Driving Central America & South America.

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Tcat Left 2
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Tcat Right 2
HailMary's picture
Joined: Nov 28 2008

I´d love some advice, seeing as I have no idea what I am doing.
I currently live and teach english in costa rica. I am going home to Pennsylvania for christmas, and am planning to drive back down to costa rica (heredia) and need to get there by jan. 14th, that gives me about 2.5 weeks of drive time.
I am going with two buddies, none of use speak much spanish.
I have a 2006 toyota tocoma with offroad package, but only 2 wheel drive, in good condition, I plan to sell the truck in costa rica or panama.
Suggestion, any are more then welcomed but specific advice for
-route )coming from east coast)
-permits paperwork etc... especially those i need before the trip
-lodging and saftey
-border requirments, for example the mexican car permit with 200-400$ deposit insuring the car will not be sold, to be picked back up when leaving mexico, that sounds fishy
-car insurance
-sourses of information and good maps or guides

Right now just trying to figure out logistics, eventually would like must see place list.

robertdjung's picture
Joined: Oct 31 2006

Thanks for finding us.

Speaking no spanish is a major bummer. You live in CR, take a short spanish class! What are you doing down there! :)

Is the truck paid off?

atg200's picture
Joined: Feb 20 2008

// -route )coming from east coast)

it doesn't matter - mexico toll roads will be fast, a little boring, and expensive. local roads can be anything from gorgeous fun roads through cool villages to frustrating truck choked stretches from hell. the fastest way coming from the east is to follow the boring gulf coast side to veracruz, but there are a lot of ways to go. once you hit central america, you'll follow the panamerican with detours to go to specific places.

// -permits paperwork etc... especially those i need before the trip

read old threads here since it has been discussed many times before. basically you need the original title to the truck and a passport.

// -lodging and saftey

you should know the drill if you are already in CR. its good to have off street parking in big cities(and really anywhere if you have a lot of stuff).

// -border requirments, for example the mexican car permit with 200-400$ deposit insuring the car will not be sold, to be picked back up when leaving mexico, that sounds fishy

it isn't fishy. you just need to turn the permit and hologram in when you leave mexico. make sure you do this - if you don't you won't get your deposit back and you probably won't be allowed to take another car in to mexico without paying huge fines. i don't think they even charge you if you pay with a credit card - they just put a hold on the funds.

// -car insurance

again, do some searches since this has been discussed many times. mexpro.com for mexico and [url]http://www.nelsoninternationalgroup.com/index.html[/url] for central america.

// -sourses of information and good maps or guides

spend a few hours reading old threads here - i found almost everything i needed to know here before i went, and a lot of new info has been added since then. you will not find better info anywhere else. the lonely planet guidebooks are good for tourist info, and have maps that are good enough as long as you aren't going too far off the beaten track. any good map store should have the nelles maps to central america, which are sorta accurate.

Rob's picture
Rob
Joined: Sep 3 2008

once again good info guys!