Camping, or more accurately a place to park for a night or longer, is a major topic of conversation whenever overlanders (people traveling in Central/South America by vehicle) get together.
The reasons for this interest are simple and obvious.
It is inviting trouble to simply park in the street in most cities or large towns in of Central/South American countries. The populations are typically poor and expensive looking foreign vehicles are a temptation.
Further, if you intend to to do any sightseeing then you will have to leave your vehicle for a few hours or maybe as much as several days. For example a trip to the Galapagos Islands or the jungles of Peru require that you leave your vehicle for several days while a trip home (the US, Europe or Australia) may leave a vehicle unattended for weeks.
To add to the challenge camping grounds as they are known in the US/Canada, Australia and Europe are unknown in most of Central and the northern part of South America.
In Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay recognizable camping grounds can be found, and are even common in the more popular tourists areas. However often these are only open during the South American summer vacation period, and not all of these are secure enough to leave a vehicle unattended even for a single night.
Hence information on where one can safely park for the night, or leave a vehicle for an extended period is valuable information.
We have benefited greatly from the information we have received from other travelers either by word of mouth or via websites. By providing information on our own camping experiences we hope to make our own contributions and repay the help we have had from others.
The tabs at the top of this page labeled the camping log page and Download camping log(s) provide details (including GPS coordinates and sometimes detailed directions ) of our camping spots.
We have been surprised by how often we have been able to find an electrical hookup for our vehicle in South America. Almost all the campgrounds we have visited in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brasil provided lighting and a power socket. Even when staying in a hotel parking lot, or a gas station it is surprising how often electricity can be made available for a little extra cost. However, only Columbia and Ecuador use a 110v/60Hz electrical system. All other countries are 220V/50Hz. We purchased a 1500w transformer in Ecuador in anticipation of this and are very pleased that we did. It would have been better to have had a higher capacity transformer fitted into the vehicle system before leaving home. A range of adapter plugs for the different types of power sockets is also a necessity.
An interesting side light is that our microwave oven does not seem to operate as effectively on the 50Hz power even with the transformer!!
Put simply, we found no dumping stations in our travels.
In response to this reality we quickly adopted a strategy of try to put no solids in the black water holding tank. However in the interest of comfort and convenience (considering our age) we continued to use the black water tank for urinating during the night. We used the grey tank for general kitchen chores and showers when we could not find an alternative.
On a few occasions we emptied the tanks into a bucket and then the bucket into a toilet, but most often we resorted to the infamous jungle-dump onto a patch of ground that was not a water course, was not a foot or vehicle path or any place with frequent human traffic.
Our camp tonight was a rest area on I-5 at Yreka in Northern California just south of the Oregon border.
Beatty Nevada, a nice little town with a couple of RV parks, a casino or two and a few people.
Water Canyon. A nice little state camping area tucked into the mountains just off highway 60 near Socoro, New Mexico.
Wall Doxey State Park, about 6 miles south on highway 7
Yogi Bear Jelly Stone Campground
Barnyard RV Park
King George RV Park
We changed campgrounds. We found a deal at the local CampingWorld. For $40 we could become members of Camping Club of America which gives a 50% discount to members at selected camping grounds. But, when one reads the details of what camping grounds and when, it is very restrictive. However, it so happens that we are in the right place at the right time. We will stay the next 4 days at the Tropical Palms for $65 in contrast to $120 for 2 days at the KOA including their discount.
The KOA campground in Kissimee. Nice enough place with all the facilities one expects from a KOA. However expensive. We could have got a hotel room for less.
A small nice campground attached to a gas station where highways 19, 98, Alt 27 cross the Suwannee River, the place is called Tennille. We never did find the name of the campground but it had a sign with the following website on it www.flrvoutpost.com
Camp On The Gulf - www.campgulf.com has the distinction of being the most expensive campground we have ever stayed at. The cheapest site cost us nearly $80. The most expensive, right next to the beach, was nearly $100. It's the only campground in the area that fronts onto the beach. But at least we could walk the beach and Rob was able to catch a couple of waves.
Baywood RV Park
KOC Campground. A nice place, with pool, large grass area, and modern hookups.
Safari Motor Home Camp. It's really a trailer park but does have some spots for travelers.
The Raintree RV Park near Rockport.
A Pemex gas station.
We first tried the Ceiba Restaurant and Trailer Park on the Malecon (lake front road), but they directed us to Hotel Tepetepan. Look for the sign on the main road indicating the small road off the highway at about W18 25.136 N95 7.124.
The border crossing!!
The exit from Guatemala was straightforward. After navigating through Tecun Uman we arrived at a barrier and were directed into a parking lot. The building at the rear of the lot is where the vehicle exit processing was performed. There were a number of people wearing badges running around. They are not officials and requests for fees should be declined. At the other end of the lot is the immigration office. Processing here took only a few minutes once we got to the window. Then a few hundred yards up the road to the Mexican processing area.
First stop was a shed where the vehicle was sprayed. Next stop immigration - this building was a bit difficult to find. If you don't have the services of a helper, ask the spray attendant for directions. Immigration was simple, fill out a form and get a stamp and get a tourist card. But warning - if you are bringing in a vehicle make sure that the drivers and owners tourist cards are properly stamped. Next to immigration there is a customs office that wanted to look in the vehicle.
This is where the fun startedIf you don't already have a window sticker for your vehicle from a previous entry the customs people will tell you "you have to go to Viva Mexico to get a permit". Viva Mexico is a processing station on the Panamericana (Mex 200) west of Tapachula about 50 minutes drive from where you are. And to make matters a bit more complicated the road one would normally take to get there from Tecun Uman is closed which means some detouring around the chaotic streets of Tapachula.
At Viva Mexico you will pay US49.95 (if you have a motor home) for a 10 year multiple entry permit. When complete you will get three pieces of paper all of which are very important for exit and future entry into Mexico. The first is a blue document from which you remove a sticker and place it on the wind shield of your vehicle. After removing the sticker from the blue document keep the rest. Second a receipt for the fee your paid. Third an inventory of what you are carrying in the vehicle. You will need this last document to make a correct exit from Mexico.
Matters were more complicated for us, we made the mistake of loosing all the documents except the window sticker. It took three hours and a mountain of forms to cancel our old permission (and old sticker) and issue a new permit and sticker.
Pemex gas station Esquintla, along CA-2 from Tapachula.
Automariscos is a water park, restaurant and RV park between Amatitlan and Palin on CA-9 just south of Guatemala City. Has electricity, water, dump, toilets and cold showers.
A 100 yard farther south is the Red Trailer park. We did not try this one, it also seems to be a water park.
Honduras-Guatemala Border at Copan and El Florida
We did not use any helpers at this border, there were none around and the process was pretty straightforward. However the border area was chaotic. The roadway is very narrow, there is no parking space on the Honduran side and trucks were parked everywhere blocking the road. Oh - and by the way there was road work and building construction underway just to add to the chaos.
From the Honduran side one approaches the border down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill on the right there is a small office building where one gets the Honduran exit processing for the vehicle performed. A big stamp in the owners passport.
After that go about 100 yards and park in the big area on the left. Come back to the office building on the right and get immigration processing done for both Honduras (exit - at window number 1) and Guatemala entry at window number 3.
About 10 yards farther down the road at a SOAT building set a little farther back from the road get the Guatemala processing of the vehicle done. After filling some forms and handing them back to you the officer inside the window will instruct you to go to the bank and pay a fee (US$6). The bank is to the right of the immigration windows - look for the armed guard. Once paid go back to the same officer at the window. He will eventually give you back one copy of the permission paper and a sticker for your vehicle window. You will need to show the paper to the officers at the gate to get out of the border area. You will need photocopies of vehicle title and owners passport for the vehicle window.
We camped beside a small road-side restaurant a few kms before (North of) the town of La Entrada. Had we continued there was a Texaco gas station on the northern side of La Entrada that had a large truck parking lot at the rear and maybe a guard. This would have been a better spot.
In Ruinas de Copan the next morning we heard that the gas station next to the ruins no longer allowed overnight parking by RV's - we did not confirm this. Also one of the tour guides at the ruins now allows RV parking in his property across the road from the ruins. Contact details are:
Mauricio Tejada 9870 6395 office number 651 4968 email@example.com Copan Honduras
The Esso gas station on the outskirts of Danli has a large truck parking lot with an armed security guard. Toilets are about the only facility but it was a comfortable night.
Nicuragua-Honduras Border at Los Manos
The approach to this border crossing is up hill to a crest. At the top of the climb is a rope/chain across the road. An official lowered the rope and we drove forward 10 yards to an office where the vehicle exit processing was performed. We paid a helper to facilitate this (though it probably was not necessary). A bit farther along there was an office on the right that had immigration windows for both Nicaragua and Honduras. The exit processing from Nicaragua involved a nominal fee ($3 each). The Honduras window was closed for lunch so we proceeded to the next chain/rope which was the entrance to the Honduran processing area.
For the Honduras side we had two helpers. There was an office building on the right. At the left hand end of this waws an office where vehicle processing was done, in the middle an immigration window and at the right hand end was a bank where vehicle entry fees were paid. The vehicle entry was lengthy simply because the lady seemed to have to fill out a mountain of forms. At a couple of points one of the helpers had to run off and get photo copies of various documents (a copy of the vehicle stamp page in the owners passport and a copy of the permission form). We never did seem to have to pay for the copying.
Immigration processing involved a small fee ($3 each) paid directly to the officer.
The helpers did not set a price and would probably have helped even if we did not eventually pay them.
We stayed at the Camino Real Hotel. It is quite a nice hotel, though during this visit the showers did not work correctly - we could not adjust the temperature of the water, it cycled from boiling to cold. I had never really appreciated before this trip what a major technological achievement a working hot water system was.
