The world’s longest road, the Pan-American Highway, is a truly epic drive, stretching all the way from furthest Alaska in the barren, Arctic north of the U.S.A. all the way down to mysterious, windswept Tierra Del Fuego at the southernmost tip of Argentina. Yet despite the mammoth distance of this drive, some 29,800 miles in total, more and more tourists are attempting to tackle this most stunning of drives. Burning rubber by the shores of the Pacific Ocean, traversing mountain ranges, passing through barren deserts and braving tropical jungles are all part of the adventure.
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Though some of the highway through sections of Panama have yet to be completed, Central America is perhaps the most enchanting part of this drive. Passing through colourful and spicy Mexico you will find yourself surrounded by the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica and Panama, where some of the most diverse habitats on earth are to be found. Dense thickets of jungle hide endemic monkeys and unique parrots, while luxurious eco-lodges and nature retreats are to be found easily, making this part of the world ideal for adventure travel for kids. Go for a swim in the Ocean, if you dare, and feel the warm waters caress your body as you snorkel with shoals of exotic, multi-coloured fish.
Anyone for Ceviche?
The Latin American nation that seems to seduce every traveller is Peru, and it is not hard to see why. Sample traditional seafood dishes, such as marinated ceviche, down at Lima’s stylish waterfront, before hitting the Inca Trail and heading through the Andes all the way to glorious Machu Picchu. Snap photos high above the clouds in this abandoned mountain-top citadel and feed the llamas that live wild in and around these mysterious and ancient remains. Before you are done, stop off at traditional craft fairs to pick up souvenirs like Peruvian quilts, pan-pipes and ancient Incan masks.
West Coast Style
Further north one of the most scenic moments of this ride is when you pass alongside the West Coast of the U.S.A., particularly in California. Gigantic Redwood trees shelter you from the sun for part of the journey, before you skirt the edge of cliffs that overlook the sparkling Pacific Ocean below. Make a stop in San Francisco, one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the States, and sample the bars, restaurants and jazz bars that make this city come alive. This part of the trip is ideal for anyone looking for holidays for singles. Alternative routes pass through the heart of the Rockies, with all the adventure and scenery that comes with that territory. Rest stops include the mile high city, Denver, as well as the traditional, homespun feel of New Mexico’s Albuquerque.
One of the most gruelling sections of this outstanding inter-continental drive has to be the Alaskan Highway, a hazardous stretch of road that you may well have seen if you have ever watched the show “Ice Road Truckers”. Snow drifts here can bury cars in a matter of minutes, while treacherous black ice turns basic manoeuvring and steering into a slippery nightmare. Before you know it you could find your car in a ditch, the temperatures outside sub-zero. Yet driving this highway during the summer months happens to be one of the most spectacular nature drives in the world, with snow-capped peaks on the horizon, slowly melting glaciers shimmering in the sun and herds of caribou migrating across the verdant meadows.
John is an experienced writer, published in dozens of publications, who has travelled the world in order to find you the greatest holidays for singles, whatever your age.