Do you like to hit the roads with your friends every time you get a holiday or on weekends? Do you love spending your vacation making long road trips with your near and dear ones? Well, if this is you, then the Pan American Highway would indeed be a dream come true for you. Why? Well, because it is known to be the longest stretch of motorable roads that connects all the major countries in both North and South America.
Yes, that’s true. The Pan American highway starts off from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska in the far north and continues up to the south fringes of South America at Tierra del Fuego, totaling a distance of about 19,000 miles or 30, 000 km to be traveled via roads. Though there is a small gap of about 100 km between South and Central America known as the Darien Gap, yet the journey doesn’t stop as one can easily transport their vehicle via the ferry system and continue further south at their will.
The idea of connecting the Americas first materialized in 1889 when a railroad from one tip to the other was proposed. However, since the project never started, in 1923, the idea of building a continuous highway connecting the various countries in the two continents was proposed and the plan was finally accepted by the US, Canada, Peru, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia and Chile to work together to realize this plan of connecting America.
Over the period of time, other countries joined in, and various fringes and termini were constructed all over South America. Plans are underway to include the Carribean Islands in this vast network via the means of a ferry system that would run from the present terminals and back to Puerto Rico.
The Mother of all road trips
Although the PAH was mainly constructed for better land communication between the countries of the continents of America, it turned out to be much more than just a system of interconnected roadways and highways. Over the time, the PAH has developed into a culture of its own with hundreds of road trip enthusiasts trying to complete this mind-boggling road trip atleast once in their lifetime.
A totally new road culture has developed around the PAH and enthusiastic people all around the world try to achieve this milestone – the experience of traveling 30,000 km at a stretch (except the Darien gap) on the longest motorable road that the world has ever seen. The thrill of the experience is something that only a road traveler would be able to imagine and relish.
What’s in store?
Well, practically everything. From the Alaskan tundra to the rugged Rockies, from the Mexican deserts to the tropical Central American jungles – the long, untiring roads hold a hidden treasure for those who dare to venture. Not only do you come close to the beauties and bounties of nature but you also get to experience the widely variant local culture and interact with the locals, making the trip worth remembering a lifetime.