Getting to Death Road, Bolivia (North Yungas Road) was always going to be a challenge. However, after meeting with Motorcycle Tours Bolivia and hiring a private guide (Tito) to take us there, we knew we would be in good hands.
I was joined by Chris Moody, another experienced rider I met on the Stahlratte and who joined me in La Paz for the Death Road or as it is known locally as North Yungas Road.
We set off early in the morning, and Tito told us he would take us on a more interesting journey. We bypassed La Paz and went up through the mountains to get to Death Road, Bolivia.
The adventure was crazy fun, first going around slippery cobblestone villages as we went higher and higher dealing with mud, some rain and some very slippery surfaces. At one stage a truck could not get through, and there was a lineup of another 4 or 5 trucks behind it.
Tito decided to bypass this track and go up a slope my KTM, and their Heidenau tires couldn’t handle. Basically, my bike just would get traction. We then decided to go back down this ridiculously muddy steep slope and make our way around the trucks.
Tito was a very experienced off-roader and you could tell we were slow for him and his Suzuki, he just wanted to go go go! We ended up going high up this barren mountain with precarious drop off staring us in the face at every turn, surely Death Road, Bolivia would be easier than this., it was great fun, but quite scary.
Although the total trip was only 135 miles (215 kilometers), it still took us more than 9 hours, mainly because we stopped for the views of The Death Road, Bolivia and other roads so many times.
Death Road, Bolivia was as much as expected. Some crazy drop offs but mostly pretty good and steady riding. There were only a few sections that were precarious. It has been a few years now since they built a new road that bypassed the Death Road, so it was easier than the past.
There are still cars, buses, and trucks on the road, but not nearly as many as in the past. The first section has a lot of tour traffic with bicycles, and it was fun watching them all come off through the river crossing and get soaking wet.
Death Road has a legendary status, and I can only imagine trying to cross this in its heyday, but it was great fun, and the weather helped us out. Riding your bike on cliff edges with waterfalls drowning over you can only be described as invigorating.
All in all a great experience with the road to Death Road, Bolivia, more dangerous than Death Road itself.
Death Road – North Yungas Road, Bolivia
The North Yungas Road (also known as Grove’s Road, Coroico Road, Camino a Los Yungas, Death Road, Road of death or Road of fate is a road leading from La Paz to Coroico, 56 kilometers (35 mi) northeast of La Paz in the Yungas region of Bolivia. In 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the “world’s most dangerous road”. In 2006, one estimate stated that 200 to 300 travelers were killed yearly along the road. The road includes cross markings on many of the spots where vehicles have fallen.
The South Yungas Road connects La Paz to Chulumani, 64 kilometers (40 mi) east of La Paz, and is considered to be nearly as dangerous as the North Road. From Wikipedia
Motorcycle Tours, La Paz, Bolivia
Whilst I was staying at the Oberland Hotel in La Paz, I noticed below there was a Motorbike Tour Company. I went downstairs and talked to the manager about getting a personal tour guide to take us to Death Road by Motorbike.
We had our own bikes and the manager got on the phone and spoke to a few people. The total cost was $120 plus a tip ($50) for the rider whose name was Tito (a legend)
The tour started at 8 am and went all the way through to 6 pm at night. It was absolutely sensational. Tito took us on roads that you would never know about and we went up some crazy mountains. In fact, some of the roads getting to Death Road were scarier than death road, but it was amazing. I have written about the experience on my blog at http://www.soloworldtraveler.com, and I want to thank all of the people, particularly Tito on what was a memorable experience and one I will never forget.