La Paz: Biking Death Road
Get There: Calle Sagarnaga # 339, Sagarnaga 339, La Paz Zona 1, Bolivia
Cost: $80 USD
The world’s most dangerous road – also known as the much more inviting “Death Road” – is famous for mountain biking just out of La Paz. There’s a heap of companies offering tours to choose between, with everyone keen to offer up the experience of a lifetime – and one that may possibly end it. Naturally, you wanna make sure you’re going with a pretty reputable company, or at least ensure the brakes on your bike are in good working order. We decided to go with Downhill Madness. It reputedly has the best bikes in Bolivia, and knowing my clumsiness, it seemed like a pretty solid choice.
The morning of our tour, it was absolutely pissing down, and needless to say, at an altitude of 4670m, I was freezing my tits off. The first five minutes were spent on a fairly regular road with heavy clouds obscuring any views (including that of trucks coming toward us). My hands felt like they would fall off at any minute, and I was honestly dreading the next five hours.
We pulled up at the start of Death Road, and things started to warm up – not to mention get a little more interesting. The road itself was rocky as shit and scattered with crosses from various fatalities who had fallen victim to the steep drop off into the jungle abyss. We were told to ride on the left-hand side, closest to the edge, just in case any cars come flying around the corner. Staring down into what appeared to be a bottomless drop, I was glad for having a good quality set of wheels.
The ride itself was a bumpy one that took us under waterfalls and through rushing rivers, and was thankfully mostly downhill. Naturally, there were a few falls (about three from myself alone); however, everyone managed to make it down without any serious injuries and a heap of fun was had along the way.
After completing the 64km ride, we were welcomed with hot showers (which in Bolivia is a delicacy) and a huge lunch before the long ride back to La Paz. If I could make it out alive of the tour, then I’m sure you could too – a highly recommended activity to add to your bucket list.