Pan american highway overland travel – wikioverland

• People driving Right Hand Drive (RHD) vehicles will have to apply for a permit to drive through El Salvador. Alternatively, they can choose to bypass El Salvador entirely. See the El Salvador page for more details. Also it’s technically illegal to enter Nicaragua with a RHD vehicle, though it seems many overlanders have paid a small bribe to get around this. As recently as 2014 some overlanders have been denied entry to Chile with RHD vehicles, specifically at southern land border crossings and when shipping into Chile.

Most countries require that you have the required 3rd party insurance, which is usually called SOAT (does not cover your own vehicle). There are some companies which offer SOAT which also covers nearby countries. Up to date information and pricing would be required to determine whether this would be a cost saving.


There is international insurance available, although can be cost prohibitive, and its effectiveness has not been documented. This may not fulfil a countries SOAT requirements and could lead to issued with borders and police.

You are certain to encounter locals offering to help you with paperwork to get across borders in Central America. They will usually have Identification (home made) and can be quite pushy, demanding and rude. Depending on the border and time of day, you may be surrounded by ten or more people yelling and trying to take your paperwork. These "helpers" will insist the process is so difficult you can not cross the border without their help, which is completely untrue.

Their help is really not needed, and so do not give them your documents. They will ask for outrageous amounts of money to give it back, after helping you very little. Often they will pretend to be officials to get you to hand over your documents. Only give your documents and seek advice from people inside official offices, or a uniformed Police officer with a badge.

Fire stations around the world are known to help out cyclists, motorbikers and sometimes 4 wheel based Overlanders. It never hurts to ask if you can park or camp in a fire station throughout Latin America, almost always they will be receptive and you’ll have secure parking and make some great friends. It doesn’t hurt to buy them coffee or a beer, or to donate to a local charity to say thanks.

People on motorbikes can take advantage of the numerous small yachts making the crossing. Motorbikes are man-handled on and off at each end and ride on the deck of the boats covered in tarps. Almost all boats allow the rider to come along for the amazing trip through the San Blas Islands and some even take care of the customs paperwork at each end.

• Detailed shipping description from Pawsontour who shipped in Jan 2014: One 40ft container, 2 cars, final price per car: +- $1,050.00 USD (including all fees in both ports, we did not pay any agents). We shipped with Seaboardmarine, our contact was Tea Kalmbach (teakalmbach@hotmail.com) who was very helpful. You need her to book the reservation and write the Bill of Landing. On the Colombian side the situation was much easier than on the Panama side. Step-by-step instructions to do it without an agent