After crossing the Bolivian border, we descended into the Atacama desert in Chile. We spent a few days exploring the majestic desert landscape before continuing south straight to the cosmopolitan cities of Santiago and Valparaiso. We didn’t wait long to get to the grand finale of all Pan-Am adventures: Patagonia. Touching the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern oceans, Patagonia is the southern region of the Americas, where only the brave and determined arrive to witness its glacial beauty and smell the freshest air in the world. Patagonia shares is pristine landscape with both Chile and Argentina, and one of the best ways to see Chile’s side is touring down the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway).
You don’t typically see Bolivia listed as a top tourist destination, but with it’s off-roading dirt roads, massive uninhabited deserts, and the largest salt flat in the world, it’s a destination dream for an overlander. Bolivia reaches from Amazon jungle in one corner to the Atacama desert in the other with a variety of landscapes and wildlife, including supernatural surprises like bright pink flamingos grazing in deep blue, green, and red lagoons. One of the country’s major highlights is the salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, a prehistoric dried-up lake, leaving behind a 11,000 square foot desert-like salt flat. And there is nothing more appealing to an overlander than miles and miles of nothing but vast, wide beauty. During its rainy season however, December- March, the Uyuni salt desert floods, creating a shallow salty lake which can (and has) easily ruin and rust through any rig’s frame that dares to drive through, converting an overlander’s dream to a destination nightmare. We took perspective photos on the world’s biggest mirror, but opted on keeping our rig dry and salt-free. Little did we know, we were about to embark on our most adventurous overlanding journey yet…
Eclectic, delicious cuisine and ancient Incan ruins found in the Andes’ high peaks attracts foodies and adventure seekers from all over the world to none other than Peru. We crossed into Peru from Ecuador, crossing a long stretch of desert, and sticking to the Pan-Am highway. But after sampling the fresh ceviche and arroz chaufa at Huanchaco beach, we headed straight for those high peaks, toward theCordillera Blanca (white mountain range). In addition to its food and lost cities, Peru is known for some of the world’s most dangerous roads, cutting through the Andes mountains on exposed, unpaved paths with steep cliffs and steep up-hill. We heard about an exclusive turquoise lake called Lago Parón, the largest lake in theCordillera Blanca, only accessible by the brave, the fearless, and the 4 wheel drivers. We were intrigued.
We needed to be strategic about the next few countries, as there was reported political unrest and protest due to a recent election in Honduras. We were advised to not stay the night in the country and just drive straight to Nicaragua. We were pleased to still be caravaning with another fellow 4x4 overlander with a roof top tent. We calculated that in order to cross two borders, drive 350 km straight through Honduras, and arrive safely at our campsite in Nicaragua, we would have a 4am take-off goal. We generally don’t like to drive at night, but we had installed extra front fog lights that we would use before the sun started to raise around 5:30am. We had a plan. We went to bed early, set our alarms, and crawled into our Skycamp tent.
blog: Episode 4: Mexico!
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¡Bienvenidos a México! Welcome to the land of street tacos, white-sand beaches, and joyful festivals marching through colorful little towns. After a few days in San Diego with friends and family, we crossed south to Tijuana, and headed down the famous Baja California Peninsula, where hot desert and pacific paradise meet. After miles of hot desert, we turned the bend to find this small pristine beach, Playa Santispac, and dipped our toes in crystal clear water.