Can you drive to South America?

I drove solo from Guatemala City to San Salvador, El Salvador (and back) with minimal Spanish. Was supposed to be 3.5 hours but took over 7 each way because of random construction delays. The border crossings were easy. I met some California surfers in Nicaragua that had driven their almost new Ford van through Mexico to central America. It's not much more distance to "south America". There are plenty of resources online on campervan type message boards for tips on dealing with authorities and being extorted while making the trek.

I would suggest fabricating a hidden lock box into the vehicle and putting cash and passports inside. Have someone weld it in, or do a really good job of creating one in some kind of plastic component. Have lots of photocopies of your passport for the police checkpoints. I only unhid my passport for the actual border. If cops get your actual passport that's when you get held up and extorted to pay bogus fines because they know you need it.

SurferFL - I drove solo from Guatemala City to San Salvador, El Salvador (and back) with minimal Spanish. Was supposed to be 3.5 hours but took over 7 each way because of random construction delays. The border crossings were easy. I met some California surfers in Nicaragua that had driven their almost new Ford van through Mexico to central America. It's not much more distance to "south America". There are plenty of resources online on campervan type message boards for tips on dealing with authorities and being extorted while making the trek.

I would suggest fabricating a hidden lock box into the vehicle and putting cash and passports inside. Have someone weld it in, or do a really good job of creating one in some kind of plastic component. Have lots of photocopies of your passport for the police checkpoints. I only unhid my passport for the actual border. If cops get your actual passport that's when you get held up and extorted to pay bogus fines because they know you need it.

Thanks, that's very helpful.

This couple have a cool blog about their drive from Alaska down to the end of South America: http://www.bumfuzzle.com/blog/2007/09/03/september-2007/

As I recall, they loaded their VW microbus camper onto a ship in Panama and by-passed a couple of countries because there was no way to legally drive the entire way.

They later shipped the VW to Europe and drove around there. They also sailed around the world. They're pretty young. Apparently he made a shit-pile of dough as a commodities trader, cashed in and took off to see the world. Their blog is pretty cool.

My father in law drove to guatemala from quebec,canada to give a his car to one of his son. Phone Post 3.0

Driving through Mexico with all your possessions is ill advised. There are people who make their living off of stealing your shit at gunpoint. As in literally stand in the street you're traveling with an AK47 ordering you to pull over. This includes hungry kids, cops, and cartels, that will take your life and bury you in the desert somewhere just to check out what's worth keeping after they dispose of your lifeless body. Mexico is a war zone. You might make it through though, so if you've got the balls go for it. Just be aware of the possibilities before hand. If you make it through the cartels and corrupt Mexican police, goodluck getting past the next stage which is the MS13 in El Salvador. You've got this bro! Phone Post 3.0

Can anyone find that Striking Viking blog link where he tried this? Was kidnapped for like a year?

Last month they found another motorcyclist doing this and he didn't make it out of Mexico. Found his remains dismembered after a year missing.

Knew a guy at a dealer I worked at in Chicago who was from Guatemala. He'd come up every 5 years or so and work a year or two. He always drove a ratty pick up and before he went back he'd buy another and literally chain them together and head to Venezuela. He always said never had a problem, and that he made bank selling them there. Phone Post 3.0

Yeah man. If you feel like it's an adventure you want to do then go for it. Don't listen to the naysayers that spout crime statistics. People tried to talk me out of driving the 1000 kilometers around central America. What I found is paved roads are just like anywhere in that they are filled with drivers trying to get from point A to point B. A couple of times I got a little lost and ended up on dirt roads in the middle of nowhere, dragging the bottom of the rental car for 10km because google maps got me off the main road for a "shortcut". Don't take shortcuts. Haha.

I was so scared prior to the trip, but then I realized there are plenty of gringos doing the same thing. Main roads with street lights don't have gang members blocking them. Sure if you're in the hood down side streets you can get stopped at gun point, but the same stuff happens in Detroit. Life is calculated risk. How much risk are you willing to accept for a dream? Plenty of surfers drive up and down the Pacific coast. Don't have anything in the van you can't live without if it got stolen. As I mentioned the stash box is critical to pulling off the "poor traveling tourist" character.

P.S. I've been to Nicaragua and Guatemala three times each, and twice to El Salvador. MS 13 hasn't gotten me yet.

Well, I'm a rebel at heart, and own my vehicles, so I can get fun with it.
I won't play wounded animal, and would like to find some guns asap down there.
I think disassembling mine is an option.
But "fast and furious" really gave Mexico that needed boost of arms, so maybe I'll get lucky there.
I will be spending a good week with my Krav Maga instructor before heading down, to make me a killing machine, so I feel pretty good about that.
Ultimately I'd like to visit cape horn, like Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day. Phone Post 3.0

A previous coworker took an separation package a few years ago and rode his bike (bicycle) down there. I think he picked up rides and a car at some point but he lived down there for a couple years at least and just got back recently.

In for future ransom tape

if your into suicide, then yeah sure, go right ahead there buddy