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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!

A Caravan all inclusive Costa Rica tour is the ultimate tropical vacation with all the exotic trappings that you would expect and more.

The name “Costa Rica” means “Rich Coast” and the pure, untamed beauty of Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean coastlines reveal unspoiled eco diversity like nowhere else on earth.

This diversity is possible partly because Costa Rica abolished the military decades ago and used that funding for the preservation of their natural heritage. Today, over 23% of Costa Rica is now protected in National Parks, refuges, and wildlife preserves.

In this article we will answer four of the common questions about our Caravan all inclusive Costa Rica Tour.

What does “Fully Escorted” Mean?

“Fully escorted” simply means that from start to finish, your tour in Costa Rica will be conducted by a professional Caravan tour operator. The same tour operator stays with your group the entire time. We use very knowledgeable and experienced local tour operators who take our travelers through Costa Rica’s best attractions. Each tour director is also fluent in English and will work with your bus driver, plus other local tour guides at specific attractions. With a fully escorted tour you can relax and enjoy every minute of your vacation.

Because every detail of our all inclusive Costa Rica tour is taken care of by your tour director, these full escorted Costa Rica vacations have become very popular in recent years. This is especially true for budget travelers and those who want group tours, senior tours, or all-inclusive family vacations.

What is Included on Caravan’s All Inclusive Costa Rica Tour?

Caravan Tours is an all-inclusive Costa Rica tour operator providing affordable, fully guided tours of beautiful central American country.

All inclusive means virtually everything is included for one low price. Tours are fully escorted and all ground transportation is provided. The tour also includes all itinerary meals, accommodations, activities, and activity fees. Caravan will even provide bottled water on their restroom equipped, air conditioned Mercedes motor coaches.

Your Caravan all inclusive Costa Rica tour also includes airport transfers to and from your hotel. As well, your tour price includes all gratuities for local guides, hotel staff, and restaurants.

With Caravan Tours, you know what your costs are up front. There are no add on features or surprise option sales, making Caravan Tours the most convenient and affordable way to enjoy this amazing eco-friendly country.

What Are Some of the Tour Highlights?

For one low all inclusive price, vacationers can enjoy this Natural Paradise all-inclusive Costa Rica tour with visits to some the country’s most popular attractions. You’ll visit tropical rainforests, volcanoes, plantations, Colonial cities, and incredible National Parks.

From the moment you arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, you will understand why this quaint little country of just over four million people is so popular. Your Costa Rica all inclusive vacation tour will be accompanied by local naturalist guides who are eager to share the country’s natural beauty and heritage with world travelers.

You will travel north from San Jose through banana, sugar cane, teak, and orange plantations and take a guided coffee plantation tour. Every all inclusive tour includes visits to Manual Antonio National Park and Leatherback Turtles National Park.

You’ll enjoy the splendor of cascading waterfalls, natural hot springs, active volcanoes, lush tropical rainforests, cloud forests, and the country’s many wildlife refuges and reserves. It all adds up to an amazing, unforgettable holiday experience.

Caravan’s all inclusive Costa Rica tour also includes river cruises, a visit to a butterfly garden, a bird sanctuary and a beach hike along the Pacific coast Leatherback turtle nesting beaches. There are also unforgettable aerial tram tours through the virgin rainforest canopy, where you can observe the canopy wildlife up close and in their natural setting.

Why Do Costa Rica Tours Book Up So Fast?

At such a great price point, these tours are filled with all the most popular things to do in Costa Rica. The simply can’t be beat! Caravan’s Costa Rica vacations book so fast because travelers get the best possible value for their money.

Visit Caravan’s Costa Rica tour reviews page to read what others have said about Caravan’s all inclusive Costa Rica tour.

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

There are numerous smaller Costa Rica orange farms but commercial production of Costa Rica oranges has been a major factor in the economy for decades. For example, the largest Costa Rica orange production company is Tico Fruit, which produces 75% of all Costa Rica orange juice.

Did you know that you can get your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C with just one single glass of Orange Juice?

