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.

In this Caravan Tours post explore Poas Volcano facts and sustainable tourism in Costa Rica.

Surrounded by lush tropical rainforests, Poás Volcano in Costa Rica is not only one of this country’s most important protected areas but historically, it has also been one of the country’s most visited tourist attractions.

Poás Volcano actually has two craters and has also become a very popular attraction for international visitors and tourists. Poás Volcano National Park is also just a short scenic drive (within an hour) of the capital, San Jose. Its close proximity attracts a lot of locals as well, who visit the area to escape the city on weekends.

Quick Poás Volcano Facts

  • The peak of Poás volcano rises to more than 8,000 feet above sea level.
  • Its two craters are bordered by lush tropical rainforests.
  • The large crater has a large very acidic lake called Laguna Caliente.
  • The larger crater is almost a mile across and over 900 feet deep with continuous geyser-like eruptions of sulphuric gas and steam. This has earned it the reputation as the largest geyser in the world.
  • The second Poás Volcano crater is called Botos Lagoon and is much smaller.
  • The smaller crater is inactive and holds a body of cold fresh water that feeds into two Costa Rica rivers.
  • Poás Volcano is believed to be about 11 million years old.
  • Poás had about a half a dozen eruptions over the past one hundred years including 1910, several between 1952 and 1954, 1989, 2009 and 2017.

Biodiversity of Poás Volcano National Park

The mountain, volcano activity and lagoons may be enough to draw many visitors, but Poás National Park offers travelers much more to see and enjoy.

Here are some Poas Volcano facts regarding the area’s biodiversity, which can be witnessed within the park’s four distinct natural habitats including:

  1. An area of little plant growth.
  2. The world famous “stunted” (or dwarf) forest – a result of acid rain caused by the volcano.
  3. An area dominated by Arrayans, a type of shrub or small tree similar to evergreens.
  4. Escalonia Cloud Forest region, which is a lush tropical rainforest area that receives very little rain but experiences very high humidity because of the low lying clouds, fog, and mists.

The best time to experience Poás Volcano and Poás Volcano National Park is early in the day before the clouds roll in and obscure the amazing views of this world famous tourist attraction.

Due to recent volcanic activity, Caravan’s visit to Poás Volcano tours has been temporarily discontinued until further notice. It is not currently part of our Costa Rica itinerary.

Sustainable Tourism for Poás Volcano

Costa Rica is renowned for its biodiversity and for its commitment to sustainable Costa Rica Tourism. Poás Volcano National Park is an excellent example of how Costa Rica has embraced tourism with minimal intrusion of its many natural parks, wildlife refuges and biological reserves.

Costa Rica All Inclusive Tours – Includes Poás Volcano Tour

Thank you for exploring our Poas Volcano facts page.

Our all inclusive Natural Paradise Costa Rica Package Tours are fully escorted 9-day packages. The tour is exceptionally priced, considering all hotels, meals, activities, land transportation, and gratuities are included.

Visit Caravan’s Costa Rica tour reviews page to read what others have said about this all inclusive tour of Costa Rica or call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your spot today.

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.

Costa Ricans are very proud (and rightfully so) of the fact that they abolished the army back in 1948-49 and used their military budget to fund education, security, and the culture of their people. All medical and educational needs of the people are provided at no cost and senior citizens are issued a “gold” card that allows them certain privileges. In fact, seniors are permitted to move to the front of the line or ride the local transit for free!

I also find it quite remarkable that this tiny country had the foresight and courage to protect nearly a third of their homeland in national parks and wildlife preserves, ensuring the protection of over 16,000 different species of flora, fauna, and wildlife. According to Wikipedia, Costa Rica has only 1% of the world’s land mass but an astonishing 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Simply amazing!

In front of the cloud shrouded Poas Volcano

After our tour of San Jose, we also headed to Aljuela to visit Poas Volcano and the Escalonia Cloud Forest (literally a mountain forest that gets very little rain but is mostly covered in cloud). The road to Poas volcano is quite narrow and winds up to an elevation of over 8800 feet above sea level. Near the top, Poas volcano and the surrounding forest was completely engulfed in cloud…so it was really quite cool and humid, which meant we needed to wear a light jacket or hoodie. Unfortunately, the clouds hung around so all we could see was a blanket of white but it was quite unique all the same. (See the picture of my two boys in front of the cloud-shrouded Poas volcano.)

Other excursions while on our tour of San Jose and Central Valley included a visit to a butterfly garden and a tour of the Doka Estate coffee plantation. The butterfly garden was a domed refuge that was home to dozens of species of beautifully colored butterflies including the incredibly beautiful Blue Morpho Butterfly.

Butterfly Gardens near San Jose

Our guide for the Costa Rica coffee plantation explained the whole coffee growing and harvesting process. After growing the coffee plants and picking the fruit to separate the coffee seeds from the fruit, the coffee beans are graded and separated based on size and quality. Then the coffee beans are dried in the sun. (See photo)

Drying Costa Rica Coffee Beans in the sun.

Only the largest, top quality coffee beans are dried out in the sun. The majority of those are then shipped to international markets. The medium and lower quality coffee beans are usually dried in large heated ovens.

Doka Estate Coffee Planation

At the end of the coffee plantation tour, we got to taste some of the finest coffee in Costa Rica. The country only produces 100% Arabica coffee (the absolute best kind) and only keeps about 3% of what they produce for themselves. The other 97% is shipped to markets around the world. Today I bought some 100% Costa Rican espresso whole bean and some Peabody coffee beans. Peabody beans grow as a whole bean instead of two half-beans inside the fruit. These are considered to be quite rare and produce a much smoother, sweeter coffee taste.

We loved our tour of San Jose and we love traveling with Caravan Tours. On tomorrow’s leg of this Costa Rica tour, we head north to La Fortuna where it’s supposed to be sunny and in the mid-80s. Really can’t wait! Will tell you all about it in tomorrow night’s blog!

Til then…

~ Lee K