Central America is done, finished and terminated – the Pan-American Highway ends

Now that I got your attention, I just want to let the world know that I followed the Pan-American Highway all the way down to the end.

The road ends at a town called Yaviza, a little town surrounded by a river on 3 sides.

You’d think there would be a sign – welcome to the end of the road, you’ve reached the end of the Pan-America Highway, something.

Instead, you get a police station, a garbage bin (really, it is where the police put their garbage) and a chained locked church and the local park center.


Yaviza, Panama from across the river

There are 2 hotels, one has all A/C rooms, and the other has fans and A/C. No sign indicating that they are hotels. Maybe there is a sign ordinance or something. (I doubt that very much – probably the owners are just to cheap to put up a sign) Both ate newly built buildings, and are the nicest buildings in town.

This is where the indigenous people come to get goods that are shipped into the Darien area that is completely road free – only way in or out is by the river.

Yaviza is where the indigenous people come to get supplies for the interior of Darien


All products are unloaded and loaded manually - tough job if you ask me!


A boat taking supplies into the interior of Darien Province


It was amazing to see how much these boats could hold for cargo and people


Heading into the interior of Darien Province


The town of Yaviza on the other side of the river, after crossing the hanging bridge


The hospital for the town - notice the garbage? Though it is not completed yet


This would be considered a high end type of house on the other side of the river


The Pan-American Highway as it heads towards the end


The end of the Pan-American Highway - police station and garbage bin is your welcome!

roadend map

This is what is at the end of the Pan-American Highway - pretty amazing!


Map of Yaviza and jungle between Columbia and Panama

On the road leading to Yaviza, the Panama Military writes down your info from your passport, when you arrive. They definitely want to keep track of you down here so close to the jungle and drug trafficking that goes on here.

If one want to enter the Darien area by boat, one need to get permission. The forms, timing and everything else that would be involved would be interesting to do.

With my leg acting up and the idea of camping out in the heat was just not enticing to me. Maybe later, the camping, heat, bugs and animals will become a draw for me – but not on this trip to the end of the road!

So, that was the road trips end in Central America. I am really glad I accomplished that – just a “I want to do that” dream to go to the end of the Pan-American Highway!

Dream, or one more of the bucket list items, accomplished!

Cheers for now!

About John Wilson

Traveler, writer and photographer. No home now, just traveling the world in search of the lost chord.
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15 Responses to Central America is done, finished and terminated – the Pan-American Highway ends

  1. Oh it does feel good to cross a dream off the list! How many miles was your trip? Where are you going now?

  2. Pingback: Poster's Paradise » Well ladies and gents – the end of the Pan-American Highway in Central America!

  3. Oh, too funny. What an anticlimactic end to an amazing journey. I’m glad you can see the humour in it — the road ends with a rubbish bin. Ha!

  4. Cool! So there’s really no way to drive any further? I’ve read about bikers who plan to drive from Alaska to Argentina… won’t they be surprised!

  5. John Wilson says:

    Well Scott,
    You cannot drive – you can try and take the bike into the jungle/swamps/rivers, but it is an arduous task.
    Boats. pushing the bike in heat/mosquitoes/jungle would not be for the faint of heart.
    Usually, people take a boat on the Caribbean or Pacific side of Panama, and sail to Columbia – which is about a 4 days boat ride.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and post a comment – greatly appreciated.
    John D. Wilson

  6. John Wilson says:

    That is what I thought Barbara – too funny for the end of THE major road through Central America.
    As you yourself have found in your travels, it is amazing what one can find humor in when on the road.
    It is sometimes a laugh at the humor or cry at the disappointment – such are the joys (?) of travel!
    Thanks for taking the time to read and post a comment.
    John D. Wilson

  7. John Wilson says:

    Yes Debbie,
    There was a feeling of accomplishment – really did not even plan on going there.
    With the problem with the leg, I figured a 5 hour journey from Panama City was worth the effort to see the end of the “super, duper” Pan-American Highway.
    It is really more like a 2 lane road that you would find out west in the USA – rough road to drive.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and post a comment – greatly appreciated.
    John D. Wilson

  8. jade says:

    I have to admit- your title did catch my attention… and I love your diagram pointing out each building ( i really like diagrams!). I would really like to take this drive someday- road trips are my favorite and I am sure I’d see some fascinating things along that drive!

  9. Grace says:

    I’m glad to know you are up and moving about. Glad that you were able to cross this trip off your list!

  10. This just cracks me up! I’m also a fan of driving highways to the end, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ending quite like this one. And for such a huge and notorious road, too… how funny!

    Also, I like how your comment form makes me do math. :)

  11. robin says:

    Great shot of the end of the highway – much more entertaining than a plaque or monument!!

  12. Faith says:

    It would have been nice for there to have been a sign or something, but I imagine they don’t have one for the same reason it ends there-less people use it.

    But anyhow! Great shots, and congrats on having such an awesome experience :)

  13. John Wilson says:

    Hi Faith,
    I think it is just a different way of looking at things – the end of the road is no big deal in Panama – in the country, there are many roads that just end.
    So, no big deal to them.
    It was an awesome road trip – really glad I made the decision to do it.
    Thanks for the compliment and for leaving a comment!
    John D. Wilson

  14. Gar says:

    More people have climbed Mt. Everest than have crossed the Darien Strip. That is, people who are known to have crossed. No one knows how many drug smugglers cross.

  15. John Wilson says:

    Hey Gar,
    I did not know that – I guess the Darien Gam is still quite the wild place.
    In order to go further south after the PanAmerican Highway ends, you need a permit from the Panama Government.
    Did not want to go through that hassle, nor did I view sleeping on the floor of a hut during the rainy season as a “must do” type thing.
    My age has controlled some of my travel, and the Darien Gap adventure pass the end of the road was one of those things.
    John D. Wilson

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