Death Road in Bolivia (also known as Yungas Road) is said to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world!
As scary as it may sound, mountain biking down Death Road was one of the best experiences I had while I was backpacking in Bolivia.
I have put together this guide including everything you need to know about biking Death Road Bolivia before you go!
WHERE IS DEATH ROAD?
Death Road (Yungas Road) is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from La Paz, Bolivia’s 3rd largest city.
Click here to see the location on Google maps.
The altitude at Death Road in Bolivia is 4,650 meters above sea level in the Yungas Mountain Region.
WHERE TO BOOK A DEATH ROAD BOLIVIA TOUR
There are dozens of tour operators offering biking tours on Death Road Bolivia and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which operator to book with.
I personally recommend booking the Death Road Mountain Biking Tour with Get Your Guide.
Click Here to see the full scoop on what’s included in this tour.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Although Death Road in Bolivia is one of the most dangerous roads in the world, not once did I feel like I was going to fall over the edge as the gravel road is quite wide, and in my opinion, it’s not as sketchy as you may think.
Also, since a new highway has been constructed, La Paz Death Road is now only used for recreational mountain biking activities, so you won’t have to worry about dodging cars or other vehicles.
The cycle route is approximately 80 km which takes around four to five hours from start to finish. The majority of the trail is all downhill with some flat sections.
Bolivia Death Road Tours include hotel pick up and drop off, breakfast and buffet lunch, all equipment such as mountain bikes, helmets, shin pads, and elbow pads, gloves, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants, and a tour guide.
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WHAT TO EXPECT AT DEATH ROAD IN BOLIVIA
Once you’re all geared up with your mountain bike and other equipment the Death Road Bolivia tour guide will first give everyone a very important safety briefing so be sure to listen carefully and then it’s time to finally hit the road!
The first part of the route towards North Yungas Road is a 20km cycle down the newly constructed highway so that everyone can get familiar with their bikes.
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Do note that cars and other vehicles use this road so you must stick to one side, allowing them to overtake.
If you feel comfortable enough to shift your gaze off the road you’ll be able to see the incredible Andes mountain ranges and the Cordillera Real.
After about an hour of downhill riding on the tar-sealed road, the tour stops at a security checkpoint and this is where you’ll take a short rest for breakfast and refreshments.
The tour guides will then throw all the bikes back on top of the van for a further ten-minute drive uphill to the official starting point.
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MY EXPERIENCE BIKING DEATH ROAD BOLIVIA
At the very top of Death Road Bolivia, we were engulfed in a thick cloud for the first thirty minutes of downhill riding.
The lower we got on the trail the clearer it became as the cloud started to disperse, revealing the jungle and surrounding mountain ranges.
We stopped half a dozen times along the trail to take photos at some incredible viewpoints and cascading waterfalls that gush over the road.
There were the odd pothole and larger rocks that I had to avoid, though all in all, it was the most scenic mountain bike ride I have ever been on!
I must admit, when I arrived at the finishing point of the Death Road Tour Bolivia I was grateful to have survived this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Although I found it fun, exciting, and easy to cycle down the most dangerous road in the world, for some it results in injury or death.
My advice is only to book a tour if you are a competent rider and comfortable with heights.
At the end of the tour, our guide handed out t-shirts to us all that stated ‘Death Road Survivor’.
We wore our t-shirts with pride as we sat down to lunch at the restaurant and later a refreshing swim in the pool was more than rewarding!
WHERE TO STAY IN LA PAZ
La Paz has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places to stay in La Paz to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Ritz Apart Hotel
Ritz Apart Hotel, a modern 5-star hotel centrally located in La Paz, provides air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms, a fitness center, hot tub, sauna, in-house restaurant, room service, and free WiFi.
Perfect for travelers with a larger budget.
Mid Range: Selina La Paz
Selina La Paz is a 3-star property that is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers!
Great location in La Paz offering double, triple, and dormitory rooms at an affordable price. Selina also features a billiards table, an in-house restaurant, and a bar for all guests.
Budget: The Rooftop Bolivia
The Rooftop Bolivia is rated one of the best accommodations in La Paz for budget travelers.
Featuring a bar, shared lounge, city views, restaurant, shared kitchen, free wifi, and a nightclub!
The Rooftop has dorms and private rooms available and breakfast is included.
For all other La Paz accommodations, Search on Booking.com
MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- Cuba: 10 Day Cuba Itinerary
- Peru: Backpacking Peru – 3 Week Itinerary
- Bolivia: Things To Do In Bolivia
- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
FINAL THOUGHTS – MOUNTAIN BIKING DEATH ROAD
If you have any questions at all about the Death Road in Bolivia, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
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THANKS FOR READING
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