North Yungas Road located in the Andes mountains has earned itself a reputation of the most dangerous road in the world. It is very often referred to as the Death Road. Its most dangerous part is located 70 km from La Paz on its way to Coroico.
The road itself is located on the heights of 3600 meters above the sea level. There is a rock on the right side of the road and to the left there is a huge abyss. Under the wheels one can feel the slippery clay which makes it more difficult to drive. The width of the road is about 3,5 meters. In addition to that it is full of sharp turns. Driving along this road, one can observe the traces that remain of many accidents – details of crashed trucks and cars, broken trees and so on.
A few years ago it was the only road connecting the capital of Bolivia with its low-lying areas in the tropical jungle. Large trucks and busses were using the road because there were no other options. Due to the weather conditions this part of Bolivia is very often covered with thick mist that rises from the lowland valleys and restricts visibility. All the cars had to drive slowly and carefully. Tropical rains cause frequent landslides thus year after year this serpentine, leading to the capital of La Paz to the town of Coroico, took the lives of one or two hundreds of people each year. The main reason – collision because of the simple fact that the road is one-way, and the transport is used to go in both directions. Unlike the rest of Bolivia, the traffic on the Death Road is left hand – this was done to make the driver see his wheels and the road better. In some places the depth of the abyss next to the road is up to 600 meters.
A lot of accidents happened every year, vehicles fell down into the abyss and people died. Finally, by 2006, a new, paved road was built around the most dangerous area. And now only the tourists side the “road of death”, mainly on bikes.
Riding a bike on the Death Road is not that scary as it may sound because it is allowed to move only one-way and the cyclist has enough space. Within the recent years it became one of the must see attractions in Bolivia. It is no longer that dangerous as it used to be and thousands of tourists come here every year to enjoy the view and to experience the Death Road him or herself.