The Pan American Highway links Alaska with Chile — except for a small stretch between Panama and Colombia called the Darien Gap — and is a classic among overlanders. My partner Coen and I haven’t driven the North and Central American stretches, but we can say this about the PanAm in South America: It’s paved, easy to drive, and does have its charms. It also crosses a number of countries, so in relatively little time you’re exposed to a variety of landscapes and cultures.
However, if you want a bit more adventure, and to actually experience South America rather than just pass through it, take the first turnoff and hit the countryside. After having traveled on this continent for more than 7 years, covering some 82,000 miles, we’d argue that the following are among the roads you’ll want to put on your South American road trip bucket list.