Caravan all inclusive vacations are a great way to travel worry-free.

One of the main benefits of traveling with Caravan Tours is that outside of your airfare, virtually all other costs are included in the ticket price. Your food, lodging, travel itinerary, plus all activities, outings and even tips are taken care of by Caravan.

Most vacationers find themselves spending very little while on their actual vacation – and usually, it’s only to purchase a few souvenirs here and there.

In addition to handling all your vacation expenses, Caravan all inclusive vacations are also fully guided packages – conducted by professional local tour operators who:

  • Handle all activity payments and tipping
  • Take care of hotel check-ins
  • Keep you on schedule
  • Guide you through the sights and sounds of your vacation destination
  • Make sure your needs are met and you travel in comfort

Guiding travelers on all inclusive vacations since 1952, Caravan Tours currently offers 9 Caravan all inclusive vacations throughout the USA, Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Canada.

Panama Vacations

Panama is a small country in Central America and home to the Panama Canal, which serves as a passageway for ships and vessels travelling from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic ocean and vice versa. Caravan’s all inclusive Panama cruise packages feature cruises on the Panama Canal, while exploring Panama’s rainforests, lakes, rivers and volcanoes.

The highlights of this all inclusive Panama Vacation include:

  • Miraflores Locks
  • “Old Panama” city known as Panama Viejo
  • Gatun Lake cruise featuring hilltop islands
  • Locks Transit cruise
  • Playa Blanca in El Valle
  • Embera Rainforest Indian Village
  • Kuna Indian marketplace

Costa Rica Vacations

Costa Rica features an abundance of beautiful beaches, volcanoes and rainforests so it can be hard to know how to divide your vacation time.  Caravan’s all inclusive Costa Rica vacation lets you experience a little bit of everything. The vacation starts and ends in the capital city, San Jose. Vacationers travel north to visit Poas Volcano and Arenal Volcano, and finally back West to the Pacific coast to enjoy incredible white sandy beaches.

The highlights of this all inclusive Costa Rica Vacation include:

  • Poas Volcano
  • Escalonia Cloud Forest Trail
  • Authentic Costa Rican coffee plantation tour
  • Braulio Carrillo Park and Butterfly Garden
  • Rio Frio River Cruise and Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
  • Guanacaste and Leatherback Turtle National Park
  • Tarcoles River cruise and Carara Biological Reserve
  • Manuel Antonia National Park

USA All Inclusive Vacations

The diversity of our American geography is remarkable and evident in our protected National Parks. Caravan Tours features three national park vacation packages:

Grand Canyon Vacation Packages feature Camelback Mountain, Montezuma Castle, Sedona colony and Oak Creek Canyon – and that is just on your way into Grand Canyon National Park! In addition to accommodations inside the park you will have breathtaking views of Lake Powell, take a jeep tour of Monument Valley’s back country and visit Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.

Mount Rushmore Vacations are all inclusive and include your lodging and land travel expenses as you journey to see Crazy Horse Memorial, Mt. Rushmore National Monument, and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Crow Nation. While on vacation you will cross the continental divide before entering Yellowstone National Park and intersecting the original “Oregon Trail”.

Yosemite Park Vacation Packages are all inclusive California coast tours and start with a night in the romantic city of San Francisco. This is followed by a guided tour of California’s Wine Country plus a Bay Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge. During your all inclusive vacation you will journey into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, see gold mining towns, discover Yosemite National Park, visit the San Joaquin Valley and spend some time at the oceanfront Monterey Bay Aquarium. Before departing California you will also have the opportunity to visit Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills where there’s a good chance you’ll spot some Hollywood celebrities.

Canada All Inclusive Vacations

Canadian Rockies Vacation Packages feature Waterton Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park and Jasper. Along the way you will witness majestic scenery, souring mountain tops and ancient glaciers. Ride a vintage tour bus in Glacier National Park, take the Gondola ride up to Sulphur Mountain for 360 degree views of six mountain ranges surrounding Banff, do a float trip along the Bow River and trek along the Icefields near Jasper, Alberta.

Canadian Maritimes Vacation Packages are also all inclusive where you can relax as you settle into the East Coast lifestyle. Visit Cape Breton Island, go whale watching in Nova Scotia, visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, and stay in the charming town of Baddeck. A short ferry ride takes vacationers over to Prince Edward Island, home of Anne of Green Gables. Finally, be inspired by the unique tides in the Bay of Fundy or by Halifax’s oceanfront, or the charming Peggy’s Cove. Along the way your East Coast inspired meals are included in your package price!

Call Toll Free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to check availability for All Inclusive Vacations by Caravan Tours.

Request a free travel brochure.

In the past few decades Caravan vacation packages have become one of the most popular and economical ways to travel.

