The World’s Most Dangerous Road? That sounds quite badass!
Actually, I can calm you down. I didn’t do anything life-endangering or absolutely crazy. ;-)
Until a few years ago this road was the World’s Most Dangerous Road. It connected La Paz with the jungle. So all cars, buses and even trucks had to take it. Being extremely narrow it claimed many, many lives. Thankfully, now it is only used as a tourist biking attraction while all other vehicles can go down by the newly paved road. Clearly for bikers it is not that hard to stay on the path, and our guide told us that if bikers get injured it is because they ride like maniacs, fall down on the unpaved road and break their arms. Still I treated the route with a lot of respect, also knowing that up to 300 people died there yearly.
In the beginning, my boyfriend and I were determined to do this route on our own, rent bikes in La Paz and take a bus back afterwards, but that soon turned out to be a nutty idea and we are now glad that we ended up making the tour. Most of the tours provide you with new biking attire and even sports clothes like a jacket, sweat pants and protectors. After reaching the end of the route you will be treated with a huge buffet lunch and a pool. Also, if your bike has issues they have replacement bikes or parts, so you will never get stuck along the road on your own. Which would have happened twice to Lars, would we’ve been going without the agency. So the higher price of the tour definitely turned out to be worth it.
Riding the Death Road by bike
In the early morning we met in front of the company to get some breakfast and then set off in a little bus to the starting point of the route which is at about 4600 m. We got dressed and ready to try out our bikes. The first part of biking was still along the new paved road. As it was mostly downhill it was so much fun! We were surrounded by massive stone blocks and mist which made everything extremely mystic and I really had to focus on not staring too much to the sides and running into somebody in front of me.
When we reached the entrance of the old and dangerous road we could already take most of our warm clothes off because we were already about to enter the jungle. Due to the unpaved road riding was a little harder but I’d say that everybody with a little biking experience can easily master it. The tour guide also made sure that we took some pictures along the road which he sent to us afterwards. Riding downhill was sometimes a little scary, especially when seeing the deep cliffs going down for hundred meters only a few steps next to you.
After a long morning of thrilling downhill biking we arrived in the jungle valley, about 3000 m lower than the initial starting point. By that time we were all hot and sweaty and ready to jump in the pool. We enjoyed some cold beers with our lunch. As most of the group was German, we played Flunkyball which was a new “game” for me and the three English guys that joined us.
The Death Road or World’s Most Dangerous Road was definitely a fun and interesting experience. The scenery changed so fast before our eyes. It was really unbelievable. Also it was so much fun. So if you like a little bit of adrenaline in your blood sometimes then I’d totally recommend you to do it. I’d do it all over again!