If you were on vacation, would you want to spend your time biking “The Death Road?” Believe it or not, this is a real place in Bolivia and it also tops many people’s travel lists. This is one of the most adventurous trips you can take, and certainly not for the faint of heart. If you’re a daredevil at heart, here’s what you need to know.
Located in La Paz, Bolivia, the mountain bike trail known as “The Road to Death” has become a near rite of passage for those who identify as adrenaline junkies. The trail stretches 43 miles through the Cordillera Oriental mountain range that connects La Paz to the town of Coroico via a steep road. And when we say steep, it’s really steep, like 15,260 feet above sea level steep.
The road is winding and winding that heads towards the Amazon rainforest. The scariest part? The side of the road has no railing and looks like a 2,000 foot drop.
Of course, the sad fact is that the name of this road describes the end of many unfortunate journeys of people who tried to cross the road of death. Without a guardrail and with visibility issues, things can get quite risky. The Inter-American Development Bank has dubbed it “the world’s most dangerous road”, which is supported by reports which claim that between 200 and 300 people die on the road (both motorists and cyclists).
For those who don’t care about these stats, there are bike tours that will take you along the long, steep stretch of the road. The road is about 11 feet wide, but there are unpaved sections that don’t have guardrails.
The reason for the visibility problems is due to the weather conditions, which vary throughout the trail. From the Amazon, hot and humid winds meet the slopes of the Andes and bring rain and fog, causing poor visibility. Rough rocks and mudslides are also quite common.
The route lasts approximately 5 hours and costs between $ 50 and $ 100 for a visit. The tour will provide you with the equipment you need for the ride, which includes a tracksuit to wear over your clothes. Expect a temperature range from sweltering heat to freezing temperatures.
So what is it that makes all of this worth it? The spectacular views… and the bragging rights, of course.