With tourism today, travelers have plenty of options. Once you have an idea of where to go there is no shortage of options including;

  • Self-guided vacations
  • Customized vacation travel
  • Fully escorted vacation packages
  • All inclusive tours
  • Group vacations
  • Budget vacation travel
  • And practically any combination of these

Caravan vacation packages are designed for pampering guests, making them feel special, and providing guests with the ultimate vacation experience.

All Inclusive Vacation Packages

All inclusive vacation packages are very popular with group travelers as all arrangements for hotel stays, airport transfers, and ground travel are taken care of. Most often, hotels and lodges are three and four star quality.

Many vacation packages are also fully escorted so language and local currencies are not an issue for travelers.

All inclusive packages are extremely convenient since every detail is handled for you and included for one affordable all inclusive price. This type of vacation package usually includes all itinerary sightseeing activities and activity fees, and in many cases, gratuities as well.

Specialized Vacations

There are a myriad of specialized vacation packages available for the avid traveler. These may include family getaways, senior holiday packages, or theme based vacation packages such as;

  • Adventure travel
  • Arts and culture tours
  • Ruins & archaeological interest packages
  • Beach holidays
  • Vacation packages for singles or couples
  • And guided travel for special interest groups

Many of these specialized and special interest vacation packages can be customized to suit your requirements and the entire holiday can be set up according to your personal or group needs.

There are even vacation packages centered on specific holidays and events like Mardi Gras or the Olympics. These vacation packages usually include entry to the event as well.

Caravan All Inclusive Tours

Today, most reputable tour companies can be easily researched online offering tours to suit virtually any taste and budget. Tour operators that have been around for a while and are well established generally offer the best value for the money.

Since 1952, Caravan Vacation Packages have given travelers a complete holiday experience at truly affordable prices. Because Caravan deals in volume, hotels and vendors generally offer us excellent discounts. Price breaks such as this allow our tour operators to offer amazing tours. Our Discount Costa Rica Vacation package is a prime example. You can enjoy this tour for much less than what you would pay if you had to book the same activities and hotels on your own.

Caravan vacation packages are all inclusive, fully escorted tours starting as low as $1,195. Come travel with Caravan Tours to Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, or Canada and US destinations like California and New England.

Check Vacation Package Availability or to learn more. visit Why Buy Vacation Packages with Caravan.

Call toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) for bookings or to speak with our travel experts.

Since 1952, Caravan escorted tours by this Chicago based family owned and operated tour company has been delighting North and Central American travelers. Caravan Tours offers affordable fully guided tours that out competitors simply can’t beat.

Caravan escorted tours are very reasonably priced. What makes them so unique however is that they are also all inclusive tours, which are ideal for group travelers and budget conscious tourists who are looking for family or senior vacation packages.

On these all inclusive Caravan escorted tours everything is included for one low, affordable price. That means all itinerary accommodations, meals, activities, activity fees, and ground transportation are covered.

Caravan hosts some of the best fully escorted tours in the travel industry including all inclusive tours in Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, the United States, and Canada.

Latin America Tours

Caravan’s all inclusive Latin America tours are exceptional fully guided holidays.

Vacationers on Caravan’s guided Costa Rica tours enjoy the “rich coast” of Costa Rica, which includes visits to Leatherback Turtles National Park and the Pacific coast turtle nesting beaches.

Caravan’s all inclusive Guatemala escorted tours include visits to Antigua, Lake Atitlan and the Mayan ruins of Tikal and Copan.

Guests on Caravan’s all inclusive Panama guided tours enjoy an escorted tour of the Panama Canal, Old Panama and Panama City plus a rainforest jungle cruise up the Chagras River to an authentic Embera Indian village.

USA Tours

USA Caravan escorted tours offer something for everyone, from leisurely bus tours along the California coast, to Yellowstone National Park, New England, and US national parks tours.

Caravan’s California guided tours travel down the coast of California with visits to San Francisco, California wine country, Big Sur, and Yosemite National Park.

Caravan’s Yellowstone guided tours also includes visits to Mammoth Hot Springs, Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, Chief Crazy Horse Monument, and Mount Rushmore.

Travelers on Caravan’s New England guided tours enjoy a scenic bus tour through the New England states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. This is a fantastic trip, especially during the fall when tourists can enjoy Caravan’s fully escorted New England fall foliage tour.

Caravan’s USA national parks all inclusive tours take visitors on fully escorted tours through some of America’s favorite national parks including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. These escorted bus tours also include a Monument Valley jeep tour.

Escorted Canada Tours

Fully escorted tours in Canada are also offered by Caravan Tours. Caravan’s all inclusive Canadian Rockies guided tours include Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and the Columbia Ice Fields.

Caravan’s all inclusive Eastern Canada guided tours explores Canada’s Maritime Provinces including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI).

