Noel Santillan was supposed to return to the United States from a six-day trip to Iceland on Saturday.

Instead the 28-year-old American has extended his stay in Iceland, where he has been celebrated as the tourist who made a very little mistake that turned into a very big adventure.

The mistake came down to an extra letter R typed into his rental cars GPS.

Santillan arrived on Monday at Keflavik International Airport, and all he wanted to do was get to his hotel in Reykjavik.

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He typed in the name of the street his hotel was on, Laugavegur, into the GPS and started driving.

The problem was he accidentally added an R to the street name and the GPS gave him directions to Laugarvegur, which is in Siglufjorour, a fishing town on the north shore of Iceland about 430km out of his way.

When Santillan arrived there he asked a local woman for help and she let him know he was in the wrong place.

"I just stood there, speechless," the woman said on Facebook, according to the Iceland Monitor, which reported the story on Thursday.

According to Visir, an Icelandic news website, Santillan had a feeling that something might be wrong as he drove over icy roads and noticed signs showing Reykjavik was in the other direction.

But he said he was tired after his flight and put his faith in the GPS.

"I did enjoy the scenery on the way," he said.

"I've never seen anything quite like it."

- AAP