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Wanderlust in the Times of COVID-19

By July 21, 2020Alumni, STU News

Before the pandemic, St. Thomas University alumnus Esteban de la Ossa ’04, had a plan that would satisfy his wanderlust.

He acquired a beautiful piece of land and property in Costa Rica. The plan was to create an expedition of a lifetime for tourists and Costa Ricans alike. It would be called Basecamp Costa Rica and would be a glamping site that would serve as the basecamp for the hiking adventures and more that he’d plan and lead for his guests.

With the insecurity and travel restrictions that came with the pandemic, Esteban was forced to put Basecamp Costa Rica on pause.

How would he satisfy his wanderlust during a pandemic? Easy. He set out on a plan to explore his own backyard with his business partner and friend, Carlos Garrido.

Esteban and his business partner, Carlos Garrido.

The pair launched an adventure travel magazine called Adventrgram Expeditions and realized that there were millions of acres of protected lands right here in South Florida that are home to an  array of exotic flora and fauna. It was time to explore.

First on the adventure list for this STU alumnus was the Florida Everglades National Park. Designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, the Florida Everglades served as the most obvious and exhilarating starting point to Esteban’s adventures with 45 miles of trail filled with Instagram-worthy photos.

After the Florida Everglades, more adventures in South Florida and South West Florida followed.

Through the pandemic, Esteban and his partner have organized safe trips to the Florida Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, and Ten Thousand Islands. They’ve led over 50 people on hikes and on a journey to rediscover their home state. Each trip has been unique and has provided Esteban with more knowledge in logistics and exploring that he’ll be able to apply in Costa Rica.

More notably, these adventures have helped keep Esteban in the right state of mind throughout such an uncertain time for the world. Having been born in Costa Rica, surrounded by nature, Esteban has always felt connected to nature.

Luckily, Esteban will be able to move forward with his plans for Basecamp Costa Rica. In early August, he plans to travel to Costa Rica to being building his glamping site to satisfy the wanderlust of travelers across the globe in the near future.

Check out and get a feel for Esteban’s adventures below:


Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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