Costa Rica Soccer Tours was pleased to welcome Colorado Rush, a team of 14-year-old girls, for a wild (and wet) visit to Costa Rica.
The team checked in June 5 at a hotel in San José that was a short walk from Costa Rica’s National Stadium. On Day 2 they did some training and went on a walking tour of San José before their first friendly match, against Moravia.
“It was a very good game that got very competitive, especially in the second half,” said tour guide Nilsen Guillen. Rush lost 3-1, but got some good on-the-ground experience that would serve them later.
On Day 3, to get a taste of community service in this country, the team visited a center for children in need called 15 de Setiembre. This is a safe place for kids from impoverished families to stay during the day, with food, learning and recreation. The girls of Colorado Rush played soccer, basketball and jumprope with the kids, tried out their rudimentary Spanish and traded hugs. The kids were thrilled by the visit.
The team did some training in Rohrmoser, and then after lunch found a restaurant-bar where they could watch the Costa Rica-England game, in which the Ticos unfortunately got spanked 2-0.
At 6 o’clock, Rush took the field against Dimas Escazú for its second friendly game. “The first match was full of goals and the second half was more even, with no goals,” said Nilsen. The game ended in a 3-1 win for Rush over this solid local team.
On Day 4 the girls headed to La Fortuna, the unofficial capital of adventure tourism in Costa Rica, and checked into their hotel, within view of the majestic Arenal Volcano. In the evening they went to the hot springs for dinner and an exploration of this water park’s magma-heated pools, jacuzzis and waterslides.
Day 5 started with a visit to the spectacular La Fortuna Waterfall, reached after descending 500 steps, and the girls got wet in the river below. Then they went back to the hotel to get ready for their third soccer game, against San Carlos in Ciudad Quesada.
Mother Nature imposed its power and brought in banks of fog clouds over the stadium. It was a new experience for the Rush players and a challenge for them to work around it, but they managed to work it under this wild weather condition.
The game ended 3-2 in what Nilsen called a “hard win” for Rush.
Day 6 was a transfer to the beach, with a pit stop for some thrilling ziplining at Sky Trek. “Everyone had fun,” Nilsen said. Some were a little nervous but overcame the fear and turned it into excitement.
The end of the road was Playa Panamá and a stay at a beautiful beachfront all-inclusive resort, between Playas del Coco and Papagayo. It was rainy, but that didn’t stop the girls from heading to the beach.
Day 7 featured the final friendly, against Liberia. About the same time the match started, so did the tropical rainstorm. Thirty minutes into the scoreless game, the field was totally flooded and the referee called it off.
The team visited Playas del Coco the next day, and about half the girls and their parents embarked on a catamaran cruise, visiting an isolated beach and doing some snorkeling.
The day ended with a farewell in which the guide, coach, parents and players said a few words about the adventure they had all experienced together. And in the morning, they saved themselves a long drive back to San José by flying home out of Liberia.
If you have a soccer team with a hankering for adventure in an exotic place, Costa Rica Soccer Tours will set you up with the trip of your dreams. It’s what we love to do.
“This tour was so fun, and I love how we got to experience all different parts of Costa Rica while playing great soccer. It was the full package.”
– Heather Gilchrist, Colorado Rush Soccer Team