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 is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 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. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. 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 times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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