The border was quite an experience. At the Costa Rica exit station we negotiated a price with one of the ever present assistants. Once agreed he jumped on the running board of the vehicle and guided us through a maze of parked 18 wheelers to a loading dock that turned out to be the customs inspection station where vehicle papers where processed. At our helpers insistence we paid no attention to the line of 20 people waiting at the window and pushed in at the front of the line. A 5 minute wait and the only clerk took the papers stamped them, signed them and handed them back to Nina. We walked to a nearby copying stall and got one copy of the exit paper and took it back to the window. More signing and stamping and Nina got it back together with a smaller ticket. Back in the vehicle we were guided up the road to park beside a building where in short order we filled out forms and had our passports stamped for exit. A bit farther up the road some police examined the paper work and we were done for the exit from Costa Rica.
Entering Nicaragua we were surrounded by an army of helpers and we selected Charlie. First stop was a spray booth. A $5 fee and the vehicle plate number. We were then directed up the road to park in an area between two buildings and a loading dock. By then we realized that our helper Charlie had acquired two additional members for our team. For the next hour they went to various windows with various papers and we paid various fees. I think the process went something like this. First find a customs inspector to look at the vehicle and get him to fill out and sign a form. Take that to the head customs guy and have him sign it. Go to an office (not the one with the loading dock) and find the office that sells Nicaraguan insurance and buy some. Keep the paper. Go to immigration - the other building - and get stamped in to the country. Go back to the other first building and line up at the vehicle window and have the vehicle papers processed. With all this done get into the vehicle and drive out of the parking area towards the exit. Some more signing of the vehicle papers and we were done.
It took a little over an hour to do the entire process at both borders. But it was chaos and we would have been there for a long time without our army of helpers. Mind you I am sure their help cost us more money than the $40 we paid for them. I am sure some of the fees we paid had kick backs built in.
Camping We stayed on the lake front at San Jorge. However the lake water was high so it was not possible to park on the sand right next to the lake so we parked at the curb on the road that leads the ferry. This meant no breeze and a hot night plus a lot of noise as the locals liked to gather on sidewalk there and talk to pass the evening. Not one of our more comfortable locations.
We found Camping Los Coco in Samara a place that was mentioned in the camping log of some other travelers. BUT ... no lights, no water, difficult access and generally very run down.
So we found something else - Camping Aloha. As you enter the town of Samara take the right turn towards Ostional. The long entrance road is about 200 yards along on the left. The place has water, electricity and cold showers. Because it's the wet season we were able to park right on the beach front. It's a great location but the place is a bit run down. Like the town generally.
El Delfin. This place is now a somewhat run down swimming pool and park with a few cabanas. It seems it was once a trailer park as there were remains of hookups in one of the grass fields. There was an on site caretaker who arranged an electrical hookup. Water and cold showers were available. We had read that a dump can also be arranged but we did not see one and did not ask as we did not need it.
The Panamanian side is a large island between the two lanes of the roadway with a large roof that covers the road. We parked right beside this island while we completed formalities. We paid one of the ever present helpers to walk us through the process. First we found a customs agent and gave him the vehicle paper work and our passports. After a time he got a colleague to inspect the vehicle. Once done they disappeared with the documents for a while, then returned and gave them back to us. We took all the documents to the Western/Northern end of the complex to a window where a lady stamped the vehicle owners passport to cancel the vehicle stamp in the passport (in Panama the owners passport has a very large stamp for the vehicle separate from the owners personal stamp). Once done we returned to the Eastern/Southern end to the immigration window to get our passports stamped.
Then on to Costa Rica formalities. The first stop was an agricultural spray station about 50 yards down the road. Pay a fee of $4.50 and get a receipt that you need to keep where you can find it. Another 50 yards on there is a complex of buildings on the right. Park in front of these and go to the immigration window. Fill out the forms and get passports stamped for driver and all passengers. Then cross the road to where there are photocopy shops. Get copies of the vehicle title and ALL pages of the passports of the owner and all drivers. Also at this window you buy Costa Rica insurance for the vehicle.
Now go back to the office complex. Near the immigration window next to the bank is a window where you hand in all newly made photocopies, passports, newly purchased insurance paper and the agricultural receipt . The person inside will also want to see the originals of passports and title. Tell this person if there is more than one driver. You will be given two forms to fill out, one of vehicle details and the other is a customs declaration for the family. When that is finished the papers will be carried (by the officer) to another desk a little farther along to the right (you go a little to the right, through the doors and wait inside until an inspector has your paper work). Once the inspector has looked at the vehicle he will hand you the paper work and a ticket to get you through the gate which is about 30 yards up the road. You are done. The biggest expense is the photocopying and insurance (for us about$25).
Camping - Belen Trailer Park. On the North side of San Jose. A good description of the route can be found on the website 99 Days To Panama
The park has all the facilities - water, electricity, dump. wifi, washing machines, and hot showers. Its also at 1000m altitude and is therefore a little cooler than some other places we have camped in Central America.
Chiriqui Storage just north of Dolega. Their website is www.chriquistorage.com. At the moment it's just a place to park, get water and hookup to electricity (and run the A/C)and use wifi. There is a possibility that additional facilities will be developed if more campers make use of it.
XSMemories RV park. Situated at the turnoff to Santa Clara beach. The beach is south, to the left, and the RV park is in the other direction about 100 yards from the highway. It's a nice place - pool, electricity (that allowed us to run our air conditioner for the first time in over a year), water, sewerage dump, wifi, bar and restaurant.
This would be a good place to kill time while waiting for a boat to South America. Had we known about it we could have spent some time here on our way south last year rather than sweltering at the fire station in Balboa.
We stayed at the Canal Inn in La Boca, Balboa. The same hotel as last year. It is a nice boutique place and has a small but adequate parking area out front for the Tiger (once we get it) - website is www.canal-inn.com.
We recently heard about another place in Panama that may be useful to folks looking for a place to stay and assiatance with shipping. The website is panamapassage.com
A note on shipping from Cartagena to Panama.
Part of the formality at the Cartagena port is a drug inspection by Colombia Policia Nacional. The owner of the vehicle is required to attend this inspection and remove all (or almost all) contents from the vehicle. The inspection takes place inside the port facilities. To gain entry to the port facility one must provide evidence of health insurance that would provide treatment should one suffer any injury while in the port. We only found out about this from our customs agent.
The Cartagena Plaza hotel. After checking in to the Cartagena Plaza we spent some time checking out other hotels on the peninsula called Boca Grande. None that we could find offered secured parking for a vehicle the size of the Tiger. The reason we looked around for other options is that the plaza is not great. The first room we got had no hot water (actually no water in the hot water faucet at all) and the towel rack fell off the wall at the first touch. Also the wifi service is not working anywhere in the hotel.
San Neguarge beach. While this place does not officially have a zona de camping - at least according to the map at the park entrance gate - no one seemed to mind that we stayed the night. One of the soldiers we talked to said it was ok. Facilities were limited - toilets were available for a small fee and we saw no water supply.
We arrived at the gate to the Parque National Tayrona just after 5:00 pm to discover that entry is not permitted after 5:00 pm. So we camped at the gate. It was expensive, 30,000 pesos and a toilet you paid extra to use.
We started looking for a stopping place early today. There was not much today, except drive and we did not want to cover any more ground. We found a 24 hour restaurant with swimming pool just south of the town of Aguachica that would let us park for the night. We spent the afternoon reading, having a few beers, a short swim and eventually dinner.
We spent the night at a gas station just north of where the highway crosses the Rio Chicamucha. We initially tried Chicamucha National Parque only to find out that the park is closed on Mondays. The police at the gate were still prepared to ask the park admin if we could stay, but the administration office did not answer their phone.
Next we tried a restaurant/balnerio in the valley north of the park and just north of the crossing of the Rio Chicamucha. This was a nice place, but unfortunately they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (except when there are holidays - that's why they were open today but would be closed tomorrow and we wouldn't be able to exit). They suggested the gas station about 1 km up the road.
We found an old section of highway that had been bypassed by a bridge and pulled in. During the night a few locals walked past on their way to somewhere but no one bothered us.
About 6:00 am the next morning as we were preparing to leave an army patrol turned up. We did not really understand what they were telling us but it seemed that this area was still somewhat dangerous and they made gestures like bombs exploding. They stopped traffic on the highway so we could exit the side road and we were on our way.
A better choice would have been a few miles farther along the road where we could have parked near the army control post.
By luck we found a great camping place for the night. Just south of Buga, and north of Cali, we came upon the entrance on the eastern side of the highway at GPS N 03 50.23 W 76 18.07 to Parque Natural Regional El Vinculo. The camping area in this park is at the top of a modest hill from which there are great views of the valley. There are toilets, electricity, cold showers, a large and nice picnic shelter and a kitchen area. The hill got a slight breeze when we were there, which was a great relief from the humidity and insects.
We camped at the same Parador, swimming complex at Patia that we used on our southern journey, see 27th August 2009 journal entry. This time the price seemed to be lower - 6,000 pesos per person.
The news of the day that might be of interest to other travelers however was buying Colombian vehicle insurance in Ipiales. After some searching we found a SOAT office near the town center on Calle 12 between Carrera 6 and 7. The lady that sold us the insurance obviously knew about tourists with vehicles. She told us she was available on Sundays and holidays if needed. Here are the contact details.
MULTISEGUROS Olga Lucia Mejia Gerente OFICINA Calle 12 No. 6-25 Local 03 Edificio Santa Clara Tel 7255852 Cel 317 538 5539 email firstname.lastname@example.org IPIALES-NARINO
At the southern entrance to the town of Tulcan where the road forks the right fork going to the border and the left into the center of Tulcan is a gas station. We parked there for the night.
Note - the next morning they would not sell us fuel. I never did entirely understand but I think it had something to do with the fact that we were headed for the border and were tourists. Be warned, don't arrive here traveling north expecting to get fuel.