Here are six other facts about Costa Rica oranges you may not know:

  1. Orange trees are very sensitive to both cold and frost and need a warmer climate to thrive. Today, orange trees are grown throughout the world including Costa Rica, which has nearly 5 million orange trees.
  2. Costa Rica oranges are an integral part of a typical Costa Rican diet. Other staple items include corn, rice, pineapple, bananas, and other tropical fruits native to the area.
  3. Oranges made their first appearance in the Western Hemisphere as early as the 16th century. The climate of Central America is ideal for growing oranges and other citrus fruits. Costa Rica oranges are an important part of Costa Rica’s economy.
  4. Costa Rica oranges are harvested by hand which is a very labor intensive process. On smaller Costa Rica orange farms the oranges at the top of the orange trees can only be reached by ladders.
  5. After the oranges are handpicked at the perfect time they are taken to a packing area where they are sorted, washed, labelled, and go through final preparations for exporting.
  6. The primary use of Costa Rica oranges is for creating concentrate. In fact, 40% of all oranges worldwide are used for making concentrate. Oranges may also be made into jam, dried fruit, or marmalade.

Orange Plantations in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a relatively small country. Many of the Costa Rica orange plantations are within an hour drive of one of Costa Rica’s larger towns or cities yet they still retain their quiet atmosphere thanks to the isolation of lush vegetation that abounds in this Central American nation.

In fact, most of Costa Rica’s population lives in the central part of the country, where the rich soil is conducive to growing excellent coffee and other agricultural products, including Costa Rica oranges.

Costa Rica is divided into several governmental regions but the geography of the land features distinct areas including the Pacific coast, the lowlands of the east (Caribbean), the northern lowlands and the central highlands.

The orange has been a staple of man’s diet for centuries. Oranges are native to south-eastern Asia, including areas known as Indo-China.

Orange Plantation Tours

Tourism is the number one industry in Costa Rica so it’s not surprising that local orange plantations offer guided tours. Whether or not you are at a local Costa Rica orange plantation the fragrance of the orange fruit lingers in the air. It is not uncommon for visitors to notice the aroma of coffee being processed from some of the nearby coffee plantations, where some of the finest Arabica coffee beans in the world are processed.

Commercial Orange Production

Another Costa Rica orange company is Del Oro, located in the central mountains near Orosi volcano. Del Ora is a major producer of tropical fruit juices in Costa Rica.

Both Costa Rica orange companies Tico Fruit and Del Oro, supplement their orange production by purchasing Costa Rica oranges from some of the smaller orange plantations.

Costa Rica All Inclusive Tours

Current all-inclusive Costa Rica Vacations feature a Coffee Plantation tour and a morning drive North through Costa Rica’s orange and pineapple plantation region. There is also plenty of fresh local food featured in your meals.

Vacation with Caravan Tours and you’ll enjoy 9 full days of fully escorted travel through Costa Rica’s best destinations.

Be sure to check out Caravan’s Costa Rica tour reviews page to read what others have said about Caravan’s fully escorted all-inclusive tour of Costa Rica.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your booking today.

Taking a Costa Rica coffee plantation tour is at the top of the list for most coffee loving tourists when visiting this small Central American country. Even those who don’t drink coffee find the guided coffee tour to be very informative and interesting.

Along with bananas, oranges, and pineapple plantations, Coffee is one of the most important sectors in the Costa Rican economy, rivaled only by tourism and various other agricultural products.

Did you know that Costa Rica coffee production now accounts for more than 10% of the country’s export business and Costa Rica ranks number fifteen out of the Top 20 coffee producing countries?

In fact, hundreds of thousands of Costa Ricans are employed in the Costa Rica coffee industry; from planting, growing and harvesting to processing and exporting Costa Rica coffee.

Enjoy a Costa Rica Coffee Plantation Tour

When researching where to take a Costa Rica coffee plantation tour you will likely notice how the rapid growth in Costa Rica coffee production has also benefited the Costa Rica tourism industry.

In fact Costa Ricans take great pride in sharing their knowledge of coffee. Costa Rican coffee is generally described as “brightly acidic” and “full-bodied,” and tourists get to enjoy firsthand the tasting and sampling of the finest of Costa Rica coffees.

