Survive the Death Road

death road waterfallThe world’s most dangerous road. 65 kilometers. 300 deaths yearly. 600 meter deep cliffs and the road that thins out to just three meters wide. Cycling down from 4,800m in snow-capped Andes to 1,200m in the heated Amazon jungle. This one is not for the faint hearted.

Death road bikes

What to know: at least 18 cyclists have died on the road; mostly as they got distracted. According to our guide, you get a decent chance of surviving as long as you follow three basic rules: 1) treat the breaks gently, as titties; 2) don’t get distracted on the view or you’d become part of one; 3) don’t be a f*cking idiot. It is actually not that hard to follow.

death road bolivia

When to go: any time, the weather is probably going to be terrible anyways. Expect some heavy fog in the beginning, probably rain too, agonising heat in the end with really painful bug bites.

death road waterfall

How to book: La Paz has literally hundreds of agencies offering to take you down the road. We went with Barracuda Biking, and the guys were purely amazing. For 75$ we got transportation to and from La Paz, snacks and lunch, first-class gear, cloths and rain jackets, a shot of 98% alcohol at the start – and a swimming pool to chill by afterwards. The #1 agency, Gravity, does pretty much the same thing but twice as expensive (for a 100% price premium you get an energy bar and the bike no older than one year old). Regardless of which you choose, do not – ever – go with a cheap agency. Or you end up as the poor guy who died two days before our trip: his breaks stopped working causing him into the 80m free fall over the edge. Lesson learned – pick the agency carefully. And don’t worry – as long as you keep focused and do not behave like an idiot – you get a pretty good chance of surviving.

death road view

 

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