After not being able to access the hotel we had intended to stay at we simple continued down the road to Quito and Papallacta until we found a patch of accessible flat ground on the side of the road. It was being used by a road construction gang to store one of their heavy machines. But as it was Saturday we did not expect anyone to come and move it.
We splurged and stayed at the Sangay hotel. It's a short walk from the main square, has secure parking, and rooms ranging from $50 (+22% tax) for a double.
We found a narrow track leaving the highway and followed it up onto a flat spot among some corn plants. It was an ok place for the night.
On the road from Marchala to Cuence not far north/east from Pasaje the road passes through a small hamlet named Huizho at the bottom of a steep river valley. There is a balnerio and hospedaje just after the bridge. It's a nice looking place with a large flat parking lot. They allowed us to park for $3.
We camped on the beach in the old derelict part of Lobitos. No facilities, but quiet.
We camped in the parking lot of the Archeological park in Sipan. They understood immediately what we wanted - we assume other travelers have done the same. There is a security guard on duty all night. No facilities.
Huanchaco Gardens is a block back from the beach at the Northern end of town. The beach front road is one-way south so that to get to the northern end of town one must take a back street. As this street turns back towards the beach one comes face to face with the gate into the parking lot of Huanchuco Gardens. It has a big sign on it saying RV park. The owner, Jorge, is friendly and helpful. the place has hot showers, electricity, and in the summer a pool.
We stayed in a hostel - Hostel Parador - in Pisco, they have access to a large parking area less than a block away. We had to wait for the morning to get hot water for the shower. The Pisco sours were great.
We spent the night in the large parking lot of a gas station right next to a peaje (toll station) partway up the climb after the town of Ayacucho.
We found a flat area beside the road a few km before the town of Uripa. We were pleased to see this spot as by this time the road was descending steeply and few suitable places presented themselves. Interestingly we noticed a number of large buses pass by during the night even though we had seen none during the day.
After a steep and dusty climb out of the Rio Apurimao below Abancay we came upon a rough track that led off the road into a field. It took some effort to get approximately level as the field was full of lumps of dirt (from a previous ploughing) overgrown with grass.
We got propane at the Repsol station that is located on the road out of Cusco going towards Abancay.
We stayed with a friend in a house in the village of Ollantaytambo, but we parked the Tiger on the yard of a hostel named Inti Punku - this would be a good place to try if looking for a place to stay with an overland vehicle as the yard is big enough for buses. To find it enter the town along the cobble stone road. One block before the plaza turn left. The road will split, the left hand branch that goes down hill is the one you want. The hostel should be visible ahead and the blue gate is where you enter the parking area.
Quinta Lala camping ground Cusco. Seems like an old favorite.
The lower parking lot of the Hotel Libertador. This is a 5 star hotel on an island in Puno harbor that is accessed by a causeway. It's a very up market establishment. A room is US$355. We would not have had the gaul to ask to park here if we had not read about it from others. The deal was that we had to have dinner in the restaurant. It was a nice dinner but if you are on a tight budget it will hurt - $100 for two people. There are no services, but it is without a doubt the best view in Puno.
Along and near the water front in Copacabana are a number of hotels with secure parking lots. We picked the first we came to, the Chasqui Del Sol a large pink and white building just past all the food stalls. The holiday crowd was leaving and we were the only guests - US$25 per night for a double room.
We have heard from other travelers that they simply parked on the beach front. That looked like a workable solution, but we wanted a shower.
We camped at Altai Oasis in the town of Sorata. The place has cabins, a restaurant, bar, and a large tent camping area by the river. But with our large vehicle we could not get to the camping area so we stayed in the small parking lot. The upside of this is that we got electricity.
The place is easy to find but it takes some persistence to get to it. The entrance road into the town drops from the valley rim at 4000m, eventually turns into a rough gravel road, and then becomes narrow as it enters the town. But it does continue to the main plaza. Turn left down hill after the main plaza (but since the plaza is one-way you have to go right at the plaza and then left twice to travel around the plaza, and then straight down hill - the effect is that one has simply passed the plaza and turned left). From here the road, deteriorates further and continues down hill eventually crossing the river via a muddy and shallow ford. There appears to have once been a bridge but it is now out of action. After crossing the river the road climbs a bit to a Y-intersection where there is a sign to Altai Oasis pointing left. This is a very narrow track that eventually leads to the vehicle gate of the place. We reversed into the parking lot as the track was too narrow for us to turn around. I am not sure how we are going to turn to face up hill for the return journey but that's tomorrow's problem.
The Oberland hotel in the Mallasa district of La Paz. There was no way we could navigated to this place by ourselves - ask a taxi to lead the way.
North of Potosi on the road to La Paz we found a loop of the older highway that had been turned into a rough picnic area and lookout.
Hotel Casa Kopling (Pasaje Iturricha 265 zona recoleta) is at the southern (uphill) end of Grau about 50 m from the Mirador. In a vehicle you must turn left off Grau a few blocks from the top, and then right into Calco in order to get into Iturricha.
Residencial Tarija. We parked in the courtyard and had access to a toilet and shower. The place is well guarded.
It was a bit difficult to find so - here are some (hopefully helpful) directions.
get onto Antofagasta heading towards Cerro Rica
at GPS S19 35.119 W65 45.415 a strange looking 4 way intersection near a big church turn left into Civica. It took us a few loops of the Church to figure out that Civica was not one-way
go down Civica one block to GPS S19 35.049 W65 46.351 and turn right into Serrudo.
the entrance to Tarija and their sign is almost immediately on your right at GPS S19 35.075 S65 45.333
A little further up the same street (Serrudo) are two more possible hotels. Residencia Copocabana and Residencia Felcar. They both seem to have parking lots with large (no height restriction) gates. We did not check with them to see if parking without a room was possible.
We did not want to arrive in Potosi at dusk so we found a nice flat work area beside the highway about 30 kms before Potosi. A couple of trains passed in the night but otherwise quiet.
Hotel Tonito. We took a room so that we could wash ourselves and clothes after the dust of the last few days. There is parking large enough for the Tiger (no height restriction) inside their compound. We spent three pleasant days at the Tonito - it was like a bit of home. Friendly and helpful staff, pleasant environment and some people with whom to speak English.
Hotel San Christobel. They had no rooms available but allowed us to park in the parking lot of the hotel and even allowed us to plug into their electricity without charge. The manager told us we could use the bathroom in the lounge but we never found it unlocked.
We camped at the eastern end of Laguna Colorado. Altitude 4300m. Fierce wind, bright sun.
Same place as the last time we were in San Pedro.
About 200 yards off highway 52 in a slight depression, east of the salar.
In the town of Tilcara was El Jardin camping ground. Treed campground with tables, fire places, the most interesting portable barbecues, electricity, hot showers. It's right at the T intersection at the end of the street after crossing the bridge into town.
North of San Antonio de los Cobres on Ruta 40 beside Salinas Grande, we just pulled off the road and parked near an old falling-down adobe house.
Another camping municipal, this one called Carlos Xamena. On the southern side of town just east of the main entrance highway 68 which turned into Avda Paraguay, take an exit onto Chile and then 2nd right into Avda Republic Del Libano. Has electricity, clean toilets, hot showers, and in the summer the most amazing swimming pool, the largest pool we have ever seen. A kidney shaped pool at least 300m long.
Camping Municipal, at the top of the hill on the south side of town. As you enter from the south along Ruta 40, continue until there is an uphill turn to the left. A really nice campground, campsites are bordered by hedges, electricity, clean toilets, hot showers, and a heated swimming pool ( that is 7 pesos).
On the southern edge of town are a number of campgrounds. We picked the one that had other guests and was obviously open for business. Nice hot showers, electricity, tables and fire places.
Returning to Amaicha we decided to try one of the campgrounds. It's on the road between the square and Ruta 40. A nice place, electricity, clean toilets and hot showers.
We stayed the night at hostel Pacha Cuty. It's along San Martin from the square. A friendly place with hot showers, nice kitchen and warm company. We parked in the street outside. It was a bit of a squeeze to get under the trees and far enough away from the center of the road. Would not work for a vehicle larger than ours.
We discovered later that there are two campgrounds in town, at least one looked open.
Just near the town of Londres on the way to the archaeological site El Shincal is a municipal balneario and campground, built on the site of an old mill. It's a nice treed site with picnic shelters, fire places, water, swimming in the summer, toilets and electricity. The place is a bit run down but still pleasant.
We camped at the visitors center of Parque Nacional Talampaya. Its a pretty basic camping area, picnic tables, water, toilets and sometimes hot showers.
The guide book says that there is informal camping at the visitor center of Parque Provincial Ischigualasto, but it did not look informal to us. There were signs for a camping ground, electricity, free wifi, toilets and probably hot showers at some time of the day - though we could not work out when they would be hot. More Spanish would be a good thing. There was a strong wind through out the night which would have made this a less than comfortable place for tent camping.
Beside the highway a little east of the township of Defunta Correa. There was plenty of camping in the town with picnic tables, but the desert seemed like it would be a bit less trashy.
We camped at Camping Municipal Dique Avalo, in a nice stand of Eucalyptus trees with a wonderful view of the Andes to the west. There was water, electricity after a little search, toilets but no hot showers. In the summer months there would also be swimming in the irrigation canal/dam. The signs suggested that there would even be life guards.
On the Argentine side of the border on the road between Mendoza and Santiago there were many rough tracks leading off the highway into river beds or river banks. We picked one that would get us a a good distance from the road and make us a little less obvious.
After leaving the Chevy dealer at 6 pm we headed north east towards the border with Argentina and stopped at a Copec gas station on the outer ring-route around Santiago. It had a large parking lot for trucks and a 24 hour guard.
We took a room at the Diego Almagro near the airport. Quite expensive, but we needed access to internet to talk to our children. It's a while since we had been in touch.
