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.
Resources » Parks Canada, Icefields Parkway
» 2. Highway 12, Utah, USA
Connecting Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Highway 12 weaves through Dixie National Forest and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument providing countless opportunities to explore America’s Wild West.
» 3. Highway 1, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Hugging the Sea of Cortez, this scenic stretch winds through Mexico’s barren desert landscape dotted by cactus gardens and white sand beaches. Exploring Baja by car provides the freedom to discover its secret beaches and camp in beachfront palapas (thatched beach shelters).
» 4. Carretera a Pastoruri, Peru
The Pastoruri Highway cuts directly across Huascarán National Park towards the rapidly melting Pastoruri Glacier. Just off Highway 3N, the long gravel road traverses the sprawling valley floor passing cattle farmers, soaring native fauna, and bubbling hot springs. The most remarkable stretch climbs 4800m across switchbacks to reach the glacier’s entrance.
» 5. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The remote and barren landscape of the Salar de Uyuni is both a photographer and adventurer’s dream. During the wet season (December to April), water accumulates on the surface transforming the vast plain into reflective glass, providing an incredible mirror effect. There’s so much to discover while exploring the flats: colored lagoons, hot springs, a cactus island, and even an abandoned train cemetery.
» 6. Route 23, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
The Chilean deserts’ martian landscape leaves many breathless (or perhaps that’s the altitude). Use Route 23 as a guide through the rocky and dusty desert filled with various geologic formations, colorful lagoons, volcanoes, hot springs, and smoking geysers. The region is home to a variety of unique wildlife.
» 7. Route 7, Patagonia, Chile
Chile’s Route 7 or Carretera Austral, packs the wild geographic diversity of a Patagonia adventure into a single-road itinerary. Between Puerto Montt in Northern Chile and Villa O’Higgins in Southern Chile, lies over 620 miles (1000km) of volcanoes, hanging glaciers, snowy mountains, thick forests, and fjords to explore across the “Southern Highway”.
This page was last updated on 2020.09.21