Costa Rica Natural Paradise

Dear Traveler, Welcome to a great vacation at an affordable price. Your Costa Rica tour is fully guided and includes all meals, all hotels, and all activities. Happy Travels! Caravan
Relax by the Pacific Ocean
Keel-billed Toucan
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Costa Rica’s Capital San Jose

Since Caravan’s Costa Rica tours from San Jose begin and end in the nation’s capital we thought it might be good to offer a little background about Chepe, as the local Costa Ricans like to call it.

The following San Jose Costa Rica facts and information is provided to help our Costa Rica tour guests get the most out of this unique Central American city.

Quick Facts About San Jose Costa Rica

  • San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica (since 1823)
  • San Jose Costa Rica is centrally located in San Jose province
  • The population of San Jose is approximately 335,000
  • San Jose is the largest city in Costa Rica
  • San Jose is considered to be one of the safest cities in Latin America
  • The elevation of San Jose is 3840 feet above sea level
  • San Jose Costa Rica weather is tropical but pleasant
  • Average high is 29 degrees and average low is 18 degrees
  • San Jose Costa Rica time zone is Central Standard Time
  • San Jose translated into English means “Saint Joseph”

Things to Do In San Jose Costa Rica

Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose Costa Rica receives nearly 5 million travellers each year and tourism is this country’s number one industry.

There’s a lot to see and plenty of things to do in San Jose Costa Rica including the National Theatre of Costa Rica. Built in 1897, the National Theatre boasts gold colored ceilings, patterned wood floors and an opulent marble staircase, making it well worth the visit.

In the Plaz de la Cultura there’s also the National Museum of Costa Rica and the pre-Columbian Gold Museum, which houses over 1600 gold artifacts dating back to the sixth century. San Jose is also home to the Jade Museum (Museo de Jade), which houses the world’s largest American jade collection plus gold, ceramic and stonework exhibits.

San Jose Costa Rica has many historic neighborhoods, parks, and museums, and many of the city’s art galleries and restaurants are located in what used to be former colonial mansions. The pedestrian-only Central Avenue is also a popular place to visit.

Day Trips from San Jose Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not a large country and the capital’s central location makes it easy to enjoy a number of day tours from your San Jose hotel. Caravan’s day trips from San Jose Costa Rica include:

  • Poas Volcano National Park tour
  • Escalonia Cloud Forest Trail hike
  • A guided coffee plantation tour
  • Braulio Carrillo National Park
  • Famous Butterfly Garden tour
  • Costa Rica aerial tram canopy tour

San Jose Costa Rica Hotels

At the beginning of Caravan’s all inclusive Costa Rica tour, our guests enjoy a 2-night stay at one of the finest hotels in San Jose.

Depending on the date of the tour guests will stay at either the 5-star Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel, located just a mile from the city center and near Braulio Carrillo National Park, or at the upscale Real InterContinental Hotel located in the heart of the city.

At the end of our Costa Rica tour guests will spend their final evening at the Quality Hotel Real San Jose located near the entertainment district.

Visit San Jose On Caravan’s Costa Rica Tour!

Since 1952 Caravan Tours has established itself as one of America’s longest running and most respected tour companies providing all inclusive tours throughout the USA, Canada, and Latin America, including fully guided Costa Rica tours.

Find out more about San Jose Costa Rica and book your Caravan all inclusive Costa Rica tour now.

Contact our travel experts to make reservations or call Caravan Tours Toll-Free at 1-800-227-2826 or 312-321-9800

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Costa Rica Tour Brochure
Visit our Costa Rica Tour FAQ Page

Costa Rica Rainforest
Birdwatching
Manuel Antonio Sunset

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2021 Hotels

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.


Barcelo Palacio

Days 1, 2 • San José

Barcelo Palacio

Barcelo Palacio

The Barcelo San Jose Palacio Hotel is located 1 mile from downtown San José, amidst beautifully landscaped gardens in a quiet residential area. This five star hotel features two indoor restaurants, two bars, a casino, a large swimming pool and pool bar and restaurant, spa with Jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna, tennis and squash courts, massage therapists, hairdresser, and gift shops. Your hotel is fully air-conditioned. Free internet access.


Magic Mountain

Days 3, 4 • Fortuna

Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain

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. Free internet access.


