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I grew up 10 minutes away from Central Park in San José, but that wasn’t enough nature for me. From a very young age, I loved to visit the countryside far away from the city. When I started surfing, I found the perfect excuse to get out of the San José for the weekends.
My love for nature led me to study Biology at The University of Costa Rica. There, I got involved with the Marine Sciences Department where I was able to participate in research and field studies that took me out of the classroom. I was working in the field just about every week and my regular work in the classroom felt worthless in comparison to being out learning from the environment itself. So when I graduated, I escaped to the beach where I could surf, and I started working as a naturalist guide and environmental educator.
Recently I moved back to San José to start working on my own project, where I could share the beauty of my home with travelers. It was hard to leave my beach neighborhood for the city, but luckily I came with a greater perspective of San José . I learned to find the natural beauty that surrounds and grows in the streets of San José, and I’m excited to share this with others.
My name is Tomás Calleja, I’m 25 years old. I was born in the south pacific region of Costa Rica in a town called Palmar. I lived there for eight years and spent most of my time there in my dad’s farm; close to the wilderness, canals, beach, fish, mangrove swamps, and snakes. I was enchanted.
After living in Palmar, we moved to San José where I live today. From early on I knew I wanted to study Biology, all the plants and animals I lived near inspired me.
Later on I realized becoming a guide would be a good idea for me, I liked traveling and teaching others about the natural history and culture of Costa Rica. So, I started working as a naturalist guide. After 5 years, I still truly love my job because I believe it’s the best way to promote conservation.
I love exploring the great outdoors, rainforests, highlands, coral reefs, volcanoes, and beachbreaks full of waves. I try to make sure to get outside and connect with nature at least once a week. I consider myself a naturalist, and also I like to share my connection with nature with others. So, teaching others about the environment and nature is one of my passions.
My passion is definitely the outdoors, ecology, conservation, and environmental education. I love hiking out in the rainforest looking for wildlife, talking about the natural history, and exploring new places. I believe I can help get others to be passionate about conservation, and that is one of the best ways to help conserve our planet.
I could easily say I want to explore around my country with a big off-road car, with just some tents and surfboards. Nonetheless since I was little I wanted to visit Australia. The Outback of Australia calls to me with its unique wildlife and environment along with the adventurous people that live there. It seems lonely and wild which draws me to it.
My perfect vacation has to involve two things. Firstly, it needs to involve getting in touch with nature. I would spend time hiking, spotting the local plants and animals and getting to know the local ecosystems. Secondly, I need to experience the culture by meeting the local people, tasting the food, learning about what the people do for fun and what their daily life is like, and learning the history of the place.
When I can do both of these things, I am happy. If I had to choose a destination right now, I would probably say backpacking Southeast Asia.
A degree in Biology from the University of Costa Rica
Certified guide with four years of experience in tour leading.