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Old 04-15-2016, 12:14 PM   #1
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Costa Rica from California, back.

Hi: My name is Rudy. I'm retired and will drive a RV up the Baja Peninsula to La Paz, cross the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan, thru Mexico, onto Costa Rica to vacation, vacation and return to California. Safely. No night driving. No entry into El Salvador. No issues with vehicle permits b/c stay in Costa Rica will be less than 6 months. I am very familiar with driving to Costa Rica. 3 times. Have driven a RV in Baja to Cabo several times.

Admittedly I have not driven to Costa Rica since the 70s. But I know the roads there. I want to organize a RV caravan from California to Costa Rica, and back. I want to offer a "safe" route to Costa Rica and back. No planned night driving. Always spending nights in an existing RV park. Responsible black tank dumping. Enter Guatemala with CA4 visa and never enter El Salvador. One day-time drive through Honduras. Yes, there are little if any RV parks in Costa Rica. One operable dump station outside of Liberia, Costa Rica.

In order to reasonably offer to lead a caravan to Costa Rica, safely, I intend to drive to Costa Rica and back. To ascertain road conditions and the route. In Costa Rica I will arrange for RVs to park/hook up while they vacation in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has many places to boon dock, but there must be a location where the RVer can park and dump. I will put up a web site for this caravan. Keep posted?
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:18 PM   #2
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Neat idea Rudy, but how do you plan on ensuring safety on the trip? It is my understanding that Guatemala and Honduras are both pretty dangerous.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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Hi Rudy! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Hope your caravan plans work out great!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:18 PM   #4
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Good question! I've retired. I started to ship a RV to Costa Rica via Limon. Problematic with visas and importation of vehicle. No RV parks presently operating in Costa Rica. From Tijuana, B.C. a RV can travel up the Baja to La Paz, ferry to Mazatlan, onto Guatemalan border. There are many RV parks in Mexico where a person can drive, departing in morning, arriving in afternoon to "destination" RV park where RVer will sleep that night. NEVER driving at night.
From Tijuana to the Guatemalan border the federal highways are covered by the "Green Angels" in case of required assistance. Entering Guatemala the RVers will receive a CA4 visa. Entering Guatemala the caravan will spend first night at Lago Atitlan. Second night at Lake Amatitlan. On third morning drive to Honduras border, enter Honduras and one-day time drive to Nicaragua-Guatemalan border, entering Nicaragua. There is no necessity to enter El Salvador.

Can anyone guarantee that you will not have a problem on the road? Anywhere? That you will not have an accident? That you will not drive off the road? Doubtful. But a person can be assured that "if" they will follow a planned route, in a group, with support on the road, and do not place themselves in a compromising situation (like driving at night or not knowing where they are driving to) they can make this trip safely. Driving through Mexico you will have covered at least 2/3 of your journey to Costa Rica. AT&T covers Mexico. Green Angels are reachable by mobile phone! All RVs must have CBs to communicate between themselves. Yes driving in Mexico and Central America does present possible problems, but one can prepare and plan ahead.

The biggest problem or possible troubles occur in El Salvador. We do not enter El Salvador. Many persons, some with RVs enter Guatemala. Many from Belize. A RVer can travel and stay in Guatemala without problems by following a planned route. There are many tourist visiting Guatemala, without problems by exercising common sense. Honduras, like El Salvador is dangerous. As a group the caravan enters Honduras. Once all RVs have cleared into Honduras the group drives through Honduras to the Nicaraguan border in one day-time drive (no stay in Honduras). Onto Costa Rica.

I have driven this route to Costa Rica. I will again drive to Costa Rica to assure myself of the route we will take. There are many questions that must be answered before I offer to lead this caravan. I may employ a semi-truck to accompany us from the Mexican/Guatemalan border to the Honduras/Nicaraguan border. I may hire a "rent-a-cop" to travel with the group from Guatemala to Honduras. Many questions? I intend to make this journey to do what is necessary to make this trip in the future a safe and secure route.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:23 PM   #5
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:43 PM   #6
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While this may sound like an adventure. I wouldn't want to take a trip where we might have to have a rent-a-cop. Besides if you had a breakdown where would parts come from?

I hope you have a great time!
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:51 PM   #7
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:00 PM   #8
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Tony Di: You're right, this trip is not for everyone. There is much to do and see in North America. But there are some that want to travel South. For those people who may want to travel South, my idea is to offer them a driven route from California to Costa Rica, and back. How safe? Each individual will make that decision based on the route to be driven and other considerations. That's the purpose of the caravan: to provide anyone wanting to drive to Costa Rica, in a RV, a secure and safe route to Costa Rica, a place to hook up in Costa Rica, and return. I suggest anyone traveling to Costa Rica from California to drive either a Class B or C, under 30 feet. Chevy, Ford or Toyota drive train. Replacement parts for these models are sourced readily in Mexico and Central America.

