Make your way across breathtaking Northern Costa Rica teaching and playing soccer with local children around the country who belong to the National Football Federation of Costa Rica. Discover lush cloud forests and national parks, visit a volcano, and surf tremendous waves along the way. This action-packed program combines competitive and pick-up soccer with fun community service projects, immersion into Tico life, and adventures in Costa Rica’s diverse natural landscape.
To start this amazing journey, you will spend a couple of days with a Costa Rican host family in the small town of Orosi for a true cultural immersion. Feast on delicious, home-cooked native cuisine, practice your Spanish, and learn to live as a Tico. Each home stay family will house at least two Rustic Pathways students of the same gender.
While in town you will participate in cultural exchanges with the local kids, contribute to an ongoing service project with the community, and spend some time at the school teaching English. School visits are subject to school vacations and closings.
After saying goodbye to your adopted family, get ready for a few days of action-packed adventure. You’ll embark on a full-day whitewater rafting trip on the world-famous Pacuare River. Once the group makes it to Siquirres, where the rafting journey ends, you will spend a relaxing night in a nearby hotel to rest up for the next set of adventures.
From here, the group will head to the town of Fortuna for two full days of fun and service. The service will consist of a day camp that you will put together for local 8-12 year old children who are affiliated with the National Football Federation. You’ll run different activities such as arts & crafts, songs, and outdoor and indoor games that are all focused on the favorite pastime of this country: soccer! On the final day of your stay in Fortuna the group will play a competitive soccer game against a local team, then enjoy a variety of optional activities (horseback riding, zip-lining, snake zoo). Those who are seeking even more of an adrenaline rush can zip line (optional) above the rainforest canopy or horseback ride with Arenal Volcano looming in the background. Then to finish a great day, you’ll spend the night soaking your tired muscles in the relaxing waters of natural hot springs.
The group will then travel West for a three day stop in the beautiful Palo Verde National Park region. Here, there will be time spent running a day camp at a local school as well as a chance to discover the breathtaking flora and fauna of the Tempisque River through an entertaining boat trip. And of course, you’ll be exercising your soccer skills through some competitive games against the locals.
After exploring the lush interior you’ll arrive at the palm-fringed Pacific Coast to play soccer, run another day camp for local children, and chill out on some of the best beaches in Costa Rica. You will really embrace the country’s famous pura vida spirit on this portion of the trip. Play big games of barefoot beach soccer or volleyball, surf the epic waves (optional), and savor eclectic international cuisine at the peninsula’s many restaurants. Top off your trip with a day sailing to the pristine Isla de Tortuga for the perfect end to an unforgettable journey.
Upon arrival at the San Jose airport you will be greeted by your Rustic Pathways Staff. From here you will head over to the hostel rented out by Rustic Pathways where you will meet the other students on your trip and spend your first night. Good luck and enjoy your stay in beautiful Costa Rica!
This morning you will head over to the quiet town of Orosi on the hillsides of Cartago. Here you will have the chance to integrate into traditional Tico culture and lifestyle by spending your nights with a warm, friendly family from Orosi. This carefully organized and supervised arrangement will give you a very personal and welcoming perspective on Costa Rican family life, enhancing both your Spanish skills and the cultural aspects of your trip.
Today is a day packed with adrenaline and excitement as you prepare to experience the beauty and exhilaration of whitewater rafting on the Pacuare river. The Pacuare is considered one of the most beautiful rivers to raft in the world due to the lush greenery, the narrow canyons and above all, the exciting class III and IV rapids. After a full day on the river, we stay the night in a comfortable hotel in Siquirres.
Depart from the town of Siquirres after a hearty Tico breakfast and head towards La Fortuna. Today you’ll doing some rewarding community service, and will then get ready to relax in the beautiful pools of the natural hot springs. The next few days in this area will be focused on running a soccer skills summer camp for the local kids and practicing your personal soccer skills with local teams. Enjoy delicious dinners at local restaurants and relax at the hotel with your new friends at night.
Head towards the Pacific coast to the lush and beautiful area of the Tempisque River Reserve. Here the group will run a skills camp service project for students and play friendly matches with local teams. Enjoy the rural culture and take a river tour to spot nocturnal wildlife.
Upon arriving in the town of Carillo, hang out in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and catch one of the spectacular sunsets that the Nicoya Peninsula is known for. Eat dinner near the beach and fall asleep to the soothing sound of the waves softly crashing against the shore. For the next couple days, you will be based in the chill beach town of Carillo. Play beach frisbee with the group, soak in the sun and take breaks to jump into the waves. There will be regular soccer practice and drills, and several service projects with nearby communities. Here you’ll have the opportunity to run another skills camp for the local children. There will also be time to take a surf lesson, get in shape by running on the beach, or simply read a book and relax in a hammock.
Wake up bright and early to board a 71-foot Catamaran that will take you on a tropical cruise through the calm waters of the Gulf of Nicoya, where you can see dolphins, sea turtles and aquatic birds. Your destination is Costa Rica’s famous palm-studded, white sand beach of Isla Tortuga, where you can sunbathe, play volleyball or relax in a hammock. Chill out in your own private paradise before returning to spend the night in Puntarenas.