Government regulations in Costa Rica restrict coffee production to only Arabica coffees (Arabica coffee beans are superior, are better quality, and taste better than lower grown Robusta beans). A Costa Rica coffee plantation tour is now available at many of these Arabica coffee producers.

While on your Caravan Costa Rica tour, you’ll enjoy a coffee plantation tour conducted by expert guides who offer a brief overview of the history behind the Costa Rica coffee industry.

Learn About the History of Coffee Cooperatives in Costa Rica

Not only does the Costa Rica coffee industry help drive the current economy, but it also holds a significant place in the nation’s history, dating back to 1779.

Costa Rica began exporting coffee as early as 1821. Information from the Consortium of Coffee Cooperatives of Guanacaste & Montes de Oro (COOCAFE) indicates that Costa Rica was the “first country in Central America to register coffee exports.”

COOCAFE was formed just over two decades ago, beginning as an organization made up of small grower/producer cooperatives. Almost half of today’s coffee production in Costa Rica comes from farmers who manage five hectares or less. Of the 72,000+ Costa Rica coffee growers more than 60% belong to cooperatives.

One of the primary benefits of COOCAFE, as a grouping of smaller cooperatives, is the ability to pool funds. A loan fund has been established that provides operation loans to member cooperatives at a low interest rate.

See Coffee Production as it Happens

Visitors on a Costa Rica coffee plantation tour find the historical details of coffee fascinating.

Well-trained guides and coffee experts are also able to paint a picture of how the coffee plant grows from a small seed to the full-grown plant. They explain that coffee beans are the fruit of the plant, and emphasize that the beans must be handpicked and processed carefully to produce the best coffee possible.

Individual workers drop the ripe coffee “berries” into a basket carried at their waist. The bean is then removed from a protective coating called a “husk” before being washed, dried, and hand sorted.

With some larger coffee operations, visitors can see newer machinery that was introduced to handle much of the work of coffee processing, but most Costa Rica coffee plantations still pick and process coffee by hand.

The Most Popular Coffee Plantations in Costa Rica

Although the number of large Costa Rica coffee growers is very small, they still produce one-third of Costa Rican coffee due to the size of their operations.

The largest producer of Costa Rican coffee is Café Britt, a company near San Jose and Heredia where you can take a guided Costa Rica coffee plantation tour. A number of other brands are produced here as well, including Doka and Café Volio.

Some plantations have established organic processes in recent years, eliminating the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

About Caravan Tours

Currently, a guided Costa Rica coffee plantation tour is included in all of Caravan’s Natural Paradise Tours. See growing Costa Rican coffee plants, taste freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee, and buy your Costa Rica coffee beans directly from the grower!

For just one low Caravan tour price you’ll enjoy 9 full days of great Costa Rica activities and attractions throughout the country.

Read more Costa Rica tour reviews to see what others have said about this fully escorted tour of Costa Rica.

Read our Caravan Costa Rica FAQ page and call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to book your Costa Rican holiday today.

(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.

Costa Rica Banana History

For much of Costa Rica’s early history coffee was the leading export. The formation of such massive corporations as United Fruit Company changed that.

Bananas have been a staple of Costa Rica’s economy for well over 100 years. In fact, millions of bananas were being exported from Costa Rica before the turn of the last century (1900). Today, there are approximately 130 banana producing countries and out of the top 20, Costa Rica banana production ranks eighth.

In the early years of the 1900s, banana trees began to appear all over the landscape, with some plantations visible for miles from the few roads that crossed the countryside.

The Growth of the Banana Industry

Early Costa Rica banana plantations were first established in the area near the Sixaola River. Large companies such as Dole and Del Monte soon became established in this region as the demand for fresh bananas grew. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, labor unrest shut the banana industry down for a time, until wages rose to a satisfactory level. The Costa Rica banana industry expanded to other sections of the country through the middle of the 20th century.