J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa

Days 5, 6 • Pinilla, Guanacaste

J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa

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. Free internet access.


San Bada Hotel

Day 7 • Manuel Antonio

San Bada Hotel

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.


Real InterContinental Hotel

Day 8 • San José

Real InterContinental Hotel

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. Free internet access.

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Airport Transfers

arrival Transfers

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. See Travel Tips for more details.

departure Transfers

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. See Travel Tips for more details.

Airfare is not included or sold by Caravan.

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Passports & Visas

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 3 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. Note: It is recommended that children under 18 years old traveling internationally without both parents or legal guardians, 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. See Travel Tips for more details.

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Weather & Clothing

Temperature °F (high/low) Rainfall (inches)

San JoséPinilla
TempRainTempRain
Jan73/590.396/710.2
Feb75/590.296/710.2
Mar77/600.395/730.2
Apr78/601.795/731.5
May78/629.091/767.7
Jun78/6211.589/739.1
Jul77/628.791/736.3
Aug77/6210.091/739.1
Sep76/6013.589/7311.9
Oct77/6013.589/7310.9
Nov75/605.789/734.9
Dec73/591.691/711.2

Temperature °F (high/low) Rainfall (inches)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
San José
temp73/5975/5977/6078/6078/6278/6277/6277/6276/6077/6075/6073/59
rainfall0.30.20.31.79.011.58.710.013.513.55.71.6
Pinilla
temp96/7196/7195/7395/7391/7689/7391/7391/7389/7389/7389/7391/71
rainfall0.20.20.21.57.79.16.39.111.910.94.91.2

Clothing Tips

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 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. See Travel Tips for more details.

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Travel Tips & FAQs

These are only the first 7 Travel Tips. Read all 100 Travel Tips

My Tour Price Includes

Virtually everything! Hotels, all meals, all of the activities described in the itinerary pages, airport transfers in select cities, gratuities to hotel porters, restaurant staff and local guides. Caravan’s professional Tour Directors and local guides will be with you every step of the way, ensuring a worry free vacation. They are fluent in English, experienced and fun, ensuring a worry-free vacation.

My Tour Price Does Not Include

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 tour’s price.

Caravan’s $99 Protection Plan Offers Peace of Mind

Caravan’s Travel Protection Plan offers peace of mind if you cancel for any reason whatsoever prior to the departure of the tour. The travel protection plan also includes air, baggage, evacuation and medical coverage. The cost is $99.

Age of Travelers on a Caravan Tour

Usually, you find a mix of different age adult travelers on a Caravan Tour. 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 Itinerary

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.

Preparing for the Tropics

It is recommended to bring at least one pair of quick-dry pants and one quick-dry shirt. The quick-dry pants that zip at the knee to convert into shorts are particularly popular. Be sure to also bring a sweater or jacket for the cooler night temperatures. Caravan does not make product endorsements, but many Central Americans feel that Avon Skin So Soft oil (not cream), or Avon's Expedition anti-mosquito spray is effective protection against mosquito bites in the jungle. Caravan does not endorse any vitamin, but please note that Central American pharmacies sell 500 milligram vitamin B-1 tablets, a non-prescription vitamin, as "anti-mosquito" pills. Many Guatemalans take Vitamin B-1 pills and eat garlic for about two weeks prior to and during their visits to the jungle because they believe that the smell of Vitamin B-1 and garlic repels mosquitoes. If you believe this may be of value, consult your doctor for further information on Vitamin B-1 and garlic. Guatemalans also avoid eating bananas in the rainforest, as it is believed that this smell attracts mosquitoes. Also, it is wise to wear light-weight quick-dry long-sleeved pants and shirts in these tropical areas.

Meals

Included meals for each tour are listed at the end of each day. Meals are shown by B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). All meals in Latin America are included. Many meals are included in the USA and Canada. Full, buffet, or deluxe continental breakfasts are included everywhere. Coffee and tea are provided at all meals. In Latin America, bottled water is provided free on the motorcoach and purified water is provided at the meals. Alcoholic beverages are not included unless specified.

Read All 100 Travel TipsClick Here for All 100 Travel Tips

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Customer Reviews

These are only the first 7 Customer Reviews. Read all 279 Customer Reviews

"I took the tour to see the nature and beauty of Costa Rica. It was beyond my expectations. Several friends had recommended this Caravan tour to me and now I am ready to recommend your company to others."