Just east of the settlement of Puente Del Inca there is a Parque Nacional entrance and a 2 km road that leads to a parking lot and the start of the trail to the base of Aconcagua. We stayed the night in the parking lot at an altitude of just under 10,000'.
We moved to a different campground today, it's called Parque Suizo. It's a bit further out of town, is more secure and shady. Has all the usual facilities even internet via wire in the office.
We got a list of accommodation from the tourist information office in Ave San Martin, it included about a dozen camping grounds in the north east corner of the metro area. Finding one proved to be a bit of a navigational challenge, plus some were closed. We eventually got to Pilmayken which is located in a park complex. We were the only guests, the manager had to light the wood fires that heat the shower water just for us. There was electricity, water, picnic tables and clean toilets.
PN Sierra de las Quijadas has a small campground just before the lookout and walking trails. It has a few picnic tables, toilets, a snack bar during the tourist season and not much else. It was a wonderfully quiet place with spectacular star gazing, and a full moon.
There are a number of campgrounds in this tourist town, but we could only find one of them, Camping Los Rios, that was open. Seems like the tourist season is well and truly over. The place is OK, quite large, has electricity BBQs and hot showers (but only for specified hours).
Camping Municipal Cordoba is about 13 km from town towards the west. Its a big camping, picnic and general recreation area in a park called General San Martin.
We had some trouble finding it so here are some, hopefully helpful, directions. Follow Colon west from the city (if you are in a vehicle you cannot travel along Colon, its one way into the city for much of its length, you need to travel along Duarte Quiros, it will eventually merge with Colon at which point Colon is two-way). Stay on Colon for some distance. At the round-about just after Wal-Mart at GPS S 31° 32.669' and W 64° 15.997' turn right towards Villa Allende and the Airport. If you a sharp observer you will notice a sign saying 1.5km to Parque San Martin. At the round-about GPS S 31° 22.597' W 64° 15.325', turn left (270° around the circle) up a small road to a sporting complex, pass the pink mansion on your right. Keep traveling past a complex of buildings - might need a left turn - to a sign to Camping Municipal and a right turn GPS S 31° 22.359' W 64° 15.682'. Drive a bit further and you are there.
A road side picnic area with tables and fire places. No other facilities. We had the company of some locals for a few hours since it was Saturday night. It looked like the local lovers lane. But good enough for a one night stop.
We stayed at the Esso service station north of the town of Formosa just before the Policia Nacional check point. The parking lot was muddy from recent rain. The restaurant had wifi (slow) and clean toilets with showers that we did not try.
Believe it or not the city Botanical Gardens has a small area for camping. The local Automobile Association (The Automobile Club of Paraguay - TACPY) Office did not know about it. We found out about it from the Lonely Planet guide. After entering the main gate we were directed, straight ahead 200m then right 300 m to the large house. At the house a helpful guard led me upstairs to the office of a young women who sold me the camping pass and showed me where to park. A cooking shelter with electricity and fire wood, toilets, showers that might sometimes be hot. A very nice setting. There were guards nearby all night so very secure. All for less than US$5.
Ignacio Guazu Country Club, also called a Rural Hotel. This place is on the left hand side of the highway as one enters Ignacio Guazu from the Encarnation direction. Has everything, electricity, water, pool, hot showers, fabulous cooking and barbeque area, tennis court, bar and wifi. The host, Gustavo, will eagerly show you the animals and walking trails. We have so far been very surprised by the quality of the two campgrounds we have found in Paraguay.
Park Parque Manantial, Hohenau. We heard about this place from other travelers. It is certainly one of the better campground we have stayed in on this entire trip. A shaded camping site, water and electricity at the site, two pools, very clean showers and toilets. It advertises its self as a country club, has a bar, restaurant, horse riding. When we arrived, on a Monday (Lunes), we were disappointed to note the sign cerrado lunes. But we eventually found someone and only the country club part is closed on Mondays not the camping.
We are at the Sheraton Rio just south of Ipanema Beach. The hotels is what one would expect from a US 4 star chain.
We found a very nice campground not too far from the downtown area of Foz Do Iguacu. All the conveniences, toilets, hot showers, laundry, electricity, internet, wifi and pool. And we can leave the vehicle here while we fly to Rio. The place is called Camping y Pousada Internacional (website: www.campinginternacional.com.br, email Saritawoelfl@uol.com.br).
Over the course of our stay in Foz we found information on two other camping areas.
The first is Hostel Paudimar which is off the road between Foz and the falls. There is a large billboard add on the right hand side of the road (as you travel towards the falls). From another travelers website we got the gps coordinates of S 25° 35.944' and W 54° 31.493. Their website is www.paudimar.com.br
There also appears to be a Camping Club of Brazil facility near the national park entrance. Right next to the turn into the parking area there is a sign for camping, and the CCB. We did not go looking for it so can not comment any farther.
Another gas station-truck stop tonight. Pleasant place with toilets and showers. Quiet over night.
We spent the night at a no-name gas station and truck stop on highway BR-158/392 north of the turn off to Tupancireta. It was somewhat less busy than a number of the gas stations we had passed during the day. Eventually the activity ceased and it was a relatively quiet place.
According to the map there was a camping ground somewhere in the town but we never found it. Not even with extensive (though incomprehensible) directions from a series of locals. We finished up spending the night at a house that had a couple of cabanas for rent. We simply parked in the yard and used the bathroom in one of the cabanas.
Complejo Turistico on the right on entering the small town of Barra Del Chuy. It was a very large camping complex next door to a water park. This was one of the more expensive places we have camped. Electricity and water provided at the campsite, wifi near the office, but the showers were almost cold.
At La Paloma there is a large camping ground on the left as one drives from highway 9 along highway 15 into the town. The area for motor homes is near the beach but a long way from the toilet and shower facilities, but there is electricity, hot showers and internet at the office.
Camping San Rafael is some distance north or east of Punta Del Este. Following highway 10 don't cross the bridge to La Barra, instead go left and about half a km down the road on the left is the entrance to the campground. Electricity, hot showers, laundry service.
We are staying a few days at the Days Inn right opposite the main bus terminal on Boulevard General Artigas, near where it intersects with Ave 8th Octubre.
There is parking nearby that can accommodate the Tiger and even larger vehicles.
There were a number of signs for camping places today as we travelled along highway 1 but none in Montevideo.
Camping Los Nogales. This is just east of the town along Highway 1 towards Montevideo. Take the first right turn after the big Pepsi sign. There is a yellow house and land behind the soccer/football field. Has electricity, how showers (for some of the day).
Tonight we are back at the parking lot in Puerto Madera where we spent our first night in Buenos Aires. It's a bit of a shock to be cramped back in the Tiger and serenaded by the roar of heavy trucks.
The Brazilian visa turned out to be pretty straightforward, but along the way was plagued by poor and misleading information. Just for the record
an appointment is necessary, and must be arranged by phone. We used the tourist office in Santa Fe Ave to make the call for us.
an application form must be filled in. This is best done using the computers in the Brazil consulate office. You don't need a copy of the application just the number that is displayed on the screen after you have finished filling in the form.
you will need to show a return ticket, or if driving a rough itinerary to prove you will leave eventually.
you will need to show a credit card and may need to show bank statements, to prove you have the funds to support yourself.
you will also need a single passport photograph, and
of course you will need cash (pesos) to pay for the visas.
A few weeks ago, during our research on where to park in Buenos Aires I found the website of a motor home rental company called AndeanRoads - their website AndeanRoads. Through email we introduced ourselves to one of the principles of the company - Cristian - and arranged to leave our Tiger at their facility while we were in Buenos Aires.
Today we moved into the apartment we had organized through the accommodation company named ByTAregentina The place is in the San Telmo district, an old, somewhat bohemian style area, old buildings, cobbled streets, dog droppings, lots of cafes and craft stalls. The apartment is a loft style place with the most amazing ceiling that looks like it is drooping under its own weight. Hope there are no earthquakes in BA.
We spent the night in the parking lot in the Puerto Madera area of the city. There is a lot of parking in the area. We found the lot by chance when we first got into the city. The attendants seemed to know that we would want to stay the night.
A YPF/ACA gas station and all night restaurant near the town of Dolores. No showers. The place has a large picnic area next to the gas station.
El Griego is at S 38° 05.743' W 57° 36.195, the turn off from highway 11 is at S38° 06.679' W57° 35.065'
Camping The Horneros, Sanata Isabella is alongside highway 11 north of beach resort town of Miramar on the way to Mar Del Plata. It's a bit inland from the beach and is another one of those Argentine camping resorts, like Americano - but a lot more run down. This one also seems to have closed for the season. The pool was empty, the bar closed, wifi turned off, and even the showers were not heated any more (they offered to turn on the hot water for us if we waited an hour for it to heat.)
Camping Americano on the beach south of the town. Follow the signs, it's about 5 miles from the town along the roads behind the beach. Great huge, place. In peak season this campground could handle thousands. Electricity, very hot showers, wifi (in the bar and some camping spots), onsite laundry service and minimarket, and a pool that costs extra.
It's situated in a loverly gum tree (thats eucalyptus to non Aussies) forest.
The ACA Motel (Automobile Club of Argentina) on the Bahai Blanca ring route.
The Municipal Campground is on the city bypass. Nice setting, electricity in the large white concrete pillars, showers have hot water but no cold water ?? - makes for a difficult shower. It's a free campground??
We pulled off the road into a clearing with a small shrine a few kms north of the town.
The Municipal Campground in the small village of Puento Piramida is right behind the beach in a stand of large bushes and trees. Even with this protection the wind is annoying. Pay (expensive) showers and only at night, water and electricity.
A gravel pullout on the side of the road. Not too many heavy vehicles overnight.
Another Camping Municipal.
We do not recommend staying in this campground. We heard from other campers that recently women had been attached in the showers.
