Warning, what follows is not interesting unless you are an overlander hoping to park your vehicle in San Jose while you are out of the country. First, find a government bonded warehouse (almacen fiscal) where you will park your vehicle. There are many options around the airport, we chose Terminal Unidas (10.00063 N, 84.197067 W), but we really didn’t shop around at all. At Terminal Unidas at the security gate ask for Alexis and the security guard will let you through. Drive past the parking lot on your left to an area with lots of large trucks and a huge fenced parking area. The office is in the far left corner of the warehouse. Brush up on your Spanish because Alexis doesn’t speak any English although he found a translator to ensure that we understood the process for suspending our permit. Give Alexis your vehicle import permit, he will make a copy and direct you to the small office at the entrance to the fenced in area where an unofficial looking man will write some numbers on the copied vehicle import permit that should be the same numbers he writes on the key identifier tags. Return to the office and Alexis will enter some information into a computer, print out a form with all the information needed to suspend your permit including a string of numbers specific to that warehouse. While I was taking care of all the paperwork they took pictures of every ding, scratch, and dent on the truck as well as inside the camper. We then drove to a second fenced lot behind the first one parked Suzie where indicated and sadly said our goodbyes.
We then walked to the airport, playing Frogger across the busy San Jose interstate, I would suggest taking a taxi because it is about a 2 mile walk to the customs office. The customs office (Aduana SantaMaria) is not at the airport it is about 1 km further down the road (9.99788 N, 84.2115 W) in a large white building. Present your original vehicle import permit, driver’s passport, and paperwork received from the almacen fiscal and after typing a bunch of information into a computer you will be given a new suspended permit. The top will say suspender and the permit will also say how many days you have left on your permit once you return to Costa Rica. The official kept our original permit and stated we would be issued a new one when we returned. This process wasn’t too difficult for us, hopefully when we return it will be just as simple to reinstate the permit and collect Suzie!