Beaches, Adventure, and Soccer
*We offer need-based grants ranging from $1000-$2000 based on income, as well as full scholarships. Please visit our Grants & Scholarships page.
June 25-July 6
July 23-August 3
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
Tuition does not include airfare
Train in the Puntarenas FC stadium, just steps away from sandy beaches and the Pacific Ocean
Organize soccer clinics for disadvantaged youth in Pacific Coast communities
Visit famous white sand beaches in the beautiful
province of Guanacaste
Phone: (206) 900-5436
Soccer is central to Costa Rica’s pura vida culture–everywhere we look we’ll find makeshift goals, pickup games, and fan-packed stadiums. We’ll split our time between the Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces, both on the Pacific Coast, where we will play, train, and engage with the local communities and academies. We will also enjoy zip-lining and plenty of time on white-sand beaches. Join us to take in the stunning beauty of Costa Rica and learn about local culture while playing soccer on the coast, in the rainforest, and everywhere in between.
In Costa Rica Woza partners with Puntarenas FC, a 2nd Division professional club with an incredible focus on giving back to their local community. We work closely with Roberto Wong, one of PFC's star players, to organize community soccer tournaments and other local events, such as a soccer camp at the nearby children's center managed by Roberto's father-in-law.
Day 1: Trip Start
Arrive at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, to be greeted by your Woza leaders and the rest of the Woza players. The group will be transported by private vehicle to Puntarenas, a town located on a beautiful Pacific Ocean peninsula, which will be our home base for most of the trip.
Days 2-4: Puntarenas and the Pacific
While in Puntarenas, we will work with second division player Roberto Wong and Puntarenas FC as volunteer soccer coaches for the youngest players in their academy. We’ll also join the academy as players, and participate in training sessions with the academy’s older players. We’ll also begin to get a taste for Costa Rica's pura vida ("pure life") lifestyle and the delicious fresh fruit juices famous in this area. These early days will be marked by several friendly matches and training sessions with local coaches alongside Costa Rican teammates. Each day we will conduct community service coaching clinics for children in Puntarenas as well as the surrounding communities. Many of our soccer activities will be based out of the Puntarenas Football Club (PFC) stadium located in the center of town, and just a few blocks from the beach. We'll spend several evenings playing pickup with local kids on las canchas, informal soccer courts sprinkled around Puntarenas (and most other Costa Rican towns and cities).
Days 5-7: Transfer to Punta Leona, Exploration and Zip-lining Adventure
After a breakfast at the hotel, we’ll get one more service clinic in before hitting the road for Punta Leona, where the group will be based for a few days. While in Punta Leona, there will be plenty of beach time, and we’ll explore all that the Pacific Coast has to offer, including beach dinners, a stop at the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park, a fun zip-lining adventure and of course, more soccer!
Days 8-10: Back to Puntarenas
The group will get some morning relaxation in Punta Leona before returning to our friends in Puntarenas, where we'll continue to play soccer with Puntarenas FC and put on some more clinics. On our last night in Puntarenas, we'll enjoy a final meal and say goodbye to the new friends we've made over the last week and a half.
Day 11: San Jose
We’ll say goodbye to the Pacific Coast and travel back to San Jose, where we’ll get a chance to explore Costa Rica's capital city with a walking tour that will include stops at the National Church, National Theater and the Central Market. We’ll also leave time for some souvenir shopping at the Artisan’s Market. We’ll cap off the trip with one last group dinner.
Day 12: Trip End
On the last day of the trip we'll head to the airport and – after a final juggling circle in the departures lounge – say goodbye as our teammates board flights home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the weather like in Costa Rica?
We visit Costa Rica during the rainy season, which just means that brief afternoon rain showers provide a refreshing break from the hot tropical weather. Day time temperatures can reach 90°F and in the evening it will cool down to the 60-70°F.
How often will my child have access to showers and laundry?
We will have access to showers every day. All accommodations offer hot showers, however, as is the nature of traveling in a country with less developed infrastructure, there’s always a chance of an occasional cold shower. Over the course of the 12 days, we will do laundry collectively as a group 1-2 times by leaving it at a laundry service for the day. We encourage students to wear things more than once before washing to cut down on packing and keep laundry runs efficient.
For answers to more frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ's page.
Hometown: Lexington, K.Y.
College: Carleton College 2019
Woza Trips: Costa Rica '19
Hailey recently graduated from Carleton College where she played varsity soccer and studied Biology. She studied abroad in England and France looking at Sport for Development and the impact of soccer culture. She also volunteered for Top Soccer, a non-profit for youth soccer players with disabilities. Currently, she is moving to Colorado and working on medical school applications.
To learn more about Hailey, check out her leader profile.
Before you go
Before You Go
International travel requires a sense of adventure, as well as prior planning and preparation. You must have a valid passport, though no visa is required for Costa Rica. Woza Soccer strongly recommends families of students traveling abroad consult their child’s doctor and visit a travel clinic well before the start of the program to discuss options for travel-related vaccinations and medications. Woza Soccer is not a medical authority and cannot directly advise students and parents regarding travel related medications or vaccinations. As a result, Woza Soccer does not require students to obtain specific travel-related medications or vaccinations. Typically, travel to Costa Rica involves simply having up-to-date vaccines. Again, we recommend consulting with the CDC and your child’s doctor. We will provide additional instructions regarding international travel preparation once you sign up for a Woza trip.s
Travel to and from San Jose, Costa Rica
Each family is responsible for arranging flights to and from San Jose Airport (airport code: SJO) during specified trip start and trip end windows. The Woza trip leaders will be at San Jose airport in the arrivals lounge (with Woza shirts and a large Woza banner) to greet students as they arrive. There are many direct flight options from the US to Costa Rica and the Woza office staff can provide support in flight booking if necessary. On travel days, Woza’s office monitors all student flights closely. All students call home upon arrival in Costa Rica and prior to leaving on their flights home at the end of their program. Families will receive further flight booking, airport and travel information upon signing up for their Woza trip.
The Woza Experience
Woza Soccer trips are adventures full of soccer and cross-cultural connections while bonding with a new group of people and learning about the work of an inspiring local soccer partner. To provide the best immersion and group bonding experience possible, we ask that students leave their cell phones and other electronics at home (though cameras are more than welcome).
All Woza trips involve the rewarding challenge of visiting a new country and meeting new people while immersed in a different culture. Some days will be more challenging than others. We ask you to come prepared with a flexible mindset and positive attitude so if changes do occur beyond the control of you, your group, or your leaders (ex: weather, itinerary changes, or delayed travel) you can continue to contribute to an enthusiastic group, and help create a successful trip experience.