Rolling Along the Inter-American Highway

The Inter-American is the only way you can reach the countryside by land.  It’s either that or fly by plane to cities in the countryside.  When I was working for a sugar mill, I rode this highway at least twice a week—a two-and-a-half hour drive to Aguadulce.  It was very refreshing to get escape from the roaring crowd of Panama City.  After I stopped working at the sugar mill, I ceased my pilgrimages to the refreshing verdure of the countryside.  The hiatus lasted more than twenty-seven years.  I broke the spell during a late weekend in December—December 22, 2013.

Finally, I decided to visit the countryside to take some pictures for my blog.  I found it different, yet the same in essence.  If you have followed my daily posts, you have seen some stages of my trip to Coronado.  Today I will post several shots of the Inter-American Highway.

The Inter-American Highway is the Central American section of the Pan-American Highway which pans 3,400 miles (5,470 kilometers) between Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Panama City, Panama.The highway was built by the Government of Panama and the United States during the mid forties, as the latter was organizing its presence in Latin America due to the Second World War.  Thus, the construction of the actual Inter-American Highway was instigated by the United States as a safety precaution at the beginning of World War II.

The road was finally finished in 1967 and existed as a continuous strip of gravel, dirt, or asphalt between Panama and Mexico. The only section of the Inter-American Highway that was constructed without any form of American aid was the 1,600 mile strip between Nuevo Laredo and Malacatán, on the Mexico-Guatemala border.

This is what I saw while rolling along the Inter-American Highway one lazy Sunday morning in late December.  Here we go.

The hills in the background are known as Cerro Campana and separate the towns of Capira and Sajalices. The highway consists of four lanes as you can appreciate in the picture. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
In this snapshot you are looking east in the same direction of Panama City. You drive west to reach the countryside. It was an almost cloudless day. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
For me this trip was a breath of fresh air. You can feel it just by looking at the hills in the background. This shot was taken about 7:30 a.m. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Notice the trimmed green lawn separating the lanes of the road. It seemed to me like the soft smooth green of a billiards table. Not a single paper in sight—very clean and tidy. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

That’s it for today.  I’m tired of driving.  Tomorrow I plan to drive some more and share additional pictures with you all.  Good Day.

12 thoughts on “Rolling Along the Inter-American Highway”

  1. Just lovely. Are those shelters bus stops? That would be a difference between the Inter-American and our interstates. Of course you can travel them by bus, but you have to pick the bus up in stations in towns. It looks like things might have been arranged to make it easier for people without cars to travel the highway, too.

  2. Morning Linda:

    Yes Linda, these are shelters bus stops in the Inter-American Highway. All of them are red, I wonder why. I posted one of them a few days ago during the same trip to Coronado.



  3. I remember, how we used to drive or took turns driving to and from work. I might be a passenger for two or three weeks while the others in our car pool drove. Our countryside wasn’t as pretty as yours’.

      1. Hello Abe:

        Coming from a professional photographer, I will take your comment as a privileged compliment. Thank you very much Abe. I appreciate it. Really! You know how much you mean to us.

        Warm Regards,


  4. Hi Abe:

    At this moment the countryside is nice and green. As the dry season evolves, everything turns brown, dark brown or torched black. I love the wet season when everything is growing, alive and full of life.

    I usually don’t drive much to the countryside, but that will change this year. As we speak I’m planning to visit the gorgeous island of Taboga at the entrance of the Panama Canal.

    Hope you had an enjoyable New Year. BTW, your new hair cut looks like a million bucks. Congrats!

    Warm Regards,


  5. I enjoyed looking at your lovely photographs. It does not look like there is much traffic on this highway – was it because you took the pictures early in the morning? I’d love to drive there and visit all the little towns along the way.

    1. Hello Vagabone:

      Normally this is a busy highway. The reason the traffic was very thin when I was there was because it was a Sunday early morning. The shots were taken between 07:00 a.m. and 08:00 a.m. I did it on purpose to capture the serenity and verdure of our countryside. I wanted to do this for a long time, but never lifted my feet to do it. Procrastination is a bad thing. Plan to be more active this year.

      As we speak I’m planning to travel to the gorgeous island of Taboga at the entrance of the Panama Canal by late January. More pictures like these will be captured and posted here, so stay tuned.

      Thank you for your visit and comment.

      Warm Regards,


    1. Hola Jaime:

      Los carriles originales de la Carretera Inter-Americana son aquellos de concreto armado. En la segunda fotografía de arriba hacia abajo, corresponden a la mano izquierda.

      Los norteamericanos preferían hacer carreteras de concreto armado durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial.



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