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Pan-American Highway

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Pan-American Highway

Pan American Highway Banner.jpg

This article is an itinerary.

The Pan-American Highway is a series of routes that pass through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama in North America, and Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile in South America. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest motorable road in the world. While it doesn't officially have a route through the U.S. and Canada, some people start in Alaska and drive/bike to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost tip of South America. It is necessary to bypass the Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia by ferry, however.


The Pan-American Highway is about 48,000 kilometres long depending on the route you take. There are many options in the United States, Canada, and Mexico because of the large amount of area and number of roads. Central America has only a few roads going north to south.


The Essential Guide to Driving North, Central and South America provides recommendations for travel gear, vehicle modifications, medications, and theft prevention, specific border crossing procedures, information by country, tips for traveling with a dog, and a full list of online resources for travelers exploring the Americas by vehicle. The book is available at

Get in[edit]

The Pan American Highway is awesome! But you could die if you are not fully prepared.

Get around[edit]

There are several modes of travel that are used on the Pan-American Highway. It is possible to use buses down all the way to Argentina, except for the Darien Gap.

If you drive by personal vehicle, it is important to know that your vehicle must be shipped from Central to South America (or vice versa) in order to travel around the Darien Gap. While your vehicle is shipped, you can transport yourself by plane or boat. Driving the Pan-American Highway is certainly possible, and many travelers complete the overland journey from North America to South America (or vice versa) each year.

Trains are not a viable option because most Central and South American countries do not have international train lines.

Stay safe[edit]

Try to avoid areas where cartels operate. Follow the advice for the area you are at. There are many dangers, like wild animals, forests, swamps, and there might even be dangerous criminals hiding in the forests or the swamps.

This itinerary is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present for it to be of real use. It was last edited on 2020-10-6 and will be deleted if not modified for one year. Please plunge forward and rescue it!