Most dangerous road, Bolivia

Worlds Most Dangerous Road


One of the best things I did while in La Paz in Bolivia was the World’s Most Dangerous Road bike ride.

Starting off early in the morning, the bike company I went with (Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking) took us via minivan to our starting point high up in the Andes behind La Paz. After our safety briefing and our drink of firewater (for good luck!), we all donned our helmets and waterproof clothes and set off.

Most dangerous road, Bolivia

The main road wound downwards and after about an hour took us to the start of the most dangerous road proper. It’s called the World’s Most Dangerous Road (or the “Death Road”) because of the huge number of fatalities that occur there annually.

The road itself is about 69 km long and is narrow and winding, clinging to the side of the mountains with a sheer drop of about 600m. Traffic is two-way but the road is so narrow that vehicles pass each other with difficulty and hence many vehicles have actually left the road and plunged off the cliff to the valley floor below. Also, about eighteen cyclists have sadly met their death on the road…

Most dangerous road, Bolivia

I took my time anyway and cycled my way cautiously through the mist to each stopping point. It was a shame about the misty conditions though because the views over the valley would have been superb. Anyway, the mist did lend the journey an aura of mystery and danger…

After about seven hours of virtual nonstop cycling, we reached the end of the road and the very floor of the valley. Our reward was a hard-earned meal at an animal sanctuary and getting to play with some monkeys and what appeared to be a small leopard-like cat.

World most dangerous road, Bolivia

The road ends up in the small village of Coroico and I chose to stay the night at one of the local hotels which incorporated a massive and very welcome sauna and swimming pool which had tremendous views over the valley. You could, if you wish, return back to La Paz via minivan the same evening (and via the new bypass J) but I would recommend the overnight stay in Coroico as it’s just a charming little village snuggled in the Bolivian rainforest.

World most dangerous road, Bolivia

Don’t let the Worlds Most Dangerous Road name put you off though! The people who take you along, certainly my company Gravity, are all about safety and you just go as fast or as slow as you want to, there is certainly no pressure to race!

The day is filled with gorgeous views (even if it’s misty you can see a lot of the gorgeous Andes at the start of the day), a thrilling bike ride, a great feed at the animal sanctuary and a great stay at Coroico, should you choose.

Doing the Worlds Most Dangerous Road was certainly one of the most memorable days of my life – I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Date posted: 25th May, 2011

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