With over thirty years of experience, owner-operated Costa Rica Sun Tours (CRST) has been offering engaging and unparalleled tours since 1988. CRST is fully committed to working with and supporting our travel partners. Today more than ever, it is imperative to have a reputable ally. We’re proud of the outstanding reputation among our peers and suppliers, and boast an incredible network of prestigious partners in-country and worldwide. 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. With the goal of creating unique and immersive vacations, CRST favors eco-friendly hotels and luxury lodges combined with authentic cultural and culinary experiences. We pride ourselves in personally vetting each of our in-country providers. 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, built 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’ 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, and 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.
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 a robust office team and headquarters that remain open 365 days a year, we are committed and we have the credentials to take excellent care of you!
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.
Each of our guides have exceptional talents and knowledge, and are naturally the kind of people we enjoy spending time with. Equally as important is guest comfort and safety; our guides share a number of key traits and professional credentials including:
- A mindset focused on health and safety with know-how to minimize potential risks.
- Natural charisma and genuine personalities that are adept at working with and welcoming a myriad of guests.
- Excellent communication abilities when sharing the love for their country and when managing guest expectations alike.
- Loyal and diplomatic ambassadors for CRST and partners— the majority have been with us from 10 to 25 years!
- Experts in their field who love what they do and lead with autonomy to improvise as needed through a trip.
- All carry spotting scopes, binoculars, and nature field guides, and attend regular in-house training sessions.
- All are Costa Rica Tourism Board certified.
Vehicles and Driver-Hosts
Our private bilingual driver-hosts are selected for their driving skills, knowledge of the country, and focus on exceptional customer service. He/she is responsible for staying with the vehicle while guests are engaged in activities to ensure the safety of all personal belongings left in the vehicle. This service offers greater flexibility in your schedule—request stops to photograph gorgeous scenery, view wildlife, pop into a local restaurant, meet local people, or enjoy a coffee break and stretch whenever you wish! Each vehicle complies with the following regulations:
- Daily inspection, thorough cleansing, and sanitization.
- Current maximum insurance coverage.
- Drivers required to have basic English language proficiency and a minimum of 5 years driving experience, though typically they have between 10 and 15 years.
- Drivers are CPR and First Aid certified.
*We also provide premium transfers via private jet, helicopter, or luxury SUV. Snacks and drinks are included on board and this service is available countrywide.
Pura Vida Experiences
With the right ingredients—in this case, a creative, enthusiastic, and detailed team, combined with a destination that has it all—you have a recipe for adventure, no matter how you define it! And with lodging and transportation to meet the needs of the nature lover or luxury traveler, or the best combo of both—options are abundant. In such a biodiverse country, there truly is something for everyone. Whether it’s white-water rafting, surfing, world-class fishing, diving, or rappelling or maybe a little softer—yoga and natural healing treatments, dips beneath crystal waterfalls, or bird-watching through the cloud forest—this gem offers it all! Each itinerary is crafted and customized with the traveler in mind and will fall into one of four categories:
- Classic Programs—Focused on highlight destinations and offering life-enriching experiences through all corners of the country with emphasis on wildlife, nature, and local culture.
- Authentic Adventures—Our most adventurous experiences ideal for the nature lover—traveling off-the-beaten-path while staying at unique and comfortable rainforest eco-lodges. A total immersion into the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica.
- Premium Escapes—Ideal for travelers who seek the best of the best—equal parts choice activities and destinations combined with the most deluxe and unique eco-lodges and premier hotels. Private transportation and guides often included.
- Family Friendly—Perfect for travelers of all ages! Guide who shine at engaging with kids, thoughtfully planned accommodations and meals (snacks too!), exciting activities, conservation and educational components, thrilling animal
encounters, and natural exchanges with local children and families—vacations that are fun and flexible for families!
As a leading operator of nature and outdoor adventure tours, it is our responsibility to establish sustainable practices in our office, our homes, and on tour with our guests to help protect our natural environments, promote sustainable travel, and set an example that others should emulate.
We believe tourism should be educational, entertaining, and above all sustainable. We focus on a low-to-no environmental impact and strive to support the local communities that host us. All guides follow strict “green ethics.” Waste materials are packed out of the forest and collection of any kind of natural material is forbidden—even as a small souvenir. We work with businesses that share our environmental approach and beneficially involve local communities. We support programs throughout the country from planting trees toward the goal of carbon neutrality to protecting sea turtles. At the end of the day, each guest of ours will have made a positive impact just by being here with us, enjoying their vacation.
Our company was among the first in Costa Rica to receive the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism designation, awarded by the Costa Rican Tourism Board. This award is given to companies that consistently achieve or exceed their standards of environmental sustainability, business ethics, and cultural sensitivity. We support conservation projects in Costa Rica ranging from rural development to sea turtle nest protection and community education. These efforts have been recognized with an Ecotourism Excellence Award from Conservation International. We are not content to end here and continue to reduce negative impacts on our environment and promote sustainable practices throughout all aspects of our business.
Who is a Costa Rica Sun Tours Traveler?
Costa Rica Sun Tours’ primary markets are North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Our partners in travel seek adventure and soft-adventure experiences—from immersion in nature with an emphasis on local flora and fauna to cultural experiences, hiking, birding, and whale and turtle watching. We plan adventures for all ages and our custom itineraries cover a great variety of activities including family-friendly escapes, romantic travel, soft-adventure, nature tours, wellness, beach getaways, and so much more.
Our travelers tend to be sophisticated and experienced travelers, seeking more unusual places and experiences ‘off the beaten track.’ With a keen eye toward unique opportunities, these travelers mostly prefer small high-end lodges that boast loads of personality. Ultimately, they seek an experience that allows access to remote unexplored areas where wildlife and unspoiled natural environment exploration are at their best, without sacrificing comfort and highest standards of service.
The other portion of our business is dedicated to student travel. Costa Rica naturally lends itself to provide incredible experiences that are inspiring, educational, and transformative. Since inception of our business, we have crafted itineraries for student groups that enhance their learning, immerse them into nature, and build cultural connections. Costa Rica Sun Tours operates 95% B2B and 5% Direct. Our market segments breakdown as 45% Group (100% Leisure) and 55% FIT (100% Leisure). We pride ourselves in long-lasting partnerships (some for up to 30 years!) including:
Membership and Affiliations
Established in 1990, ATTA is the largest global network of adventure travel leaders who share a belief and commitment to sustainable tourism and inspires, connects, and empowers communities to do good through travel.
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.
The Corcovado Foundation, establishes patrols and rangers stations in the biodiverse area surrounding the Corcovado National Park, greatly reducing illegal hunting and logging. The Foundation has four main areas of work: Sea Turtle Conservation, Environmental Education, Sustainable Tourism, Community Development.
Recognizing the dynamic nature of the tourism industry, Grupo Proimagen Futuropa advocates for a strategic alliance between the public and private sectors. By strategically aligning promotional and public relations efforts across key markets, they unlock the full potential of Costa Rica as a globally recognized tourist haven.
We are a proud member of the Kusini Collection—a hand-picked portfolio of sustainable, owner/founder- operated camps, lodges and tour operators in Africa and the Americas.
The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) is a membership association that aims to promote Latin America as a tourist destination and stimulate growth of travel to the region. The association is comprised of over 360 companies including tourism boards, airlines, hotels, tour operators, representation companies and the travel press.
A community that brings together the most creative hoteliers and tour operators in Latin America with the most innovative travel designers in the world.