Latin America



Asia



Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award

Dedicated to those outstanding and innovative individuals and companies who exemplify excellence in the field of unique vacations in Asia and Latin America.

Announcing the winner of the 2010 Latin American award:

“Christopher Howard’s Live in Costa Rica Tours”


We first discovered this tour through word of mouth in travel circles and through a video when it was featured on the NBC Today Show. It was just the type of tour we wanted to evaluate.

Christopher Howard, the founder of the tour company and tour guide, is the author and self-publisher of several best selling guidebooks about Costa Rica: The 16th edition of the “The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” and “The Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica.” He is also a naturalized Costa Rican citizen, has worked for National Geographic and been featured in newspapers, television, radio and as a keynote speaker at many conferences. Mr. Howard brings all of these credentials and many years of living in the country to the table when conducting his unique tours.

About fifteen years ago Christopher’s readers started to ask him to do retirement tours, so he founded a tour company to introduce potential residents and retirees to Costa Rica in order to give them all of the information and tools they needed to make the move successfully. As far as we know his retirement tours were the first of a kind to be offered in Central America and Costa Rica’s original retirement tour.

Over the years Christopher has continually added features to maintain the quality of his monthly tours. A two-day seminar by the experts in the fields of law, moving, medical care, real estate, banking, insurance, Spanish and more are included in the seminar. Tour participants are encouraged join an association for residents which sponsors the seminar. On the tours people are introduced to the country's cuisine and customs, meet others who have moved to the country, go dancing, visit a Spanish language school, see the country's infrastructure, visit a couple of hospitals, enter supermarkets and shopping centers to get an idea of what products are available in Costa Rica, view homes to view different living situations and most important view the best areas to reside.

The tours encompass the Southern and Central Pacific beaches, the Central Valley and the Lake Arenal area. Tour participants really come away from the tour with the knowledge and contacts they need to make the move successfully. We interviewed people who took the tour and all of them seemed extremely pleased with what the learned, got their money’s worth and valued Christopher’s services. One person from California who took the tour a couple of years ago remarked, “The tour was the tour of a lifetime for my wife and I.” The only complaint we received was that one person wished that the tour could have been longer because it was so good.

Selection Process


Criteria
An individual's or organization's credentials, background and licensing are of paramount importance in our selection process. We only evaluate licensed tours.
Uniqueness of the tour
Value
Promotion
Scope of activity
Information
Lodging
Cuisine
Activities and entertainment
Adjunct services
Safety standards
Customer satisfaction - We actually interview tour participants for feedback.