Is Ireland the Costa Rica of Europe?

For many years, Costa Rica has been called the Switzerland of Latin America due to its stable government, peaceful existence and beautiful landscapes.   We think that just as easily, Ireland could be called the Costa Rica of Europe.

beach in ireland
We were amazed at how similar Costa Rica and Ireland were. Just the dress code on the beach is slightly different.  Trading a swimsuit for a scarf.

Let me explain.   Last week, the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges participated in the Word Adventure Travel Summit in Killarney, Ireland and while networking with colleagues from all over the world, we also got a “taste” for Ireland.   We were amazed at the similarities between Costa Rica and Ireland.   Just a few examples.

Both countries have about 4.5 Mio inhabitants. And what is really great that we found a lot of a “Pura Vida” approach to life and very happy people here in Ireland.   That was probably the most important thing that both countries have in common.   Kind, humble, helpful and just genuinely nice people.

This lady lives next to an amazing archaeological site on the coast that is located on her property.  She was so welcoming and telling jokes.  A true character…

Both countries are very green and have a lot of coastline. It rains quite a bit in both countries but it hardly gets in the way of vacationing.   In Ireland because it is most likely to stop after a while and in Costa Rica it is usually warm and also only lasts for a while.

rainbow in lush Irish countryside
The lush and green landscape and the rainbows almost every day were certainly something that we found to be very similar between Costa Rica and Ireland.  Architecture – very different.

There is great Seafood in Ireland and in Costa Rica. Both countries produce excellent grass fed beef and wonderful dairy products.   The differences:   the fruits, the level of spicing and the beer.

seafood in Ireland
Fish and Chips is the most popluar seafood dish in Ireland. But there is a great variety ranging from oysters to scallops. Always accompanied by a great beer, preferably Stout.

Costa Ricans and the Irish like music, like to dance and like to have an occasional drink or two. We found that it takes as much of passion and rhythm to dance well to Irish folk music as to Latin Salsa or Cumbia.

Irish music and dance
Irish music is full of energy and passion. We found music to be present everywhere. Part of the happy culture of Ireland.  The rhythm is contagious.

Both countries have great surfing spots with amazing waves. But yes, you better put on a wet-suit in Ireland.   The water is not quite as warm as in Costa Rica.

Irish Coastline near Dingle
The coast of Ireland is spectacular. Lots of little beaches and coves as well as large cliffs.  Great waves for surfing.  Might need a cup of hot coffee with some whiskey after the session though.

Both countries’ economies were purely agricultural a few years back. By now tourism is one of the most important contributors to GDP as well as service industries.     Both countries have a well-educated young and motivated workforce that attracts foreign investment.

It seems like there is bit of the “Tico time” syndrome (not taking punctuality all that serious) going on in Ireland as well. In that way, Costa Rica is definitely more like Ireland that Switzerland.  But hey, whats the rush, right?

Pint of beer
Enjoying a pint of Tom Crean Ale, named after the famous Irish Antarctic Explorer in his pub in Southern Ireland.  Time seems to stand still in Irish pubs.

We think that if you have been to Ireland and liked the experience, you might really enjoy visiting Costa Rica.   And of course vice versa.   It is great to be able to travel and learn about those things.   When are you planning your next trip?

If you plan to come to Costa Rica, let us know and we will be happy to help you plan your vacation.   If you are interested in visiting Ireland, contact Vagabond Tours.   We were on one of their tours and really liked it.  Don’t miss the Wild Atlantic Way.  An amazing drive along the west coast of Ireland.

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