Panamericana roadtrip memories

| Johan van Rijswijck

Memories of Panamericana road trip

The Panamericana road trip started in December 2011. A car trip through South America with 83 classic Volvo's. In 35 days and 16,000 kilometres, these Volvo enthusiasts drove from Buenos Aires in Argentina, via the south to Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. On our blog we will share memories of this memorable journey in the near future.

Restrospective of Johan van Rijswijck

Johan: "Not soon will I forget the day I met Klaas Postma. He enthusiatically told me about his plan to drive through South America with classic Volvos and he asked if Sapa Pana Travel could help him with that. A bizarre plan, I thought initially. But he was serious. The motivation he and his brother Fres has, was that they 'just' wanted to have driven their old Volvo across every continent. They has already travelled to Africa and the USA, and now, it was time for South America."

This project offered Sapa Pana Traven the unique possibility to show a large group of people just how incredibly beautiful South America is, and moreover, how easy to travel it is. South America has everything! It harbours spectacular landscapes: from majestic glaciers, you can drive via never-ending mountain passes and vast pampas, through the dense jungle and along azure blue seas or crystal clear lakes. You will come across vibrant cities and picturesque villages, the food is wonderful and the wines are sublime. The people are open, enthusiastic and hospitable.

It took over 2 years of preperation. Together with Klaas, Fred, Geo Bremer and Arnold van der Meulen, we worked on organising this special journey. In Deceber 2011 it was finally happening. 83 classic Volvos started in the Argeninean captital of Buenos Aires, to arrive in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indianas 35 days later and 16,000 kilometres further, in good health and with working cars. 

The journey may have been hard at times because of the long days in the car. Hard because of the insecurity about what was or what was not going to happen. Hard because of all the impressions we had to process in such a short time. One thing is for sure: the journey has left us all with unforgettable impressions. As the journey progressed, everyone was intensely impressed by the nature, the culture and the continent's inhabitants.

Book Panamericana roadtrip

As a reminder of this memorable journey, the book 'Panamericana Roadtrip' has been published. The story is told with the stunning photographs from travel photographer Thijs Heslenfeld, supported by a selection of some of the many stories written by the heroes of this journey. For everyone that did not participate in this journey, it is a wonderful book to dream away with. The proceeds of this book go to the special projects of the HoPe Foundation. This organisation - founded by Walter Meekes - is involved in developing education in the remote mountain villages around the Peruvian city of Cuzco. 

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Would you like to join us on one of these exclusive car trips? Then take a look at our page of LatinAmeriCar. Do you have questions about a unique and round trip in Latin America, would you like a tailor-made travel proposal or would you like to make an appointment at our office? Feel free to contact us. Send an e-mail to or call us on +31 73 610 62 04. We are happy to help.

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