The “Death Road” is also known as the Yungas Road and the “World’s Most Dangerous Road”, among other names. The reason they call this road the “Death Road”, is because before they built another route allowing most traffic to bypass this road, there were more deaths per mile of road each year, compared to any other road in the world. The majority of people who died were traveling in cars or buses.
Where can you find Death Road tours and much do they cost?
You can book tours in advance online, or in La Paz there are a lot of options in the city. The cost was $65, and this price included transportation to the beginning of the road and then back to La Paz, along with a guide, a bike, snacks, protective clothing, a lunch buffet and all the pictures and videos the guide and driver took on a disk. It was well worth the price.
Cycling the Death Road in Bolivia:
The group was consisted of 6 people. Most of us had rented the full suspension mountain bikes. They ride very well and also have hydraulic breaking. In addition to our bikes, they provided us with protective clothing, helmets and gloves. We really needed the protective clothing on this day because it rained almost the whole time.
We started out at La Cumbre pass which is at an elevation of 15,256 ft (4650 m) and descended a total of 11,319 ft (3450 m), ending at the town of Coroico. The first half of the ride was on asphalt, which was a nice warm up. Most of the ride was downhill, so we rarely had to pedal and were mostly working the brakes and focusing on steering.
The road is usually only about 10 ft (3 m) across and has drop offs of up to 2000 ft (600 m). At the checkpoint before the gravel portion, they make you sign and register with your passport number and pay a fee. As we descended, you can see the tree-line begin with pine like trees. Then as you move further down, the vegetation becomes more like a rainforest or jungle.
It was a great adventure. The gravel part of the road is definitely the most dangerous. To make matters worse, the day we went down, it was cloudy, rainy and muddy. Along the road are all kinds of plaques and crosses remembering those who have died there. There are also several waterfalls and the scenery is magnificent.