All Inclusive Caravan Escorted Tours

All Central American and North American all inclusive fully guided tours by Caravan Tours are conducted by knowledgeable local tour guides.

Visit why buy Caravan escorted tours to learn more or check Caravan escorted tour availability now.

Or, call us toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) for bookings.

All Caravan guided tours are also all inclusive vacations. That means for one low, all inclusive price, Caravan guests can travel fully guided and enjoy all ground transportation, accommodations, meals and tour itineraries without added costs.

Our Caravan guided tours are some of the very best on the market. Caravan tour operators offer North and Central American guided bus tours including all inclusive tours in Canada, the USA, Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala.

US Guided Tours

Grand Canyon Guided Tours – Have you ever wanted to explore the Grand Canyon with an experienced tour guide? Caravan’s Grand Canyon guided tours are exceptional and also include escorted visits to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Other destinations on this all inclusive fully guided tour include Sedona, Lake Powell and Monument Valley.

California Guided Tours – Take a guided vacation tour down along the coast of California and enjoy escorted visits to the California redwoods, San Joaquin Valley, California wine country, San Francisco, Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Caravan’s all inclusive fully escorted California tours also include Yosemite National Park guided tours.

Yellowstone Guided ToursCaravan’s all inclusive Yellowstone National Park guided tours explores many of the park’s most popular sites including Old Faithful Geyser and Mammoth Hot Springs. The Yellowstone guided tour also includes visits to Mount Rushmore Memorial, Crazy Horse Monument and the Custer Battlefield.

New England Guided ToursNew England’s fall foliage guided tours are the most popular however Caravan’s New England guided tours also include Martha’s Vineyard, Plymouth Rock, Woodstock, Norman Rockwell Museum and of course a guided bus tour through New England’s Appalachian Mountains.

Canada Guided Tours

Guided Tours of the Canadian Rockies – Caravan’s all inclusive bus tour of the Canadian Rockies includes visits to Waterton Park, Glacier Park, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park and the Columbia Ice Fields.

Guided Tours of the Canada’s Maritime Provinces – Caravan’s all inclusive bus tour of Eastern Canada includes escorted visits to Nova Scotia’s Halifax and Peggy’s Cove. Other destinations include the Fortress of Louisbourg and Cabot Trial on Cape Breton Island, Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island and the Bay of Fundy (home of the world’s highest tides) in New Brunswick.

Latin America Guided Tours

Costa Rica Tours

Traveling fully escorted is absolutely the best way to explore Costa Rica’s many volcanoes, waterfalls, rainforests, cloud forests and National Parks.  Other destinations on Caravan’s guided tours of Costa Rica include San Jose, Leatherback Turtles National Park, Poas and Arenal Volcanoes, and Manuel Antonio National Park.

Guatemala Tours

Caravan’s all inclusive guided tours of Guatemala also include escorted visits to the ancient ruins of Tikal and Copan. Other sites including in this Guatemala guided tour include Lake Atitlan, Guatemala City, Quiriqua, Rio Dulce and Antigua.

Panama Tours

Caravan’s newest all inclusive Central American vacation is the fully guided Panama Canal tour. Travelers will also enjoy escorted visits to Panama City, Old Panama, Playa Blanca, and the rainforest village of the Embera Indians.

All Inclusive Guided Tours by Caravan

Caravan Tours has been offering fully guided tours throughout Central and North America since 1952. Caravan uses knowledgeable local tour guides who are eager to share their history and knowledge.

Visit why buy Caravan guided tours to learn more or check tour availability now.

For bookings, call toll free 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

Brightly coloured red and yellow flower in Panama


Caravan Tours offers 3 different fully guided all inclusive Central America vacations including:

  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Guatemala

Central America, otherwise known as Latin America, is classified as a biodiversity hotspot extending from Guatemala in the north down to Panama in the south.

As one of only 25 biodiversity hotspot areas in the world, this sub-continent contains over 1,500 species of plants.

To preserve this fragile but attractive biodiversity, many countries within Central America, including Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama have embraced eco-tourism and actively promote Central America vacations to travelers around the world.

Panama Vacations

Panama is a vibrant and lively country that is famous for accommodating over 14,000 vessels that pass through its waters each year thanks to the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal and its amazing lock systems has proven to be a popular Central America attraction but Panama’s biodiversity has even more to offer when holidaying in this beautiful country:

Panama Rainforests – The rainforests border both sides of the Panama Canal. Because the canal acts as a bridge between Central and South America, Panama Central America vacations often include guided tours of the Panama rainforests, which have a wide range of plant and animal species including jaguars, armadillos and howler monkeys.

Gatun Lake and Embera Indian Village – Man-made Gatun Lake is over 33 kilometers long and guides vessels through the Isthmus of Panama. Panama vacations also include a rainforest cruise on the Chagres River to visit an authentic Embera Indian village..

