“The Route of the Andes is a dream that we have pursued from the beginning,” says Sergio Samaniego, the person in charge of bringing together 76 people who left from Peruvian territory in van to cover more than 9,000 kilometers and thus connect Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.
Sergio is from Peru and like many others Travellers passionate about routes one day he decided to leave his office job, embark on an adventure that would reach a place he never imagined and would become a dream worthy of the Guinness World Record.
This is how “Ruteros Perú” emerged, the largest road community in South America with more than 2,500 members in Peru. After months of organization, some of these travelers arrived in Argentina, after moving in a caravan with 23 trucks and live together a journey of 16 days.
9,500 kilometers of adrenaline
“The Andes Route is a dream that we pursued from the beginning, we wanted to make a journey that would allow us to go out to neighboring countries. We started organizing it in 2017, that time we crossed to Colombia and Ecuador”, Sergio recalls.
However, that trip left them with little taste and they wanted to go for more. It was then that they set out to complete that route doing Bolivia, Argentina and Chile in van.
This is how “The Route of the Andes” took the participants to the largest salt flat in the world, in Bolivia; to travel the highest route in Argentina, Abra el Acay, which exceeds 5000 meters above sea level and to be surprised by the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua. In addition, they visited Nazca, Desaguadero, Uyuni, La Quiaca, Salta, Cafayate, Villa Unión and the city of Mendoza.
In total, they will travel 9,500 kilometers. This journey began on Thursday, July 21 in a symbolic way in the Parque Circuito Mágico de las Aguas, in Lima (Peru) and arrived in the city of Mendoza on Tuesday, August 2. Finally, this Thursday, August 4, they will cross towards Santiago de Chile through the Los Libertadores International Pass.
Such is the repercussion that this community in general and this journey in particular has had, that they have managed to get a large number of companies to accompany them on their journeys. One of them is TotalEnergies, the Quartz lubricant brand, who called them to be brand ambassadors.
These travelers are united by a passion for the route, the desire to discover new destinations, the dedication and care of their trucks and his desire to share as a family everything he has experienced. “This is a purely family community, we all go on adventures together, we have no other way to do it,” Sergio assures during his visit to Mendoza.
The organization also highlights that of the 76 travelers who left Lima, 55% are women. In addition, there are 19 children who accompany the rest of the group and the youngest is only 10 months old.
One of the pilots traveling from Peru is Eliana Silva (34), she is traveling with her 11-year-old son in her van Duster. She was joined by another member of the community, Sofía; who has a child the same age as Eli’s son. They are both fanatics of road trips. route and they alternate to drive the more than 9 thousand kilometers that this journey entails.
“I had already participated in crossings, but never such a long one. There are many prejudices against women behind the wheel, but little by little we are breaking with them. The whole team makes me feel very good, I feel very safe and confident”, shares Eliana in dialogue with MDZ.
In other of the trucks Cristian Valenzuela (35) and his wife Malenic Tenorio (41) travel along with their two little 4-year-old Miranda and 10-month-old Amanda, the youngest of the journey. This traveling family seeks to demonstrate that it is possible to do this type of trip with young children and that everything be enjoyable, despite the number of hours in route and to the kilometers travelled.
“It is a dream to be able to give us this family trip. We prepared ourselves so that they could enjoy themselves, they are both behaving very well and we hope that it will not be the last journey we make”, Cristian expresses enthusiastically.
At his side, Melenic listens attentively, who maintains that “it is true that traveling as a family is hard, because the logistics are greater, but seeing their faces of fun and how they share with other children fills us a lot.”
The trip with small children can be exhausting, some sections took them more than 12 hours and they even had 7 hours of waiting at the Bolivian customs; however, this family manages to make it a unique experience for the four of them.
“As we go on the route We sing songs, we play games, we tell stories, we show him the landscape, he asks us many times and we repeat the answers many times. On the way we try not to use electronic devices, for us the important thing is that they enjoy the experience”, says Melenic.
“Everyone told us that we were crazy to do this, starting with the family. But now that they see us like this, they want to do it too, ”they both say with a laugh.
Is that the enthusiasm that transmits each of these routers is contagious. It makes you want to get your car ready, plot the route and undertake an extensive journey to live unforgettable adventures and discover those endless landscapes that await the curious.