TODAY COSTA RICA – If you have visited or live in Costa Rica, you most likely have traveled on this Panamericana (Pan-American Highway), a network of roads stretching across the Americas and measuring about 30,000 kilometers (19,000 mi) in total length.
Except for an incomplete stretch of 87 kilometers known as the Darien Gap, located between southeast Panama and northwest Colombia, where there is no road linking South and Central America, the roads link almost all of the Pacific coastal countries of the Americas in a connected highway system.
According to Guinness World Records, the Panamericana is the world’s longest “motorable road”.
The Panamericana connects Alaska, USA, with Tierra del Fuego, in the south of Argentina, encountering different landscapes, deserts, mountains, jungles and crosses 14 countries: Canada, United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
Important spurs also connect with four other South American countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
In Costa Rica, it is known as the Interamericana (Inter-American Highway), composed of two segments: the Interamericana Norte (Ruta 1) that stretches from the Nicaragua border to the city of San Jose is known and the Interamericana Sur (Ruta 2) from Cartago to the Panama border, where we will find the highest point in the entire Panamerican at the “Cerro de la Muerte” (between Cartago and Perez Zeledon, where it peaks at 3,335 meters (10,942 ft) above sea level.
In the Central Valley, segments have different names, such as the Bernardo Soto (from the San Jose airport in Alajuela north to San Ramon) and the Autopista General Cañas (from the San Jose airport to La Sabana in San Jose).