Central America vacations to Panama may also include other popular tourist attractions including Panama City (Old Panama), Panama Canal Cruises, Gamboa Rainforest, and Playa Blanca. Read more information here.

Costa Rica Vacations

The name Costa Rica literally means “Rich Coast” and despite its small size (only 20,000 square miles), Costa Rica is full of major ecological attractions. Eco-tourism vacations can include:

Leatherback Turtle Marine National Park – Located in Guanacaste, Leatherback Turtle National Park is part of a wildlife refuge and was created in 1991 to help protect the nesting grounds of the Giant Leatherback turtle, which can grow up to 11 feet long and over 1100 pounds. Come vacation in Costa Rica during nesting season, which is any time between September and March. This national park also protects 174 bird species, plus monkeys and crocodiles and numerous other indigenous wildlife..

Poás and Arenal Volcanoes – Poás Volcano, with its mile wide crate, is located in the middle of Costa Rica and has the world’s largest active crater, which is capable of shooting 800 foot geysers. Arenal Volcano is northwest of San Jose and features three craters and holds a place among the top ten active volcanoes in the world.

Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge – The best Costa Rica Central America vacations include a chance to float down the Rio Frio River through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge where you can spot crocodiles, lizards that walk on water, spider monkeys and reclusive jaguars (from a safe distance, of course).

Costa Rica Central America tours may also include a trip through Guanacaste tropical rainforests, plus the rainforest near Arenal and the Escallonia cloud forests.

Guatemala Vacations

With a landscape shaped by sandy dunes, hilly valleys, rivers and highlands, Guatemala is an exciting place to travel and explore on any Central America vacation.

Guatemala’s amazing landscape includes Lake Atitlán, the deepest lake in all of Central America, which is uniquely surrounded by three of Guatemala’s volcanoes.

As well, the neighboring villages around Lake Atitlán have maintained their true Mayan culture.

The focus of most Guatemalan Central America vacations is generally on the ancient Tikal and Mayan Ruins of Guatemala. The village of Antigua has a real colonial feel to it the designation as world heritage sites help protect national monuments such as the ruins of the Temple of the Grand Jaguar and Plaza of the Seven Temples.

Central America Vacation Packages

Caravan Tours offers the best Central America vacations plus tour packages throughout the continental United States and Canada.

Ranging from 8 to 10 day fully escorted tours, these Central America vacations offer significant savings and are especially welcoming to seniors, families and groups.

Call toll free, 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to book your Central America vacation today.

What is unique about Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica is the wide range of elevation. It ranges from just 160 feet above sea level to as high as over 9,500 feet in elevation.

Have you ever imagined yourself as an early explorer discovering a new world of tropical virgin rainforests with luscious emerald green in all its glorious shades? Perhaps it is slightly overcast with a warm mist that is brightened up by rare and beautiful orchids that somehow blend naturally with the fauna and flora of the area.

This is exactly what you will feel as you trek through Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica with Caravan Tours. This fauna and flora sanctuary was created in 1978 and is easily accessible from San Jose Costa Rica (the capital), which is just over 12 miles away.

Here are some of the park attractions that you can enjoy.

1. Flora & Fauna

It is the extreme variation in elevation that allows Braulio Carrillo National Park to experience such a wide range of flora and fauna. You’ll find everything from wet tropical lowland rainforests to lush high mountain cloud forests. In fact, Braulio Carrillo Park, which is 90% forested, is credited with having Costa Rica’s highest level of biodiversity.

The different species that have been identified within the park include:

  • 135 types of mammals
  • 218 types of reptiles and amphibians
  • Over 600 types of trees
  • Over 6000 plant species
  • Over 530 bird types

2. Barva Volcano

The highest point in Braulio Carrillo is named ‘Volcan Barva’, which is home to three volcanic crater lakes, hence the name, Three Marias Hill. This Barva volcano area is certainly a haven for bird lovers with lovely quetzals, majestic eagles, trogons and toucans flying about in great numbers.

3. Aerial Tram Ride

The canopy aerial tram ride in Braulio Carrillo National Park is a very popular tourist attraction. There are twenty open gondolas (cable cars) that provide visiting tourists with a unique perspective of the forest canopy wildlife and vegetation. The Braulio Carrillo aerial tram ride is a guided canopy tour that glides through both the upper and lower sections of the Costa Rica rainforest canopy. It’s not uncommon to see even the most elusive Costa Rica animals like the three-toed sloth.

The splendor and magnificence of Braulio Carrillo National Park sets it aside from the rest of the tourist attractions in Costa Rica.

4. Braulio Carrillo Waterfalls, Wildlife & More

Braulio Carrillo National Park is an excellent representation of old world Middle America where cascading waterfalls, proliferating orchids, and a myriad of wildlife and geological features remain unchanged for literally hundreds of centuries. This is the area of rare snakes (like the bushmaster snake) plus the ever-elusive ocelot, three-toed sloth, and mysterious jaguar. Those who visit the park leave with a sense of awe and appreciation for this pristine virgin rainforest area.

