RVing South of the Border
Have you ever considered taking your RV down to South America? Most of us wouldn’t know where to start! As it turns out, our neighbors down South love RVing just as much as we do.
Intrigued by this idea of RVing on the other side of the world, we decided to do a little bit of research and find answers to some common questions people have about traveling South with their rigs.
When is the best time of year to travel to South America?
That depends on where you want to go. If you are planning to drive through Central America to get to South America, be wary of rainy season, which runs from April through November. If Tierra del Fuego (the southernmost point in South America) is on your bucket list, it’s best to stay away from May to October. In northern South America, rainy seasons depend on whether you're on the coast, the highlands, or the Amazon.
Which documents and paperwork do you need to bring?
Since you’re traveling abroad, you will obviously need your passport. However, since you are also traveling in your own vehicle, you will require some extra paperwork:
- Driver's License (both from your home country and an International Driver's License)
- Vehicle Registration
- Vehicle Title
- Proof of Insurance
You may also need:
- Marriage Certificate
- Birth Certificate
- Visa (depending on your country of origin
- WHO Yellow Vaccination Card (proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever)
- Proof of finances
- Visas - depending on what country you are from and where you are traveling, you may need to apply for visas months in advance. Check with your government to determine which countries will require visas.
How do you get your vehicle to South America?
Many travelers choose to ship their vehicles from Miami or a nearby port all the way to their destination. When you’re done traveling, you can ship your vehicle back.
Travelers can also opt to drive through Mexico and Central America via the Pan American Highway. This is definitely the long and scenic route to take! However, once you reach the Darien Gap in Panama (a 30 mile gap between Panama and Colombia that is too dangerous to cross due to rebel groups), you will need to ship your vehicle and cross the gap by either boat or air to get to South America. Read more about shipping and crossing across the Darien Gap here.
What are your options after you cross the Darien Gap?
Once you’ve successfully crossed the Darien Gap and picked up your vehicle, your road trip continues in Turbo, Colombia. Follow the western side of South America through Ecuador and on into Chile. From here, you can make your way to Quellón , Chile while the main route heads to Argentina and Buenos Aires.
Now, there are a few more options. You can make your way to Uruguay and north into Brazil, passing through São Paolo on the way to Rio, or drive to the southernmost point of the Pan American Highway head in the opposite direction to Patagonia’s mind-blowing natural beauty and the road’s final destination, Ushuaia on the main island of Tierra del Fuego, at the bottom of the planet. Either way, you can’t go wrong!