Driving from Costa Rica to Los Angeles
Replies: 22 - Last Post: Nov 1, 2012 3:22 PM Last Post By: twjthornton
Oct 25, 2012 11:43 AM
15#10- nothing you post there has any relevance to buying in Costa Rica then driving to and selling in the US. Argentina is an entirely different matter altogether and who with a vested interest isn't going to tell you how easy it is?...and yes I have driven/imported cars to Costa Rica, sold them and made a few shillings. It doesn't work the other way around, but you are going to have to find that out for yourself....(also if you've already brought cars up from Panama you'd hardly need our help about routes would you?...sounds more like just an opportunity to tout your daft website)...
Oct 25, 2012 7:52 PM
16Since nothing about the OP really adds up, it's hard to work up any enthusiasm about answering any of his very vague questions. There are at least hundreds--more likely thousands--of blogs by people driving the routes through Central America, all of which can be found easily by Googling any likely combination of terms. I suggest he do so, then start reading.
Oct 25, 2012 10:13 PM
17He could spend a month just driving around to Costa Rica's main highlights, much less all the way to the US. Maybe he should buy a guidebook like everyone else...
Oct 29, 2012 7:21 AM
18Ignore the nay sayers
The drive is easy up the pan american, have several friends do it on a regular basis. I am sure you can find useful info on a more relevant board about Mexico though i have friends who drive each way from Honduras, via Guatamala in a Honduras registered vehicle and US citizens. I guess it is just paperwork and u seem to have that nailed. Aside from all the useful input on the technicalities u are getting......
Lots of good stuff in Nicaragua to check out and of course Antigua Guatamala. The Pan AMerican route is easy and safe as it can be. Avoid late night driving and really , your biggest hassle is going to be the police looking for kickbacks in every country. Otherwise, it is fairly difficult to get into to much trouble without being an idiot or an armchair expert.
Nov 1, 2012 8:42 AM
there's some general info about the drive, down, up, down,and up again
look at www.sandcruiser.com/route.html
for a map, including gps coordinates of hotels with parking and campgrounds
the info is dated (10 years in some cases) but was accurate at one point
when you go to leave CR, be sure to get a document that gives you permission to leave the country with the car
but also get a certified copy of the title. mexico is sticky about that.
To be careful, carry a photocopy of the legal docs that the lawyer prepares when you buy the car in the first place. again, mexico delayed me a full day before I finally just forged the documents that they wanted (it was faster/easier than getting a copy from costa rica. i'm not in favor of forging documents, but i'm also not fond of sitting around in border towns all weekend over a technicality)
border crossings are a little confusing. whenver you leave one, go to the nearest photocopier in the nearest town and photocopy everything that they give you (including your passport). 2 copies. you'll need them at the next border, and it's a lot faster to have them then to go find the copier at the border (which may be on siesta)
every border will have bunches of kids (and adults) who will offer to help you. average cost to get through should not be a lot of money-- maybe $40 or less, from what I recall. i've had helpers tell me is is hundreds. don't get fooled.
border officials are the same world-round: they would rather be pondering the mysteries of the world than helping you. so be patient.
other tips: always eat/drink/piss before you get to the border. it usually takes 1-2 hours on each side of any given border. facilities may not be available at the border for your use (or you may not want to use them).
from CR, north, the 'fast' way is to go through El Salvador. it adds a border crossing, but the route is more direct.
I recently did the drive from Tamarindo, CR (near Liberia) to Granada, nicaragua... that's an easy one.
then granada up to Honduras is a reasonable 1 day drive.
then honduras, through El Salvador, to Antigua, Guatemala. That is a LONG day. It can be done, but you beter start predawn or you'll be driving at night a bit... and driving at night in Central America is a great way to start a bad story (theft, cows, potholes, drunk drivers..... danger)
it's a lovely journey, have fun!
Nov 1, 2012 8:49 AM
20other tips: mexico has frequent roadside inspections .... especiallly northbound. lots of smiles goes a long ways.
if you drive through mexico city, mind the regulations on when plates are restricted- avoid those times (rush hour) and generally, avoid those areas. i've never had more police bribe attempts than in mexico city.
border inspections in general: keep an eye on your stuff so that it doesn't walk away. I've had success with opening one door at a time and standing next to them. keep the other ones locked. they have all day, don't get into a hurry.
better still: carry as little as possible in the car, and nothing of particular value. then you needn't worry.
if you carry a cooler in the car (not a bad idea) and keep it stocked with cold soda, giving a cold drink to a couple of guys at the inspection points is an inexpensive and friendly alternative to spending money to speed things up. be careful with it: if you give out a few drinks, you may end up giving out a dozen. which isn't the end of the world... $10 is probably not a lot of money to you, but a cold drink on a hot day is a nice thing for them.
Nov 1, 2012 9:15 AM
21No one is questioning driving the Central America and MX, its the details of getting a car into the US, that is what I would like to hear more about.
Nov 1, 2012 3:22 PM
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