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How to survive Death Road

[ 4 ] May 28, 2011 | Alison Adey

Death Road in Bolivia is considered to be the most dangerous road in the world – and it’s not for the faint hearted. 36 people have died here in the last 15 years – the last just 6 months ago.

Despite the risks, hundreds of backpackers sign up for bike tours every week, eager to experience the hairpin bends, rocky paths and steep cliff edges. Most people love it – some hate it. Either way make sure you understand the dangers before making a decision.

Death Road, Bolivia - How to survive Death Road - Pictures of Death Road in Bolivia -Fabulous Travel Guide
Death Road, Bolivia – How to survive Death Road – Fabulous Travel Guide
Booking your tour

Nearly every hostel in La Paz offers tours but it’s essential that you do your research. Choose an agency that offers double suspension bikes and good equipment (including full helmets, shin pads, knee pads, wind-proof clothes and gloves).

There should be a guide leading the group and a van following at all times, carrying spare tyres, oxygen tanks, a stretcher and all of your backpacks.

Death Road van - Staying safe on Death Road - Pictures of Death Road - Fabulous Travel Guide
Death Road van – Staying safe on Death Road – Fabulous Travel Guide

Reliable agencies include Gravity and Altitude (book through Wild Rover hostel). We went with the latter and had a great time with the instructors. Not only were they great fun (and provided beers, t-shirts and a free DVD at the end!), they took their jobs seriously and gave us plenty of advice.

Day tours cost from 500 Bolivianos (£45) and include hostel pickup, snacks, water, coke, and buffet lunch. If you book with Altitude they take you to a hostel with a swimming pool where you can cool off and celebrate!

Love adrenaline-pumping adventures? See what else there is do in South America – from zip lining to sandboarding.

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Category: Advice, Bolivia, La Paz, South America

About Alison Adey: I was previously Channel Editor for IPC's Homes network (Housetohome.co.uk; Idealhomemagazine.co.uk; Livingetc.com and Homesandgardens.com) but I bid them a fond farewell in December 2010 to embark on this trip. I also worked for Nowmagazine.co.uk as a features writer for two years. View author profile.

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  1. [...] to do Death Road in Bolivia? 36 people have died on this route in the last 15 years – the last just 6 months [...]

  2. [...] feeling the adrenaline pumping? Death Road in La Paz is another awesome adventure. Get more travel tips and advice by following us on Twitter! [...]

  3. [...] for more things to do in Bolivia? Try Death Road in La Paz and don’t miss the incredible salt flats! Get more travel tips and advice by [...]

  4. [...] a trip to Ecuador? Don’t miss the beautiful town of Baños. Bike through the mountains, relax in the thermal springs or test your nerve white-water [...]

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