Camping Municipal San Julian, on the beach front and subject to the sea winds (not breezes), has all the facilities. The shower building is even heated.
We are in the parking lot at the Lion's Head lookout in Parque Nacional Monte Leon about 30 kms south of the little town of Comte. Luis Piedra Buena, and a further 20 kms along a good gravel road into the park. A bit north of us is an official campground with toilets. Our spot is on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and has no facilities.
We camped in the parking lot of a large religious shrine at the junction of Highways 3 and 5. We certainly would not have found this place, nor particularly the entrance, without the information provided by the www.travelin-tortugo.com - thanks guys. It's an amazing place. There were parking lots on both sides of the river and each had a large building in which people have left flowers and all kinds of religious articles. On the northern side of the river was a very elaborate staircase to another complex of shrines on top of the hill. At the base of the hill were a set of picnic tables, each with a large sheltered fire place and concrete pad on which to park. BUT - there were no toilets !!
Close by on the northern side is a camping area called Club Pescazaike for anyone that needs services.
Hain in Tolhuin. We were here last Sunday.
Camping La Pista Del Andino - is a Club Andino establishment on the hill side above the town. Has everything, toilets, hot showers, electricity, wifi in the refugio and if we had wanted we could have left our vehicle here and gone home for a while. The Tiger would have been in good company as there were a number of European vehicles awaiting their owners return.
Our guide book told us of Camping Hain in the little town of Tolhuin, it also told us about a wonderful little Panaderia. The campground is on the shores of Lago Fagnano and provides electricity, toilets, hot showers, and a cooking hut with wood fire. The tent sites have substantial structures to protect the tents and fires from the fierce lake winds.
Driving east along Highway 255 on the north side of the Straits of Magellan there were many places to pull off and camp. We found one with a little shelter from the fierce winds.
We stayed at Camping Donde Juan about 11 kms north of the town on the right (west) side of the highway. There is electricity, and it is a quiet place, no hot water and water from the faucet was not potable.
Propane, the Enersur station on the left just as we entered the town had a propane pump for vehicles. This pump fits a US fixed-tank fill valve so we topped up - GPS S 53° 06.931' W 70° 52.591
Camping Josmardos, on the corner of Esmarelda and Pratt. It's the only campground in town so one cannot be too choosey. Hot showers, limited electricity and somewhat crowded but close to town.
We stayed in a hotel tonight so that we could work on our US tax returns.
Camping El Ovejero in El Calafate. The area set aside for motor homes is simply a dirt parking lot, but there is access to hot water for washing cloths or dishes, good showers and free wifi in the admin/restaurant building.
Camping El Refugio, El Chalten - its not much to look at, a few shower/toilet blocks, many tents on a lower level that does not have vehicle access and a rather run down timber cooking shelter, but its going to be home for a couple of days at least. The showers are hot.
Somewhere on Ruta 40 we found a place to pull off with a little hill to give some protection from the wind. About 60 km down the road from where we stopped is the town of Bajo Caracoles, described in our guide book as "a cross roads of insignificant importance with roads leading in all directions apparently to nowhere" - that's how we felt about the camping spot we found - it was in the middle of no-where. In the 15 hours we were there we saw maybe 12 vehicles.
About 30 kms down Ruta 40 from Perito Moreno we found a farm or sheep station called Telken that offered cabanas and camping. It was a nice place, hot showers, cooking building, electricity 20:00 - midnight and most of all trees that sheltered us from the wind.
Camping ground Kon-Aiken in the town by the Lake. Showers are actually in the proprietors house. There is also a washing machine available for an extra fee. The place is well sheltered from the fierce winds.
We found a nice grassy patch beside the road a few km north of the bridge over the Rio Chucabuco. On this road traffic noise is not going to be a problem.
We wanted to camp within easy driving distance of the Fiordo Mitchell ferry to avoid an early and rushed start tomorrow, and we also needed somewhere our temporary traveling companions could pitch a tent. We eventually found a track leading to the river that was dry enough for a tent and left space for the Tiger.
After getting off the Puerto Yungay ferry we found the first pull off for a camping spot. It happened to be a gravel quarry that was half full of water. We would later discover a much nicer place a few kms farther south, a big parking area on the East.
We had a wonderful campsite tonight beside Lago Esmeraldo. Its a very small piece of land jutting into the lake, right at water level. Definitely only room for one vehicle.
About 2 km south of the town of Puerto Rio Tranquillo is Camping Pudu. It has two entrances about 300 meters apart. The northern one is the administration building, the southern for the campground. Right on the shores of Lago General Carrera, it has a modern well maintained toilet/shower block, each campsite has a wall of timber to provide protection from the wind - and that is necessary. The downside of this place is that the showers are only open 9:pm-midnight and 7:00am - 11:am. When available they are good.
On the western side of highway 7 just entering Reserve Nacional Cerro Castillo there is a campground near a lake. Nice place, each site has a picnic shelter, fire place, and wood provided. The grounds have flush toilets, and hot showers in the evenings, the ranger starts the wood stove that heats the water.
We asked at the Tourist Info center in Puerto Aysen about camping grounds and were directed to Quincho La Pancha situated about 7 kms from the center of town on the road to Lago Los Palos. The camping area is a nice grassy area with picnic tables, and a short walk to the toilets and showers - the water seems hot but we have not used them at the time of writing. In fine weather the camp would have great views of some of the surrounding mountains.
On the road today we saw few/no campgrounds and only a few places to pull off for the night.
Just off highway 7 is a small camping area and a lookout that provides distant views of Ventisquero Colgante (a hanging glacier). The access road is about 4 km and narrow. Rain shelters at each campsite, toilets. The showers had gas and the pilot lights were burning but there was not enough water pressure to start the gas burner to heat the water.
After crossing the border into Chile at Futaleufu there are a number of privately operated campgrounds along highway 231. But once it joins 235 there are none and very few places to pull off. We stopped just south of the village of Villa Santa Lucia on highway 7 (Carretera Austral) in a small flat patch right next to the road. Later in the after noon we were joined by a French family who said that places to stop were scarce farther south. Very little traffic overnight.
Our border crossing into Chile at Futuleufu was straight forward. The agriculture people searched the Tiger and took a few packets of ham, but other wise no different to the previous crossings into Chile. The paper work was the same, and the three windows that we needed to visit were numbered 1,2,3 just like the previous crossings.
We camped at Tres Bahias camping ground midway down Lago Rivadavia in Parque Nacional Los Alerces. Access was via a 1.4 km narrow, soft, and at times steep little road. We were right next to the lake. There was an amenities block with toilets and hot showers no electricity.
It seems that this part of Argentina has three types of campgrounds
Libre - free with no facilities not even pit toilets.
Orginazado - Organized, which have all facilities, including hot showers, electricity and even a shop.
Agreste - which we translate as rustic or primitive. We are not sure if all agreste will be the same as Tres Bahias.
Camping Selva Negro about 2.7 kms west of Bariloche proper on the uphill (Southern) side of the road. Quite a narrow steep driveway, but plenty of turn-around room at the top. Good toilets and showers, electricity, wifi (near the bar), laundry service onsite.
On the way to the border today as we entered Entre Largos from the west we saw a sign advertising the sale of compulsory Argentine vehicle insurance. For those who have not already got it - check this out.
Camping Montana, one of many campgrounds in the town of Ensenada. It is situated on the shores of the Lago Llanquihue and has electricity, clean new toilets, hot showers and Wifi - what a treat.
For those of you with a taste for lame jokes - there is a camping ground in the town called "Yankee - way" which, the locals say, is the way American tourists pronounce the name of the lake.
Camping Paico's. A nice grassed campground around the peninsula from the town of Quellon with good views of the town and harbor. No electricty that we could plug into, water, toilets and hot showers at selected times of the day.
Camping and Cabanas Chilote about 6 kms south of the town along the Panam, on the western side of the road. Nice grassed area with picnic tables, electricity, clean toilets, but only cold showers.
We had intended to camp at Camping Llicaldad it was recommended by the Lonely Planet and even advertised camping along the roadside south of Castro. But when we got there they told us no camping - pretty strange as there own sign said camping. !!
Camping Arena Greusa on the bluff above the town with great views of the straight, and somewhat exposed to the weather. We were the only campers last night. There are a number of camp sites each fenced with vegetation, electricity, a small wind/rain shelter for each site, clean toilets and hot showers.
We stayed at a camping ground about 7 kms east of Ente Lagos called El Manzano. It is right on the lake, has toilets, hot showers, and electricity. Camping under trees, the place is a little run down, but quiet.
At the Argentine exit we first encountered a checkpoint booth where the officer looked at our vehicle papers and then gave us some forms to fill in, and a paper with our vehicle number and passenger count on it. We drove about 1 km down the road to a large building that sits astride the highway and cannot be missed. Here we filled out the forms previously obtained, and lined up for immigration and then customs. Another km up the road another checkpoint took one of the papers, and handed us two Chilean customs forms, and then we were on our way. That's all.
The Chilean station is about 50 kms further up the highway. Here again we first encountered a check point with a toll booth style building, The officer again looked at our vehicle papers and gave us a slip of paper with the vehicle license plate and passenger count on it. A further 300m on was a large building astride the road and signs in English telling travelers the procedure.
Step 1. Inside the building at window labeled Step 1 was a Police check and immigration processing. We needed to fill in some forms which the officer gave us.
Step 2. Still inside the building at window labelled Step 2 was Customs and vehicle paper work. Again we got forms to fill in from the officer at the window.
Step 3 Happens outside. Two inspections or at least two inspectors searched the vehicle and took some of our food. We had prepared for this by emptying the fridge and pantry over the previous few days.
The Hotel Tirol for three days. The entrance to the parking lot was tight. There is an outdoor parking station across the road that would have no size restrictions.