Visit this Wikipedia page for additional information.

Discover Costa Rica with Caravan Tours

Please note that Braulio Carrillo National Park is not currently included in Caravan’s all inclusive Costa Rica Tours. Please refer to the Caravan Costa Rica tour itinerary for the most up to date information about Caravan’s fully guided vacations to Costa Rica.

See also our Caravan blog post entitled Rainforest Tours of Costa Rica for additional rainforest information.

Visit Caravan’s Costa Rica tours reviews page to read what others have said about Braulio Carrillo National Park and Caravan’s all inclusive, fully guided Costa Rica tours.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your space today!

Monteverde Costa Rica is one of this country’s most popular tourist destinations in part, because of the incredible biodiversity contained within its amazing wildlife refuges.

Monteverde, which means “Green Mountain,” is one of the lushest areas in Costa Rica and draws thousands of tourists each year. This is a destination that should not be missed by visiting nature lovers and bird watchers.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Many Costa Rica tourists ask “What is a cloud forest?”

Unlike a typical tropical rainforest, cloud forests are generally found at higher elevations. A Cloud forest is usually more humid because the forest canopy is often shrouded in low-lying clouds or fog (hence the nickname “fog forest“).

Although cloud forests receive much less rain, the humidity and low light penetration causes the forest floor and low-lying tree trunks to be covered in dense undergrowth such as moss and ferns, prompting some people to also call them “mossy forests.” In fact, the cloud forest of Monteverde Costa Rica boasts over 3,000 species of plant life including over 500 different types of orchids and 400 types of mosses.

Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is very extensive and the variance in elevation has created six distinct ecological zones that are quite unique from each other.

Monteverde Wildlife – Birds, Amphibians, Mammals

Tourists to Monteverde Cloud Forest are often treated to rare wildlife and bird sightings like the Resplendent Quetzal, the exceptional Bellbird, the Emerald Toucanet and about thirty different types of hummingbirds. The types of Monteverde wildlife found here are remarkable and include approximately 130 species of amphibians and over 120 different types of mammals such as the Jaguar, Tapir, and Ocelot.

Monteverde Costa Rica Co-operative – Casem

Tourists who wish to take a piece of the cloud forest home with them should visit the Casem, which is part of the Monteverde Cooperative, and includes a store, workshop and gallery. The non-profit Casem cooperative provides training and employment to the women in and around the town of Monteverde who excel at various types of arts and crafts 

The main subjects of their artistic endeavors are the fauna and flora of the cloud forest. They fashion souvenirs that are hand embroidered or even hand painted, portraying golden toads, quetzals, and other plant and wildlife. Casem is an independent Monteverde cooperative. Funds raised through the sale of these local handicrafts help improve the livelihood of the women who make them. Tourists can purchase a wide variety of crafts including ceramics, jewelry, toys and wood carvings.

Monteverde Cheese Factory

Another famous and fascinating stop enjoyed by visiting tourists is the Cheese Factory in Monteverde Costa Rica, which produces over 3,400 pounds of cheese a day! For nearly 60 years the Monteverde Cheese Factory has produced an array of different kinds of cheeses plus other delicious products like cured meat and dairy products. There are some seventeen varieties of cheese that are produced at the local factory in Monteverde including Gouda, Provolone, Parmesan, and a cheese smoked with local coffee.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Hummingbird Gallery

The Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery is a rather unusual gallery located immediately preceding the entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Monteverde Costa Rica. The Hummingbird Gallery holds a wealth of well documented photographs of the 51 different species of hummingbirds to be found in Costa Rica. The documentation also extends to Costa Rica’s fauna and flora.

The works were created by Patricia and Michel Fogden who painstakingly recorded all the living details of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery is also a souvenir shop where the beauty of Costa Rican textiles and t-shirts are tourist favorites.

The bird feeders set up outside the gallery is the meeting place for many of the varieties of hummingbirds to be found in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve including Costa Rica’s largest hummingbird, the Sabrewing.

Other Monteverde Costa Rica Reserves

When visiting the Monteverde Costa Rica, there are a number of other nearby places of interest to explore.

Reserva Sendero Tranquilo is a haven for wildlife that roams freely on the 200 acres in this private reserve. Reserva Sendero Tranquilo offers visitors excellent guided tours that can take up to four hours at a time and are conducted by bilingual naturalist guides.

Santa Elena Forest Reserve is a 765-acre forest reserve that is even cloudier and more humid than the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Situated at a higher elevation than the Cloud Forest Reserve, Santa Elena Forest Reserve is less travelled but well worth the visit. It can be experienced via the 10km of hiking trails.

