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panamerican hyway

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1. Posted by eaglerider (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

planning to drive from california to tierra del fuego in oct. I know about the darien gap. Looking for joiners. 20 000 miles - 5 month on the road.

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Just and FYI for your trip...

Drove the western 2/3 of Panama in Jan/Feb and there is quite a bit of (much needed) road construction taking place. This is a project that will be on-going into 2006 or longer, so be prepared for some slow-going at times. They also work on it 7 days a week.

Another point of "interest" - if you decide to turn off the Interamericana (Panamerican), beware of their road signs. Your turn maybe be directly AT the sign or 1/2 a mile ahead. There is no consistency in the sign to turn distance and the sign will not tell you anything more than the name your intended destination with an arrow pointing direction.

Buzz has it that Panama is at the top of a short list for Disney World Latin America, so that may be one of the reasons for the major road improvement project - but I can't confirm that.

3. Posted by eaglerider (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Thanks for the tips, greatly appreciated...I'll check up on it...
God bless!

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Hey eaglerider!

Forgot to mention...

Beware of potholes the size of large elephants! If you hit one, they may not find you for days. They are not too bad on the Interamericana but the side roads can be brutal. Depending on the "off the beaten path" detours you take, a 4WD may be recommended. We found the Lonely Planet guide useful for some of our side trips - and usually correct when they would say a 4WD vehicle was a plus or must.

5. Posted by eaglerider (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Well, that's not encouraging, but it's part of the adventure...
Looks like you had a fun trip, where did you drive from and to ?
Did you go "spartan" way or did you stay in hotels...
Did you cross any borders ?
I'm looking for infos on how to ship my car to Columbia, from Panama, did you look into that by any chance?
Well that's too many questions already, no pressure, answer what you can...
Good luck to you... Marc.

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Hey Marc!

We only had 14 days so our trip consisted of the western portion of the country. We did not cross any borders so can't help you there, or with shipping your car to Colombia.

We rented a small SUV in Panama City and headed west. We only made reservations at a hotel for our first and last nights. The rest of the time, we took our chances. Yes, we stayed in hotels/motels - some spartan, by hotel standards, and others which were very nice. (We're not a hiking "crowd" so no hostels or camping.) If you view my profile, you should be able to access our travel diary - I have left it open to the public.
Our overnight stays were in:
Panama City
El Valle
Penonome
Santa Fe
Boquete
Playa Barquetta
Isla Grande

We did not journey farther east than Isla Grande because time was running out and we wanted to be back in Panama City for the last day of Carnaval.

I hope this answers things a little. I have to run right now but will keep checking back, as will my husband, and tell ya more. We had a great time!

7. Posted by eaglerider (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Thanx for the info. Looks like you had a great time down there, except for the pot holes, but hey, that's part of the adventure !
I'm hoping to leave, with my wife and daughter around oct this year.
Good luck for your next trip ... I kinda sense you are already thinking of another one. Ciao, Marc.