Formerly known as Aventuras Arenal, this Tour Operator in La Fortuna now evolved into Blue Pass Hub.
We invite you to learn the story behind the success of Blue Pass Hub and the person who has been a fundamental part of this journey: Helen Salazar, Marketing Manager of the company.
Throughout a revealing interview, Helen shares her experiences, the challenges they faced, and the vision that has led them to their 33rd anniversary as a Tour operator in La Fortuna.
The Story: Adventures in Decades Past
The history of Blue Pass Hub dates back to a time when Fortuna was a very different place than it is today. The Salazar family, the founding family, made up of six siblings, was determined to look for opportunities for their future.
It was then, in collaboration with another family that facilitated the use of a boat (the Gómez Family), that they decided to venture into the business of fishing and boating on beautiful Lake Arenal.
However, the founding family’s vision did not stop there.
One day, a family member had the good fortune to meet the owner of an important travel agency of the time: Cat Tours, which to this day remains a client of Blue Pass.
The agency offered exciting tours to Caño Negro and Río Frío in Los Chiles, departing from San Jose.
This meeting was the catalyst that prompted them to embark on a new adventure. With determination and effort, they built the first boats and launched operations in the picturesque area of Los Chiles, where the iconic Caño Negro – Río Frio Boat Tour takes place.
This new project meant leaving behind their agricultural plans and fully immersing themselves in the tourism industry. Making great efforts, the brothers traveled by bus to conduct tours in this area.
As tourism in Fortuna gained strength, we began operating the Caño Negro tour, providing transportation, guides, and lunch to visitors and offering memorable experiences of the region, such as hikes to the volcano. Gradually, the company’s offerings expanded.
The Evolution of the Name: From Aventuras Arenal to Blue Pass Hub
Blue Pass Hub is the name we have chosen to advance toward a new generation of Arenal Adventures. For us, this name change is not just a trivial detail, but a symbol of our vision and continued growth.
It represents the generational change within our company and the creative freedom we have given to the new generation to reflect our operations and tours that extend beyond the northern area of Costa Rica.
We are committed to continuing to grow and evolve, always looking to the future with enthusiasm and determination.
Blue Pass Hub is more than a name; it is a reflection of our passion for tourism, our dedication to our clients, and our vision for the future.
Challenges and Highlights as a Tour Operator in La Fortuna
Throughout our 33 years of operation, at Blue Pass, we have experienced a number of significant challenges and notable moments that have helped shape our history, our service culture, and strengthen our resolve.
1990s – Arenal Adventure Foundation
The family founded Aventuras Arenal and became pioneers in fishing and boating tours on Lake Arenal, attracting tourists to the area.
Expansion to Guanacaste:
The company opened the operation of the Palo Verde tour in the of Bebedero and Puerto Humo. The first office was opened in the center of La Fortuna.2000s – Collaboration with Wholesale Agencies and Expansion
Aventuras Arenal managed to work with wholesale agencies, which allowed it to expand its operations to places like Caño Negro and Río Frío.
From 2003 to 2005, the company entered a construction stage, building an operations center and workshops for the maintenance of vehicles and for the construction of our own boats, demonstrating a commitment to quality and safety.
Growth and Organizational Culture: Blue Pass experienced significant growth, both in personnel and its organizational structure. A strong organizational culture was established that emphasized quality and customer satisfaction.
2020s – Brand Relaunch and Generational Change
Aventuras Arenal carried out a brand rebranding, changing its name to “Blue Pass Hub” to better reflect its vision and scope.
The company is experiencing a generational change within the founding family by delegating management to the second generation, with the incorporation of Javier Salazar, the son of Rodrigo Salazar, one of the founders who was the former manager from this tour operator in La Fortuna.
In 2023, plans for the future include the implementation of new projects, marking a further expansion of its operations.
The Future of Blue Pass Hub
As we move into the future, Blue Pass Hub prepares to write the next chapter of its story. Expansion of the offer of services in Guanacaste and in the Central Pacific, specifically in Guacalillo, is set to begin operations in 2024.
Additionally, there are plans for future incorporation of tourist operations in another property in the Sarapiqui area. The company continues to innovate, adopting new technologies and services adapted to the changing needs of customers.
A summary of the Legacy as a Tour Operator in La Fortuna
The Blue Pass story is a narrative of perseverance, passion, and success in the ecotourism and adventure tourism industry.
During its 33 years of existence, the company has faced challenges that seemed insurmountable in a very different Fortuna than the one we know today.
However, this family’s dedication gave rise to an operation on Lake Arenal as a Tour Operator in La Fortuna became the foundation of their legacy for the area and the rest of the country.
Over the years, Blue Pass has demonstrated its ability to adapt and grow in response to changing traveler and market needs.
Its expansion to new locations, such as Caño Negro and Guanacaste, and now in the Central Pacific the addition of a variety of activities, such as the Flexipass, are testaments to its continued commitment to providing unique and exciting experiences to its customers.