It covers 18 countries, covers 48,000 kilometers and stretches across two great continents- Welcome to the world’s longest motorable road!
The Vía Panamericana or The Carretera Panamericana is a great unifying force in the Spanish peaking part of South and North America and a source of great regional pride. Perhaps the most scenic road ever known to man, the Panamericana crosses lush Amazon forests, freezing mountain passes in the Andes, arid deserts and tundras. Traversing this great road from one end to the other is the dream of every adventurer and roadie. The roadway covers the entire western coast of the South American continent and hence the views that it offers are truly the stuff dreams are made of.
The first part of this great roadway was completed in 1950 in Mexico. Soon with the eager participation of the other countries of Latin and Central America, the roadway progressed rapidly and was ready in its entirety by the beginning of the 70s. Many countries linked existing highways to the Panamericana and designated them with special road signs.
However, the entire road is not completely motorable for a biker or a 4-wheeler without all-terrain capabilities. The Pan-American Highway is interrupted between Panama and Colombia by a 100 km stretch of marshland known as the Darién Gap. Several efforts were taken to close this inhospitable stretch but due to fears of causing damage to the environment, all construction here was stopped.
So the only recommended way to navigate this stretch is to take a ferry that would take you around by sea.
So, if you are the adventurous types and you love Hispanic culture and you are yet to add this great roadway to your bucket-list, perhaps you should do it now!