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.
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 – 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!
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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