Costa Rica Sun Tours (CRST) is fully committed to working with and supporting travel agencies. Today more than ever it is imperative to rely on a reputable ally. We have an outstanding reputation among our peers and suppliers, you can count on us. Our thorough destination expertise, exceptional customer service, and focus on health and safety set us apart. Customizing trips which satisfy a variety of clients is what we do best, from family-friendly tours to luxury travel opportunities. Costa Rica Sun Tours favors eco-friendly hotels and luxury lodges combined with authentic cultural and culinary experiences providing unique and memorable lifetime travel experiences for your travelers. We pride ourselves in personally vetting each provider we work with in country. Small groups and individuals can choose fully or partially escorted tours in the company of the best naturalist guides in the country!
John Aspinall, CEO of Costa Rica Sun Tours and sole proprietor, is a pioneer in tourism in Costa Rica. He along with his family, were ahead of their time with the creation of two eco-lodges Tiskita Jungle lodge, in the remote southwest of the country facing Golfo Dulce and the Osa Peninsula, and the Arenal Observatory Lodge, the only hotel within the Arenal Volcano National Park, boult for scientists from the Smithsonian.
Recently, John has added two more properties to his portfolio, Senda Monteverde, offering a new standard in sustainable luxury to its guests, and La Fortuna Suites, boasting cozy lodging in an ideal location for exploring the Arenal area.
John’s love for nature and wildlife defines everything he does, making him the perfect explorer and tour operator that is always procuring the road less traveled, in search of new and exciting places to be interwoven in our itineraries and programs.
Costa Rica Sun Tours
Age of Business
Owner-operated for thirty years, Costa Rica Sun Tours, was established in 1988. Thanks to all of these years of experience in the travel industry, we have been able to create long lasting relationships with a network of the most prestigious companies from North America, Europe and Australia who rely in our fast communication, know-how, and proficiency.
Edificio Cerro Placiente, La Uruca Barrio Robledal
De Autos Kia 200 Sur, 100 Este y 75 Sur
La Uruca, San José, Costa Rica
Costa Rica Sun Tours target primary markets are North America (Unites States of America & Canada), Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Our clients seek sightseeing and soft-adventure experiences – from nature viewing (flora and fauna) to cultural experiences to hiking, birding, and whale and turtle watching (during special seasons).
Demographically from all ages, our programs, which are mostly custom-made cover a great variety of activities from family friendly escapades, romantic travel, soft-adventure, nature tours, wellness, beach getaways and much more.
Our guests also tend to be well-educated and have higher than average household incomes. They see themselves as increasingly sophisticated and experienced travelers, seeking more unusual places and experiences ‘off the beaten track’. They concentrate on the unique opportunities and stay at small high-end lodges with loads of personality that offer a barefoot luxury concept, allowing them to have access to remote unexplored areas where wildlife and unspoiled natural environment exploration are the best, without sacrifice of comfort and highest standards of service.
Our marketing activities include familiarization tours, trade shows, media relations, and joint ventures with our partners that are set up for a lifetime.
Our business structure is as follows:
Our bookings are generated and produced by:
Our market segments:
Group (100% Leisure) 45%
FIT (100% Leisure) 55%.
Some of our best accounts and excellent referrals are:
- Natural Habitat Adventures (they have been our partners for the past 25 + years)
- REI Adventures (they have been our partners for the past 28+ years)
- Austin Adventures (they have been our partners for the past 15 years)
Memberships and Affiliations
- The Adventure Travel Trade Association inspires, connects, and empowers the global community to do good through travel. We’re an ever-growing community of passionate travel professionals from destinations all around the globe.
- Fully licensed (License #208) since 1988 by the Costa Rican Tourism Board(Under the brand Essential Costa Rica) which is the government agency responsible for promoting sustainable tourism in Costa Rica. Due to our commitment to sustainable tourism, Costa Rica Sun Tours obtained one of the highest qualifications (Level 4) in a rigorous certification granted by the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT).
- The Corcovado Foundation, establishes patrols and rangers stations in the biodiverse area surrounding the Corocovado National Park, greatly reducing illegal hunting and logging. The Corcovado Foundation currently has four main areas of work: Sea Turtle Conservation, Environmental Education, Sustainable Tourism, Community Development.
