South America, Bolivia
Known to locals as the “Camino de la muerte” (Road of death!) this road was first dubbed the ‘world’s most dangerous road’ by the Inter-American Development Bank in 1995.
Far from discouraging people to use the road, the name has tempted thousands of thrill seeking, mountain biking visitors. So what it is about this road that is so appealing despite the obvious dangers?
Perhaps it’s the scenery? Indeed the variety of scenery experienced on the ride is incredible, taking you from snow covered mountain ranges down to the beauty of the Amazon jungle.
Or perhaps it’s the nature of the ride - a descent of more than 3,600 metres allowing 40 miles of downhill biking with only the odd flat or uphill area to tackle!
Let’s face it though, beautiful scenery is an advantage, as is riding downhill (far preferable to an uphill trawl) but the real reason most people complete this challenge is for the sense of achievement and for bragging rights. And why not? Given the most challenging part of the ride; an infamous dirt road cut into the side of a mountain with sheer drops of over 1000 metres to the left and cascading waterfalls to the right, don’t conquerors of this challenge deserve just a little bit of self-pride and boasting!?
Although up to twenty tour operators offer visitors the opportunity to take on this challenge the most highly recommended is Gravity. Alistair Matthews, founder of the company, was the first person to cycle the road in 1998 and then set up a company to ensure others could do the same. As well as providing travel to the starting point of the ride, La Cumbre, they also offer a variety of options for when the ride is over. You can choose to return to La Paz the same day or if you prefer, you are able to relax for a few days in their recommended accommodation, La Senda Verde Cabins, complete with swimming pool and animal sanctuary!
|Type of Activity:||Land Sports|