All of Caravan Tours' fully escorted motorcoach tours are a good value - and their Latin America tours offer the best value of all. Caravan, headquartered in Chicago, are an experienced, competent company that offers trips to Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica as well as other destinations around the world. Their trips include all meals, airport transfers, great hotel locations, interesting and educational tour itineraries, skilled bus drivers, and professional, English-speaking tour directors. Bottled water is provided on the motorcoach, and purified water is available at all meals. Caravan Tours has operated escorted tours under the same family management for over fifty years, and it's one of the country's most experienced and reliable tour companies.
Costa Rica Tour
Caravan's Costa Rica Tour takes you to both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and includes visits to two major volcanoes (Poas and Arenal) and spectacular national parks, including Tortuguero Park (where you'll stay right in the remote jungle and probably be awakened early in the morning by the noise made by howler monkeys that are just outside your room!) and Manuel Antonio National Park (where you'll find magnificent beaches for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling - and plenty of white-faced monkeys to keep you entertained). Your trip will include a long boat ride in the rainforest (on the canals in Tortuguero National Park), visits to banana and coffee plantations, an Aerial Rainforest Tram Ride, a hike in a Cloud Forest Reserve (which is home to epiphytes, ferns, orchids, and tropical birds), and an opportunity for a relaxing soak in the Baldi Hot Springs (where you'll find 16 pools with temperatures that vary from 88 degrees to 172 degrees).
The Guatemala Tour includes two nights just across the border, in western Honduras, where you'll stay in Copan (where you'll find the best preserved ruins of the Mayan world). Other highlights of this tour include a visit to Antigua (Guatemala's former capital - and considered to be the best preserved colonial city in Central America), Santiago Atitlan (where women are often seen balancing huge water vessels on their heads), Tikal (which was once the grandest of all Mayan cities - and which served as the victorious rebel base in the first "Star Wars" movie), and the largest market in Central America. You'll also enjoy a boat cruise on beautiful Lake Atitlan, which is surrounded by three towering volcanoes.
Mexico's Ancient Civilizations Tour
Mexico's Ancient Civilizations Tour begins in Mexico City and ends in Cancun. It includes two night in Mexico City (at the hundred million dollar Sheraton Centro Historico) as well as visits to colonial Puebla (with its hundreds of churches), Oaxaca (renowned for its black pottery and native handicrafts), the ancient hilltop ruins of the Zapotec civilization at Monte Alban, the Tehuacan-Cuicatian National Biosphere Reserve (where cacti can reach heights of 45 feet on the million acre site), Villa Hermosa's La Venta Park (where you'll see Olmec heads up to twelve feet tall), Palenque (where ancient Mayan ruins are found against a backdrop of jungle foliage), Uxmal (where you'll find the Pyramid of the Magicians, the Nunnery Quadrangle, and the Governor's Palace), and the Mayan-Toltec ruins of Chichen Itza.
Mexico's Copper Canyon Tour
Mexico's Copper Canyon Tour takes you through the canyons of the Sierra Madres (which are collectively known as Copper Canyon - and four times the size of the Grand Canyon). In addition to the usual luxury motorcoach ride, Mexico's Copper Canyon Tour includes a river float trip (on the El Fuerte River) and two excursions on first class, air conditioned chartered train cars (through the canyon). Your trip accommodations will even include a night on the very rim of the canyon (where you'll get spectacular views - from your room - that directly overlooks the canyon!).
Caravan Tours also offers escorted tours into Canada, Europe, and the U.S.A., but these trips do not include all the meals (to keep the costs of these destinations in line).
For tour dates, hotel descriptions, detailed itineraries and other pertinent information about Caravan Tours, visit the web site at www.caravantours.com or contact them at Caravan Tours Inc., 401 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; phone: 1-800-227-2826.