About Adventures Under The Sun

Adventures Under the Sun (AUSun)is a small, Costa Rican travel agency and tour operator, licensed by the National Tourism Bureau (ICT). We customize student group journeys, teen summer programs and exclusive adventures for family groups and friends.

Mélida Barbee founded AUSun in 2001 after working in the local, environmental conservation sector and leading students and adults on adventures throughout Costa Rica and the United States. As a dedicated and competitive athlete, a concerned environmentalist and passionate outdoorsman, she chose a path to share experiences that sharpen and engage our senses and make life beat at a richer tempo.


The Mission

Adventures Under the Sun creates awareness and stimulates change through sustainable travel and unique environmental, social and adventure-based learning experiences in Costa Rica’s fun and safe outdoors.


About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is in the isthmus of Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the North and Panama to the South. With a surface area of exactly 51,100 square kilometers (31,937 square miles), you could  fit 10 Costa Rica’s into the state of California. We have two seasons: a dry season from the end of November through April and a wet season from May through October. The average temperature is about 75 F (24 C).

Our nation boasts a great variety of tropical biomes all of which are readily accessible and within a relatively short distance of travel. The coastal regions can be very humid and hot, whereas our mountains can be cool, refreshing and often chilly as is Cerro Chirripo, our highest peak at 3820 meters above sea level. Costa Rica holds 5% of the world’s biodiversity within its relatively small area. If you keep your eyes and ears open, we guarantee you will see an incredible variety of creatures that you have never seen before. Depending on the destinations in your itinerary, you are likely to witness toucans, herons, egrets, sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, dolphins, whales, turtles, lizards, snakes, maybe even a jaguar and thousands of different plants, flowers, insects and more. Landscapes and views can include secluded white-sand beaches, erupting volcanos, lush jungle-lined canals, white water rapids flowing through tropical rainforests, and endless views of lowland or dry tropical rainforest canopys.

Aside from being an exotic and biodiverse destination, Costa Rica is also one of the safest countries in the world. It is a peaceful democratic republic with no military. We welcome the opportunity to assist and advise you about the best and most beautiful places to visit.

Our Team

Our staff consists of a variety of amazing local professionals in environmental and outdoor education, travel, and sports. Learn more about our Administrative Staff and Experience Leaders.

Would you like to join our wonderful team? Check out our current job openings.

A word from our founder….

Here we are, diving into our 20th anniversary year and witnessing an enormous shift to a time of cyberspace experiences; an era that depends on satellite connections, internet and clouds to sustain a business, and smartphones and hand-held devices to communicate who people are, where they are, what they are doing and how they are feeling. While the entire digital world has allowed us to progress at a faster rate than ever before, unfortunately we are also seeing how cyberspace has become somewhat of an escape route for many who fear the realities they would have to face without it. Today, as the world has never been more connected, it seems to me that there is a lot of disconnection to the heart of the matter – the fundamentals, our instincts, our senses, and love.

Adventures Under the Sun continues to focus on our mission and goals of creating lasting experiences and educational challenges through active outdoor travel. When we see our participants’ minds open and the “I get it!” seed planted, we happily feel we have achieved our goal. As a result, it is also gratifying to know that in a small way, we are having a positive impact on this place we call home.

Because the outdoors is a special place for so many who seldom have the opportunity to explore it, we grasp this new era as an opportunity to provide the next generation with some vital skills to take and make bigger and bolder steps and decisions in a future of constant change.

Mélida L. Barbee
Founder and Director



“The students were challenged physically and mentally but not pushed past their limits. Lifelong memories were made.”

Felix Gabathuler, Marian Baker School

See more testimonials.

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