If you want to add a lot of excitement and a big dose of pure adrenalin to your trip then you should look at cycling down Death Road Bolivia.
This is one of the world’s most legendarily scary roads and it offers an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. The good news is that it is incredibly easy to organise a trip here and get your share of thrills. Cycling around the world doesn’t get any better than this.
The Death Road Bolivia Facts
The real name of the road isn’t Death Road Bolivia; that’s just a lovely little nickname. This is the road that runs from La Paz to Coroico in the Yungas region and is more correctly known as the North Yungas Road.
The total distance is over 60 km (around 40 miles) and it is famous as being possibly the most dangerous stretch of road on the planet. As well as being a dirt road with few safety precautions or barriers, it also drops down dizzyingly by around 3,400 metres (11,000 ft) in very little time. All of this adds up to a place that is ideal for hiring a bike and going on an adventure of a lifetime. Oh, did I mention that up to 300 travellers a year get killed here? This is one scary road and the tragic line of white crosses at the edge of the road show that its reputation of being deadly isn’t just an urban myth.
The Current Situation at Death Road Bolivia
At this point it is worth pointing out that Death Road Bolivia isn’t quite as terribly, horrifyingly deadly as it used to be.
This isn’t down to any safety improvements being made, as you will still cycle close to terrifying sheer drops on narrow, twisting dirt roads. Instead, it is down to the fact that a new route – called the South Yungas Road – has reduced the traffic on this road considerably. This means that it is still a great road if you are planning on cycling around the world but less scary. You are now far less likely to meet a truck taking up most of the road or almost get forced off the edge by an overzealous bus driver.
Getting Organised for a Death Road Bolivia Adventure
If you want to head out on the infamous Bolivia Death Road you won’t have too many problems getting the trip organised in La Paz. All of the travel agencies in the touristy part of the city offer trips out here. Just go to the Calle Sagarnaga / Witches Market area and you will see plenty of posters offering service. You will want to check the bikes, as you need your brakes to be in perfect working order for the long downhill ride. You will also expect to get given all the safety gear you need and, of course, a good guide. You will be travelling with a group, so this is also a fine chance to meet some other tourists and have a good day out together cycling around the world famous route.
The Death Road Bolivia Trip
The cycle ride itself starts outside La Paz, so your group will get transported out there. After that, it is a question of holding on tight and heading downhill to Coroico.
It is a stunning ride and you should be sure to soak up the views and the feeling of freedom and exhilaration it offers. The whole thing gives you about 4 to 5 hours on your bike but they are hours you are going to remember for the rest of your life. You may even find yourself boasting about how you took on the Bolivia Death Road in future years.
Once you reach Coroico you have the option of being taken back to La Paz by bus. However, a far better idea is to spend a night or two in this interesting, tropical town before heading back. This is a good place to warm up after the cold, high altitude city of La Paz and it is also a lot more laid back too.