The original race had been scheduled to run in November,1987. The route was to begin in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, and head due South through the Llanos and the Gran Sabana.

After crossing into Brazil, the vehicles would be heading into the dense Amazonian jungle, creating some new motor paths as it went along. The racers were even expected to build a bridge at one of the tributary crossings.

The Amazon was to be crossed by ferry near Manaus. The jungle adventure was then to continue well into eastern Bolivia where the land begins to dry out.In Paraguay, the Gran Chaco, an inhospitable rocky semidesert region of few paved roads, would be transversed before returning to Brazil. The Rallye was to finish on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janiero, twenty five days after the start.

Due to extreme and well justified environmental concerns,including protests from the United Nations and the World Wildlife Federation, the Rallye was delayed and the route changed to a predominatley Andean setting that would have far less environmental impact.