The general consensus is that the main route in the network connected the east and west coasts of South America: it began from three starting points on the coast of Brazil (in São Paulo, Paraná and Santa Catarina states) that joined up in Paraná, continued across Paraguay to silver-rich Potosí and Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, pressed on to Cusco (the capital of the Incan Empire) in Peru and then down to the Peruvian and northern Chilean coast.
“In broad terms, we can say that the path followed the movement of the setting and rising sun,” wrote Bond in her most recent e-book, História do Caminho de Peabiru, published last year.
The Guaranis’ spiritual path to paradise became a fast track to riches for European invaders – such as Portuguese sailor Aleixo Garcia – on the New World expeditions that would ultimately lead to genocide of South America’s indigenous populations. Legends of El Dorado and the Sierra de la Plata (Mountain of Silver) brought Spanish and Portuguese flotillas across the Atlantic, and some indigenous groups helped them penetrate the interior of the continent along the Caminho de Peabiru, said Parellada. “Knowing the main routes and trails via the native populations became a strategic advantage, broadening the plundering, the destruction and the greed for new territories and mineral riches.” »
A trip along Chile’s National Route 7, the Carretera Austral, takes us into the stunning wilderness of Patagonia – a place that many German emigrants chose as their new home almost a century ago.
The Carretera Austral is straddled by mountain ranges, primeval forests, fjords, volcanoes and a huge ice field. It has taken decades to carve its way through the almost impassable terrain – even now a lot of traffic is forced to take a detour across the border into Argentina. The military dictator Augusto Pinochet made the construction of the road a national priority in the 1970s, sending thousands of soldiers to the region to work under the most adverse conditions. One of the last surviving members of Pinochet’s junta, former military police chief Rodolfo Stange, talks about the road’s strategic importance for the regime.
German marine biologist Vreni Häussermann tells us about a catastrophe in one of the Patagonian fjords – an event that underlines how economic expansion along the route has adversely affected the natural environment in southern Chile. On our journey we meet descendants of German emigrants who found a new home in Patagonia’s remote vastness after the First World War. An insight into the past and present of this unique region.
Each of the 150 cyclists got three votes to cast, and I simply tallied up the results. In the end, 80 different countries were favourited, which is pretty cool because that means most corners of the world have something, for somebody.
These are their top picks for the best countries for long-distance cycling »
10. 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan
9. 🇨🇱 Chile
8. 🇲🇽 Mexico
7. 🇦🇺 Australian
6. 🇮🇷 Iran
5. 🇮🇳 India
4. 🇨🇳 China
3. 🇹🇯 Tajikistan
2. 🇺🇸 USA
1. 🇹🇷 Turkey
Snow tires are mandatory from November 1 to April 1.
According to Allegra Zagami, writer for Lonely Planet, on a drive along the Pan American Highway in 2019 »
» 1. Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
The Icefields Parkway, or Canada’s Highway 93, is one of the most scenic drives in the world with over 144 miles (232km) of adventure and overwhelming natural beauty between Banff and Jasper National Parks.
One year of travel, nine countries, countless hours on busses, motorbikes, and cars. Hundreds of thousands of images taken. 30TB of data used, 5 months of editing. The time-lapse film features South America like it has never been before with images from Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.
More about this project, including BTS videos, at Morten’s website.
My adventure in Patagonia has been an incredible one, primarily for the vast landscapes and diversity of the region’s scenery with glimpses of every season within a period of just 13 days.
Guided by a National Geographic Expeditions Leader my time there was spent hiking, filming and shooting the time-lapses now used to create to this short film which has been graced by a stunning instrumental from musical geniuses. Please allow me four minutes of your time and turn your sound on.
Updated June 1, 2019 to add link to his latest video.
In May 2014, Iohan Gueorguiev (website – YouTube – Twitter – Instagram) started cycling from the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The plan was to cycle to the tip of South America in a year, maybe a few more months.
Please tread lightly, pack out your trash, and treat every person and location with respect.
Please do not bury waste or wipes – even those that are biodegradable. Always pack out bags, sanitary wipes, and feminine hygiene products to minimize impact on the environment and the spread of disease.
If you find any errors, have any tips, or see anything that might need improving, please let me know.