After breakfast and a final jump in the ocean you’ll board the bus and return to San Jose. Now it’s time to get a good night’s sleep since tomorrow you’ll be heading home or off on new adventures.
If you are heading home, you must say your last goodbyes to your new friends and head off to the airport bright and early in the morning. If you are heading off on another Rustic Pathways adventure in Costa Rica, get ready for more fun and excitement!
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity. The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
In addition to the general Costa Rica Packing List all students should review the following information specific to this program:
Direct flight from Newark to San Jose takes approximately 5.5 hours.
Direct flight from Houston to San Jose takes approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.
Yes. All flights between Costa Rica and the USA will have a flight leader starting in both Newark and Houston. Return flights to the USA will also have a flight leader as far as Newark and Houston. Flights between Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, and the Dominican Republic are NOT escorted by a Rustic Pathways staff member.
Students from the United States and Canada will be automatically issued a 90 day tourist visa upon entry into Costa Rica.
During the Travelling Soccer and Service Team program, students will visit the San Jose, Alajuela, Limon, Cartago, Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces.
Rustic Pathways does not make recommendations regarding immunizations. We strongly suggest that you consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for medical recommendations based on the area where the student will be traveling (as listed above). You can also check the Center for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov for more information. Yellow fever vaccinations may be required to enter Costa Rica if you have traveled to some international destinations including Peru prior to your trip to Costa Rica. Please check the Center for Disease control website for more information.
On the final Tuesday afternoon the Soccer and Service Team program will depart from the hotel near Puntarenas. They will stay that night in Alajuela in a base hotel. Wednesday morning students will meet with their new group and guides at the same hotel where they stayed and go off on their new program.
Students will be traveling through a variety of different locations. Bus rides will vary between a 1 hour drive to a 5 hour drive.
Students will visit a variety of different locations but most of the time, students should be prepared for hot, humid weather in the 80’s and 90’s during the day with a daily afternoon rain shower. When the students are in the Cartago province the climate will be slightly cooler.
Students will work with local Spanish speaking communities, however the focus of the program is introducing students to independent travel and helping them get to know a new culture. The possibility of practicing conversational Spanish will exist during community service activities.
Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders to identify and prioritize the needs of each community and for this particular program we will also support the work of the National Football Federation by running small soccer skills camps in the areas we visit. Further on, students will also work on small scale construction projects that will help improve community and school infrastructure. During the first two weeks of July, Costa Rican school children are on vacation, so students should expect to work with students in more informal environments.
The Traveling Soccer and Service Team program is designed for students that are interested in playing soccer on a daily basis, so physical fitness is expected.
The majority of costs associated with the program are included on this trip. Students should have extra allowance money if they wish to buy souvenirs or additional snacks or sodas from the local grocery stores. Students should bring extra money if they choose to participate in optional activities that are not included in the trip costs (see below for the activities). A suggested allowance amount for this program is $350-$400.
Optional activities are:
Sea Kayaking: $45
Horseback riding: $45
Zip Lining: $65
Surf Class: $35
Please note that these optional activities are subject to change. Occasionally Rustic Pathways staff identify new opportunities throughout the summer that we feel will enhance the students overall experience. Optional activities may also be canceled.
Students will be eating at local restaurants as they travel throughout Costa Rica. The food will vary between traditional Costa Rican food and occasional American and international selections.
Costa Rican water is generally potable, so students should feel comfortable drinking tap water unless otherwise advised. They can also purchase bottles of water in the local grocery stores.
Students will be staying in two different types of accommodations; with families and in hotels during their travels. The home stay section of the trip offers clean and safe family homes. The hotels are carefully chosen according to the needs of the program and are clean, comfortable and safe.
Hotels all have bathroom facilities with running water, American style toilets and showers.
There are typically more girls than boys however the exact numbers vary from week to week.
Rustic Pathways generally strives to maintain a ratio of approximately 1 guide for every 5 students. Our guides go through a rigorous selection process including interviews with our program managers and a full background check.
Because safety is our number one priority, all of our programs have guides that are certified with First Aid and CPR training. Many of our guides are also qualified Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Laundry is available once a week and the cost is $5-$10 depending on the amount of clothes. Those that will be connecting to another program will have access to another laundry service in San Jose at the end of their program for a cost of approximately $10-$15.
Students will have limited access to internet during their program when they visit towns with internet cafes. They will be able to purchase international phone cards in Costa Rica from the guides or at local convenience stores which can be used to call home from the public phones.
Contact Us: For more information about Traveling Soccer and Service Team you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traveling Soccer and Service Team combines well with the following programs.
Ages: 14 to 18 years old
Length: 16 days from the USA
Hours: Up to 32 hours awarded
International airfare is not included in the above cost. Please check our Travel Desk for airfare pricing and specifics.
|Departs Tue||Returns Wed||Availability|
|25 Jun||10 Jul||Sold Out|
|9 Jul||24 Jul||Available|
Dates shown are inclusive of travel time from the United States. Most Rustic Pathways trips interconnect, allowing you to design your own perfect summer program.Apply Now