In 2022 we ride the adventurous SouthAmeriCar again. In a small group we drive with our own car in 4 weeks a route from Lima in Peru to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. From the Pacific to the Atlantic. We drove this route once before in 2016. Participants Kees and Annelies share below their unforgettable experiences about this car trip.
“ This trip was a unique adventure in the category Once in a Lifetime. ”Annelies and Kees
Annelies and Kees drove the SouthAmeriCar 2016
"In 2015 we received the newsletter of Sapa Pana Travel in which a trip through South America by own car was offered. After Johan van Rijswijck's personal explanation we started to think seriously about it. The adventure immediately appealed to us, but we also had to list our thoughts. Is South America the right continent to drive around with our own car? Are we just sitting in the car for a month? Then we lose our car for another four months, and last but not least, do we have this money for it? In the summer of 2015, we will make a decision; we are going to do it!
We handed in our car on 18 March 2016. It left for Lima by boat. We flew to the capital of Peru on 3 May. At the airport of Lima, we were picked up by the team of Sapa Pana Travel, led by Johan himself. We stayed here for 3 days to receive our own cars on the last day. It was quite a job for the team of Sapa Pana Travel to get them free. After that it was a huge challenge for all of us to drive our own car from the harbour in Lima straight back to the hotel. Without navigation, because it doesn't work there, but with directions from Sapa Pana Travel and the 'Waze app'. This whole action cost us an afternoon and was the first special experience of many."
From Lima to Rio de Janeiro
This was the start of an unforgettable month in which we drove 7,130 kilometres in our own Range Rover from Lima on the Pacific to the Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro on the Atlantic. The longest ride was 828 kilometres and the shortest was 27.5 kilometres. Always on good roads, sometimes unpaved, but never dangerous. We made this trip with 15 people, 3 nationalities and 6 cars. We visited 5 countries, stayed overnight in 17 different hotels and drove 16 days alternating with 11 days off.
On this car trip we visited the world-famous cities of Lima, La Paz, São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. We travelled over the Andes, the mysterious highlands of the Incas. In Bolivia we drove quite a distance along Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. And in Chile we drove straight through the Atacama, the driest desert in the world. We passed the world's highest border from Chile to Argentina, at 4,800 metres, and were welcomed by a herd of llamas. We have visited several Unesco World Heritage Sites these weeks and have seen 2 of the 7 wonders of the world, including Machu Picchu.
On this whole trip we had no problems at all. Except for the fact that two participants were very ill for one day and there were some bowel problems every now and then, nobody got sick. We had no accidents and no robberies. Nobody felt unsafe anywhere. This trip was a unique adventure in the Once in a Lifetime category.
Kees and Annelies