Are you wondering what to gift the Traveler on your list?


Is there a traveler on your list who needs a great gift? I have the best idea for you. I recently stayed at a private villa on an island and if your traveler has not, this could be your best next gift—a Costa Rica vacations! I loved the flexibility of having the entire villa. We could make meals, be on our own schedule and all share the same living room. There was privacy for all but having our own pool, deck area and laundry space was wonderful for our group.

Now that you know what to get, where should you go? I was fortunate to take many trips in 2016 and I have a long list of where I want to visit in 2017. I am sure your traveler does as well. The more places we see, the more we learn about and add to our list. While I have many new locations on my list, I want to return to some of my favorites. Many of the people that want to travel with me, need to stay a bit closer to home and have easy access back to family and work.

I loved visiting Costa Rica when I worked on the cruise ships. We had many days filled with adventure. My friend from Texas took me horseback riding and it was certainly a day I will never forget. You can explore the rain forest, see monkeys and fly through the air on zip lines. There are volcanoes, waterfalls, and rivers to explore, you can surf, snorkel, kayak, sport fish, or raft Pacuare, Reventazón, Sarapiquí, and Corobicí rivers. Prefer a land based day, explore by mountain bike, ATV or canopy through the trees and walk on hanging bridges. This place is adventure central.

Did you know that Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world? I want to visit Tortuguero National Park and learn about the  sea turtle nesting here. There are 20 natural parks and 8 biological reserves. If you love bird watching, this is a great place to add new birds to your list. Have you always wanted to see a manatee? They live here in the canals.

If culture is more your travel style, you may be surprised to know that there are many immigrant ethnicities with cultural heritage here from Chinese and Jews to Libanese as well as native people of Bribri, Cabécar, Maleku, Teribe, Boruca, Ngöbe, Huetar and Chorotega. There has been a century of democracy here and the military was abolished in 1948. Costa Ricans are very friendly and are knows as “Ticos.”

If you are looking to relax, I would recommend a massage with volcanic mud, detoxifying baths, or a visit to the thermal waters.

San José is the capital of culture with museums, and the National Theater. Choose from pre-Colombian and Costa Rican art at the Gold Museum, Costa Rica’s history at the National Museum or an interactive learning adventure at  the Children’s Museum.

When to visit Costa Rica? The water is warm all year and the “Ticos” are ready to greet you!

What to gift the traveler on your list? Costa Rica

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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