Getting there & away
At the risk of appearing foolish (they’ve been building it for well over a decade), we predict that, by the time you read this, the shiny new La Paz–Coroico road should be open, making the plunge down the mountainside significantly safer and more comfortable.
At the time of research, The World’s Most Dangerous Road remained in use: an epic descent along a narrow dirt road that hugs the side of the mountain, and has sheer drops of over a kilometer below it. It plunges more than 3000m in just 75km and is one of the world’s most scenic but perilous journeys.
The old road will remain open as a standby (mudslides will frequently block even the new road), and the mountain-bike descent operators will continue to use it.
To avoid the backbreaking journey in trucks through to Chulumani, it may make sense to arrange a taxi to take you. The going rate is about US$37.50 for up to four passengers.
An exhilarating, adrenaline-filled option is to descend by mountain bike from La Paz to Coroico. The thrilling one-day descent from the top at El Cumbre is a memorable experience, but not for the faint-hearted. An ever-increasing number of operators run the trip. Choose carefully – if your company cuts corners, it’s a long way down. There have been many fatalities on this route, the vast majority caused by over-eager bikers going too fast. However, if you’re sensible and follow instructions, there’s no great risk, and once the new road is open, this route should become a good deal safer, as the amount of vehicle traffic on it will be drastically reduced.
From the Villa Fátima area in La Paz, buses and minibuses leave for Coroico (US$2, 3½ hours) at least hourly from 7:30am to 8:30pm, with extra runs on weekends and holidays. In Coroico, they leave from the plaza. Flota Yungueña (289-5513, in La Paz 221-3513) is the best bet. Minibuses stop in Yolosa where you can catch buses and camiones north to Rurrenabaque (US$13, 15 to 18 hours) and further into Bolivian Amazonia.