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  The Journey: Panamericana
Being rather inexperienced in travelling with a camper van before setting off in April 2002, we prepared our trip through Eurasia rather detailed.
For the second part of our travels to South-America however, there was a) less time and b) less red tape to handle. In the two months that we were in Holland between coming back from Nepal and leaving for Argentina, the major part of our preparations was taken up by arranging shipment of the car and booking flights.

However, there was comparatively little to prepare in advance, as there is only one country in South-America that requires visa, and that only for Dutch people: Surinam (a former Dutch colony).
Neither do you need a carnet de passage like in Asia. As we set off it was said that for Ecuador and Venezuela a carnet de passage was needed, but in the mean time both these countries no longer request one.

What was important however, was the political situation in the countries we wanted to visit, as well as the climate, seasons and road conditions.

The political situation in many South-American countries is rather volatile and unpredictable. During our first visit to Bolivia for example, the president was ousted and all roads were blocked for two weeks. During our second visit one month later however, it was all peace and quiet. In both cases we had asked around and searched for information about the actual situation before setting off, but in neither case the political situation could be predicted adequately.

The climate is another factor of major importance in South-America; neither can you travel with a non-4x4 car like ours to Patagonia in winter, nor can you travel on the dirt roads of Bolivia, Peru or Ecuador in the wet season. Road conditions deteriorate quickly and many roads become impassable, especially for normal cars.
Road conditions in general can change very quickly in South-America: notoriously bad dirt roads may have been paved by now, or decent gravel roads have deteriorated badly after a heavy monsoon.

In the end, we only made a rough planning for South-America, which we have had to change a couple of times, as especially political situation and road conditions could only be assessed shortly before entering (or not-entering) a certain area or country.
However, as we are now nearing the end of our travels here, we can give you our actual route:

Time schedule

Do you want to know more about the route we are following?

Check out our Travel diary!