About Us

We, Tony and Celeste Horpel, are the owners and operators of Pickleball Costa Rica, residing in Costa Rica. As an American, Tony has also spoken Spanish for 50 years, making it very helpful to not only get around more easily than tour leaders from other countries, but it also helps us to mix in better with the Costa Rican culture and the wonderful people here.

Because we've traveled extensively and know the areas, we have favorite locations we would love to have you experience.  We, are "the only Pickleball game in town"..actually, in the entire country.  Our club, Pickleball Costa Rica, is located in the small neighborhood of Santiago, where we have 3 courts in a neighborhood recreation center. 

Pickleball: Tony started playing in Spokane, Wa., in 2012, with the suggestion from their daughter that he try it.  He and Celeste, his wife, took a liking to it immediately.  Eventually he found The Hub, in Spokane Valley, where there are 8 courts and many with the same love of pickleball.  When they moved down to Costa Rica, the sport had to come too!  Pickleball grew slowly at first, because the  first court was small and in bad condition.  Once the rec center was found, the club gained membership fairly quickly.

As they fell in love with Costa Rica and it's lush beauty, and since they are the only group in the country, they decided to start tours so they could share the beauty with others, and still play pickleball.  So, Pickleball Costa Rica was born!

Tony

  Photography / Video: Tony is passionate about photography. Enjoying competition, he has been an award winning photographer for 44 years, he is well-rounded and excels in nature, portraiture, wildlife, macro, natural (available) lighting, scenics, both color and black & white, and Photoshop.

In the 1980's, when video became portable, he rekindled his childhood obcession for film / editing, which then became a passion for video & editing.  This medium became his souce of income for years to come, but because of this experience and a love for teaching photography, he was (when we lived in the states), frequently asked to critique at various camera clubs and competitions. While judging, it is his desire to instruct the entrants what was done well, and how they can improve. But most important; how to accomplish it!  No photographer can grow unless they are willing to accept constructive critique.

Thus said, he is willing to help those on our pickleball tours to improve their photographs technically and artistically if they desire to improve, and hopefully leave Costa Rica a better photographer with some award-winning images.

Sports:  In his younger days Tony was a wrestler, an avid windsurfer, scuba diver, played tennis and ping pong, softball leagues

Spanish Speaker:  Tony started taking Spanish in 1960, in California during 5th grade and continued with it for 12 years, through college.  His major was Latin American Studies.  He visited Argentina as a foreign exchange student, where his Spanish really took off, leading to work with several airlines, including Pan Am and Western Airlines, where he was the designated Spanish speaker. 

 

Celeste

 Pickleball: Celeste is Tony'¬ís wife of 34 years, and his right-hand. She creates the tours by researching every detail, designs, and secures the services for our tours, making sure all goes well.  Celeste also plays pickleball, but at this time is on hold because of a shoulder injury.

Videography: She was Tony's partner in video for 42 years.  This is where her passion and talent lies regarding cameras. 

In younger years she was an avid skier, x-Country skier, water skier, windsurfer, and bicyclist.  She loved hiking and backpacking, and she and Tony scuba dived together as well.  Her favorite hobby is reading when she has time, along with sewing/crafts, gardening, and has traveled 37 countries with some help from being a former airline employee.

Celeste and Tony are parents of three children.

Since moving to Costa Rica dCeleste has learned to create our tours after much research, travel, painstaking detailed collection of various parts of the country. 

  Spanish came along with living in Costa Rica and enjoying the sweet people here.