Costa Rica Sun Tours2018-07-01T08:28:14-05:00

costa rica

At a Glance

  • WHO’S WHO: John Aspinall – President
  • WHAT WE DO: Destination Management Company/Tour Operator
  • WHERE: Costa Rica
  • UNIQUE SELLING POINTS: Owner operated for 30 years, best naturalist guides in the country, strong eye toward sustainability, creative and visionary, and exceptional business relationships

Why Costa Rica Sun Tours

Costa Rica Sun Tours is fully committed to working with and supporting travel agencies. Our thorough destination knowledge and exceptional customer service set us apart. Customizing trips which satisfy a variety of clients is what we do best, from family-friendly tours to luxury travel opportunities. CRST favors eco-friendly hotels, providing unique travel experiences and exceptional value. CRST’s goal is to offer transformative, memorable, and unique travel experiences…

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Recent Webinars

Join Costa Rica Sun Tours’ guide, Alex Arias, for a photographic webinar presentation of Costa Rica, highlighting the many unique features of both the country and the company.

Trip Experiences

Holiday tamales recipe Costa Rica

Hot Tamales in Costa Rica

Without question, Tamales are the traditional go-to meal to celebrate December holidays with family and friends in Costa Rica. In fact, although you’ll find tamales throughout Latin America, the ticos in Costa Rica only make them in the month of December… more

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    Costa Rica

    • Owner-operated for thirty years
    • Wholly committed to working with and supporting travel outfitters
    • Transformative, memorable and unique travel experiences custom designed for your clients
    • Hands-down the best and most experienced guides in the region
    • Achieved and maintained 5-leaf sustainable tourism certification by the Costa Rica Tourism Board
    • Activities abound, and the creative, enthusiastic, and detailed team bring out the best

    Costa Rica Sun Tours (CRST) is fully committed to working with and supporting travel agencies. Their thorough destination expertise and exceptional customer service set them apart. Customizing trips which satisfy a variety of clients is what they do best, from family-friendly tours to luxury travel opportunities. CRST favors eco-friendly hotels, providing unique travel experiences and exceptional value. Small groups and individuals can choose fully or partially escorted tours in the company of some of the best naturalist guides in the country! CRST’s goal is to offer transformative, memorable, and unique travel experiences to your travelers. They understand the importance of surpassing your clients’ expectations and ensuring that they have the best vacation ever.

    Visit Costa Rica Sun Tours’ website

  • The Kusini Collection is proud to represent a group of like-minded businesses in Africa and Latin America, who believe in having a positive impact on our world. They collaborate with local communities and conservation organizations within their destinations with the belief that empowerment of people and place and being a voice for wildlife and natural areas will result in healthy ecosystems and communities. Here’s just a taste of what they are up to…


    • Costa Rica Sun Tours has achieved a 5 Leaf rating – the highest possible – through the Costa Rican government’s CST Sustainability program. As a leading operator of nature and outdoor adventure tours, Costa Rica Sun Tours know it is their responsibility to establish procedures in the office, their homes and on tour with guests that help protect our natural environments, promote sustainable practices, and set an example that others should emulate.
    • Certification for Sustainable Tourism – Third party certification is a vital tool for ensuring the credibility of the claims with regard to sustainable practices. Costa Rica Sun Tours is very proud to have obtained five-leaf certification from the Costa Rica Tourism Board´s (ICT) Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program. This program was designed to differentiate businesses of the tourism industry, based on the level at which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural, and social resource management and awards one to five leaves. They have reached the maximum level of certification! Costa Rica Sun Tours confirm their commitment and best effort towards operating and teaching guests about sustainable travel practices.
    • Canaeco – The National Ecotourism Association. The Association is at the forefront of sustainable tourism. Through seminars, conferences and direct action they advance sustainable practices, protect Costa Rica’s natural and cultural heritage, and promote sustainable development.
    • Organization for Tropical Studies – John Aspinall, owner and founder of Costa Rica Sun Tours, serves on the board of The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). The OTS is a non-profit founded in 1963 that has grown to include 63 universities and research institutions from the United States, Latin America, and Australia. OTS conducts graduate and undergraduate education, research, tropical forest conservation, maintains three biological stations in Costa Rica and environmental education programs. Research at the OTS stations has added significantly to what is known about tropical biology and forest ecosystems


    • Home Lunches – Costa Rica Sun Tours have introduced authentic cultural experiences and educational opportunities where our guests can experience the natural warmth of the Ticos. We work with several local women that warmly welcome travelers into their rural homes for homemade traditional dishes. They even have a home-stay program that is excellent for students. Travelers can also have lunch on a small organic farm dedicated to preserving the traditional Costa Rican lifestyle, participate in reforestation, play futbol/soccer with local children, make homemade tortillas, or learn to dance salsa!
    • Pani – Costa Rica Sun Tours subscribes to the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Minors from Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.


  • JOHN ASPINALL – Founder and President

    In 1988, founder and President of Costa Rica Sun Tours (CRST), John Aspinall, pioneered a multi-day tour of Arenal and Monteverde. At the time, there were only 250,000 tourists to Costa Rica – today, this number stands at approximately 2.5 million! John was born and raised in the land of ‘Pura Vida,’ and together with his family, they 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 Arenal Observatory Lodge, the only hotel within the Arenal Volcano National Park, built for scientists from the Smithsonian Institute. Environmental sustainability and cultural sensitivity has been part of the CRST DNA from day one!

    ARLENE SANDI – General Manager

    Arlene was born and has lived all her life in this tropical paradise, Costa Rica. She loves to travel abroad with her family in order to have new experiences, learn about different cultures and try their varied meals. Arlene likes to combine work, family and study trying to get the best out of them, enjoying every second of her life. She has collaborated with Costa Rica Sun Tours for 28 years which has allowed her to be part of this company since its origin. Due to this, she has met many people involved in tourism since a long time ago. She has taken part and has been a close witness of the positive development that Costa Rica has had on tourism throughout these years…


    The Team: Costa Rica Sun Tours is among one of the few tour companies that is still managed by the founder since its inception in the late 1980’s. The bulk of the staff have been with the company for 10 – 20 + years! This ensures the experience and know-how to handle any request or situation.

    The Guiding Team: While each of the guides have unique talents and knowledge and each is naturally the kind of person we enjoy spending time with, for your comfort and safety there are several 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 training course and been certified as a guide
    • All attend an annual two day in-house training program. The objective is to maintain the safety of clients (first aid refresher courses, sessions on adventure tour equipment, etc), and to brush up on volcanology, botany, and other natural history specialties, even a professional photographer to train guides on ways to help guests bring home higher quality photos!
    • In addition, all drivers are required to have basic English language proficiency and a minimum of 5 years driving experience, though typically they have between 10 and 15 years.
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