Facts for Overlanders
Border Crossing Details:
Title and Registration.
Photocopy of your all your documents.
In Costa Rica, you will be given a stamp in your passport to show that you have entered with your car. You cannot leave Costa Rica without your car as the stamp will be in the passport.
The stamp costs around $1 and there may or may not be a small fumigation fee ($5), depending on which border you cross and the mood of the moment.
Buy vehicle insurance - around $12.
You can only drive for a maximum of 3 months in Costa Rica. After 3 months, the car needs to leave the country or be permanently imported.
If you need to fly out, you can however leave your car in a government controlled storage area for around $8/day ($5 if you negociate a little) after a flat charge of $30. There is no custom inside the building so you have to walk/taxi back and forth to the nearest customs office.
Costa Rica has several radars in operation in urban areas. Watch your speed.
The main roads are usually in good condition with the exception of the usual potholes here and there. There is also a large network of dirt roads.
Border Crossing Information:
|Paso Canoas (Costa Rica/Panama)
Largest border crossing between Costa Rica and Panama. A bit chaotic.
There is a one hour time difference at this border.
There is a Delta gas station where you can exchange your propane bottle (no refill).
|Click Here for Google Map
|Rio Sereno (Panama/Costa Rica)
Rumors that they cannot process vehicle are unfounded. Insurance for Costa Rica is not available at the border but for Panama it may be available.
Good info here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=547206
|Click Here for Google Map
|Sixaola(Costa Rica)/Guabito(Panama)||9.516698||-82.614498||Bridge is only one way.||Click Here for Google Map
|Penas Blanca/Sapoas (Costa Rica/Nicaragua)||11.235474||-85.613823||
Open from 6am to 8pm.
A lot of detailed information can be found here:
|Los Chiles/San Carlos (Costa Rica/Nicaragua)||11.046163||-84.717751||No crossing is permitted by road; you’ll be turned back at the frontier post six kilometers north of Los Chiles.|
Places to Stay/Camp
||San Antonio Belen||9.986343||-84.185886||
Located in San Antonio Belen, a suburb of San Jose near the neighborhood of Heredia, this is an actual RV park! On the panamerican highway, just past the airport, take the exit for route 111. Go right off the exit and follow the road. Just after a soccer field take a right (the road becomes one way going in the opposite direction here so you have to take a right). Go to the end of the block and take a left. About 3 blocks down the RV park is on the left just after the gas station. Cost = $14 US per night. Full hookups (water, electricity, and sewer), clean bathrooms, hot water showers. NOTE: The owners were in negotiations to lease the land for the trailer park while we were there. They told us if they did lease it the trailer park would be open through the end of the year, and there was some talk about starting a new trailer park across the street. Before going check out there website to be sure they are open.
|Click Here for Google Map
||Punta Avita (Pacific Coast)||9.158152||-83.741426||The Flutterby House is a newly opened hostel, located a minutes walk from the only free beach access to Marino Ballena National Park and Punta Uvita (near Dominical on the Pacific Coast). It is a very cool hostel that offers camping, dorm rooms, and private cabañas. Parking space is limited however, so this place is only recommended for smaller rigs (RV’s wouldn’t fit). On the coastal highway, the town of Uvita is south of Dominical. Near the south end of town, turn right 150 meters south of Banco Nacional at “Cabinas Gato” on the corner. Turn left at the first intersection. Follow this road over a small bridge and then take your first right. The Flutterby House is on your left, look for the big wall. Cost = 600 colones per person for camping (about $3.50 per person). Beautifully tiled bathrooms with cold showers (trust me you wouldn’t want a hot shower here!), and a communal kitchen and hang out area. You can run an extension chord for electricity. The hostel was beautifully built and the atmosphere is very laid back and relaxing. Highly recommended.||
|Playa Avallana||Playa Avallana (Nicoya Peninsula)
||there is a public parking lot at Playa Avallana right next to Lola’s Restaurant where you can camp. There are guards during the day who will keep on an eye on your stuff while you are enjoying the beach, and while there is no charge we tipped the guard when leaving. Coming from Tamarindo on the back road, take a right in Avallana at the sign for Lola’s Restaurant. The parking lot is at the end of the block. There are no facilities here, but the owner of Lola’s let us use his bathrooms. Don’t miss Lola the pig bathing in the ocean, it is quite the site!|
|Playa Junquillal||Playa Junquillal (Nicoya Peninsula)||coming into town from the north, take a left at the dirt road signed for Iguanazul Hotel. Follow the road to the T and take a left. You will see a sign for camping, take a right here and follow it to the end. Camping is on a grassed area with lots of trees up on a bluff overlooking the beach. There is a trail for beach access, bathrooms and showers, and some sinks for doing dishes. Cost = 2,000 colones per person during the low season. There are a lot of trees in the camping area, and we heard howler monkeys all night and morning. In the morning a family of howler monkeys came out to eat and let us take pictures. A very nice place to camp.|
||PHONES: 26560028, 88255757 ADDRESS: DE LA IGLESIA CATOLICA 200 OESTE Y 100 SUR, SAMARA, NICOYA GUANACASTE
|El Delfin Trailer Park||Liberia||N10:39.44
||W85.28.16||Run down. This used to be a proper trailer park. This is where Adventure Caravan stops for the night.|
|Santa Rosa National Park
||Near Guacalito, Guanacaste||10.900559||-85.775185||Close to the border of Nicaragua.|
Other useful tips and addresses (banks, embassies, etc)
Propane and butane are cheaper in Panama than Costa Rica so you may want to wait to buy/refill until you get there.
What to expect:
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