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Old 2 Aug 2010
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Question Central&Southern America paper maps

I`m just starting to make a plans. The first step is the route planning. I used the Michelin Maps in Africa on my previous trip. The maps were perfect. Can somebody give me an advice. What kind of maps I should choose for Central and Southern America? Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua,Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil. It would be pretty good if the the maps were mainly designed for overlanders.
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Old 2 Aug 2010
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Whatever you buy, just make sure they're on plastic paper otherwise they fall apart very quickly. I used Rough Guide maps which were great.

My little Vid: India/Pakistan

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Old 2 Aug 2010
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I have bought a michelin and nelles map of argentina. The michelin wins hands down - much more detail and a place name index, so Michelin gets my vote.

Trouble is, I've only been able to source the argentina michelin map (although I know for a fact they produced one for columbia...very frustrating).

I now have nelles for all remaining countries and will buy geographical survey maps locally out there if I want more detail (for trekking etc).

Neither the nelles or michellin were pplastic coated, but for ~£8, what do you expect? Keep em dry and be tidy with folding them up and they should last OK

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Old 3 Aug 2010
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For Central America it's mostly ITMB Maps for travel, City Maps, Road Maps, Guides, Globes, Topographic Maps. But Rough Guides has maps for a few of the countries as well. In my experience it was barely worth getting all the individual country maps from them since their Central America map is almost as detailed as the individual country maps with the exception of Costa Rica.

For Mexico, I absolutely swear by Guia Roji, available online or at Pemex fueling stations all over Mexico. The have maps for all the individual states as well as a larger map book for the entire country.

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Old 3 Aug 2010
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If you like plastic coated maps, you'll like map sealer. Get a little bottle and a foam brush from REI and coat paper maps with it. Miraculous stuff.

I brought a paper AAA map of Central and South America on my latest trip. AAA maps are the sleaziest, thinest, most tear-prone paper known to Western Civilization. I coated the map both sides with map sealer, then folded, twisted, mangled and mutilated it for ten straight months in and out of ridiculous humidity, tropical downpours, you name it. The map is battered but still in one piece and still usable.

And as far as the original question, I'm always envious of those of you who are so organized that you're actually researching which map to buy for what country. I just show up and take whatever I can find, which is usually totally inadequate....but I always survive. I try to have at least two maps for comparing routes, since most have glaring mistakes--omissions, routes shown which do not exist, horrifyingly inaccurate ratings, etc.

Hope that helps.

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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Similar to Mark's AQUASEAL good tip, you can also get 'self-adhesive see-thru' film on a roll from most stationers.
It works really well but you do need to make sure your map is totally flat on a table and have an extra pair of hands at the ready to smooth the film going on- a ruler helps.
Then you can use pilot's crayon's to mark up and wipe-off
Stanfords is 'THE' place for maps in the UK and do mail order too-
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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At the present time I could find the Argentina and Perou maps from Michelin. A few years ago I used International Travel Map of Mongolia. The good looking plastic coated map but absolutely useless for that area. As a result I tore away the paper calendar with mongolian map somewhere from the wall and was happy. The Roughguides maps are looking good. But I could not find the combined Central America map in their shop. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 9 Aug 2010
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Check Karin's write up on maps with links to others

Adventurous greetings,
- On the road since 2003 in an antique Land Cruiser
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