Banana Growing Regions

One area that began to attract attention as a banana-growing region was near Golfito, in the southern part of the country. Long viewed as a secluded section of Costa Rica, wild and remote, bananas and other products have changed the characteristics of the area somewhat.

Quepos, on the Pacific coast in the central part of the country, also began life as a banana plantation. In the past 70 or 80 years it has grown into a lively, small city, enjoying its proximity to the ocean.

Labor strikes and plant diseases reduced Costa Rica banana production at various times through the second half of the 20th century. New efforts and growing techniques brought production back to a healthy level of nearly 500 million boxes shipped throughout the world in the mid-1990s. At one point, revenue from the Costa Rica banana industry was larger than all tourism combined.

Costa Rica banana plantations can still be found in the Sixaola River area, as well as around Santa Clara and in the Estrella valley. The Matina valley region is also a prime banana growing location. A significant portion of Costa Rica’s banana growth occurs on the Caribbean side of the country.

Today, production and export of Costa Rica bananas are dominated by three huge, well-known companies – Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte, which harvest, package, and export bananas directly to world markets.

Costa Rica All Inclusive Tours – Eat Local Bananas!

A Costa Rica coffee plantation tour is featured as part of the tour package, as well as driving past several other popular Costa Rica plantations including sugar cane, coffee, pineapple, and oranges.

Eat fresh Costa Rica bananas while on your all inclusive Costa Rica package tour with Caravan Tours! 

To book, call Caravan Tours at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) or visit the reviews page to read what others have said about these escorted tours of Costa Rica.

bridge of americas

The Bridge of Americas Panama Canal (or Puente de las Américas in Spanish) was built along the Pan-American Highway in 1962. This four lane Panama land bridge offered a more efficient way for vehicle traffic to travel between land masses on the North and South of the Panama Canal.

The United States initiated and funded this first Panama Canal Bridge, which cost 20 million U.S. dollars at the time (equivalent to 161 million in 2017).

Up until its completion, the only way for vehicle traffic to cross the Panama Canal was by a small swinging road bridge at the Gatun Locks, or a swinging road and rail bridge at Miraflores Locks. Both of these swinging Panama bridges had a very limited capacity. The United States hoped to make it much easier to cross the Panama Canal and to reconnect Colon and Panama City, which were cut off from the rest of their republic by the building of the Panama Canal.

Construction of the Bridge of Americas

When the Panama Canal was first built in the early 20th century it was recognized that it would create a physical barrier between the two major cities, Colon and Panama City, and the rest of the country. Up until 1942 (and 1962), two ferries shuttled vehicles from one side of the canal to the other. Two swinging bridges with limited capacity were eventually added to help move vehicle traffic to either side of the Panama Canal.

Even back in 1923, the need for a permanent Panama land bridge spanning the canal was given priority. Finally in 1955, the Remon-Eisenhower Treaty commissioned the United States to initiate and fund the Panama Bridge of the Americas building project.

At 5,425 feet long (just over a mile wide) the Bridge of Americas Panama Canal took three years to build and upon completion stood 384 feet above sea level, leaving a clearance of 200 feet (61 meters) for ships passing below during high tide.

At first, the Bridge of Americas Panama Canal was actually called the Thatcher Ferry Bridge in honor of the original ferry that helped vehicles cross the Panama Canal. Just a decade after the Americas Bridge was officially commissioned, it was unofficially renamed as “The Bridge of the Americas,” which was much preferred by the Panamanian government. Only in 1979 was the name, “The Bridge of the Americas” officially recognized.

More Bridges Over the Panama Canal

Up until 2004, The Bridge of Americas Panama Canal was the primary method of crossing the Panama Canal by car. The Americas Bridge eventually experienced high levels of congestion and bottleneck as vehicle traffic increased into the 21st century.

Panama Centennial Bridge – In 2004 the new six-lane Panama Centennial Bridge was opened as the second bridge across the Panama Canal. Located just 25 Km inland from the Americas Bridge, the Centennial Bridge did much to ease vehicle traffic congestion. Spanning 1,380 feet and at 262 feet high, the new Panama Centennial Bridge now gives residents and Panama visitors a second option for crossing the Panama Canal by car.

