Lonely Planet Writer

Terrifying but extremely thrilling: would you dare cycle along Bolivia’s famous Death Road?

Bolivia boasts an incredibly diverse landscape; there’s the lush Amazon rainforest, enchanting Valle de la Luna, and of course, its gritty, vibrant capital La Paz. But did you know it’s also home to a place known as ‘Death Road’? Max from travel blog Drink Tea & Travel recently let his inner daredevil out to play with a cycle around this stunning valley.

Bolivia's Death Road. Image courtesy of Drink Tea & Travel.
Bolivia’s Death Road. Image courtesy of Drink Tea & Travel.

He and his partner Oksana are travelling around the world, and spent two weeks exploring Bolivia. “It’s full of incredible landscapes, which is something we didn’t expect”, says Oksana.

“A lot of people know Bolivia for its Salt Flats”, she continues, “but they don’t realise how beautiful the country’s other natural attractions are. In the southwest, we came across beautiful valleys, incredible rock formations, lagoons with flamingos, volcanos and geysers.”

Cyclists on Bolivia's Death Road
Cyclists on El Camino de la Muerte. Image courtesy of Drink Tea & Travel

Death Road though is a whole other story, as Max explains; “Known locally as El Camino de la Muerte or simply Yungas Road, Death Road is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The narrow three-metre wide road stretches for over 40 miles with sheer cliffs and very few guard rails, yet the danger of the experience is precisely the appeal!”

A tour bus winds its way over Bolivia's Death Road
A bus negotiates a hair-raising stretch of El Camino de la Muerte. Image courtesy of Drink Tea & Travel

Having signed up with a local bike tour operator, Max headed for the Valley. “We hopped on our bikes and started the ride, passing through some pretty spectacular scenery as we descended into the rainforest. There were plenty of stops and picture ops along the way, and while the ride was an adrenaline filled experience, thanks to my bike riding experience, I never felt unsafe or like I was pushing my limits.”

Close to the edge: cyclists take in the view on the Death road
Cyclists enjoy the view on Bolivia’s Death Road. image courtesy of Drink Tea & Travel

“It was an awesome day, and definitely a highlight of my time in Bolivia. If there is one thing I’ll note for anyone thinking about conquering the famous Death Road, it’s don’t hesitate, and DO IT. If you go with a reputable operator with good gear, follow the safety instructions and make sure you aren’t pushing your own limits during the ride, you’ll enjoy the trip and spectacular scenery along Death Road.”

Read Max and Oksana’s Death Road blog post in full, here.