In 2012 the Dakar Race for the first time in history hit Peruvian territory. With the incredible success the race had last year in Peru; not only due to the amazing and diverse terrain the drivers had to cope with, but equally for the large numbers of spectators and supporters, Peru this year is home to the Grand Start and the first 5 stages of the 2013 Dakar Race. The race starts on January 5 in Lima and will end on January 20 in Santiago de Chile.
Last year Peru was the last country the race passed through and was the proud destination for the final 4 stages and the finish on Lima’s main square. This year the tables have turned and Lima will be the starting point for this race, which is the largest of its kind on the planet. The 2013 Dakar Race will visit Peru, Chile and Argentina during more than 2 weeks through this amazing continent. The drivers will have to tackle several different landscapes and terrains such as stone and sand deserts, highland plains and mountainous back roads.
From Lima the caravan will set for the southern Peruvian desert in Pisco and Nazca. Here they will enjoy 3 stages among some of the highest sand dunes on the continent in the world. From Nazca the next stage will take the drivers into Arequipa which is a new highlight in the history of Dakar; the highest point ever reached in any of the Dakar races either in Africa or in South America. Arequipa is Peru’s second most important city and home to one of the most beautiful colonial centers in South America. Besides the historic center the region is known as a gateway to the Peruvian Highlands as the city is located on about 2800 meters above sea-level. The city is surrounded by mountains reaching over 6000 meters and the drivers will get their close encounter with altitude when having to cross 4970 meters altitude on their way to Arequipa. After Arequipa the next stage will take the drivers to Arica where they will cross the border to the second country in the race; Chile.
This is the 4th time the race has been organized on the South American continent after having to leave Africa for safety issues. Nevertheless the drivers that have participated in races on both continents praise South America for the amazing diversity in terrains and the positive participation of the host countries and its people. Therefore the Dakar Race besides providing unbeaten challenges for the participants and organizers of this race, also provides an amazing destination for spectators. Being part of one of the biggest races on the planet with hundreds of racers taking each other on crossing some of the planet’s most challenging terrains makes already for a great vacation, but combining this adrenaline rush with unparalleled sites such as Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, the Colca Canyon or the Atacama Desert makes for a once in a lifetime journey and experience, so maybe we will see you on your 2013 Dakar vacation!!!
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