Camping Refugio Patagonico a camping ground and hostel close to town. Good modern showers and toilets, no electricity for the vehicle. They were a bit difficult about where we could park - not on the grass; even though other campers were parked on the grass. The result, we basically camped in a parking lot.
Hotel Llao Llao near Bariloche - you can't miss it. A very nice and very expensive place.
We are at a campground called Huenei Roca in a village/area called Colonia Suiza on the shores of Lake Perito Moreno.The grounds have toilets, electricity, hot showers, and I even found enough wood for a camp fire on which to cook the first good steak we have had since leaving the US. The grounds are well protected by trees, which is a good things since it is very windy and cool.
We camped near the outflow of the Lago Villarino on the Western side of the road in an open meadow where the sign indicated free camping (the letter L inside a tent symbol). The spot had great views of mountains to the East and West and the company of cows and sheep.
Camping Los Lolen on the shores of the lake. We got directions from the tourist information center. Follow highway 234 south for about 4 km to a right turn that heads down hill to the beach. There was a sign at the turn for the camp ground. Clean toilets, and a promise of hot showers.
Camping Puchaley Lafquen overlooking the lake on the edge of the town of Panguipulli. We found directions from the tourist office. A nice place, hot showers, toilets and grounds clean and well maintained. We got electricity from one of the wash rooms but it may not be available at busier times of the year.
We finally got insurance for Argentina today. As it happens there is an insurance office right next door (same building next office) to the tourist office on the main square that sold it to us on the spot. The man and women that sold it were helpful, and understood immediately what we wanted.
Camping Estrada - a lake front camp ground. A little east of the town of Lican Ray. Has water, electricy, and promises hot showers at certain times of the day - but we have not seen the hot water yet. A little run down but the location is wonderful.
Parque La Poza - a camping ground in Pucon, not on but near the lake. Lots of sites under trees and a pretty creek running through the grounds. A little noise from the highway. Water, electricity, hot showers.
Another Copec gas station south bound on the Panam Highway.
Copec gas station. These are very convenient but often a little noisy.
We are at an amazingly picturesque campground near Laguna Verde, on the next head land south of Valparaiso. We have a wonderful view of the Pacific Ocean west, and Valparaiso to the north. There are no facilities but the location is great. To get here drive to Laguna Verde and continue on the road through Laguna Verde for about 10+ km. The road deteriorates into a one lane dirt track but is not particularly rough.
Parking lot in Santiago that will hold a moderate sized expedition vehicle. No height restriction but anything much over 7.4m length or 2.4m width (the length and width of our Tiger) will be too big. S 33° 26.372' W 70° 39.670.
We are on Highway 68 again tonight, but this time at a Copec station. The wifi seems better and they have hot showers for 500 pesos.
A Shell station west along Highway 68 at about 6km post. Wifi in the McDonald store.
We camped in Parque Nacional de Campana via the norther entrance from the town of Ocoa off highway Ch-5. A loverly semi wilderness campground. Only a few other campers, and limited facilities (toilets and water, no power). Beautiful sunny afternoon and morning, cool night with clear sky and wonderful display of stars.
Just south of the town of Los Villos, along a dirt track from the center of town is a broad open head land with lots of tracks. We parked on the escarpment edge with a fine view of the ocean and lots of sea gulls as neighbors.
A commercial camping ground, El Arca (the name is on a small very faded sign) on the southern side of Ruta Ch-41. The camp grounds along this road were pretty busy today and we tried a couple before finding space at this one. Some what in need of repair but gave us a place for the night. No electricity. Only one toilet, but a swimming pool.
Just near the town of El Molle we found a nice little campground called Tikal with sheltered camp sites set among pine and eucalyptus trees. Water, electricity, toilets and hot showers in the morning.
We saw lots of potential camping spots today. From the Tal Tal access road there is a turn off and paved road to Cifuncho which is described in the guide book as a fishing camp and in fact is a small village. There is plenty of primitive beach camping there.
Further south there is a good quality dirt access to Parque Nacional Pan de Azucar. Pan de Azucar has a small village and a couple of formal camping grounds. South of the town, on the way back to the Panamericana, there are other beaches with places to pull off for primitive camping.
Since we wanted to get a few more miles done we continued south eventually stopping at one of the many beach side primitive camping spots next to the Panamericana.
We camped at a beach front picnic and camping area, Playa de Piedra just north of Taltal. It was a nice place with picnic shelters and fire places but the toilets were locked.
Tonight we chose to stay at the Holiday Inn Hotel on the beach front road in Antofagasta. It's the first time in ages that we have stayed at a real western hotel.
We stayed at Camping Los Perales, on Tocopilla a short walk from the Plaza De Armes.
We camped at the control office on the hill overlooking the area of the Geysers. The guy selling entry tickets indicated that we could not stay overnight down with the geysers. After we settled in others arrived and stayed the night in the same area, some in vehicles and some in tents.
The coastal road from Iquique to Tocopilla provides many/frequent opportunities to pull off the road and camp next to the ocean. We saw a number of locals pitching tents, and at least one other overlander vehicle camping beside the ocean.
You need to get onto a road called Diagonal Franscico Bilboa. the best way to do this is to drive down the beach front highway Arturo Prat Chacon until you reach the road-about at S20° 17.347' W 70° 7.669'. make a U-turn here and head back into town but take the road named Diagonal Franscico Bilboa, it parallels and is east of Arturo Pratt Chocon. At the junction with Via 6 (S 20° 17.061' W 70° 7.613') turn right up hill. The school is on the left.
They don't want to publicize that they allow camping
We simply camped on the beach closer to Arica than last night. There were a few other vehicles there overnight and there was more activity there late in the day to watch. But not as quiet or secluded as the previous night. We had someone knock on our door in the early morning but no trouble from them.
The border crossing was (I think) a little different than the description in bumfuzzle.com. Read this in conjunction with the bumfuzzle write-up.
On the Peru side, go to the middle door next to the ATM. There is a desk immediately inside, find the person that sits there and get a form to fill out. Once completed go to the door on the right hand side of the building, to the right of the door next to the ATM. The people in there will show you what to do. You need to stop at two stations there. Then go outside to the booth in the center of the roadway for the vehicle processing. Then you are done. You should have one copy of the form you filled in, you will need this for Chile processing.
You need to find and fill in three forms at this crossing.
Immigration, you get, fill in and return the immigration form to window number 2 at the right hand most booth.
Then you need to get a customs declaration form, ask one of the guys in a green vest. Once filled in then you need to get in turn a green vested guy and a blue coated guy to inspect your vehicle. The green guy will search thoroughly for vegetables, fruit and other food stuffs. The blue guy in our case did not search very thoroughly.
Vehicle control - on the south side of one of the booths there is another booth labelled vehicle control. You need to get a form from that booth, fill it in and return to that booth. You are then done.
After getting through the border we camped on the beach north of Arica like a number of others before us. Heading down the PanAmericana turn right at the round-about (S18° 23.784' W70° 17.916) and take the road to V. Frontera. This road crosses a railway line and almost immediately hits a T intersection (at W18° 23.930 S70° 18.508). Take a left at that intersection and then an immediate right (staying on the paved road). Follow this road, through a couple of other intersections, until the pavement ends. there are a couple of parking areas beside the road. Quiet except for the sound of sea bird.
We camped the night at Hostal Las Mercedes in Arequipa. This is a very nice establishment in a well maintained old building. It also has camping facilities and tonight there was a Tucan Travel expedition truck also parked here with 28 passengers all set up in tents. In addition there was room for 2 or 3 overlander vehicles. Using the Peru routable map from map2center.com and the GPS coordinates we came right to the front gate without any trouble.
This afternoon we were on our way from Puno to Cusco, knowing that we would not make it all the way we were looking for a place to pull off the road that gave some seclusion from traffic. We found a gravel pit on the east side of the road south of Santa Rosa.
This spot is a very very large flat area at the junction of highway 3S and the road from Yauri. We had lunch here a couple of days ago so new of it and it seemed a reliable place for a late stop on our way from Arequipa to Puno. It turned out to be very cold and quiet. There was traffic all night but the area is big enough to get away from the road, the noise and the dust. Even with a full moon we did not feel conspicuous.
While we were at Cruz Del Condor this morning we asked one of the guards if we could park here overnight. We got a very prompt si. I guess we were not the first to ask that question. Later in the day when we returned the place was deserted, and there was very little traffic overnight. A great spot.
We camped in the parking lot of the hot spring baths about 4 km from Chivay. It was not obvious who to ask for permission, we got one of the tour group guides to ask for us - we think he asked the guy in the kiosk selling beer. No one troubled us during the night. Though the baths opened and started playing a radio at 5:15 am.
There is a charge of 35 sols per person for tourists to enter the town of Chivay, it seems like this last 7 days.
From last nights camp the road continued as a good blacktop until 10 km before Yauri (also called Espina - especially on the signs in the front window of buses) where it turned into a bad, pot holed, gravel road. After Yauri the gravel road improved and reasonable speeds (30-40 mph) were achievable. Some distance south of Yauri, the road branches with the left branch signposted to Ariquipa and the right signposted to Chivay (remember this we will come back to it latter). We chose the left branch on the basis of suspected better road conditions and hence faster though longer travel. This road eventually joined highway 3S at Imata. At Sumbay we turned right (North) towards the settlement of Vischani and onto Chivay. The first 10-13 miles of this road are simply terrible, but then turns into good blacktop all the way to Chivay. The good road starts right at the point where the previously avoided turn to Chivay enters. Our conclusion - we should have taken the earlier right turn to Chivay.
We turned off highway 3S just south of Sicuani at the sign to Arequipa. The road was good black top for about 10 kms and then became rough dirt until the town of El Descanso where it again became good blacktop. There were not many good places to pull off for the night along this road so about 5:00pm we found a disused loop of highway and stopped. Not a great place as we were visible from the road, but not much traffic either.
