How much does it cost to drive the Pan-American Highway? Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia update
It seems like just yesterday I did out last budget post but alas, we’ve managed to make our way through another five countries over the past two months.
We are still running well below our budget of $200/day. Over the past two months, we’ve had a few major expenses as well, shipping the truck from Panama to Colombia (required to get around the Darien Gap) and a trip into the Amazon jungle in Ecuador.
From a fuel perspective, we saw our least expensive gas in Ecuador at $1.48/gallon and the most crazy fuel process in Bolivia. Since Bolivia subsidizes their fuel significantly, there are two prices for fuel, the local price and the foreigner price. Some fuel stations won’t even sell to foreigners. The foreigner price is about $4.90 a gallon currently, however, with a little negotiation, we could get the price down to $3.40 or so (with no receipt). So, it seems being a fuel station attendant can have a nice side benefit of being able to “buy” gas at the local price and then sell it to foreigners at a higher price. Interestingly, we only had luck with ~50% of gas stations when trying to negotiate; many would just not sell to foreigners or would stick to the official expensive price. Also, check out the MPG in Bolivia! For a country with rumoured poor gas quality we did really well. The roads were perfect for maximizing fuel economy, pancake flat and 50mph (except for the Lagunas Route).