People surfing the waves at Playa Grande Beach in Guanacaste Costa Rica

Lowlands of Guanacaste Costa Rica

Today, on the first day of 2017, we are making our way to Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica to visit the leatherback turtle nesting beaches. As we pulled out of La Fortuna we headed away from the wet tropical rainforests of Central Costa Rica, traveling northwest across the continental divide and then down into the lowlands of Guanacaste; an area known for its dry rainforests and white sandy beaches. Read more

Riverside border sign between Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Costa Rica Rio Frio River Cruise and Hot Springs

Today, traveling with Caravan Tours, we get to enjoy a guided Rio Frio river cruise up near the Nicaraguan border. Unfortunately, however, when we got up today, the Arenal volcano was still covered in the cloud, with no view of the volcano possible. This area of Costa Rica is still beautiful none-the-less. Read more

Young boy with older brother in the Topiary Tunnel in Zarcero, Costa Rica

Today, we left San Jose and headed north to stay at the Magic Mountain Resort in La Fortuna Costa Rica, at the foot of Arenal Volcano. Along the way, we made a few stops at the Wildlife Rescue Center on Zoo Ave, as well as a visit to the small mountain town of Sarchi, famous for making hand-built and hand-painted Ox carts.

As we left for La Fortuna Costa Rica, our tour bus drove by the Plaza de la Cultura and the National Theatre of Costa Rica (Teatro Nacional) in San Jose, which was completed in 1897. Modeled as a smaller version of the Paris Opera House, the National Theatre is the San Jose’s most cherished building, complete with neoclassical columns, a marble lobby, and a statue of Beethoven. According to the Costa Ricans, to truly appreciate the interior’s opulence and architecture you really need to see a live performance. Read more

Large butterfly on a leaf at Butterfly Gardens near San Jose Costa Rica

Tour of San Jose, Poas Volcano & Coffee Plantation

San Jose Costa Rica

Our tour of San Jose in the Central Valley of Costa Rica was a fantastic way to start the day! Paul, our Caravan tour guide, shared his love and pride for the history of his beautiful country. Paul taught us the term Pura Vida. While it’s literal translation means “pure life,” it is a term that Costa Ricans (or Ticas, as they like to call themselves) use to express their optimism for life. It’s also a term that can be expressed in a multitude of ways. It’s so nice to do a guided tour of San Jose with someone who was born and raised in the area. Our guide was so knowledgeable and passionate about his homeland. Paul even told us that as a child he picked coffee beans on his family-owned coffee plantation. Read more

Well, today we flew into Costa Rica to begin our Caravan all inclusive Costa Rica tour. It’s a beautiful sunny day with just a little cloud and about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). Not bad considering when we left Vancouver Canada to take this all inclusive Costa Rica tour it was about minus 3 Celsius (26 F) and we had about 15 or so centimetres of snow (6 inches) on the ground. Read more

Heading to Costa Rica for the Holidays! Yeah!!

On Dec 28th we start our family holiday – a Costa Rica tour hosted by Caravan Tours. Some friends of ours did this Costa Rica Natural Paradise tour a couple years ago and just raved about it. So, I’ve decided to write about our daily experiences while on the tour. This is my first time blogging, so hopefully, I get the hang of it and have some great experiences to share from Costa Rica!

~Lee K.

(Editor’s Note – This original post from October 2011 has been updated to reflect current Costa Rica vacation details. Please note that current Costa Rica tours include a Costa Rica coffee plantation tour in place of a banana plantation tour.)

Bananas have been one of the most popular and versatile fruits in history. The banana is actually a native species of Asia that has been transported to other tropical locations around the globe, including Costa Rica.

Costa Rica and indeed, the Central American economy, include an important sector focusing on this fruit, with Costa Rica banana plantations providing a significant part of the export business. Read more

Sufficient rainfall, moderately warm temperatures, and rich soil fed by numerous volcanoes help make Costa Rica sugar cane exceptional. These are also ideal growing conditions for a large number of agricultural products including vegetables, fruits, flowers, and of course, coffee.

Sugar cane has, in some minds, a history and reputation similar to that of coffee, gold, and a few other natural resources.

As was the case with many other indigenous crops, sugar cane was transported to dozens of locations around the globe from its native region of south Asia and India. Today it is planted and harvested in more than 100 countries, including Costa Rica in Central America. Read more

If you seek spectacular scenery with a panoramic view of Costa Rica’s most active volcano (Arenal Volcano), the city of La Fortuna de San Carlos (La Fortuna Costa Rica) may be the place for you.

Located in the northern part of Costa Rica, La Fortuna is one of only a few sizeable towns and small cities in what is known as Costa Rica’s Northern Lowlands.

But La Fortuna is far from isolated. The city offers all the amenities that a traveler could desire and is easily accessible from San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital. Read more

Like most of Costa Rica’s tourist destinations and natural wonders Arenal volcano (Volcan Arenal) is a sight to behold. It is perhaps the country’s most well-know attraction.

Arenal is a very active cone shaped volcano in the northwest portion of Costa Rica, within an hour drive of San Jose, the capital. The volcano is located in the district of La Fortuna and included on Caravan’s all inclusive tour.

With a height of more than 5,000 feet above sea level, Arenal was formed a mere 7,000 years ago and is considered to be a relatively young volcano. Read more