One of the most popular questions we get is what kind of can should you take to Costa Rica?
You must give serious consideration to the type of vehicle that transports you from point A to point B, wherever that might be. You don’t have to drive a 4X4 to be comfortable on your trip but it sure would be nice and it’s usually the only thing I would recommend. Whatever car you take please make sure it’s reliable vehicle that will withstand hard driving.
The ideal vehicle for driving comfortably in Central America has the following:
- normal to above-normal road clearance;
- good tires and at least one spare;
- good shocks (get new ones if you are not sure);
- air conditioning;
- Ipod player or something to listen to while traveling for hours without a soul;
- tinted windows;
- gas mileage above 20 mpg;
- fog and road lights;
- and an attentive driver.
If you spend a little extra money to prep your vehicle before the trip you will thank yourself when you return from your journey. Before my trip I spent about $400 dollars replacing all the fluids, belts, electrical fittings and hoses.
Take the used car parts with you on your trip, there are no auto supply warehouses along the way. Throw in an extra fuel filter, a spare tire, your basic mechanical tool assortment, and anything else you feel will assist you with minor repairs and don’t forget some duck tape which could save your ass while limping along to the next mechanic.
Tires! Tires! Tires!
Please, fit your vehicle with a good set of tires.
A Little Extra Money – Buy New Shocks
The majority of the roads are horrible and your best defense is a reliable set of tires. If you have some extra money and your shocks are old, my recommendation is to replace them. Shake, Rattle and Roll takes on a new meaning while driving through Mexico and Central America and if your shocks are nonexistent before your trip, you can expect your spine to be in a similar condition at the end of your excursion.