Road Tripping South America


fairly hypothetically speaking, I have been interested in road tripping the South American continent over a 12 to 18 month period for some time and figure should start doing some more digging. I have done chile and argentina before on bus travel so know some of what to expect. I’d just like to get any info on offer on acquiring a 4×4 vehicle and beginning in columbia rounding the conitinent and finishing in Rio. along the coast but zigzagging quite a lot through peru and bolivia. Can anyone give an estimate on finances for a self driven long term trip, difficulties with roads and vehicles, and even info on how much(is it possible) to skip tours and do self driven trips to places like salar de uyuni and san pedro de atacama. How easy is finding camp sites and do you save much money camping. Is it possible to acquire sponsors for gear and accomadation and/or earn money blogging etc? any insight would be much appreciated. thanks

Isaac the reveller 02/02/14    South America Link Report

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Just on your mention of the Salar de Uyuni, doing it on your own unless you’re a crack mechanic (and survival expert, even) is not recommended. It’s really treacherous landscape. The tour operators do help each other out if one car gets into trouble but I’m not sure how quick they’d be to bail out a solo driver. Not saying they wouldn’t, just that you’d be in serious bother if they don’t. There might be permit issues too – contact the Bolivian tourism authorities to check. You definitely need to pay for entry into the Eduardo Avaroa National Park. Best to park up the car in Uyuni town and pay for a tour, I reckon!

Neil McQuillian 06/02/14    Link Report

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  • I recomend you visit, have a look around there and they should be able to answer your questions. Although mainly focused on motorcycles there is a growing 4×4 comunity there.

    Sponsors: some have tried and failed some have tried and succeeded, some have got sponsorship after the trip from their blog,

    Earning money blogging: I think there are so many travel blogs out there that to earn money it has to be spectacular.

    Hope this helps

    FMFox 05/02/14    Link Report

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  • I’m afraid I don’t know too much about the 4×4 self drive culture but a useful website for driving in South America is

    As for camping, yes it can definitely save you money, but it is most popular in the southern region of Latin America, in countries such as Argentina and Chile… it’s not really viable in the north and practically non existent in Colombia, French Guiana and Paraguay.

    Our latest Rough Guide to South America has just been published and is a great place to start your research. Each chapter starts with some rough costs for food, accommodation and travel. In Peru for instance, a Cristal beer will set you back US$1–2, a lunchtime menu might be US$3–5 and hostels start at $7 a night.

    Rachel Mills 06/02/14    Link Report

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