After 5 successful years, once again the legendary Dakar Rally will take place on South American soil. With some exciting changes to the route for Dakar 2014, this year’s rally will truly test the endurance of even the most experienced drivers. The rally begins on January 5th in Rosario, Argentina, and will end two weeks later in Valparaiso in central Chile. The diversity of the South American landscape will make for a grueling and challenging rally for the Dakar 2014 teams.
Dakar 2014 organizers were eager to discover new and unique terrain for this year’s route, and were won over by what Bolivia had to offer. As the Bolivian landscape is one of the most interesting and diverse in South America, a new route has been specially developed for Dakar Bolivia. The drivers will pass from Salta in northern Argentina into Uyuni in Bolivia, where they will undertake a two day “marathon” stage around the south of Bolivia. During a marathon stage, no assistance vehicles are permitted, meaning that drivers and teams have to fend for themselves.
Southern Bolivia will throw up huge tests for Dakar 2014 drivers due to its constantly changing landscape. The city of Uyuni is in the heart of the world’s largest salt flat, or Salar; 4,000 square miles of breathtakingly flat, open plains. Away from the salt flats, however, the terrain changes drastically. Dirt roads, barren desert, unexpected twists and turns- even the most seasoned of drivers will have to be on their toes to conquer Bolivia.
From Bolivia the route travels south again into Calama- at the centre of Chile’s Atacama desert. Drivers will need to keep well hydrated as the Atacama is one of the driest deserts in the world, with massive stretches of land where not a single drop of rain has ever been recorded. This unique climate means that the Atacama offers some of the most spectacular and startling scenery on the continent, as well as some very challenging terrain. Huge open expanses of dusty sand against a bright blue, cloudless sky make the Atacama a bare but beautiful sight.
The convoy will travel southward down the coast of Chile, reaching Valparaiso on January 18th. Undoubtedly one of the most unusual and lively cities in South America, Valparaiso will make for a colorful and exciting end to Dakar 2014. The city’s steep hilltops are covered with winding roads and dotted with hundreds of brightly painted houses. Valparaiso, with its relaxed and welcoming vibe, will be the perfect spot for successful Dakar 2014 teams and drivers to come together for one final celebration.
Since Dakar first hit South America in 2009, drivers, organizers and spectators alike have praised the continent for its diverse landscapes and for the huge welcome offered by all host countries. With travel between each country becoming easier and easier for tourists, why not make 2014 your year to become part of the magic and start planning your Dakar 2014 vacation now? We will see you at the starting line! Contact us at email@example.com and let us begin organizing this adventure for you!
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