We stayed at the Hostal la Pequena Casita on the main street. Nice rooms, good clean hot showers. $50 for a double.
After a long day of driving we made it to the well publicized Quinta Lala camping ground in the hills above Cusco. Again we arrived in a town just as dark descended and hence the navigation to the camp ground was a little more difficult than it may otherwise have been. Coming in from Anta we had difficulty finding the Plaza De Armas and that is where the directions given on the campground website start.
We camped in a patch of ground beside the road (Hwy 26) at about km post 100. During the evening some shepherds and sheep walked past and gave us a look-over, and during the night there was infrequent but steady traffic of trucks and buses. This was not an ideal spot but because of our late start and approaching darkness we did not have much choice.
Generally there are many opportunities for road side camping along hwy 26 but one needs time to wait for a good one to show up; not to be running out of light like we were. We particularly noticed some nice big and somewhat secluded places along the climb going east from Puquio and again going east from Chalhuanca.
We stayed in the Hotel Maisson Suisse across the road from the airport in Nasca, they actually advertise camping on their signs and the lady behind the front desk understood immediately what we wanted. There was no charge if we booked a sightseeing flight through them, which we did. We got to town just on dark and had a little difficulty finding the place because the Hotels own signs (one of which we saw on the highway just as we entered Nasca) say that it is at km post 447 but in fact on the newer km posts its actually closer to 452. The GPS coordinates of the entrance are S 14° 51.104' W 74° 57.500'.
We noticed a European overland vehicle also parked in the hotel next door. The Nido Del Condor so that is another possibility.
The Acogas place is at S 12° 03.077', Av Colonial 5443 (Colonial recently renamed Benevides). You can also look up their website at www.acogas.com.pe. This place seems to have a very comprehensive stock of gas related plumbing parts such as POL fittings, unions, hose fittings etc.
We stayed the night at the Hitch Hikers Hostel. We heard about this place from a number of traveler websites. It was difficult to navigate to and we would not have got there without the Peru map I got from mapcenter2.cgsmapper.com. The place has space for 2 maybe three vehicles.
We noticed there were two parking lots (parqueaderos, or playas as they seem to be called in Lima) in the nearby street named Schell that don't seem to have height limitations. One of these might be an option if the hostel court yard was occupied on arrival.
Tonight we are at Reserva De Lachay. It's a few miles off the PanAmericana, and the turn off is well sign posted between Km posts 106 and 105. Pit toilets, cool moist atmosphere, all together a nice place for 10 sols per person per night.
After our side trip to see the Puya Raimondii we wanted to find some lower altitude so we headed down Highway 14 towards the coast. Once below 10,000 ft we started looking for a place to pull off for the night. If you get to see the valley the highway runs through, you will understand that this was a tall order. So when we found a large pull off where we could get far enough off the road to be out of the line of "trajectory" of the trucks and buses we were delighted. All I can give you are the coordinates.
After a bit of chasing around Huaraz we ended up at the Gran Hotel Huascaran on the northern side of the town where the road from Caraz branches into Av. Centario and Av. Confraternidad. Entrance is left off Centanrio when heading south. Large parking area, quiet over night, use of hotel lobby toilets. Price 20 sols, double room (which we did not take) 100 sols.
We camped in the compound at Los Pinos Hostel/Hospedaje, just like the travelin-tortugas. The GPS coordinates S 09° 2.913' and W 77° 48.842' is for the back gate that provides access to the court yard. Good wifi.
Once through the narrow parts of the canyon, about 25 miles from Chuquicara, there were a limited number of places to get off the road. We picked one just before dark.
If you plan on driving this road, and we suggest you do, make sure you are not in the canyon late in the day (like we were). It is so spectacular that one needs time to stop, look and savor it.
There is a hostelaria (XXXXXXX) at the north end of the beach that has parking for a small number of vehicle campers. However it was full so we parked on the sand at the north end of the beach.
There are many places to pull off the road for some "bush camping" on this section of road. We picked a place that was protected by some mounds of sand. That stopped some of the wind and made us less visible to passing traffic.
Our late border crossing caused us to arrive in Tumbes as dark descended hence finding a place to camp was a case of take the first place that would be half acceptable. Tumbes did not look like the kind of place one would want to simply stop on a patch of dirt beside the road so we picked a gas station on the southern side of the town proper. No charge provided we "vamos manana".
Our camping spot was not very salubrious tonight as it was only a gravel pit beside the road from Riobmaba to Bucay. The altitude was 12,600 ft but the view the next morning of Chimborazo was spectacular. Why a gravel pit? Because it's hard to stop along side Ecuadorian roads through the mountains as they have such huge concrete drains..
The parqueadero on Diego De Almagro again.
The parking lot of the Termales Papallacta, $6.00 per person. Pay at the foundation office.
Parking lot of the CRE Misahualli Hospedaje. It is on he left a few hundred yards before the town square.
Ecoparque Monte Selva just west of Puyo on the road to Banos. There were small billboard adds for this place at regular intervals along the Banos road so we decided to give it a try. A large slightly rough stone parking lot with toilets and cold showers, no security but not visible from the road. They did not charge us to park overnight, only for the facilities of the park that we used. In the end we paid $15, had a tour of their jungle walk, used the swimming pool and gave a few tips.
We stayed at Hostal Real last night, its at the intersection of 4 de Enero and 27 Febrero. It was about 6:00 pm after the garden tour and we wanted somewhere before dark. This place was on the way back from the garden. Nice up market looking Hostal and restaurant. No other guests or dinners last night so it was relatively quiet. Charged us $10.00.
We are in Mendez tonight. We asked the guys in the Police Station on the main square if we could park for the night and they directed us to a street just off the square. Earlier we tried a restaurant just East of town, and the lady was very friendly but wanted $10 per person just for us to park. Too much.
We found the Tortugas Laundry today. Its close to Cabanas Yanuncay, on Diez de Agosto at the corner with Cuesta .
We camped tonight at Cabanas Yanuncay at S02° 54.307' W79° 01.693', address Calle Canton Guataceo 21-49.
We had a little trouble finding the place from the directions in the tortugas website as we did not get onto Ave De Las Americas when entering town from the north but instead got onto the Eastern by pass. Once we hit the junction with Ave De las Americas we turned north and took the second turn to the right north of the river at the Continental Tire sign. The name Cabanas Yabuncayis written above a gate on the left hand side of the road at a Y intersection. By accident this turned out to be a good route as there is no turning at the Continental Tire sign for south bound traffic.
On arrival we noticed with some disappointment that the gate has a clearance of only 2.47m - too low for our vehicle. BUT - there is a second entrance with no high restriction.
The place has good hot showers, water, electricity both 110v and 220v (we had to use the owners long cord), dumping, and parking on a grass area. Lots of animals. Its very convenient to town and shopping.
We used this place on our return north and discovered that the owner Humberto is a wonderful resource for getting things fixed. One of the families living on the property complex actually managers the workshop next to the entrance.
We arrived in Alausi with no idea as to where we would camp for the night. We tried the Europa Hotel but the Tiger would not fit under the top of their driveway arch - missed by about 6". They were going to charge us $1. Down the street, South, we found a restaurant with a small internal parking space, enough room for the Tiger, one truck and four cars over night. Had toilets and showers, The lady in charge originally asked $2 but when she saw the size of the Tiger the price went up to $3. There is a mechanics parking lot next door that stored buses overnight that would also have worked.
Tonight we camped near the lower refuge on the slopes of Mount Chimorazo at an altitude of 4800m, or 15,900 ft. We did not stay in the parking lot but drove onto one of a number of natural flat spots on the left as one approached the lower refuge. The GPS coordinates may be a bit out, we didn't take them until we had already started down.
We arrived in Baños and looked for a Hostel/Hotel with a parking lot large enough for the Tiger. After some suspect advice we picked Santa Cruz. Their parking lot had a tree that was too low so we squeezed into the "parking lot" next door. After scouting the place on the following day we found that the Hotel Royal seems to have a large parking lot. Also there is a very large parqueadero at the Eastern end of Martinez. We did not determine whether it had overnight parking. It also seemed like one could simply park in the street.
On the road between Sigchos and Taocaso the road crosses a small river, and beside the bridge is a small wooden shelter and the remains of a gravel heap. A relatively flat area well off the road, but liberally seasoned with cow pads.
Tonight we stayed in the parking lot at Laguna Quilotoa. Cost $2 per person to get into the little village/settlement at the parking lot, and in addition we paid one of the hostals $2 for parking and use of their banos. The irony was that the hostal had no water so the banos was a bit of a challenge. A very windy night, the parking lot has no shelter from the elements.
We camped in a Parqueadero on Diego de Almargo, between Orellano and Colon. Entry is from Colon as Almargo is one way at this point. Traveling up Almargo its on the right and is called XXXXXXX. To get to from the North follow the PanAm through the town of Calderon. After Calderon follow signs to Galo Plaza Lasso. Take care this is a bit confusing. Galo Plaza Lasso eventually passes the airport, on your right, and becomes Ave 10 de Agosto. Take a left turn onto Colon after the underpass/overpass at Orellano at GPS S00°11'53.30" W78°29'45.60". Turn left into Almargo a few streets down Colon.
We camped on top of a ridge line at 13,990 ft above Lake Mojanda and another smaller lake that we don't know the name of. We got there by following the cobbled road past Ricon Campground up to lake Mojanda, about 17kms. At the lake the road splits, the lower cobbled road goes a short distance to an old building on the lake. The upper road is dirt and follows the lake to an intersection. Take the right branch which leads to a smaller lake and another intersection, take the left branch and climb steeply to the ridge top. The road continues but we stayed on the ridge top for the views and altitude.
Lake Cuicocha provided a very spectacular camping site. From the PanAm traveling south take the sign posted right turn (West) to the village of Cotacachi. The village is also well provided with signs to Laguna De Cuicocha, just follow them. At the park entrance pay the $1 per person and then turn immediately right up the narrow cobbled road. The road is quite tight with a sharp left turn in the middle. At the top there is a building with a small amount of cobbled parking and great views of the lake.