Atlantic Bridge Panama – In 2013, construction began on the third bridge over the Panama Canal. The new four-lane Panama Atlantic Bridge, which is being built on the Atlantic side of Panama near Colon, will have a span of 1740 feet and will be completed by the summer of 2018.

About Caravan Panama Canal Tours

Since 1952, Caravan Tours has been offering all inclusive, fully guided vacation packages throughout North and Central America.

As part of your Panama vacation with Caravan, you will enjoy a guided Panama Canal cruise that passes beneath Bridge of Americas Panama Canal as you cruise through locks and across the Continental Divide. Later on in the tour, you will also be crossing the Panama Canal via the Panama Centennial Bridge and The Bridge of the Americas.

Caravan offers fully escorted, all inclusive Panama Canal vacations that are exceptionally priced and include all meals, accommodations, activities, and gratuities. See our Panama Tour FAQs here.

Visit our Panama Canal Tour page for more information about this tour or to book your Panama vacation call us today at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

(Editor’s Note – This original post from March 2012 has been updated to reflect current Guatemala vacation details.)

Did you know that it takes about 100 pounds of Guatemalan coffee cherries to produce 20 pounds of green Guatemala coffee beans?

Guatemalan vacationers learn facts like these while enjoying a local Guatemala coffee plantation tour as part of Caravan’s all inclusive, escorted Guatemala Tour. Most Guatemala coffee plantation owners welcome tourists onto their farms and even provide specialized tours of their Guatemala coffee growing and harvesting facilities.

Learn about the Guatemala coffee history and savor the taste of fresh, locally grown and roasted 100% Guatemalan coffee as you enjoy a morning coffee plantation tour while on Caravan’s all inclusive Guatemala vacation.

Shade Grown Guatemala Coffee Production

Guatemala is known around the world for producing some of the very best shade grown coffee beans” such as Guatemalan Antigua coffee beans. This is partly due to the rich volcanic soil in Guatemala that was deposited by over 30 volcanoes over the course of Guatemala’s history.

The volcanic soil in Guatemala is full of nutrients that formed below the earth’s surface for millions of years before being brought to surface level by volcanic explosions. These rich volcanic nutrients have very little deterioration with limited exposure to natural elements such as air and sun. Rich soil combined with its tropical location help provide Guatemala coffee plants with some of the world’s best growing conditions.

High Altitude Grown Guatemala Coffee Regions

Guatemala is also a great place for growing gourmet coffee beans because of its high altitudes. Most Guatemala coffee plantations exist along the highlands and mountain slopes. Because these Guatemalan mountain slopes face torrential rainfall, heavy winds and high UV rays, a rainforest covering provides the necessary shelter for the healthy coffee plants to flourish.

This type of natural cover is referred to as “Shade Grown” which means the rainforest provides shaded protection to the delicate coffee plants. This is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to grow high altitude grown Guatemalan coffee beans, as it also provides a habitat for birds, which help to reduce the need for harmful pesticides.

Even though shade grown Guatemalan coffee beans take longer to mature, the final quality and coffee taste are truly worth it. Guatemalan coffee beans are typically denser, larger and showcase more complex aromas and natural flavors. These wonderful attributes make high altitude grown Guatemalan coffee very much in demand, contributing to Guatemala’s status as the second best coffee producing country in the world in terms of the percentage of high-grade coffee beans produced.

Antigua Guatemala Coffee Plantation Tours

Caravan’s Guatemala coffee plantation tour is fully guided by a local coffee expert who gives an overview of Guatemala’s coffee industry and the history that surrounds this amazing beverage. This type of historical information about Guatemalan coffee is quite fascinating for coffee lovers and visitors alike.

Guests on Caravan Guatemala vacations also learn how the coffee plant grows from just a small seed into a full-grown coffee tree. For those who have only experienced coffee as the final roasted bean sold in their grocery store or local coffee house, witnessing the coffee plant in various growth stages is very fascinating indeed.

