Death Road Bolivia

Death road Bolivia is perhaps the country’s most well renowned tourist attraction and has become a hotspot for thrill seekers the world over.

Me, Jonnie and Tom after the Death Road
Me, Jonnie and Tom after the Death Road

Even the natives often say prayers before using the road and so letting yourself go on a bike going around corners with drops of 600 metres or more at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour is not for the feint hearted! This is one of those things that everyone has on their “to do” list when they travel South America. However, it must be remembered that this is more than an adrenaline rush, it does carry genuine danger so if you are not a confident cyclist this is probably not for you! However, for those that love those heart in mouth moments this is an experience that you will probably never forget.

The death road in Bolivia or the Yungas Road is one of the few direct links between La Paz and the Amazon jungle. At its highest point the road ascends to over 4,600 metres and spirals down to the town of Coroico at around 1,200 metres and this descent occurs over just 50km which gives you an idea of how sharp and dramatic it is. What a lot of people do not mention is that putting the danger aside the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The cloud capped Andean mountains, give way to incredible views across lush green rainforest down below and there is something a bit surreal about this contrast.

Whilst this has a lot of elements to it that are dangerous you can mitigate the risks involved by choosing a reliable tour operator to do the route with. So make sure that before hurtling down Death Road Bolivia, you do some internet research or ask other travellers who are the most reputable. The last thing you want is inexperienced guides, shoddy helmets and cheap bikes with faulty brakes! Remember that in Bolivia there are no minimum safety standards and so if the price of the tour seems too good to be true, it probably is! The majority of travellers use a company called Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking who are able to make the reassuring claim that nobody has ever died on one of their tours!