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Travel in Family thru South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Travel in Family thru South America

1. Posted by Krystyan (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


We are looking at driving from Atlanta, GA - US to at least Ecuador but idealy much further South.
This project is planned for summer 2011.

We have 3 boys (2x15 + 1x7) and are quite trained at rugedized vacations. Of course, here would be a real stretch!

Still so many problems ahead to resolvet:
Safe lodging along the way (can do campground - wild or in a camp)
Dealing with school schedule for the kids
Leave of absence from work
Financing and possible sponsors

The only thing we kind of resolved so far is the car... We bought for that purpose a suburban Z71 in a very good shape. We know, it is not a real 4x4 but it should still be better than our previous van.

So at this stage of our preparation, we are mostly interested in hearing from other ones who would have experienced something pretty close.

Also looking at bibliography, links, contacts,

We will pack goodies we plan to give away on the road (pencils, bloc notes, deflated balls, school calculators, ...) anything that could open up doors to safe place where to stay...

We look forward to hearing from your travel experience!

Thank you so much in advance.

Feel free to email us too!

2. Posted by wanderer84 (Budding Member 21 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

If your driving south, im assuming your taking the pan-american highway? Just asking to make sure that you know about the Darien gap, it's the border between Panama and Colombia where the highway stops. Have you looked into alernative ways to get your car to Colombia?

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

To expound a bit on wanderer84's comment - there are no car ferries (or ferries of any kind) between Panama and Colombia anymore. You will need to arrange some type of cargo transportation for your vehicle (usually a container ship) or abandon the idea of driving that far. It can be done but you will definitely need to incorporate the cost of shipping your vehicle into your budget.

Here are some links:

Shipping a Vehicle - One Person's Experience

Drive The Americas

Getting from Panama to Colombia by boat

4. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I will send you some links, I live in Central America and have driven myself 800,000 km. in the region. Driving with Kids can be a plus. Latin Americans, including corrupt traffic cops are family oriented, also for extra security bring a dog, if possible. Most of the RV ers bring dogs and camp along the way when possible.

5. Posted by Krystyan (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thank you so much for your inputs. What worries me the most now is how to get past the Panama's canal. My wife's cousin did do the trip from Miami to Quito but on a motor bike. He did mention that there was no bridge when he had to go over the canal and that he crossed it by boat but I thought this was just more convenient for him at the moment.
I must confess I realy did not suspect the panam stopped in Panama, kind of ironical!!!

We will go thru the links and keep at that the thread as obviously good people and good advice can be found here!

Thank you all again!


6. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 933 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

The Bridge of the Americas goes over the canal...You're fine there. Crossing to the other side is a massive non issue. Put it out of your mind. Your biggest problem is the Gap.

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I sent you information by privte message, as well teh Moderator sent you valuable information. Cannot you read and do your own homework and research?
Yes think you will have a complicted, expensive and time consuming trip.
My advice (advice is cheap) is to fly to your destinations, purchase a used car with national plates in South America, sell it when you decide to leave.

The Panama Canal is no problem, The Darien gap between Panama and South America is, you will require to ship your vehicle RORO or Container and fly over to SA to meet the vehicle with your papers when it comes off teh boat, you will require shipping aand customs agents on both sides to expedite paperwork. Can you handle that? If not fly and purchase a used car or hire a local driver, native guide, owner by the day at your destinations, remote areas, no insurance, no liability for you.