I'm planning a road trip in 2014 from San francisco to Rio in Brazil. Anyone know how long this would take?
Have you done any research on this trip? Is this some kind of World Cup 2014 fantasy? It isn't like going to Spain or France before World Cup 2006, it would have been like flying into Mumbai and then driving to Berlin.
Then when you get to the Panama Colombia border there is the Darién Gap (Parque Nacional Darien), a dense rain forest and does not have a road through it. You'd need to arrange to have the car transported by ferry at some point to get back on roads that would lead to Brazil and then you have to figure out the issues in those countries.
There are no roads along the coast that lead to Rio, you'd have to go through Manaus or the interior and then figure out how to cross the Amazon River and find a place to land where there are roads.
Bottom line is, I am not sure in it is physically possible. I do know it is physically impossible to make the drive non-stop on roads. It might be the adventure of a lifetime, but it would be expensive and long.Edited: 19 January 2013, 17:43
I saw your other post so I understand you aren't joking.
However, I don't think that you will get enough advice from this forum. Most of us can only hazard a guess at the likely issues you might encounter, and no regular is likely to have up to date info on the condition of the Pan American highway - which changes after every rainy season. Also, some of central America, certainly parts of El Salvador suffer earthquakes which break up the surface and there's no money to repair it, then. (I'm not joking about this, I lived there as a teenager and witnessed this actually happen.)
Just crossing the border from USA to Mexico will be challenging, because of the dangers of the border towns. It could all go pear shaped very early on. The Darien Gap isn't currently passable, I understand, so I agree with scott's comments on that issue.
I'm assuming you will be driving in the friend based in SF's car. Can he get insurance to cover him to do the trip? You will need visas for some countries and a ton of jabs and medication. What will you do when you get to your destination with the friend's car? You will need to have very good travel insurance, and lots of good luck, too!
I don't know where you will get the best info to do this trip. However, try looking on the Lonely Planet Thorntree forum. It attracts a seemingly younger, more adventurous audience, so you might find more info there.
However, I wish you a great adventure and safe trip. If it does happen, we'd love a trip report on this forum.
Looking European and driving through rural parts of many of these countries unarmed is just asking to be kidnapped. Even crossing the border between the countries in Central America can end up being somewhat disastrous with a private vehicle. If it were me, I would look at starting in Chile and driving to Rio from there. It'll be safer and so much easier.
Yes, move over to the TT...You may not get any more encouragement... However, the expressions of paranoia will be probably be more subdued... carracar
Honduras has 91.6 homicides per 100k vs 1.2 for the UK and 4.8 for the U.S. Honduras is #1 in the world (wave a flag Honduras, you are #!1).
#2 is El Salvador at 69.2, Guatamala is #8 at 38.5. Mexico has a homicide rate of 22.7 which translates to over 25,000+ murders vs 722 for the UK. Panama is just below at 21.6 per 100k.
It is all well and good to pontificate from the rarefied airs of Santa Fe, but the realities in Chihuahua are a good bit different.
For the OP, do research on the state of Chiapas, Mexico that you would have to drive through.
Do read the warnings from the U.S. Department of State.
Read the UK's warnings on these countries.
While the tourist areas have a degree of relative safety because they are patrolled and controlled better, the outlying areas in many of these countries are not even controlled by their governments.
Yes, paranoia, IS, what it is...The wife & I travel often... In our ratty pick up camper, to & from Central Mexico, unmolested,on major highways... I suppose we have traveled enough and love the Gente enough, to keep our focus elevated above the basura...carracar
>>>Yes, paranoia, IS, what it is...The wife & I travel often<<<
One of my business associates who lives just outside Mexico City lives in a walled compound with glass and barbed wire. When he leaves his house in his bullet resistant SUV two SUVs leave, the other ones holds his heavily armed bodyguards. When the violence was escalating four years ago, he moved his family to San Diego while he stayed behind.
My parents who own a villa just outside Puerto Vallarta, they had a friend and neighbor (female) who had her throat slit.
I travel to Mexico frequently too, some on business, some on pleasure. Just because I have not been murdered or assaulted yet doesn't mean I shut my ideas to the reality in Mexico, Central America and South America.
Anyone who offers encouragement without throwing in the reality is doing a grave disservice to the OP.
And Tet, NYC is more dangerous than Fargo, but less dangerous than Chicago. We always encourage visitors to be aware of their surroundings in LA, NY, even SF & SD because you never know, but it is a bit of a red herring to throw out there. Just because someone once survived a 10,000 fall without a parachute doesn't mean it is a good idea to jump from 10,000 feet without. It is called the odds and probabilities.
The odds of encountering violence in the countryside of Honduras is higher than the worst neighborhood, in the city you could name in the US. It doesn't mean I'll be strolling through Nickerson Gardens at 2AM, but I'd be safer there than in the Honduran countryside.
I am actually terrified of going to Honduras. Last time I was there was in 1990 and that will be the last time. Such a beautiful country, but no thanks.
Yet, there are brave souls that go there and nothing happens to them, but unfortunately I know many that weren't so lucky. This isn't in just the countryside either.
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