The coffee bean is actually the seed of a cherry-like fruit grown on the coffee tree. When the fruit ripens, it is handpicked and stripped of its pulp so that the coffee ‘bean’ can be extracted and dried. Local Guatemala coffee plantations wash and sun-dry the coffee beans for as long as needed to obtain the perfect moisture level. These “green” Guatemalan coffee beans are then sorted by size, color, density and moisture content with each category having a varying level of quality.

Antigua Guatemala Coffee Prices

Expert Guatemalan coffee guides explain how different prices can be charged for different grades of Guatemalan coffee beans before giving vacationers on Guatemala coffee plantation tours samples of their farm’s freshly brewed coffee. Many tourists like to support the local Guatemalan coffee producers and purchase single source Guatemalan coffee beans fresh off the farm to bring home to families and friends!

Caravan All Inclusive Guatemala Tours

A Guatemala coffee plantation tour is included as part of Caravan Tours’ economically priced, all inclusive Guatemala vacation. Other Guatemala tour activities include the Tikal Ruins, Antigua and Lake Atitlan.

Visit Caravan’s Guatemala Vacation reviews page to read what others have to say about this fully guided Guatemala tour, or call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to book your next Central American vacation in Guatemala.

(Editor’s Note – This original post from December 2009 has been updated to reflect current Costa Rica vacation details. Please note that current Costa Rica tours include Costa Rica coffee plantation tour instead of a pineapple plantation.)

Pineapples are grown in many parts of the world including Costa Rica, Brazil and the Philippines. Temperatures and other conditions necessary to produce pineapples, limit their growth to tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Costa Rica Pineapple Production

Costa Rica pineapple plantations have experienced tremendous growth in the past decade. In 2001 Costa Rica pineapple exports exceeded 300,000 tons and now this small Central American country leads the world in pineapple production and exports.

In 2007 and 2008, companies who grow and export Costa Rica pineapples began to take steps to address the issues associated with the rapid growth of the Costa Rica pineapple industry.

Even though over 23% of Costa Rica is now protected within wildlife nature refuges, National Parks and reserves, thankfully, Costa Rica pineapple plantations do not encroach upon these protected lands.

Pineapples and the Costa Rica Economy

The Costa Rica pineapple industry has had a positive affect on the local Costa Rica economy contributing more than $500 million dollars. The success of the pineapple industry in Costa Rica continues to attract international investors and farmers.

The industry has grown to such an extent that agents for commercial real estate companies currently offer many listings for pineapple plantations for sale.

These Costa Rica pineapple plantations range from 99 hectares to 2000 hectares in size (one acre equals about .4 hectare) with some in full production and others in the pre-production stage. Prices for each Costa Rica pineapple plantation seem to vary widely, depending on location and whether the site is producing or non-producing.

Costa Rica Pineapple Export

Did you know that Costa Rica is the largest supplier of pineapples to the US?

Currently, about 75 percent of the pineapples sold in the United States are Costa Rica pineapples. As early as 1996 there was more land used for pineapple plantations in Costa Rica than for coffee or banana plantations. Pineapples are now Costa Rica’s premier export crop.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is actively involved in pineapple production in Costa Rica, helping poor populations reap benefits from their native products.

Pineapple Plantation Tours in Costa Rica

Pineapple plantations in Costa Rica have since become a fascinating tourist attraction, in addition to being a major factor in the commercial economy.

Costa Rica pineapple plantation tours allow tourists to witness firsthand the handling and packing of this fruit for the world markets. Some Costa Rica pineapple plantation tours offer fruit salads and milk shakes in addition to samples of freshly picked pineapple. Whole pineapples are also available for purchase in some locations.

All Inclusive Costa Rica Tours

You’re bound to enjoy eating fresh Costa Pineapple during Caravan’s all inclusive Costa Rica tour package.

Currently, Caravan’s Costa Rica vacations include a coffee plantation tour, as well as driving past Costa Rica pineapple plantations plus other local crops like sugar cane, teak, and oranges.

Visit Caravan’s Costa Rica tour reviews page to read what others have said about Caravan’s all inclusive, fully escorted Costa Rica tours.