Bolivia’s Death Road

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Posted on Sat, May 30 2015 11:41:16

No one can doubt that South America has a lot in store for travelers. One of its wonders is Camino de las Yungas - the Road of Death, or the Road of Fate in Bolivia - a country that combines lowlands and highlands of the Andes.

The Yungas Road is an inseparable part of Bolivia’s life. It links two worlds separated by the mountains – La Paz and Coroico. Yungas Road of Death was the first road for vehicles to connect the highlands and lowlands, and was christened as the “world's  most dangerous road”. Its construction started in the 30s of the XX century. Since then, the road got transformed from a path for mules into a highway for trucks and bikes.

As this road has always been extremely dangerous due to not having any guard rails, it attracts plenty of adrenaline junkies. Most of the Yungas Road of Death is no wider than 3.5 meters or 10-12 feet. Moreover, it is the most elevated road in the world. Locals believe that the spirits of those who died on the road in the past protect the passengers who use the road today. Sounds comforting, doesn’t it? Bolivia is famous for its mysticism, natural beauty, incredible views of the Amazon rainforest and ever-changing weather - it rains, it snows, it is sunny and hot and sometimes one can experience all four seasons in one day.  Yungas road is one of the few, which connects the Amazon rainforest in the north to the capital city, and it's there for you to experience all of the country's wonders.

Nowadays, different travel companies and tour guides offer special biking tours of the Death Road. There are two main routes: the South Yungas Road and the North Yungas Road - both are considered an amazing chance to experience the exhilaration of biking. Of course, there are secret paths for single track riding and other attractions for thrill-seekers. It is up to you which tour group to choose, but you are sure to spend from 4 to 6 hours riding. Some trips include lunch, a shower, cafes and stops for taking pictures. Remember  - the trucks don't pay much attention to bikes, so you must be very careful and pull to the safe side of the road while being passed by a vehicle. At the end of the trip you will definitely be tired and dirty, but you will be the happiest person ever.

Before taking a biking tour it is very important to make sure that the company guarantees all the safety equipment, insurance and safety training you might need. Check up a bike carefully beforehand, nobody will give you another one during the trip, if your bike won't function.

If you are not into the idea of riding a bike, there is an opportunity of taking a bus. Buses depart daily from La Paz heading to Coroico, Chulumani, Caranavi and Rurrenabaque.

Gallery: Yungas road of death in Bolivia

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Read more about Bolivia off the beaten path

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