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Travel in Latin America

How to Hitchhike in Latin America

Hitchhiking is the budget traveler's answer to inexpensive travel. The opportunities for adventure and insight into the local culture are endless. However, when undertaking this in Latin America, there are several things you need to consider. Doing your research beforehand could save you a lot of trouble and a few bucks along the way.

Buy or download an up-to-date map of the region you are traveling to find the most popular and direct routes to your destination.

Research current events in the area before. In places with political upheaval or rioting, you may not be able to pass through.

Choose a good place to stand. Make sure that vehicles can stop safely and that you are not on a major highway. Alternatively, try to pick up a ride at gas stations/police checkpoints along the way.

Ensure you agree on payment (if any) before you accept a ride. For example, in Bolivia there are not a lot of private vehicles and drivers may expect compensation similar to public transportation.

Know where you are going. If your current ride can only take you so far, decide if you will be able to get the rest of the way. For example, when crossing into Panama from Columbia, the jungle may be impassable and a boat may be your only option.

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