Yungas – Road of Death

It begins at 15,400 feet and for an estimated 300 people a year ends in the loss of their life, yet Bolivia’s North Yungus Road – better known as ‘The Death Road’ – is among Bolivia’s largest draw cards for a thrill-seeking adventure. So after a late night in central La Paz, the journey to the Death Road began.

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Travelers and tourists cycle the road in their masses, through the sweeping and never ending mountains of Bolivia. Prior to my departure, I managed to negotiate leaving 1 hour earlier than the standard departure time from La Paz. My thinking was that this way would provide a good chance of having the road completely free of dozens of other tour operators and the hordes of tourists on wheels. Thankfully, it worked out a dream – no other tourists were seen. Perfect.


“It’s been referred to as ‘Death Road’ pretty much since 1994 when Inter-American Development Bank proclaimed it was the World’s Most Dangerous Road. The organisation conducted a study and discovered 200 to 300 people were dying on the road per year.”

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Bolivian natives are forced to use the road as a crucial transport route, with local road rules specifying that the downhill driver never has the right of way and must move to the outer edge of the road. Not a place to have road rage, or to ignore the highway code – that’s for sure.



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