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South america by road in car - need advice

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean South america by road in car - need advice

1. Posted by SVM (Inactive 46 posts) 9y


Myself and my friend wanna travel whole south america by car on road.Following are countries in the list : Argentina,Bolivia,Brazil, Chile,Colombia,Ecuador,Paraguay, Uruguay,Peru,Uruguay,Venezuela .
Ideally we would like to start somewhere in columbia or venezuela and go thru all countries to reach Tierra del Fuego and comeback to same place where started.
ideally the map will be something like this :

I have following Qs on the same.

1) Which is the best season to make this trip?
2) How many months it might take ?
3) which car is best for this kind of trip? where we can buy these type of car? how much will be the approximate cost?
4) is there any travel agencies whom we can approach for getting visas of all countries in SA?

please reply to email id : leosatrip at

I would appreciate if anyone respond to this. I have to decide on based on responses.

2. Posted by artdealer (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Qs And As

1) Which is the best season to make this trip?

It will take you several months to do the trip, or at least I suggest that it does, so as to what season to start I would say this doesn’t have much sense, as you will be travelling in all kinds of climates. From tropical down to Antarctic weather, what you can try to do. is to arrive to Tierra del Fuego in our summer, that’s anything from November to March, that should make driving easy down in the Patagonia…..

2) How many months it might take ?

What’s the rush, take your time, it’s a travel of a lifetime, sit back and enjoy each day ….

3) Which car is best for this kind of trip? Where we can buy these type of car? How much will be the approximate cost?

As to what’s the best, it’s a 4 wheel drive car, if you start up in Colombia buy it there. I would say price range would be around US $30,000.- for a new one. As you will return to this same staring point you can then easily sell the car there. I have also known travellers to do it in any old car…

4) is there any travel agencies whom we can approach for getting visas of all countries in SA

Most South American countries don’t ask for a Visa if you Are from the UK, where are you from …… if you are from India I belive you will need a Visa in most countries. Try the Embassies....

I would also and always do recommend the South and especially the Patagonia, in our summer months from November to April you will find it acceptable the weather. See this short video clip of mine of one of the interesting sights you can see there. Esquel and its antique steam engine train ….
Bob Frassinetti.

[ Edit: Edited on May 2, 2007, at 2:49 PM by artdealer ]

3. Posted by artdealer (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Also see this photo gallery for Route 40 in Argentina: Route 40 Patagonaia and North Argentina, press here ..........

[ Edit: Edited on May 2, 2007, at 2:46 PM by artdealer ]

4. Posted by SVM (Inactive 46 posts) 9y

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your response. As you rightly said it is a trip to enjoy and no time constraint. I have plans sometime around Feb-2008 to start ideally what you suggest looks have any rough idea as how many miles or kilo metres for a round trip in SA?? I am from india , and i know i will have more problems in getting visas..i will take care of that..

also i heard border crossings are trobleful when car is registered in one country and cross other borders?

I looked at your photos..very nice!! stay in touch..who knows we may meet up sometime in SA..

5. Posted by artdealer (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Hello Leosatrip,

I’m sure once you purchase the vehicle the car agent will give you all the documentation on the car, insurance for al the south American countries you will be visiting, title of ownership and tax bills paid in advance for all the time you will calculate you will eb on the road, this will be enough I’m sure to cross any border, all boarder crossings in South America are a hazel, but with the right documents of ownership and the right attitude ( get my meaning ) to wards the custom officials, will get you across, I’m sure, any boarder.

One of the ways down from Colombia would be the Pan-American Highway that goes all down the Pacific coats to Chile and from there you can cross over to Argentina, where I’m sure we will meet…….. and you can carry on down wards to the “Land of Fire,” as Ushuaia is known……. And back up along the Atlantic coats. Your best bet would also be look yup some world maps on South America so you go familiarizing your self with names of cities and countries as well as other possible routes….. I’m sure you will have lots of work before hand to work it all out.

Here you can also see part of my trip along Route 40, Ruta 40, North Argentina: PRESS HERE

Best of luck and see you some day, Bob

6. Posted by drivepanam (Budding Member 13 posts) 9y

My friend and I are driving from the US down to Argentina so I've been doing alot of research on driving in much the same areas you will be in. I would have to agree that if possible you should leave the timeframe open, the reason that we are driving vs. taking public transportation is so we have the oppurtunity to explore places we hear about/come across alonge the way and for that reason a certain timeframe would be very hard to predict. I've heard that patagonia is unvbelievable in the spring, summer, and fall, and while it holds its own beauty in the winter it has limited hours of sunlight. I plan on driving something with AWD or 4WD when I go but someone did remined me that many of them get alonge just fine with their VW bugs and other small cars. The last thing I will say, and I am certainly one that loves to take calculated chances, is that the border between Columbia and Venezuela is quite dangerous so you may want to further investigate that.

I'll post some links to some resources I've found helpful when I'm back at my computer.

Good Luck!

7. Posted by artdealer (Budding Member 64 posts) 9y

Hi Justin,

Yes, I have even known people to travel in an old Ford T car, so you can guess if your time frame is open there are many ways to come down and enjoy the ride.

As to the boarder crossings the only one with a problem is the one between Panama and Colombia, still many people have to go round this route by ship as its famous for being practically impossible to go either for political reason, bandits and road conditions....

As to Colombia and Venezuela along the coast line there isn't much problem.

Maybe there are some problems in the south of Colombia when travelling further south but I've heard people getting through.... cheers to you all future travellers and so see you also down Argentina way, Bob

8. Posted by samham (Budding Member 26 posts) 9y

Wow, that really sounds like an amasing trip, if i can warn you to avoid cities and potholes. So I can´t say that Im an expertof anysort, but of the work and travel that ive done, the choice of car should be based on somethingthat you are very familiar with, ie can fix it on your own in the middleof no where, with a shoe string, some duct tape and a tin can