Death Road: Mountain Bike Tour on the World's Most Dangerous Road
Fly down the 'world’s most dangerous road' on this thrilling mountain-biking adventure! Leave from a high-altitude plain near La Paz, and follow expert guides downhill for 40 miles (64 km) on a narrow, winding road carved into the mountainside. Take breaks along the way to admire the landscape that changes from snowcapped Andes to Amazonian jungle. Then unwind at La Senda Verde Ecotourism Resort, an animal refuge, where you’ll enjoy lunch and observe rescued wildlife. Return to La Paz the same day, or stay overnight at La Senda Verde or in Coroico.
Meet your team of expert guides from Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking early in the morning at Oliver’s English Tavern on Murillo Street in La Paz. From there, a minibus takes you for an hour-long ride to La Cumbre. Featured in numerous news outlets, Gravity has led more than 33,000 riders safely down the mountain and is recognized by major travel guides for its exemplary safety record and practices.
In La Cumbre, on a plain in the Andes at 15,400 feet (4,700 meters) above sea level, note the low clouds and admire the snowcapped mountains, including Huayna Potosí, the highest peak near La Paz. Here, receive your safety briefing and practice using your mountain bike against gusts of cold wind.
Pedal off and begin your death-defying ride down what locals dubbed Camino de la Muerte, or Death Road. The route has been christened the world's most dangerous road by organizations like the Inter-American Development Bank; you'll find out why on your 40-mile journey that descends 11,800 feet (3,600 meters), most of which is downhill.
Ride through mist and rain on a mountain-hugging asphalt road just wide enough for two-way traffic. From the corner of your eye, catch glimpses of small villages and grazing llamas nearby, but keep your focus on the slippery road ahead of you. Pedal uphill for a few lung-sapping miles before proceeding downhill again (this portion of the ride is optional, and you may ride in the support vehicle following your group if you prefer not to bike certain parts of the tour).
Stop periodically along the way to rest, have refreshments, and snap shots of the soaring cliffs, rock overhangs and lush green vegetation.
Next up is the most difficult part of the ride. Enter the subtropics of the Amazonian jungle as the asphalt road turns into a dirt road, a much narrower path with gravel and mud. Take a deep breath as you realize nothing separates you from the sheer cliff drops of more than 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) a short distance away. You can, however, take some comfort in knowing that most of the traffic has been diverted to a newer road elsewhere. During the bumpy and dusty ride, feel the mist on your face from the cascading waterfalls to your right.
Just when you think it can’t get any more humid, you're almost finished! Arrive at the village of Yolosa, the end of your descent, and ride to La Senda Verde Ecotourism Resort, an animal refuge. Enjoy a hot shower, unwind by the pool and feast on a pasta buffet lunch. While you relax, take in the incredible scenery, and observe monkeys, parrots and other rescued wildlife.
After several hours of resting at La Senda Verde, ride the minivan back to La Paz, about a three- to four-hour drive. You also have the option of staying overnight at La Senda Verde or being dropped off in the main square of Coroico. Wherever you sleep, you'll do it well knowing your day on Death Road has earned you considerable bragging rights.