There is no road in Bolivia with the official name of Death Road. It’s simply a nickname, and nicknames cannot just be given, they need to be earned. In the case of the Yungas Road leading from the capital city of La Paz to the rainforest outpost of Coroico, the road just happens to earn its grisly name an astounding 200 to 300 times per year.
One of the few roads to connect the Bolivian capital with the Yungas region of the country, this 43-mile stretch of open cliff has been deemed by many international organizations as the most dangerous road in the world. At many points along the journey the road is only 10 feet wide, and at virtually no point is there anything resembling a guardrail to protect against precipitous falls measured in the thousands of feet.
Given these inherent dangerous and obvious risks, what’s the only natural thing to do when visiting La Paz finding yourself only 35 miles from the Death Road? Strap on a helmet and go mountain biking of course!
Believe it or not, mountain biking on Death Road is one of the most popular tourist activities in all of Bolivia and one which takes riders from an oxygen-pinching height of 15,900 feet to the 5,000-foot rainforests of the town of Coroico. Despite the propensity for busloads of passengers to go headlong over the side of the road, biking down Death Road is actually one of the safer activities with regards to how many people actually do it. Tour operators working out of La Paz ensure that riders have fully-functioning safety equipment and professionally inspected bikes which can transport riders down Death Road safely and offer an unforgettable ride like any other.
While much of the hype surrounding Death Road is simply to say that you’ve done it, the views afforded from the mountain passes and the ability to ride behind towering waterfalls is an experience which ranks as one of the most extreme on the planet. If you know of anyone heading to La Paz, there’s a good chance you’ll find them out riding Death Road, with views of the Bolivian Altiplano stretched out like a canvas before them.