Would You Cycle This Road?

When we travel, we do it to try something new. For many, a big part of the experience is the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and trying things that really get the blood pumping and adrenalin kicking in, and one of the most well known, almost legendary, experiences known within traveller circles is the ‘Death Road‘ cycling adventure in Bolivia.

With the Tour de France currently taking place across the channel, now seems like the perfect time to take a look at this, less taxing, but rather more frightening cycling experience elsewhere in the world.

'Death Road', Bolivia is infamous for excitment, amazing views, and danger!

Death Road – The Ultimate Travel Adventure?

What is Death Road?

Death Road is the nickname given to the North Yungas Road, a 38 mile stretch of road that leads from Bolivian capital La Paz to Coroico in the Yungas region of the country.

In 1995 it was named as the world’s most dangerous road, a title that, as you would expect, also comes with a great deal of intrigue. For years since, daredevils and adventure hungry travellers have made their way to the road to cycle the rocky trail.

What is the Route Like?

The route is impressive, no doubt about that, you can expect amazing views from the edge of the thin, rocky roads, as you pass through areas within the Bolivian section of the Amazon rainforest.

There aren’t a huge number of vehicles along the route as passing another car can be a hair-raising experience – you can often see crosses on the side of the road marking areas where vehicles have fallen from the road, and down the steep cliffs below.

Is it as Dangerous as it Sounds?

There is an element of danger, it’s estimated that around 200 people are killed every year along the road. However every precaution is taken on the cycling trips to make sure the groups are as safe as possible.

Why Would I Want to do That?!

It’s exciting! Since the 1990’s word has spread about the road and businesses offering opportunities to cycle parts of it are thriving, and the views are incredible, just don’t do it with a hangover!

Cath takes on 'Death Road'. Eeeek!

Cath Milman who works here at STA Travel as our Head of Internal Comms visited Bolivia and took on Death Road in 2012 while travelling with friends through South America. Here’s what she had to say about here experience.

This is a must if you’re heading to La Paz. The views are absolutely stunning and it’s a real white knuckle ride. Make sure you go with a reputable company so you have decent bikes and safety equipment – it’s not something to scrimp on. We had a few hairy moments – but what else would you expect from the ‘Death Road’? Basically it’s as scary as you want it to be – some people absolutely bomb their way down. If you want to keep your foot on the brake that’s fine – they’ll all be cheering for you at the bottom.

Have you ever taken on the challenge of cycling Death Road, Bolivia? Were you scared, or do you think it’s all just a lot of hype? Share your experience with other travellers considering the adventure in the comments box below.