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Costa Rica by RV?
Possible but is it Practical?

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Here's a final follow-up post about our recent two-month Costa Rica trip: just a quick Q and A.

  1. How can you compare your Costa Rica trip with RV trips?
    Not easily. They are two very different types of adventure. In the RV, the longest we ever stay in one place is a week - usually less. In Costa Rica, the idea was to stay in one location the entire time, which we basically did. We immersed ourselves in the culture and the local scene. By the time we left, we felt as if we were moving away from a place we’d come to refer to as “home” and from people we'd come to know and love.
  2. Wasn't it a lot more expensive than your RV trips?
    It was more expensive on a per-person, per-day basis but by taking a much shorter trip than we usually do in the RV, we kept the total cost down. RVing (the way we do it) can't be beat for cost but we think we got good value for this type of travel.
    In US dollars, we spent $4168.00 (apprximately $34.00 per person per day) on the 62-day Costa Rica trip.
    By comparison, here are the figures for our last three extended RV trips:
    135 days in 2015 total cost $6863 = $25 per person per day
    149 days in 2013 total cost $7763 = $28 per person per day
    214 days in 2011 total cost $8367 = $20 per person per day

  3. Are you going to give up RVing in favor of this type of travel?
    No! Never! This was a great trip and we may return to Costa Rica or explore other countries in a similar way but it will be just for a change and certainly not every year. We love the RV lifestyle too much to give it up.
  4. Would you consider going to Costa Rica by RV?
    No. It may be possible and I did find some resources online (here's one) that prove RVing in Central America is, indeed, possible. But is it practical? There are many reasons we would not want to attempt it.
  5. Can you elaborate?
    • It's too far - per google maps, from our home in Ontario to our Costa Rica location is 3818 miles. Fuel and associated costs of driving would make the trip down and back almost (if not just as) expensive as flying. Once there, rental vacation homes and local buses are prevalent and cheap.

    • Trip advisor reports and a few other web sites indicate that traveling through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua could pose significant safety risks.

    • There are almost no facilities for RVs in Costa Rica or elsewhere in Central America: very few campgrounds and virtually no RV dumps.

    • Should you need vehicle repairs, mechanics are cheap but parts are very hard to find; importing parts from the USA can take more than a month.

    • The roads are terrible by North American standards and really not suited to an RV. Roads to the National Parks, other natural wonders, and any potential boondocking sites almost always require a high-clearance vehicle.

  6. Did you see any RVs at all in Costa Rica?
    We saw one old VW Westphalia camper van but it had Costa Rica plates so it's unlikely its owner had traveled to Costa Rica in that camper. In fact, we never once saw a vehicle of any kind with plates from outside the country.

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