Selvatura (with over 700 acres) is another area that is protected and offers tourists plenty to do including canopy tours, bird watching, nature walks through the rich cloud forests, and beautiful gardens with butterflies and hummingbirds. Costa Rica is home to more than 1,300 different types of butterflies!

Visit Monteverde Costa Rica with Caravan Tours

Monteverde Costa Rica and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve are included as part of our fully escorted, all inclusive Costa Rica Tours by Caravan Tours. These very affordable, all inclusive 9-day tours are exceptionally priced for people travelling alone, in doubles, or in groups.

Check out Caravan’s Costa Rica Tour reviews page to read what others have said about Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Caravan’s fully escorted Costa Rica tours.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your space today!

Much of the financial support for the efforts of the John H. Phipps Green Turtle Research Station came from John H. Phipps himself. The research facility was established over two decades ago and is named in his honor.

The Caribbean Islands and the countries of Central America are known internationally as much for their efforts in the conservation of their natural resources as they are for their stunning beauty and unique biodiversity.

Two important key players in Central America’s efforts towards conservation of green sea turtles are:

  1. Green Turtle Research Station (near Tortuguero Costa Rica)
  2. Sea Turtle Conservancy (formerly the Caribbean Conservation Corporation) of which American herpetologist, ecologist and a pioneering conservationist Archie Carr was a founding member.

Both owe their existence to the work of Carr and others who endeavored to save the green sea turtle, one of several endangered turtle species that nest near Tortuguero Costa Rica and in other Caribbean countries.

Sea Turtle Conservation at the Green Turtle Research Station

What’s happening in the sea turtle preservation and restoration world today?

The Green Turtle Research Station is ideally located for studying the natural turtle habitat and monitoring turtle migration, behaviour, nesting, and other activities.

At various times throughout the year, different turtle species arrive at the Tortuguero turtle nesting beaches to nest and lay their eggs including the giant leatherbacks, loggerheads, hawksbill turtles, and of course the Atlantic green sea turtles. Nesting turtles generally come ashore at night to lay their eggs and bury them in the volcanic sand, a process that has been repeated for centuries.

One of the greatest benefits of the Green Turtle Research Station is their program for assisting turtle hatchlings to avoid predators. They help the hatchlings make it to the ocean safely, thus ensuring the survival of turtle populations. The presence of researchers and volunteers on the turtle nesting beaches of Tortuguero Costa Rica has also greatly reduced turtle poaching.

Public education is another huge part of their conservation efforts and researchers often invite volunteers to be part of a “welcoming party,” as turtles come to the nesting beaches on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

Why Sea Turtle Conservation in Tortuguero?

Why is Costa Rica the choice site for studying and helping green sea turtles and other turtle species?

The nesting beaches near Tortuguero Costa Rica attract more nesting turtles than anywhere else in the western hemisphere. The intensive study and conservation efforts conducted by the Green Turtle Research Station (and others) have had an overwhelming positive effect on turtle populations.

Turtle researchers are able to monitor turtle populations and gather important information from their studies of turtles including turtle identification and survival facts.

The project is officially known as “Green Turtle Tagging” and is part of the Green Turtle Monitoring Program. In addition, interested persons may contact the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida.

The Green Turtle Research Station always welcomes volunteers, many of whom help with the research at night, when the turtles are most active. International volunteers are able to keep in touch with the turtle preservation efforts through the Marine Turtle newsletter.

Sea Turtle Conservancy

Each year, the Sea Turtle Conservancy manages a variety of programs that require volunteers. The first takes place in March, April and May at the turtle nesting beaches near Tortuguero Costa Rica.

This effort is called The Leatherback Project and focuses on the study and protection of the giant leatherback turtles, which in some cases can weigh as much as a ton. Volunteers are involved in counting and identification, as well as tagging the leatherback turtles in order to help researchers track and monitor the giant leatherback turtle population.

In July, August, and September, the Sea Turtle Conservancy studies the green sea turtle, concentrating on their nesting behaviour and addressing their environmental needs in order to keep the species healthy and thriving. Green sea turtles are much smaller than leatherbacks and grow to a maximum length of four feet, and weigh no more than 350 pounds.

In the last few decades, more and more travelers have chosen to participate in Costa Rica ecotourism travel, combining volunteer work in Costa Rica with vacation time near the Green Turtle Research Station. The village of Tortuguero has several excellent bed-and-breakfast options, as well as small hotels and guest houses.

Two other noteworthy organizations that actively take part in the effort to restore and preserve the populations of Atlantic sea turtles and other turtle species are the ANAI Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Program and EarthWatch.

