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Ara Tours

Type of destination:

  • Beach / ocean
  • City
  • Farm / ranch / rural
  • River / lake / wetland
  • Forest / rainforest
  • Indigenous community
  • Historic site
  • World Heritage Site
  • Mountain

Type of business:

  • Tour operator

Description

Ara Tours is recognized and positioned as a high quality, reliable inbound tour operator. We have more than 100 satisfied wholesaler clients, mainly in the European markets, such as the Kuoni group and several other large tour operators and booking sites. We also work with many small and medium-sized specialists in Latin American destinations and niche products.

Our employees have the most modern technology and software, which helps them to provide optimum, rapid, and efficient services. Our sales team is multinational and poly-lingual; they are very familiar with the needs of our clients and they offer tours in German, English, French, and of course, Spanish. More than 30 of the best independent guides work for our company and they speak the languages of our clients fluently.

Ara Tours has an extensive, 250-page sales catalogue, but more than 50% of our trips are customized for the client. Special requests are always taken into account.

History

Ara Tours was founded in 1993 and started the Latincoming Destination Management Group in 1999, an alliance of very high quality inbound tour operators in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The seven members of this group offer regional but centralized solutions and multi-destination itineraries, and collaborates on efforts to market and promote the region.

In 2006, Ara Tours and its Latincoming partners created the Selected Moments brand, which targets clients seeking unique, luxury experiences. This brand markets the most spectacular hotels, lodges, and haciendas, combining outstanding inbound agency service and itineraries with unique and exclusive experiences.

Activities

  • Adventure sports
  • Biking
  • Bird watching
  • Canopy exploration
  • Eco / nature / wildlife
  • Educational / research / volunteering
  • Fishing
  • Golf course
  • Guided tours
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain climbing
  • River rafting / kayaking
  • Scuba diving / snorkeling
  • Spiritual / religious
  • Surfing
  • Visits to conservation projects
  • Volunteers accepted
  • Walking / hiking

Making a Difference

Number of employees: 60

Percentage of local employees: 50%

  • Ara Tours has a sustainability policy and a manual for best practices that contains recommendations for addressing areas such as waste management and the sustainable use of energy and water.
  • We comply with Costa Rican laws that protect archeological heritage and wildlife, as well as environmental laws, forestry laws, and the Equal Opportunity for the Physically Challenged law. We communicate and promote this commitment to our employees and clients.
  • Ara Tours has a solid waste management program and a small recycling center that is actively used by our personnel and is open to the local community members and other businesses.
  • We plan to work with a nearby rural community to train its members about waste management, including how to make use of it before disposal and recycling or disposing of it correctly.
  • We work with organizations that care for and improve the quality of life of children from low-income families in some urban areas.

Ara Tours is a member of Tour Operators Promoting Sustainability (TOPS), a specialized global platform of tour operators dedicated to promoting and supporting sustainable tourism in their respective markets.

Getting There

Nearest international airport: San José (SJO)

Nearest local/national airport: Pavas (SYQ)

Additional Information

Awards or Recognitions

National Promoter Award 2012 given by the Costa Rican Association of Professionals in Tourism (ACOPROT).

Date This Information Was Provided

October 2012.

Photos courtesy of Ara Tours, Costa Rica, for SustainableTrip.org.

Contact Information

Kenlly Castro Miranda
Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) Coordinator

Sabana Sur, Calle Lang, diagonal a la Universidad La Salle
San José
Costa Rica

Tel: +506/2232-0400 ; +506/2231-6627
Fax: +506/2232-0363 +506/2231-6681

www.aratours.com

Contact

Certification

Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST)

Sustainability level: 4 leaves

Date: August, 2012

 

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