Through continual research, feedback from our customers, and site inspections, our planning and sales staff is equipped to provide our partners with the best possible trip.
This extensive knowledge and expertise combined with close attention to detail and creativity is the perfect mix when planning and booking a trip. Let us recommend what is best!
A well-planned itinerary requires great execution to produce the perfect vacation. Our Operations Department is the team in charge of logistics and programming, and they work closely with our field staff to seamlessly deliver activities, transfers, services and flights.
With robust office team and headquarters that remains open 365 days a year, we are committed and we have the credentials to take excellent care of you!
Our Philosophy / Service Philosophy
Costa Rica Sun Tours goal is to offer transformative, meaningful, and unique life-changing travel experiences. We understand the importance of surpassing your clients’ expectations and ensuring that they have the best vacation ever.
We are a trusted and innovative inbound tour operator that adjusts to the needs of each client, with the intent of providing a PURA VIDA!!! experience with professional, high-quality service, always respecting the natural and cultural resources, relying on the warmth, ability, and commitment of our talented staff.
To be industry leaders in providing high quality personalized tour services in Costa Rica, with personnel committed to the total satisfaction of our clients.
We believe that no matter how amazing a destination is; only an expert guide can help capture the hidden gems and uniqueness of each locale.
While each of our guides have exceptional talents and knowledge and each is naturally the kind of person we enjoy spending time with, for our guests comfort and safety there are a number of key professional credentials that they have in common:
- All are native Spanish speakers who are fluent in English.
- All have completed the Costa Rica Institute of Tourism’s (maximum governmental authority and responsible of the Ministry of Tourism) training course and been certified as a guide.
- All attend in-house educational programs throughout the year. The objective is to provide the best service to our guests. We provide:
- Training in CPR and First Aid and carry first aid kits on tours.
- Lectures and workshops on adventure tours and equipment used.
- Training focused in our emergency manuals and protocols.
- Lectures and workshops by experts on volcanology, botany, wildlife, history, sociology, conservation, about our partners (wholesalers and agents around the globe), nutrition, psychology, just to name a few.
- Costumer service course.
- All have spotting scopes, binoculars, and nature field guides
Common Traits of a CRST guide:
- A mindset focused on health and safety with know-how to minimize potential risks.
- Naturally charismatic and genuine personalities that are adept at working with and welcoming guests of all ages, beliefs, and cultures.
- Excellent communication abilities that shine both when sharing the love for their country and when managing guest expectations and any on-tour hiccups that may arise.
- Loyal and diplomatic ambassadors for CRST and our wholesalers – the majority have been with the company from 10 to 25 years!
- Experts in their field who love what they do and lead with autonomy, and a little humor, to improvise as needed through a trip.
We have worked throughout the years to develop the best team of guides. We have guides that are hired as permanent part of our team as well as freelance (they must have all the same skills and talents of our regular guides and take part in all of our workshops, lectures, and courses as well)
Drivers and Vehicle Information
We are proud to say that we are one of the few travel companies in Costa Rica that do a great effort to mitigate our footprint in our operations.
Our private bilingual host drivers are selected for their driving skills, knowledge of the country and orientation towards customer service. He/she is responsible for staying with the vehicle while clients are at restaurants, doing hikes or other tours so that all personal belongings left in the vehicle are safe. This service offers you more flexibility in travel time as you can request stops to photograph gorgeous scenery, view wildlife, visit nice local restaurants, meet local people, or take coffee breaks and stretch when you need it.
All of the vehicles must comply with strict regulations that include:
- Vehicles while on tour are inspected daily and cleaned inside and outside.
- Covered by the highest insurance policies and up to date.
- We require our drivers to have basic English language proficiency and a minimum of 5 years driving experience, though typically they have between 10 and 15 years.
- Our Drivers are also CPR and First Aid certified.
We also provide premium transfers that can be delivered via private jets, helicopters or luxury SUV´s vehicles (Lexus RX, Lexus LX, Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Ford Explorer). Snacks and drinks are included on board; this type of service is available throughout the country.