Costa Rica Tour Blog by Caravan Tours

Our Caravan Costa Rica travel blog provides a wealth of information on what to see and things to do when vacationing in beautiful Costa Rica. Learn more about Arenal volcano near La Fortuna or this country’s Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. From plantation and rainforest tours to turtle nesting beaches and Manuel Antonia National Park, Costa Rica is a Natural Paradise with so much to discover and explore!

What Are Cloud Forests?

This information about a cloud forest Costa Rica location is provided by Caravan Tours.

A cloud forest (aka “fog” forest) is similar to a rainforest except that they have high humidity and less rain. Cloud forests can be found in nearly four dozen countries around the globe that have either tropical or sub-tropical climate conditions.

The cloud forest Costa Rica location exists in a forested mountain area with high humidity and is persistently shrouded in low-lying clouds (usually at the forest canopy level). This is usually caused when warm moist winds push up against mountain terrain. As the air rises and cools the cool air can’t hold as much moisture and clouds or mists are formed by the excess humidity.

Costa Rica cloud forests can be found in a number of locations throughout this small country. These cloud forest regions have the right combination of geography and weather and many are designated as national parks.

Places like Braullio Carrillo National Park, Irazu’ Volcano National Park, J. Castro Blanco National Park and Monteverde Biological Reserve all display the unique characteristics of cloud forests and are major tourist attractions. Read more

Is Poás National Park Open?

Is Poas National Park open? The answer is yes. Excluding holidays, the hours are between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

For years, visiting Poás Volcano has been a top highlight for many guests of Costa Rica tours by Caravan.

Located in the second most-visited national park in Costa Rica, Poás volcano normally enjoys over 250,000 visitors each year. Visitors came from all over the world to marvel at the two craters of Poás volcano, which are bordered by lush tropical rainforests and rises more than 8,000 feet above sea level.

However, in April of 2017, Poás Volcano National Park was temporarily closed to visitors due to increased volcanic activity. The park was only expected to remain closed for a couple of days but subsequent violent eruptions on April 22 and again on June 6, 2017, forced Poás Volcano National Park to be closed indefinitely.

When did Poas National Park open? It opened to the public again on August 21, 2018. However, the Park experienced a 2-day closure in February of 2019 due to ash emissions. Poás Park has since re-opened but with restrictions in place. Read more

Mangrove Forest Importance

In this blog post, Caravan Tours offers a number of interesting facts about the importance of the mangrove forest in Costa Rica, which will help make your fully guided tour all the more enjoyable.

Our all-inclusive Cost Rica tour includes a guided Tarcoles River float trip through the Carara National Park mangrove forest, Costa Rica.

What is a mangrove forest?

Located in the province of Guanacaste, the mangrove forest in Costa Rica consists mainly of mangrove plants. These are primarily salt-tolerant shrubs or small trees that live in the coastal intertidal zone. A Mangrove forest creates a unique habitat for migratory birds, mammals, Crustacea, and fish; like no other tree species can.

It is quite easy to spot the dense tangled root system of mangrove trees. Some even describe mangrove trees as looking like they are standing on stilts (actually roots) above the water. Read more

View of the bay on a hike up Manual Antonio Park in Costa Rica

In this blog post exploring Manuel Antonio Park facts, Caravan Tours has also compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked.

For instance, despite being Costa Rica’s smallest National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park remains a favorite must-see Costa Rica destination.

In fact, since Poas Volcano National Park Was Closed for a while due to recent volcanic activity, Manuel Antonio National Park is now the most visited park in Costa Rica, receiving 150,000 visitors each year, (on average, about 410 visitors each day).

You can also read a firsthand account of the Manuel Antonio National Park tour as told by a recent Caravan Tours’ guest. Read more

Lagoon and sandy beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

After leaving the JW Marriott Hotel in Guanacaste, our Costa Rica tour took us south towards the province of Puntarenas where we get to enjoy a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park. Along the way, we stopped to take a bird-watching riverboat cruise on the Tarcoles River (Rio Grande de Tarcoles), which was next to the Carara Biological Reserve.

Also known as the River of Crocodiles, this Tarcoles River area of mangrove forest is literally a bird watchers’ paradise for anyone who loves birds. Read more

Couple on a beach watching the sunset in Guanacaste Costa Rica

Well, after nearly a week always on the move and doing day excursions like the Rio Frio river cruise, we get to stay at the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort as part of this Caravan Costa Rica tour. It really is nice to just take a day for ourselves and relax.
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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, Arenal volcano was still covered in the cloud, with no view of the volcano possible. This area of Costa Rica is still beautiful nonetheless. Read more

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 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

Tour of San Jose, Poas Volcano & Coffee Plantation

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