5 of the best road trips to take in South America
Guest post by Jordan Greene.
Unbelievably vast, incredibly beautiful and delightfully diverse – South America’s breathtaking landscapes can only be fully appreciated by taking to its roads.
The continent boasts endless regions of spectacular scenery, cultural marvels and inspiring culinary escapades to awe any kind of traveller. Off the beaten paths, the roads may not be as smooth as Europe’s grand city lanes where road accident numbers are at an all-time low, but it’s also where you’ll find real adventures and South America’s most coveted bucket list experiences.
From thrilling volcanic peaks and snow-tipped mountains to beguiling rainforest country and beach extravaganza, South America boasts a mesmerising variety of hues and sensations to be discovered.
So get some wheels and head out into the great unknown along divine coastlines, rugged mountain passes or deep into the folds of Inca heartland. Here are some of the best road trips you can take in South America.
1. Salar De Uyuni
There’s no better destination to chase freedom on the wide open road than at this stunning salt flat in the southern reaches of Bolivia. The Salar De Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat boasting ethereal landscapes, complete with snow-white salt rock formations and jaw-dropping islands covered with cacti.
The perfectly white surroundings rising in contrast with the deep blue skies create a strikingly photogenic experience and make for an awe-inspiring driving adventure. One of the best landmarks to see here is the Incahuasi outcropping, where you can treat yourself at a local restaurant and mingle with other travellers.
Salar De Uyuni
2. The Southern Pan American Highway
This dramatically picturesque route takes travellers from South America up to beautiful Alaska. The southern section of this route will take you through some of South America’s most bewitching natural scenery.
You’ll be passing through several countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and even Uruguay – you can’t beat this road for a truly epic South American experience.
Visitors can spend as much time as they like enjoying the fantastic attractions found all along the way, such as national parks, secluded beaches and ancient sites.
3. Jericoacoara To Salvador
A coastal drive perhaps unlike any other, this road hugs the northeastern shores of Brazil, allowing for heavenly views of glittering beaches and alluring sapphire seas.
This route takes you through over 1200 miles of irresistible coastline and popular tourist cities such as Fortaleza and Recife. The perfect road trip for surf lovers and beach bums alike, this journey is where you’ll get your fill of excellent seaside holidays and underwater adventures.
4. Ruta 40
The Ruta 40 is the longest road you’ll find in Argentina and stretches from the northern city of La Quiaca to Rio Gallegos in the south.
This road affords unbeatable views of the country’s stunning natural perfection, with brilliant sights of lush forest lands, elusive wildlife and even the majestic Andes Mountains.
You’ll find the famous Los Glaciares National Park along the route – a favourite destination for winter sports, hiking and exploring.
5. Death Road
If you’re out for an extra taste of adventure, the Death Road in Bolivia is ready to deliver.
Despite the scary name this is a picture-perfect drive, though with several extreme turns, twists and absolutely no guard rails.
The road begins at a height of over ten thousand feet and dives deep into rainforest territory before ending at the small town of Coroico. Also known as the Yungas Road, this route was once considered the world’s most dangerous road and is now mostly used by thrill-seekers and tourists.