At its fullest extent the Pan-American Highway is a network of roads stretching from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina, a distance of around 48,000 kilometres (30,000 miles).
According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world’s longest “motorable road”. However it is not readily possible to drive all the way since the route is interrupted by the 160 kilometre-wide (100 mile) Darién Gap between Central and South America.
The Highway consists of both official and unofficial elements. The official section, which is referred to in Spanish variously as the Autopista / Carretera / Ruta Panamericana, runs from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on the U.S. Border to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.
However, as shown on the map there are extensive unofficial sections to both the north and south of this.
The route shown on the map runs through 14 countries:
- The United States
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
In the process it passes through all the major climate zones and many varied landscapes including arctic tundra, boreal forest, mountains, prairies, arid deserts and tropical jungles.