Can you Drive from the US to South America?
Or is this a terrible idea?
Come along for the ride!
Also, I met a young French woman in northern Argentina. She never drove a bike before, bought one in San Francisco and drove all the way south to Ushuaia and Cape Horn. It was a bet, and it looked like she was going to win.
gdzie mnie wiatr poniesie
i guess i wont take my car
is there a way to take buses all the way from Texas then Mexico, thru all of Central America, take a ferry across from Panama to Columbia, and then take buses the rest of the way down to south america?
sorry for the newbie questions, you guys are ROCKING!!!
If you want my take on how to approach the overnight busride, see my expert article here: http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/09-01/overnight-bus-tips-expert.html
I am planning the similar plan you are. I plan to travel by bus and stay at hostels, camping or sometimes through Couchsurfing networks.
The biggest challenge is Entry/Exit requirement. I spend a lot of time reading Entry/Exit requirement on www.travel.state.gov (US Government's website) and its going to be pain in the neck to figure things out.
You might need yellow fever to get in some countries, but required in Brazil. I contacted Brazil Embassy, you can get entry visa from any Brazilian Embassy in any countries OTHER than Brazil prior to enter the country. I think I need to contact Paraguay Embassy since they also require visa prior to enter the country, hopefully I can get visa in any other country before entering Paraguay.
The other biggest challenge is that some countries might need you to show proof of onward travel since I am a backpacker, and I don't make any plan in advance. I only will stay in each country up to the limitation # of days or months provided by individual country's law.
The website doesn't give 100% detailed information... they usually says about departure or arrival by air.. since I am travelling by land. That's mean I have to contact embassy of all South American's countries especially Colombia, which I plan to ride by boat bypassing the border of Panama and Colombia (dangerous area). The site only explained about entering by air and land.. I don't see any entry by water????
Any advice or information regard this, please do so... thanks
I think you're reading too much into this. It's a pretty typical backpacking trip, and you shouldn't have any problems. There's a very small handful of countries in the Americas where Americans will need visas, so yes, you need to know which ones they are, but you don't need to worry about it - it's a formality: fill out the forms, and pay your money in a nearby capital, and you're on your way.You might need yellow fever to get in some countries, but required in Brazil. I contacted Brazil Embassy, you can get entry visa from any Brazilian Embassy in any countries OTHER than Brazil prior to enter the country. I think I need to contact Paraguay Embassy since they also require visa prior to enter the country, hopefully I can get visa in any other country before entering Paraguay.
I'm no expert on Colombia (the entire extent of my "Colombian experience" is spending 12 hours at the Bogota airport last week. The only things I learned is that they like to check your bags - 3 security checks for an international connection which would have had no security at all in some countries - someone needs to teach them about ventilating public buildings, and they don't feel that food is an important thing to have near the boarding gates), but they're on good terms with the states, and no visa is necessary. How you enter a country almost never has any bearing on entry/exit requirements.
The exception to that is proof of onward travel. When you arrive overland it's generally expected that you'll leave overland, so you won't normally need any proof of onward travel. This is more of a problem when you arrive by air. In either case, it can be circumvented through the "fully refundable plane ticket" method, which requires a good sized credit limit, but doesn't cost you anything.
You should checkout WikiOverland, the encyclopedia of Overland Travel which contains everything you need to know about traveling the world with a vehicle. For each country, topics covered are things like border crossings and paperwork, gas prices, roads, maps, bribery, camping, insurance and much much more.
All the best & enjoy!
You can easily drive from Alaska to Ushuaia. Do a little research on border crossings (specifically Central America). The helpers are NOT there to help you. Knowledge is power.
In fact, I am looking for a buyer for my motorcycle near Ushuaia-Buenos Aires. I would consider returning to Mendoza or Santiago if the buyer is serious.
South America requires the International Driving PERMIT (not license). All the Central American countries that require insurance will have it at the border. The general flow is immigration then Aduana (customs for your vehicle).
South American insurances is a little different. You have to go to the Seguro brokers to buy insurance in Colombia, Peru, Chile/ARG. Peru is the biggest pain in the ass, but La Positiva is the insurance company to use.
Apart from the Panama-Colombia bit, you can find public transport (mostly buses) from Alaska to Puerto Williams, Chile.
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