Is a GPS device necessary?

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#1 Mon, 01/06/2014 - 11:49

Is a GPS device necessary?

We are driving Mexico through Chile and have good paper maps for each country? We are debating whether a GPS is essential. Any opinions on this?

Thanks! Melanie and Justin

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 16:23


I have paper maps too.  But I also recently bought a Garmin Nuvi 3597 along with the S American map card - it remains to be seen how good they are !!  But the more information the better, and it is not expensive.  But "essential" ?  Probably not.

Mexico maps come on the US Tom Tom I have.  Central America you need paper maps.


Mon, 05/26/2014 - 11:09

I absolutely recommend using

I absolutely recommend using the app, Maps with Me which runs on iPhones or other smart phones with GPS ((completely independent of a celular connecction)) and offers road maps of all countries that you can download at once or incrementally.  The app is a few dollars and has been invaluable for navigating complicated city streets in Chile, Peru and Argentina.  Invaluable.  Also easy to drop pins on points that you are interested in.  These can be exported and shared with others via .kmz format which works great in google maps or google earth.  Travel safe.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 01:29




We have just driven Florida - Venezuela and still going. 


We used APPS on our iPhone / iPad. I would say they are an essential bit of kit. 


We probably spent $100 on getting sat nav for all central and south american countries. Its the best $100 we have spent. 


Some are better than others 


We have written about which ones we liked/ didnt like on our website 

go to destinations, choose a country then click on the Overlanding tab.


Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:55

We spent 6 months in Chile

We spent 6 months in Chile and Argentina with an el-cheepo eBay gps with world maps - cost about $70 and although there were problems, it did help tremendously in large cities (including in Mexico).


Now we have a garmin and I bought the S American card and also downloaded maps from OpenStreet Maps to cover Bolivia and a couple of other countries that Garmin leave blank. You alsways need to check routing because they occasionally want to take you 500km to get to a town 50km away - but you have to do that in well-mapped countries as well.

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 14:35

I also absolutely recommend

I also absolutely recommend using a Garmin (investement about USD100), FREE basecamp software for on your laptop so you can plan your route and FREE maps from OpenStreet Maps (and Yes always check the route it takes). Besides it shows you the route for less stressfull driving it show you curves so also way safer driving!!!, some countries it shows speedbumps/limits and lot of POI (hotels, restaurants, etc). Enjoy!

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 22:11

Do the maps and GPS match?

Sometimes the maps show what the politicians promised instead of what is there.  But that is part of the adventure. Who tells or remenbers stories about not getting lost?

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 10:28


The app is a few dollars and has been invaluable for navigating complicated city streets in Chile, Peru and Argentina.  Invaluable.  Also easy to drop pins on points that you are interested in. vshare Apptoko citra emulator

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 05:55
Wed, 09/20/2017 - 05:55
Wed, 09/20/2017 - 06:02



download it from official site..