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Need "BEEN THERE, DONE THAT" information

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Need "BEEN THERE, DONE THAT" information

1. Posted by Yoji (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y


I'm planning a long retirement trip from Los Angeles all the way to the "Land of Fire" and back (hopefully!).

I'll be using a camper van and a scooter or e-bicycle (which I don't have yet!).

I'll be happy to receive any advice, suggestion or remark that crosses your mind regarding . . . .

Recommended camper vans.
Internet, GPS, WIFI.
Car Insurance.
Health insurance (I'll have Medicare)
Money exchange.
Food and drinking water.
Overnight parking.

Please, feel free to add any relevant information.



2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1834 posts) 2y

Where exactly are you going?

The "Land of Fire" is Azerbaijan, but obviously you cannot drive there by camper van from LA.

I assume South or Central America since that is what it says at the top of the page?

General information.

Don't think you can buy a camper van and just sell it when you are finished. When you finally do sell it, you will have lost lots and lots of money on it, and have you seen the kind of mpg most of them get? It will cost a fortune in fuel. Parking can also be difficult in even small towns and impossible in big towns.

Car Insurance is usually per country so I may be wrong but I cannot see an American company issuing a policy to drive through a number of countries.

Internet you will get from internet cafes as you would not be staying in accommodation with wifi.

Money can be exchanged in exchange bureaus, banks, got from ATM's, etc.

Food and drinking water you buy from shops (especially the water).

Safety. For the average tourist, such places are not too bad but in a camper van? And if you break down miles from anywhere, and maybe they have to send to America for a part, etc? Carjacking is not impossible in some places for foreign vehicles.

Overnight parking? Anywhere but an official site and that is the easiest way to get everything stolen. It happens in Europe all the time where people park off road, park in car parks, etc.

Me, I'd fly, travel around by bus, train, plane, stay in hotels, maybe take some tours, etc. Driving endless miles quickly loses it's charm.

3. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 752 posts) 2y

Quoting Cyberia

Where exactly are you going?

The "Land of Fire" is Azerbaijan, but obviously you cannot drive there by camper van from LA.


At a guess - it's Tierra del Fuego - Patagonia or thereabouts

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1998 posts) 2y

Well, one thing that might want to be considered--

If you don't know if you want to move to Azerbaijan (which is a former USSR Republic (Asia) near the Caspian Sea) or if you want to move to Tierra del Fuego/Patagonia (southern tip of Chile in South America), you might have a hard time with us taking you seriously.

Perhaps you might want to actually determine which place you want to move to and where the place is before you move there; then get back to us and we will fill you in on what we know about the place you are interested in.

P.S. Former World Chess Champion, Gary Kasparov, who I met and chatted with on a few occasions when I lived in Los Angeles, is from the capital of Azerbaijan (Baku).

5. Posted by Yoji (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y

Thanks for the responds,

I am at this point in a feasibility stage. I know its a huge project and I'm trying to gather as much information as possible.

The general idea is to take it easy and travel thru Mexico, Central and South America, ALL BY MYSELF, as long as my health and sanity allows.

Of course I meant Tierra del Fuego - Patagonia !? daaahh . . . I had no idea there is a "Land of Fire" in Azerbaijan. (where in hell is Azerbaijan anyway), exactly like I didn't know about the GAP ! You know, the notorious big bad "DARIEN GAP" ! ! !

As I understand, not only they robbing you ( about $1500 one way ) they also enjoy torturing you with insane paper work.

So right now I'm kind of "Back to the drawing board"


[ Edit: Edited on 05-Sep-2014, at 20:38 by Yoji ]

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 2y

Azerbaijan?!?! That's the funniest damn thing posted here in ages...

Yoji... you're on the wrong travel forum. There is LOADS of great info for the trip you want to take, simply Google, "Pan American Highway."

You'll be avalanched with info, much of it up-to-date blogs that detail the trip in minute detail.

Have fun with your research and good on you for consider this trip. It's a fabulous, unbelievable journey that will blow you away. It's not cheap and it's not easy but with proper preparation it's totally doable as your Google search with prove.

Have fun.


7. Posted by Yoji (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y

Thanks Terry,

Your tip was great and your words gave me the push I needed. I'll be glad to any more tips.

What your opinion about the type / kind of car I should consider? (one person, used to non-luxury).


[ Edit: Edited on 06-Sep-2014, at 01:55 by Yoji ]

8. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1834 posts) 2y

Google land of fire and you get Azerbaijan.

I checked on return flights from LA to Patagonia and they start from £330, which is under $539.

Plenty of car rental firms in Patagonia.

9. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 2y

Yoji, once you start Googling the Pan American Highway you'll be amazed at how many people have done this trip. Loads of motorcyclists like me... and loads of people in everything from normal cars to super high-end 4 x 4s and huge recreational 'round-the-world vehicles.

Have a look at this too:

Good luck and have fun with your research.


Post 10 was removed by a moderator