellent, especially the one at Tortuguero. Id like to spend a week there! The tour director was wonderful! Excellent! I cant say enough about him. He was so knowledgeable about the plants and animals. He was an added bonus to the trip!”Ms. J.L., Asheboro, North Carolina
“The hotels were an outstanding value. Each was clean, comfortable and had a special charm of its own. The meals were ample, excellent choices wide enough to satisfy a picky eater like me. It ranged from excellent to superb. Mexicos Ancient Civilizations last year rated ten out of ten with our tour director. This tour director made Costa Rica fifteen out of ten. I will schedule Tikal, Copan sometime next year.”Mr. C.G., Las Vegas,, Nevada
“My family and friends could not believe how wonderful the accommodations were. Everywhere we stayed the staff was nice and treated us very professionally. At Tortuguero, the staff treated us from the minute we arrived to the second we left as family. I cannot wait to take another Caravan tour, and tell all my friends about this one. Please do not change a thing, you have got it right.”Mr. & Mrs. J.D., Boca Raton, Florida
“The meals were very good. I loved all the fresh fruit. The entire trip was awesome.”Mr. & Mrs. T.R., Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
“The driver was excellent. I drove for UPS for thirty years, I know what it takes to handle a vehicle of this size. I have been on many tours around the globe and our tour director was by far the best. He is very detailed, courteous, sincere and a perfect gentleman.****** Six stars.”Mr. & Mrs. L.W., Hot Springs, Arkansas
“I can think of nothing that would improve this trip. I have traveled with other companies; therefore I have some basis for comparison. You are at the top of my list.”Ms. M.U., Dublin, Georgia
“I am the last person I would have expected to take an escorted tour. This was a very pleasant surprise! Good work!”Ms. S.K., Los Altos, California These are only the first 25 reviews of this tour... Read all 183 Reviews »
Caravan Tours began selling fully escorted tours in 1952. We have been under the same management and ownership ever since. In 1965, Roger Mudd hosted a two hour CBS TV special on Caravan Tours. This TV production took about one month to make and was so successful it inspired the 1968 romantic comedy movie “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium.” In the early 50’s the Mayor of Dublin presented Caravan with the Key to Dublin for bringing the first American tour to the city after WWII. Since then Caravan has been recognized as a pioneer in travel.
Caravan’s strong buying power gives you great vacations at prices much lower than you can find anywhere. Last year many of our tours sold out quickly. Book early for the date you prefer and the best air fare.
Caravan Tours is a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), NTA (National Tour Association), CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), and an allied member of ACTA (Alliance of Canadian Travel Agencies).
Caravan delivers volume to our suppliers, who in turn reward us with their very best prices, we in turn pass these savings on to you, and you reward us by buying our tours. As volume continues to rise, we then receive even better prices from our suppliers, and we pass even greater savings on to you. This year our tours are better than ever.
The short answer is “very.” Our surveys are uniformly very positive. However we continually strive to improve our tours, (they are often updated several times in the course of one year), we study all client surveys and suggestions for improvement very carefully.
Caravan includes all activities listed in the tour itinerary page. Caravan does not sell any optional activities which can add hundreds of dollars to your tour price. Your free time is scheduled in great settings where there is no need to buy additional expensive activities.