The place we stayed tonight is called Rincon Del Viajero Camping, it is a few kilometers away from the center of town. The owners have a hotel similarly named but we never found it. We had a little trouble finding the place so I will give what I hope are useful directions. Its location is N00° 13.128' W78° 16.600' along the road to Laguana Mojanda. As you travel along the PanAm highway south bypassing the center of the town you will see a sign indicating Laguana Mojanda to the right (West) and then a little while later (a few hundred meters) a set of traffic lights at N 00° xx.xxx'. Turn right (west) at the lights and then take the left fork of the y-intersection that is almost immediate. Travel up this road. You should see a sign for the campground high up on a wall to the right just before the road forks again. The sign is at N00° XX.XXX W78° xx.xxx.
We parked in a gas station beside the hotel that Bernie and Sandra stayed in. It was in the city so was somewhat noisy.
North of the town at the top of the climb was a large truck stop that would have been our choice had we not had vehicle problems in the group.
Parador Turistica, Patia slightly south of kilometer post 31 on the southern side of Patia. We got power and cold showers. The price 12,000 pesos per person.
Late yesterday afternoon on the dirt road from Popayan to San Agustin we met a German couple in a black Landrover Defender; they told us about a hotel near San Agustin that would allow us to park on the property. The place is called Anacoana and its about 4kms out along the road to El Tablon and Estrecho. We got water, power, toilets and hot showers. GPS N01° 53.973' W76° 16.873'.
We were on the road to San Agustin late in the day and ran out of time so stopped at this village and simply parked in the street.
Terpel gas station north of Popayan on East side of highway. Has a fenced yard without guards where a few trucks parked with us overnight. The surface is a bit rough with broken concrete rubble as the primary surface.
About 15 km further north is a new gas station being built, just north of a peaje, that has a very large parking area. Will be a nice place to stop when done.
We stayed the night at Brisas Troicales/Turicentro (N03° 19.256' W76° 31.432') just south of Cali on the PanAm. We heard about this place from someone who had not been to Colombia for 6 or 7 years so we were not sure it still existed, and we had just about given up on it when there it was on the West of the highway. Its a restaurant and swimming park, with a large level grass parking area inside the property. Toilets, cold showers, 3 swimming pools, and quiet. There was no charge for staying the night but we bought dinner at the place.
A little North of Brisas Tropicales there is a large gas station on the West of the highway that we did not try but looks like it might work. It was going to be our plan-B if we did not find Brisas Tropicales
North of Cali while still on the highway 25 there were a couple of newish gas stations that had enough space for an overnight.
N04 25.30 W75 45.68 for the gate house, and
N04 24.00 W76 46.51 for the Hacienda
together with a decent digital map of Colombia only confirmed that we were at the right place. But the map did not have the necessary roads to enable the GPS to route us to the Hacienda.
The triangular round about mentioned in the directions is very large, it's more like three connected y intersections than a roundabout, its coordinates are Nnn nn.nnn Wnn nn.nnn.
The last of the three consecutive round-abouts is at Nxx xx.xxx Wxx xx.xxx.
Just before the triangular round there is a small sign on the side of the road for the gas station La Mia. The gas station, an Esso, is after the triangular round about.
The left turn into the narrow paved road after La Mia is a 45° turn not a right angle. On the right hand side of the main road at this turn is a rusty sign to El Caimo. The turn is at coordinates Nxx xx.xxx Wxx xx.xxx
I will put these GPS coordinates in after we drive out of here.
The last part of the directions seem to be in error. The yellow and black bar across the road can be recognized by the weigh bridge right beside it. That is also the entrance to the property and there is a sign for haciendabambus.com near that gate. From the gate the dirt road to the hacienda travels through banana plantations for a couple of miles.
We were trying to get to Hacienda Bambusa but ran out of daylight on the descent into Armenia. So with no other obvious choices we pulled into a truck parking lot across the road from a mandatory truck weigh bridge on the road that bypasses Armenia on the way to Cali.
We stayed with some friends in Chia last night.
Chia Centro is a large mall right next to the Bogota Autopista that has a large fenced and guarded parking lot. We did not try it but there is a chance one could park there overnight.
Thanks to the dare2go website for telling us about the wonderful camping spot at Embalse Del Neusa. It is a park of some kind that encompasses the entire lake and has a gravel road that circles the lake with camping at many places on the shore. The dare2go GPS coordinates N 05°10.054' W073°56.020' are very close to where we eventually stayed, and together with our free Colombia GPS map brought us right to the place. The GPS coordinates of the entrance gate are N 05 08.140 W 73 58.003. The route we took was from the center of Zipaquira, through Cogua. On the uphill side of Cogua we took the left hand fork in the road and then simply followed the twisting road to the park. As we discovered when leaving the easier route is from the highway to Bogota, about 5 -6 miles before Zipaquira take the almost unnoticed turn to the right at N 05 04.453 W 73 56.371
Along the road to Embalse Del Neusa the camping and overnight parking at Parque Rio Neusa N05 06.500 W73 58.141. It does not look as nice but would be a good stop if you where running out of daylight.
Earlier today we were in the town of Raquira. This is a very interesting small town with lots of craft shops. The town had two parquederos that would fit campers. One on the main street with a more suitable second entrance in a side street. The other was in a side street.
We approached Villa De Leyva from Barbosa via Arcabuco and had to ask people a number of times for directions even though there were a few road signs. This approach finds the Bomberos and the entry road to Camping San Jorge before entering the town of Villa De Leyva proper. The GPS coordinates of the entry to Camping San Jorge in front of the Bomberos are N 05 38.833 W 73 31.003 while the camping ground itself is N 05 38.921 W 73.31.145. This is not the same as the coordinates we got from travelin-tortugas and dare2go folks, both of whom gave N 05° 38.922 and W 73° 23.240. As you can see the N coordinates are close but the W are not. I could speculate that the W reading should have been W 72° 32.240. My GPS says that reading is close to the town.
We also saw a Zona De Camping close to the main square in Villa De Leyva at about the intersection of Calle 10 and Carrera 10. It had a narrow gate that would give width and maybe height problems to some vehicles. But for SUV's and Vans would be a convenient place.
Just before entering Barichara there is a Madonna shrine or monument on the left hand side of the road with a space behind it that is pretty well shielded from the view of passing traffic. We were in Barichara when it was time to stop for the night and the only other option was the town square. There was a place closer to town offering shaded camping but the entry gate had a height restriction and was not suitable for us. Would work for SUV's and might work for van conversions.
We had not checked out San Gil so did not want to temp fate by driving there in the dark in the hope of finding something.
The parking lot at Chicamocha National Park is a great camping spot. Though getting permission was a bit complicated. We had to ask, in turn, the park guards, the park administration, and the national police detachment stationed at the gate.
Along the highway into and out of Bucaramanga we saw a number of large modern gas station come truck stops that looked like possible overnight stops.
On the first climb out of Bucaramanga we saw a place advertising camping but unfortunately missed getting GPS coordinates for it.
Just south of Lebrija we found a truck stop, restaurant, hotel and tire repair. Talked to the man that ran the tire shop and hotel.
Nice truck stop and hotel called Estedero Punta Del Nus towards the end of highway 62 at the town of San Jorge Del Nus, N6° 29.845 W75° 49.652. Very inviting but not far enough along for us.
Tonight we are at Estadero Punta Aparte, in the "town" of Porce a spot we found out about from the travelin-tortugas. It's a busy place with lots of buses and trucks pulling in. But the folks here are very friendly and put us in a place out of the flow of traffic.
The Texaco at location N06.09.487 W75.37.254 that we saw this morning south of Medellin was crowded with trucks but seemed like a workable over night stop.
Another gas station, this time an Esso on the East side of the highway that has a large fenced truck parking and storage area behind it. The lady pump attendant unlocked the chain so that we could get in. No charge.
Through the mountains today there were many gas stations or restaurants that may have been suitable for camping. We think they area called Estadero.
Just North of where we stayed there is a water park that we had heard of from other travelers. We could not get inside the park with our vehicle due to height restrictions but there is a bus parking lot outside that may have been suitable.
There were many places today that would have been suitable for camping. Two that come to mind:
Just before Buenavista there is a Terpel Gas station with a large parking area across the road
In the town of Taraza there is a water park that is fenced and looked suitable. Though we did not ask if overnight parking was permitted.
We found it helpful to be able to have camping information from other travelers sites in a printed form, in a form that we could carry on our computers and look at even when there was no internet connection, and to have that information by country. Hence below I have provided some links that will take you to pages that have various version of the camping log with minimal formating and hence are suitable for saving on you computer (File->SaveAs) or for printing (File->Print).All countries
For those of you that want to load the camping locations into your GPS, I have provided the following file download links.
POI CVS File will download a file in CSV format. This file is suitable as input to Garmin's POI loader program.
POI GPX File will download a file in GPX format. There are two ways to use this file.
For Garmin Nuvi devices (and maybe others - but I don't know for sure) this file should be copied to the devices's GPX directory to replace the file named Temp.gpx. When the device is rebooted the waypoints will be installed and maybe accessed as Favorites under the category WA_Camping.
The gpx file can be converted to a Garmin .GDB file using the GPSBabel program. This process will lose the category information (WA_Camping) contained in the original gpx file. The resulting gdb file should then be loaded into MapSource and downloaded to your GPS device.
Be aware that neither of these GPS download files have the comments that can be found in the camping logs provided above. In a few cases these comments provide additional route finding information that we wished we had.
The Map page of this site is another useful way get to information about where we stayed. Simply expand the map centered on the region of interest and then click on one or more of the map markers. That will take you to the journal entry (and camping information) associated with that marker.