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Old 01-16-2013, 04:57 PM   #784
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Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Yorkshire
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Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
there are two crossings from Nicaragua to Costa Rica, the main one is on the Pan American, i'll cover this one in this post

but first a word about the other i just got from two riders who used it but don't post on ADV, so it is very current,

it crosses San Carlos (nica) to Los Chiles (CR), it is a boat crossing, if you are heading from south to north and going into Nica yes you need insurance but they are not too concerned and will let you ride to the next town and pick it up along the way and not have to return to prove it

Going into CR not the same, you need insurance, it is mandatory for your bike to leave the customs area, they may or may not be someone there selling insurance, most of the time not, if this is the case then you need to get a bus $5 for about a 3-4 trip to the next town to get it, if you miss that bus for some reason you either have to stay the night or pay a taxi $100 to take you

so if you are going to use this head to the NICA/ CR on the pan am, get it there and the ride around the lake about 300 km +/- and load your bike then you'll have no problems if you have that much time

OK, on to the pan am crossing, i was kind of dreading this, last year i spent nearly 14 here mainly because of the BS that is getting into NICA - (i have used Dan and Lisas photos again as there was to much traffic blocking good views of the buildings, thanks again guys)

i read a suggestion of coming here on a Sunday would be a lot easier, less such luck on that count but the rest is positive

as you approach the frontera the road splits, to the right is a lot of shacks, to the left is a barrier and that where you go, hand over your import papers and passport to be checked, they will sign your paper and hand it back to you, now head straight and look for buildings on your left, ride around them and park behind this building

look for a policeman in a blue polo shirt that says tourista polica on it, he needs to stamp that paper as well, now or after you do migration, but before aduana

so head to the building to the right side as this photo shows, in an entrance way there is a both that charges a municipal fee of $1, pay this and go to the window for a form, if someone approaches you with one then they will expect money then or later, they are free from the window, if there is a line go to the front and ask for one then fill it in while you wait in line

hand in the paper and you passport and $2 to get stamped out of NICA

if you need dollars there is an ATM across the parking lot, look for a HUGE sign

now got thru the glass doors to export your bike, you need the import paper with the signature from the front gate and the cops stamp on it, then hand it over with your passport and drivers license - there is no fee for this

hop on your bike and ride back around the building to the left of it, at the T make a left and ride thru the area where they are spraying the trucks, you don't need to do this...head straight and pass the immigration building to your left and aduana on your right and park, i parked behind this white bus

so looking back immigration on your right (left as you ride past it) and aduana across the street

go to immigration and if there is people standing in line behind orange bollards thats where the line begins, if no one is there go inside, there should be a cop there handing out immigration papers to fill out. when you go inside hand over your passport and the form, i was asked how i was leaving the country, i showed my helmet and the officer smiled, and said OK, other people were showing bus/ plane tickets

now leave this building - DO NOT go to aduana, look across the street to your left as you exit the building and you will see a chain link fence, walk to the end of it where cops are probably standing and walk thru the gap on the very well worn path, trees with white bases should be on your left, follow this to the building, climb the steps and walk the far end of the building and look for a sign hanging above the walkway that says seguros (insurance) - this is the place

there is a window open to the outside, this is the first insurance step, you need your passport, DL, Title/ Reg and $17 or colones if you have them (500 to $1) she will fill out the forms for you and hand you all your stuff back.

from here take a right and go down to the copy place

you NEED copies of the insurance, your passport front and back pages, and the CR stamp page, your title and your DL

now go to Aduana, he will fill some papers out for you and hand you a paper to fill out as well, he will need all the copies and want to see the originals as well, when he is done he will hand everything back that is yours and keep the copies, he will also give you a small piece of paper with your plate number on it and a stamp DO NOT lose this

now go back to the insurance place, use the other door and go inside, this is where you get your insurance completed, once you leave here you are done, go get on your bike

have your papers and passport handy, you will need to hand in that little piece of paper before you leave and hand it in at the final barrier, also you may need to show you passport when you do this

you are now free to ride off into Costa Rica and pay a lot more for everythig that you did in NICA!!!

a word of advice of how i do these borders, is i find info, if i can print it off, if not then take a photo of the computer screen and i use my phone as a PDA, no helpers required

...and a final note, this last year was easily the worst border coming north from argentina and crossing multiple border, yesterday this was the most organized, a lot of walking around but it is now very organized heading south, total time at both borders one hour 20 minutes
Hi Paul.
if this help to keep things up to date. we crossed here today 15/01/2013. The cost for bike insurance now is $30
Dazzer and Leigh
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