The Pan-American Highway

The Pan-American Highway is the world’s longest road network, spanning over 19,000 miles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina. The journey from one end to the other would take approximately 224 hours if driven non-stop, but it’s worth it for the remarkable and diverse scenery that greets travelers along the way.

  • A Series of Roads

    A Series of Roads

    The Pan-American Highway is not a continuous road but a series of roads that connect the Americas. There are various stretches of the road which fall out of use, such as the Darien Gap in Panama, a 100-mile stretch of jungle with no road.

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  • Construction


    The construction of the Pan-American Highway started in the 1920s and took over 50 years to complete. The road was built in sections by various countries, with the last section connecting South and North America completed in the 1970s.

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  • Through Many Countries

    Through Many Countries

    The highway crosses 14 countries: Canada, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina—and passes through various ecosystems, from the frozen tundras of the North to the deserts of the South.

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  • Through the Driest Place on Earth

    Through the Driest Place on Earth

    One of the most iconic parts of the Pan-American Highway is the Atacama Desert, known as the driest place on Earth. The region sees an average of only 15 millimeters of rain annually, and in some areas, there hasn’t been rainfall for over 400 years.

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  • Incan Ruins

    Incan Ruins

    The Pan-American Highway also features several ancient Inca ruins, including Machu Picchu in Peru, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. These cultural sites are a testament to the rich and deep history of the American continent.

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  • Along Rugged Roads

    Along Rugged Roads

    Much of the Pan-American Highway is unpaved. Drivers are advised to take proper precautions and training before embarking on the journey, primarily through mountainous regions and challenging terrains.

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  • Also Known as the Inter-American Highway

    Also Known as the Inter-American Highway

    In Mexico, the Pan-American Highway is called the Inter-American Highway, most of which is toll-free. In contrast, some parts of the highway in South America have tolls, and it can be expensive for travelers who plan to drive only a section of the road.

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  • A Cultural Icon

    A Cultural Icon

    The Pan-American Highway has become a cultural icon, attracting many adventurers and driving enthusiasts worldwide. Travelers who have taken on this epic journey have chronicled their experiences in books and documentaries, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

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  • Spanning Two Continents

    Spanning Two Continents

    The completion of the Pan-American Highway has served as a symbol of regional cooperation and integration between North and South America. The road network stretches over two continents, unifying two regions that have always had a shared history and culture.

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