Rent-a-cop? Not necessary, but some people would feel more secure if they new the caravan was accompanied. This is an option, not a necessity. To other nay sayers, I ask you what do you advise other RVers who regularly vacation in Baja California. Have you ever been outside North America? Have you ever vacationed in Baja California, Mexico? Last time I checked, many North Americans RV in Baja and other parts of Mexico as far South as the Yucatan Peninsula. Like I write, this trip is not for everyone. However for those who would like to travel, safely (each individual decides), South to vacation in their RV in Costa Rica may find this caravan of interest. If a person can physically change a tire on their RV they can make this trip.
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:11 AM   #9
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Count me OUT!
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:22 PM   #10
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Break down on road to Costa Rica:

I’ve posted about RVing to Costa Rica. Most people (99% and higher) will not drive their RVs to Costa Rica and after considering this trip would write “count me out”. For the 1% or less who would undertake this trip I am suggesting a route to Costa Rica which can be driven in a safe and responsible manner, without any night driving. What I am suggesting can be driven by a single RVer without the advantages of joining a caravan. In fact I am going to post a web site when I depart California for Costa Rica which a single RVer can refer to as he or she drives to Costa Rica. I will list “where” the RV park is and how to contact it, the distances between RV parks and other helpful information. A simple plan/route. Drive in the daytime to a known destination RV park. Keep in mind that this trip can be made by an individual whose RV is in good mechanical condition and who has the physical ability to change a tire on their RV by themselves. Without assistance.

Good mechanical condition means you can “expect” your vehicle to travel at least 6000 miles with normal maintenance. Tires, brakes, drive train, fluids, bearings, etc.

I agree, a break down anywhere creates problems. This is true whether the RV break down happens in Mexico, in Central America, in the dessert of Arizona, or anywhere in the U.S. For those of you (99% +) who want guarantees that you will not break down, sorry I cannot help you. RV breakdowns happen. Accidents happen. In the U.S. you can buy insurance that covers road side service assistance (AAA). In Mexico you have the “Green Angels” who drive the Mexican highways 365 days a year, and who can be phoned (on your mobile phone) on an emergency number for assistance. Google “Mexican Green Angels”. “If you're driving in Mexico and you encounter problems on the road, be it mechanical issues or any other type of troubles, the Green Angels are just a phone call away”.

In Costa Rica you can purchase road side assistance for the country when you enter Costa Rica and purchase mandatory vehicle insurance. Costa Rica is a country 300+ miles at its longest and 200+ miles at its widest. We are there, and a phone call away. I cannot at this time write definitively about “road side assistance or service” in Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua. I will write about this after I learn first hand by driving to Costa Rica.

Know this. At his time the caravan will enter Guatemala at Talisman, Mexico as a GROUP. All RVs will have CB radios. The country of Guatemala is <300 miles at its longest. As a group caravan will drive <100 mountainous miles to Lago Atitlan where caravan will spend the night. From Lago De Atitlan caravan will drive <100 miles to the Lake Amatitlan area and spend the night. In early morning caravan will depart Lake Amatitlan for the Honduras border. As a group caravan will enter and depart Honduras on same day, during daylight hours and enter Nicaragua. Exact arrangements must be made in Nicaragua? Nicaragua has become is a tourist friendly country with many Foreigners retiring there.

For many RVers a vacation in Arizona or anywhere in North America would be nice. For others this trip may be of interest. One of my intentions is to make known a safe and secure route to Costa Rica from California that can be driven by one’s self or by one RV. Where and how you vacation in Costa Rica is your choice. Maybe you’ll boondock? Maybe you’ll stay at a resort, spa or hotel? A B&B? I will offer you a place in Costa Rica where you can hook-up your RV, discharge responsibly and from where you can vacation in Costa Rica. Puda Vida!
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:11 PM   #11
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How is the medical coverage down there? Assume my appendix bursts or some other major item.

About how much will it cost to go in this caravan?
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:38 PM   #12
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As I wrote when I started this thread last week, I planned to leave California in about a year. I plan on publishing a web site with a route anyone can undertake alone or by a single RV. A safe and responsible route. Without more information I cannot say what it will cost to caravan to Costa Rica and return. As I have written I plan to drive from California to Costa Rica, and back, before I will try and organize a caravan.

About medical coverage you can get coverage from some North American insurance companies that will cover you world wide. You can get Costa Rican medical coverage when you purchase your mandatory vehicle coverage for Costa Rica. You may have to pay to receive the medical work, but your insurance carrier will reimburse you.

Medical tourism? Many North Americans fly to Costa Rica to receive medical procedures there and vacation in the country. Dental tourism. Many foreigners retire in Costa Rica. 2.5 million tourist visit the country annually. Costa Rica enjoys social healthcare. The medical standards in Costa Rica are world class and they can handle most medical emergencies. If your “appendix bursts or some other major item” you can take care of it in Costa Rica. But if I have the choice I will elect to receive any surgery in North America. I was recently living in Thailand when I had a Gall Bladder attack. Painful. I went to the main Bangkok Hospital where I was diagnosed and recommended that I undergo a cholecystectomy there. I could have elected to have the cholecystectomy there in a modern hospital, but I elected to fly back to California to have the operation. Same thing here. If I can I will have any surgeries in North America. If I cannot Costa Rica can deal with most medical emergencies.
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