Mrs. D.T., Story, Wyoming

"This was the best vacation I've had. It is the only way to see Costa Rica."

Ms. P.H., Plano, Texas

"The sights were absolutely fabulous! We visited all the places we were interested in seeing. 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 superior lodging and food made our concerns seem silly. We found all the hotels clean and modern and we were exceptionally pleased with the luxury, botanicals and unique character of the J.W. Marriott. We always try to support local artists when we travel, so we were delighted to visit Sarchi with its oxcart factory and its shop with an extensive selection of goods made in Costa Rica. We enjoyed the spectacular and clean pools at Baldi Hot Springs, cruising the Rio Frio; the focus on flora and fauna attracted us to this trip in the first place."

Mr. & Mrs. M.C., Kenai, Arkansas

"I was in awe. I was in Costa Rica on vacation. Couldn’t have asked for a better ride from our driver. A first class guy. My first Caravan trip and I would recommend you guys to anyone."

Mr. H.T., Waterloo, Illinois

"It is almost impossible to visit a country in one week, but Caravan is doing a wonderful job in Costa Rica. Food was incredible, very fresh, great variety and plentiful. Love all activities. Got to see all birds and animals including the elusive sloth. We had a smooth ride, everything was just wonderful."

Ms. V.N., Terrytown, Louisiana

"I definitely want you to know our feeling about this tour considering it is one of if not the best tours we have ever taken. Every hotel was very good with outstanding locations - of course the Marriott was over the top. The efficiency that Caravan developed in hotel check-in was easy and fast. The sightseeing was outstanding for sure. We had been to Costa Rica previously and this was by far superior by the extensive destinations geographically seeing most of the country that tourists would be interested in. This coupled with the extremely skilled guide made it superior to what we had seen before. He was so very knowledgeable concerning every possible thing we were witnessing and much more. In addition, he has an extremely entertaining wit. We both had a wonderful time and were amazed at all we got for the $’s."

Mr. & Mrs. J.M., Marysville, Washington.

Read All 279 ReviewsClick Here to Read All 279 Customer Reviews

Caret DownCaret Up RedWhy Travel with Caravan?

Why Travel with Caravan?

Excellence Since 1952

You can trust our years of experience with tours of superb quality and excellent value. Caravan has enjoyed the same family management and ownership since 1952.

PanAm Jet
In 1959, Pan Am invited Caravan to be the very first tour company to fly their clients on its new line of Clipper Jets.
Vintage Motorcoach
In 1964, Caravan introduced the very first fleet of air conditioned motorcoaches in all of Europe.
Leather Back Turtle Park
Caravan is a proud supporter of the Leatherback Turtle National Park and Costa Rica's efforts to protect this endangered giant.
Federal Reserve Bank Of Chicago

Caravan Care

For your safety, Caravan cancelled most 2020 and all 2021 tour departures and refunded 100% of all payments received. See Caravan’s Covid-19 Update.

Caravan's Proud History

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. You can trust in our stability, experience and dedication to quality.

Great Hotels

Stay at park lodges, scenic resorts, and excellent hotels in great locations. See hotel descriptions on each tour page.

Meals

In Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala, Caravan includes all meals. For USA and Canada tours, included meals are listed on each itinerary page. In Latin America, bottled water is provided free on the motorcoach and purified water is provided at the meals.

Complete Sightseeing

Enjoy complete sightseeing with more visits, extra features, and local guides.

Fully Guided by Tour Directors

All tours conducted from start to finish by professional tour directors, who are fluent in English, experienced, and fun.

All-inclusive

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.

Shopping Freedom

Caravan will not bring you to overpriced shops in exchange for payments. Caravan gives you ample opportunity and time for great shopping, and the freedom to choose where and when to shop.

Great Value, Book Early

Caravan’s strong buying power gives you great vacations at prices much lower than you can find anywhere. In a typical year, most of our tours sell out quickly. Book early for the date you prefer and the best air fare.

How does Caravan Tours sell these tours for such a low cost?

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.

Trade Association Memberships

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).

ASTA, ACTA, CLIA, and NTA