Preparing in the dust for rainy season

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 10:00 - 

In a few weeks YŪGEN tours will travel to Costa Rica again in order to try out a number of existing and new things. We plan these investigation trips as much as possible in low-season so that local suppliers and partners have time to receive and guide us. After all, YŪGEN wants to maintain a personal contact with its partners, create tours in YŪGEN style and likes to be able to answer your questions out of own experiences.

So we are going to Costa Rica in rainy season. The past weeks, exceptional rainfall resulted in several flooding’s. Because of this, combined with the fact that authentic accommodation options and interesting activities are not always situated along the paved main road, we decided to take a 4x4 driving course. This way we can rent a 4x4 in Costa Rica and get to places which cannot be reached by public transport, shuttle buses or taxis due to the road conditions. Our main goal when booking this course was to find out what to do when we get stuck in the mud.

December to April are generally considered to be the driest months in Costa Rica. The Caribbean region is dryer and sunnier in September - October than the rest of the country. In fact, the varied landscape creates a lot of microclimates so that different best travel times apply for the different regions. It is not uncommon that it rains in one place and the sun is shining in the next. Unless there is extremely heavy rainfall like the previous month, the rainy season can actually be quite nice. Everything is even greener than in the dry season, it is less crowded, cheaper and the temperatures remain pleasant. If you are lucky, there is just the occasional shower in the afternoon.

Anyways, we took the 4x4 course in the Belgian Ardennes, which was an adventure in itself. My sister and I were the only Belgians in a group that mainly consisted of Dutch men. When the instructor informed us, also with a Dutch accent, that the Landrovers were equipped with an automatic gearbox, we got worried. Neither of us had ever driven an automatic. But it turned out to be easier and more safe on steep slopes than driving a car with manual gearbox. You just need to forget that you have a left foot, which does sound easier than it is.

After a day of practice, we felt confident and decided to rent a car with automatic clutch in Costa Rica. We have booked the cheapest 4x4 for our upcoming trip, a Daihatsu Bego. YŪGEN always tries to test the least luxurious and more economical options first. Our reasoning behind this is that if it meets our standards, the up-level versions will certainly pass the test. As far as transport is concerned, we assume that if we can get around with the most basic 4x4 in rainy season, anyone can do it, especially in dry season or with a RAV4.

A small miscalculation in our preparation plan is that the terrain in Belgium has been very dry for some time now due to the extreme amount of sunshine we are having this summer, so we practiced in the dust instead of on muddy roads. The Costa Rican wildlife that may cross the road is also different and might surprise us. At home the biggest animals to look out for when driving are cats, rabbits and the rare deer you may meet once in your whole driving career. But we like a challenge so we are really looking forward to this new adventure!


Are you just as curious as we are to find out how this trip will turn out? Then follow us from August 24th to October 5th on FB and Instagram. We promise to share as many photos and experiences as possible during our journey.

On October 13th & 14th, you are also very welcome to drop by our booth at the Verre Reizen Event in the Waagnatie in Antwerp to talk to us in person. My Costa Rican partner, Eli, will also be present to answer any question you may have.


Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leave a message in the box below.