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 Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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