Turtle Nesting Beaches Part of Caravan Costa Rica Tours

Caravan offers a fully guide Costa Rica Natural Paradise tour, which currently includes a visit to Leatherback Turtles National Park in Guanacaste on the Pacific Coast, which is less busy and every bit as fascinating as Tortuguero’s Green Turtle Research Station on the Atlantic Coast.

Affordably priced, these 9-day Costa Rica tours feature a number of other top attractions and experiences you can’t miss while visiting Costa Rica including volcanoes, cloud forests, hanging bridges, and aerial tram tours.

Visit Caravan’s Costa Rica reviews page to read what others have said about their tour of the Costa Rica turtle nesting beaches.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your space today
for a Caravan all inclusive Costa Rica tour!

There are several prominent organizations that focus their efforts on the protection and preservation of the sea turtle nesting beaches in Costa Rica including:

  1. Leatherback Turtle National Park (on the Pacific Coast)
  2. Tortuguero National Park (on the Atlantic Coast)

Turtle Population in Costa Rica

Historically, turtle research only revealed that actual turtle population numbers are very hard to pin down. However, in recent decades many organizations have been able to conduct more accurate research.

Teams composed of scientific experts and enthusiastic caring volunteers observe, count, and even tag several species of turtles on Costa Rica sea turtle nesting beaches.

Humans have caused much of the reduction in world turtle populations. Humans have directly affected turtle habitats and nesting beaches with high-impact fishing, pleasure boating, and by developing encroaching oceanfront properties.

Changes in tourism over the last few years have increasingly helped to improve the world’s sea turtle populations. Tour organizers for today’s sea turtle nesting beaches are now attempting to combine tourism and eco-travel vacations with volunteer activity. This has helped to positively affect and protect endangered turtles and their nesting grounds, while educating curious vacationers.

Pacific Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Costa Rica is home to sea turtle nesting beaches for many species including:

  • Giant leatherbacks
  • Loggerheads turtles
  • Olive Ridley turtles
  • Hawksbill turtles
  • Green sea turtles

The sea turtles return to these nesting beaches annually all along both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines but each species has its own season, depending on where the nesting grounds are located.

Leatherback National Park

Leatherback Turtle National Park is located on the Pacific coast north of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The best time to plan a visit to these sea turtle nesting beaches for the giant leatherback turtles is between the months of October and March.

Leatherback Turtle National Park was created to protect, study, and improve the population of hundreds of giant leatherback turtles that nest here annually. Giant leatherbacks are the world’s largest turtles and can grow in excess of 6-feet long, and weigh up to 2000 lbs. or more!

Atlantic Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Tortuguero Costa Rica is one of the prime areas for ongoing research as well as Atlantic sea turtle preservation and eco tourism.

Costa Rica has developed some excellent programs for turtle conservation including the Green Turtle Research Station in Tortuguero National Park.

Tortuguero’s Atlantic sea turtle nesting season may vary depending on the turtle species that is nesting at different times of the year. Each species nests here for about three months or more.

  • Leatherback Turtles (March – May)
  • Hawksbill Turtles (March – October)
  • Atlantic Sea Turtles (July – September)
  • Loggerhead Turtles (July – September)
  • Green Sea Turtles (July – October)

The John H. Phipps Green Turtle Research Station in Tortuguero Costa Rica, along with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (and other such organizations), focuses their efforts on different turtle species, depending on the nesting season.

Research teams for the Atlantic sea turtle nesting beaches will tag the turtles as they come ashore to bury their eggs. In many cases the researchers are also able to re-direct turtles that become disoriented by lights from condominiums and beachfront residences. In one study, teams were able to help turtles hatch nearly 3,000 eggs, with a minimum of disorientation or predator interference.

Costa Rica Ecotourism Raises Turtle Awareness

To increase awareness and appreciation for Costa Rica’s Pacific and Atlantic sea turtle nesting beaches (and their inhabitants), research projects usually coincide with several tourism activities, such as the Green Market, various festivals (with live acoustic music), beach parades, and more.

During these events, various table displays and shops offer different types of turtle themed gear, including T-shirts, wooden ornaments, and even license plates that spell out the word “turtle.” All souvenirs and activities are planned with conservation and turtle welfare in mind.

Visit this blog page to explore more Costa Rica Beaches.

Endangered Hawksbill Turtles

In addition to the Leatherbacks and Green Sea Turtles, the Hawksbill turtle is of particular interest to science and eco-tourists. Hawksbill turtles were placed on the endangered list nearly 40 years ago.

The Hawksbill turtle species is a medium-size sea turtle that generally nests between late March and October each year. The Hawksbill turtle is commonly found in the Caribbean Ocean and the western parts of the Atlantic. The alarming decline in Hawksbill numbers is primarily due to human predators who hunted the species for its shell.

Costa Rica Tours Includes Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches

The leatherback turtle nesting beach in Guanacaste Costa Rica is one of this country’s biggest tourist draws. The nesting beaches and Caravan’s accompanying naturalist tour guides, offer Caravan travelers the opportunity to learn about and help protect endangered turtle species while enjoying nature.

