Since the beginning of time, it has been well-nigh impossible for pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and hitchhikers to make an uninterrupted journey from North to South America or vice versa.
The problem was the Darien Gap, the border region between Colombia and Panama dominated by swamps, rainforest and mountain ridges so impenetrable that no road connects the two countries.
Of course there have been a few expeditions that were successful, but it’s nothing that the average traveler could, or indeed should, imitate. The first vehicular crossing in 1959-60 took 136 days, at an average pace of 4.8 km per day. The first all-land auto crossing (not using boats for parts of the trip) was in 1985-87. Yes, you read that right: it took more than two years – 741 days to be exact – to cross 201 km. (Don’t people have better things to do?)
There have been a few people who walked the Darien Gap on foot. Others went by bicycle. In 1961, there was even a successful expedition with Chevrolet Corvairs, regular 2-wheel drive streets cars, although they did have support vehicles.
Only two of the three Corvairs made it.
All the more impressive that this hostile jungle has become a route for migrants from South America, Asia and Africa to get to the United States, eventually.
But now, all of these horror stories are stories of the past. As of 1 April 2017, a train connection has been established: