Costa Rica Rios: Our story.
My name is Fraser Tyrrell, and I’m one of the owners of Costa Rica Rios. The year 2000 was when it all started for us. We were both living in the British Virgin Islands, working on yachts, when Jane literally sailed into my life. Almost 14 years later, we are still going strong and things just seem to be getting better and better.
When we met each other, it was clear from the outset that we came from similar backgrounds and that we were destined to do great things together. Before meeting around the Millennium we spent quite a bit of time traveling the world, and between us we have visited more than 100 countries. When I first met Jane, she was working as a yacht skipper, one of only two female skippers in the Caribbean at the time. We immediately realized that we shared a passion for travel, and with backgrounds in tourism, we thought it was time to make our mark.
Our first foray into the world of business started in Queenstown, New Zealand, where we bought our first house and turned it into a high-end bed and breakfast. It was an incredible experience turning a house into a business, and we had four years of fun doing it. We learned some valuable lessons during this time that have helped us get to where we are today. We realized quite quickly that Queenstown was never going to be a long-term home for us, and we were desperate to get back to the tropics and to a climate that we both love.
The decision was made, and it was time to start searching for our new venture. We had two criteria that were non-negotiable when deciding on what we wanted to do: Our new business had to be in tourism, and it had to be in the tropics. Our attitude was that we could live anywhere and do anything, and when we found the right business we would know it. Our search lasted over a year, and every time we found a potential “goer,” something put us off until we found Costa Rica Rios.
We discovered that the company was for sale by three American guys who had been running it for four years after having bought it from the founder, who started it all in 1995. This was our chance and we knew it! We saw massive untapped potential in Costa Rica Rios, and with a combined 35 years of experience working in the tourism industry, we thought we had the ability to realize that potential.
Of course, we had to ask ourselves some serious questions. Can we live in Costa Rica? We didn’t know the country at all! Jane had very little Spanish, I had none. Will it be an easy language to learn? Will it be easy, as foreigners, to work, employ, do business and be accepted by the local community? Luckily, after visiting the country and the company, we decided the answer was yes to all of these questions.
Now, almost seven years in, we believe we have made the best decision of our lives. We love where we live, we love what we do, we have two young boys who were both born in Costa Rica (both fully bilingual, which still blows us away!) and we have expanded our company from a small local business into a Costa Rican wide one.
We are now the largest kayaking company in Costa Rica, taking more paddlers down more rivers than anyone else. We have quickly established ourselves as one of the premier honeymoon providers in the country. After having spent the last six-and-a- half years discovering the country and what it can offer, we believe we can give any newlyweds a honeymoon they will never forget, whether it be a romantic relaxing beach honeymoon to a more adventurous one, with anything from ziplining to whitewater rafting to even staying a night in a remote cave, right in the heart of the rainforest set behind twin waterfalls. We have expanded into family adventure vacations, and we guarantee you will never have a family bonding trip like you will in Costa Rica.
Our guides are a huge part of what makes us what we are. They are some of the best adventure guides in the country, with two of them having represented Costa Rica at the world kayaking championships, two at the world rafting championships and one of them is one of the top triathletes in the country.
Jane and I are still very hands-on and any guest that chooses an itinerary that comes through our town will meet us, so if you are planning your next vacation and Costa Rica is on your radar, drop us an email or give us a call and hopefully we will get to meet you at some point in the future.