Currently Caravan Tours includes a visit to the Leatherback Turtle National Park along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast in Guanacaste.

Check out the affordably priced, 9-day Natural Paradise tour for up to date travel itineraries, tour dates, hotel accommodations, FAQ’s, and more. You can also read fellow traveler’s reviews for this tour.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your space today for an all inclusive Costa Rica tour that includes a visit to turtle nesting beaches in Leatherback Turtle National Park!

Caravan Costa Rica vacations are the perfect holidays offering something for everyone. With a name that literally means “Rich Coast,” how can you miss?

Costa Rica is a small Central American country but although small in size (just under 20,000 square miles), Costa Rica is overflowing with natural wonders and exotic tropical beauty.

No matter who you are or where you are from, Caravan’s well-planned Costa Rica vacations will astound you. Stops include the country’s two most famous volcanoes, Arenal volcano and Poás volcano plus some of the most popular attractions in the country:

  • Hiking or walking through tropical virgin rainforests and cloud forests
  • Relaxing on white sandy beaches at world class resorts
  • Exploring wildlife refuges, nature reserves, and protected turtle nesting beaches
  • Taking in jungle river cruises and bird watching cruises
  • Or taste-testing fresh coffee at a local coffee plantation

Top 4 Costa Rica Destinations

While on our Caravan Costa Rica vacations, travelers get to enjoy the most popular, must-see destinations including:

  1. Leatherback Turtles National Park: This protected marine and wildlife refuge is one of the more popular National Parks in Costa Rica and a top eco-tourism destination. Plan to travel here between September and March to catch a glimpse of the prime nesting season for leatherback turtles. This national park also has an overabundance of mammals and birds (over 174 species!), plus truly unique flora and fauna just waiting to be explored.
  2. Poás Volcano: This popular Costa Rica volcano is located near the center of country. Poás Volcano is often misty and cloudy but when the mist breaks, visitors are given a unique glimpse of the green sulphuric lake that shoots geysers up over 800 feet in the air. At a mile wide and over 1,000 feet deep, Poás volcano is the world’s largest active crater.
  3. Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge: The only way to get to Cano Negro, one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations, is on a boat cruise along the Rio Frio River. Experienced Costa Rica tour guides help visitors stay on the lookout for migratory birds, crocodiles, web-footed water walking lizards, spider monkeys, jaguars, cougars, and more.
  4. Arenal Volcano: Located about 55 kilometers northwest of Costa Rica’s capital San José, Arenal Volcano remained dormant for several hundred years until it erupted suddenly in 1968 creating three more craters. Only one crater still exists today and tourists enjoy visiting one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world (from a safe distance of course).

All Inclusive Vacations by Caravan

Because Costa Rica is small it is possible to travel from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast and see all the major attractions in between while on Caravan’s 9-day Costa Rican vacation. Caravan’s Costa Rica tour guests are pleasantly surprised by not only the tropical diversity of Costa Rica but also how affordable it is to travel Costa Rica all inclusive on Caravan’s fully guided tours!

Caravan Costa Rica vacations well planned with tour itineraries that make them ideal all inclusive, fully guided trips for every type of traveler including singles, couples, families and seniors.

Caravan Tours Are Fully Guided

There is a good reason why Caravan Tours has named Costa Rica the “Natural Paradise”.

Caravan Tours offers Costa Rica vacation packages that include most of the destinations and activities mentioned in this article. Visit Caravan’s Costa Rica tour reviews page to read about the personal travel experiences of previous tour guests on Caravan’s fully guided, all inclusive tour of Costa Rica.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your space today!

Costa Rica FAQs

Why is Costa Rica so popular?

Easily accessible from North America, Costa Rica is a safe natural paradise. This small country has 6% of the world’s biodiversity plus amazing turtle nesting beaches and is mostly sunny and warm throughout the year.

When is the best time to Visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica’s peak tourist times are during the dry season, between December and April. The wettest months are September and October. The best time to see nesting turtles and whales is between July and November.

Are masks required in Costa Rica?

Yes, both tourists and native Costa Ricans must wear a mask?

Do I need to speak Spanish in Costa Rica?

Tourism in Costa Rica is the #1 industry, and most locals can converse in English, so you don’t need to speak Spanish.

Can I drink the water in Costa Rica?

Yes, you can drink the tap water in most of the popular tourist destinations, but it is not recommended in rural locations.

What currency is needed in Costa Rica?

Colon is the local currency however US dollars are widely accepted over other currencies.

How expensive is Costa Rica to visit?

Costa relies heavily on tourism dollars and most visitors are from North America, so the cost is quite comparable to vacationing in the United States or Canada.