For the first time in its exciting history, the Dakar Rally 2019 will take place in only one country: Peru!
10 years after the most famous and toughest off-road rally moved from Africa to the South American continent, the 2019 Dakar will run on a new loop rally-route with 10 stages and 1 rest day all within Peru from January 6 to 17, 2019. Start and finish will be in the Peruvian capital Lima.
Originally the 41st edition of the Dakar was supposed to run through Chile, Peru and Ecuador; there have as well been talks with Bolivia and Argentina. According to rumors however disputes among the possible host countries and with the organizers resulted in Bolivia and Ecuador withdrawing their application and Chile pulling out officially due to its economic situation just a day before the official announcement of the route.
This left Peru, who welcomed the Dakar Rally for the first time in 2012 for some race stages and a year later and in 2018 hosted the starting ceremony and some interesting stages in the desert, as sole host country of the 2019 Dakar Rally.
Even though we are still waiting for the official route to be published, possible stage destinations most probably will include Lima, Pisco, San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa that already in 2018 were part of the race.
A decisive role in the 2019 Dakar will play once again the Peruvian sand. According to rally director Etienne Lavigne 70% of the stages will be sand and dunes which is unique in the history of the Dakar rally.
Conquering the extremely challenging dunes of the Atacama Desert in the southern Peruvian Ica region, which in 2018 were the downfall for many teams including some favorites, will demand everything from drivers and their equipment.
So, even though the 2019 Dakar will only be held in Peru, we can expect a technically difficult rally in one of the most beautiful and challenging places on earth.